Sociology professor Feng Gang of the renowned Zhejiang University in China is receiving some social media backlash for his sexist remarks that read, “History has proven that academia is not the domain of women.”
Feng’s comments were in response to the criticisms he received for his previous explicitly sexist remarks on Chinese social media site Weibo back in 2013.
“I was surprised by the unbalanced gender ratio of five women to one man, and unexpectedly the top three candidates with the highest scores were all women,” Feng’s previous comment read, according to Shanghaiist. “Less than 10% of women in the master’s program will actually continue on the academic career path and most of them don’t really focus on their studies during the program. They are only here for the degree.”
Feng was criticized even further after a Taiwanese sociology student, who goes by the username 食菠萝 on the social networking service Douban, created an online petition forcing the professor to publicly apologize for his sexist remarks.
The petition was eventually taken down, but not after it was signed by more than 20 people pursuing their master’s or PhD degrees in universities around the world.
The same was posted on Weibo by a renowned feminist activist and sociologist who goes by the handle @一音顷夏. But the post was deleted as well.
Feng remains adamant in his stance on the matter, saying, “I will not apologize even in 10 afterlives. I didn’t do anything wrong, why should I apologize?”
In Oct. 24 interview, Feng defended himself by saying he has no prejudice against women, and that he was only trying to explain how the selection process works for candidates of the master’s program.
The professor claims that his critics were only trying to twist his words in order to falsely accuse him under the pretense of being politically correct.
Previous reports reveal that women PhD candidates in China are often seen in somewhat of a negative light, according to Quartz.
Women PhD candidates are mostly labeled as spinsters who are “unattractive, self-important careerists” placing “education before family.” With that said, it seems that prejudice towards women PhD holders in China goes far beyond Feng’s sexist opinion as this highlights more of the country’s societal woes in general.