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Davis, California

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Column: Rise of the Girly Men

The California Aggie has formally retracted Tiffany Lew’s Jan. 22 column, “The Rise of the Girly Men.” No further action will be taken against Lew. The views in this opinion column do not represent the views of the California Aggie or its staff.


  1. I don’t understand why everyone is getting worked up. According to our 1st Amendment, we are entitled to FREE SPEECH. I, personally, thought the article was atrocious and in poor taste. Nonetheless, every writer deserves to have a voice, regardless of how controversial. If she truly believed this (which I doubt) then good for her, she has the balls to write what she wants to. We cannot fault her for that. I am appalled that the Aggie has decided to redact this article. By rights, the Aggie should stand by their own writers.

    Fuck the redaction.
    Long live controversy.

  2. I don’t know what’s wrong with you people – the article was kind of funny, and not even that offensive. A university paper should welcome unpopular viewpoints, and that this was retracted is a bit sad.

    Why get all offended about it? A man (girly or not) who knows and loves himself would not be phased.

  3. Lew’s piece was riddled with painful attempts at humor and some very dumb remarks. However, let’s not turn this one into a racial issue when it really isn’t.

    As an Asian male attending UC Davis, I do not take offense to her purportedly racist comments and find them a non-issue. In fact, most of my male, Asian peers take absolutely no interest in this matter and find it laughable that non-Asians would see fit to defend us from Lew’s allegedly racist attacks.

    In spite of her apology, Lew has herself become a target of attacks from people she doesn’t even know – if this isn’t hate, then I don’t know what is.

  4. Since I am a straight male, I read the article from that perspective, and did not find it offensive to me, but I will admit some things were said, and events referenced, that could offend some people, as we have seen. I do not believe many of the critics, including the professor, are tolerant, or unbiased themselves, and commensurate in their judgment. Does she deserve vile comments that are condescending from students that should show more dignity and diversity than they have shown? What is the punishment to those who vehemently degrade another with personal attacks? Since she did say she was not referring to gays, and she did specifically state she is talking about “straight men” (she does state that), we have to look at it from that perspective, even though it may have drifted off course, presumably unintentionally. She even implied that those straight men (with feminine mannerisms) are seeing straight women (as indicated when she says “the girl has to wait for him”, and may even miss an event due to wasted time). So based on this, her opinion is in line with that of many straight women who are irritated at the way their male partners often waste their time and energy. Haven’t many straight men been yelled at by their women for taking longer than a girl to get ready? This mainstream view may be criticized by the readers (I don’t mean this view is necessarily right), but let’s not carry the criticism to the point that we contemptuously demean someone for his or her opinions that happen to be shared by many others. Even though the article has incited much criticism, we should give the benefit of the doubt that maybe the writer was really referring to something else and has learned a valuable lesson from all this. Why not give both sides time to calm down?

  5. To Freedom Of Speech: This is so awesome because I’m almost certain you’ll check this.
    You are so right! I’ve never read anything in the California Aggie’s opinion section which reflected that the writer had done any rigorous research or was terribly informed on the topic. The opinion section seems to be filler. This is upsetting. The Aggie really needs to step it up. Recruit people who are willing to put in the effort to make the Aggie something we’re proud of. I hate that David said in another string of comments relating to Lew’s article that it doesn’t matter if the Aggie looses it’s readership. How is it a UCD paper, if it only caters to a certain population?? How do we justify funding it with student fees if it’s not something we, the student body, are proud of? I know we can’t make everyone happy, but we can really do better. This is a paper from a fairly prestigious university. Intellectualism, hard and real questions. Seriously. Lost can be our entertainment (and journalistic excellence can be served with a sense of humor). We can do so much better.

    AND MrGreenbud – “Imagine that the topic was heterosexual manly men and their inherent boorishness and lack of style. Would the article have been printed? Would the article have been regarded as homosexist?”
    Oh my god (excuse me for the god part) YES YES YES!!! that too would be problematic. I’m not sure ‘homosexist’ would be the term used but certainly very problematic. It’s not likely it would have gotten as much attention, true: but you have to understand that individuals who do not conform to heteronormative gender roles and performance have been victims of (physical) violence, discrimination etc etc for centuries for exactly those reasons outlined by Lew, for not being ‘real’ men. Whereas those manly men (?) you describe have not been subjected to violence for those adjectives you have attributed to them. In fact, as Lew eludes to, they are rewarded for this- the whole T-zone comment comes to mind. The general problems with the alternate article you describe remain the same as with “The Rise of Girly Men”: policing and disciplining of individual’s behaviors, ways of being, forms of expression, dress, etc etc. And also tying personality traits and values to bodies/gender identities. Generalizing the heterosexual manly man and tacking onto that identity the idea that they are bad dressers and crude. So yeah, I would say that such a generalization would be inaccurate and inappropriate.

    I highly recommend the first volume of Michel Foucault’s “A History of Sexuality”. Could be helpful in sketching out all of these issues more clearly. And even if you think that “men should be men and girls should be girls”, it would nonetheless be interesting to all those defending Lew’s article to just check out the LGBTQRC and the cultural sensitivity training that’s offered just to, you know, see what’s up. Even and especially if you think it’s all bullshit and that being “PC” is overrated. I mean, you’ll be able to make stronger arguments if you can quote the people you disagree with.

  6. freedom_of_speech, after thoroughly researching your posts on this website, I can say with confidence that, in my opinion, you are a twat.

  7. I mean if she really wanted to write an opinion article on ‘girly men’ she could’ve said it differently (make it sound more neutral)

    Starting off with that she recently has been noticing a trend/rise in feminine/metro men. And define her definition and what she considers to be ‘girly’ and compare according to society’s terms. She then can state her opinion that she prefers ‘manly men’ for herself and strongly state that that’s her preference and not every other girls’ preferences. And by prefer, she probably means dating, I assume?? She can then say why she doesnt prefer to date girly men from personal experience and not generalizing that all girly men are like this and that or will probably be like this and that. Lastly add how unfortunate it is for her because she likes manly men, but seems like men are becoming more different than the gender norm.

    it’s really hard not to offend no one, cuz you’re always bound to offend one person/community. but an article like Ms. Lew’s offended so many communities

  8. Mmm…She said she wasn’t referring to the queer community in her article. But she was. A straight man, who does not conform to the ‘manly’ behaviors and is acting/dressing ‘girly’ is what we would call or consider ‘queer’ because aren’t conforming to the gender binary that our society is so used to and conditioned to.

    “so what?”- is what the queer community has been trying to get people to see and think. To not exclude anyone or silence anyone for their nonconforming behaviors, etc. That is why the queer community has taken this article offensively and is voicing its opinion about this article and they have every right to.

    She was mistaken to mock feminine men for their behavior and appearance, and state that they are confused of their sexuality. She probably didn’t consider at all that these men are actually very comfortable with their sexuality and know exactly what they want. Just because it’s not clear to her, doesn’t mean it’s not clear to themselves. I mean, who is she to say that they’re confused and don’t know who they are or want and who gives her the right to give other label to their sexuality.

    I think the Aggie and Tiffany Lew need to admit their mistakes, apologize, and say and later show that they’re going to do something about it so it wont happen again in the future. Maybe, they can start with safezone training. Improve their sensitivity and whatnot

  9. To Professor F’s comment: “I would much rather read a thoughtful, well-researched, rigorous opinion piece that I disagree with than see such random spewings dignified by publication.”

    When has an opinion conveyed a form of thorough research? Of course you would expect a college educated person to have some adequate knowledge of a particular discussed topic before taking a stance, but isn’t an opinion a PERSONAL view on something? I mean, was Tiffany writing a dissertation or research paper? If she were, I would negatively critique her for her lack of thorough research. However, the fact is, Tiffany was writing an OPINION piece. The definition of “opinion” in any dictionary does not convey any form of absolute objectivity. An opinion is really a subjective view and a personal perception of a particular idea, subject, or topic being discussed.

    Is the issue really a matter of Tiffany’s lack of thorough research on the subject or her opinion on the particular subject matter discussed? I mean, what if Tiffany wrote this amazing thoroughly researched dissertation on the topic and still came up with the same conclusion, would the LGBT community react any differently? Is this a matter of an lack of tolerance for an opposing view?

  10. Thank you, Professor F, I think you’ve better gotten to the point than any other commenter.

    What I would like to add, is that while there is a negative response directed at Ms. Lew, what we should be upset about the fact that this young woman has received such a poor education that she feels it is appropriate in any setting, let alone an article intending to represent an entire community, to express her views in such a negative way. I’ll refrain from using all of the “ism”s and the name calling, but there is no denying that there is a lack of knowledge, concrete evidence, research, and human empathy in Ms. Lew’s article. She seems to believe that anyone who does not fit into her idea box of manliness (in terms of straight men) should just go away and never come around again. While one will inevitably be angry with Ms. Lew, we have to realize that this is a failure on societies, and her educational institutions’ part to teach her that these ideas are neither “good” in most sense, nor appropriate to express in a public format. Yes, Ms. Lew is entitles to her opinion, but when she is writing something that is intended to be read by and wide and very diverse audience, she has to know what is and is not appropriate.

    On another note, while Ms. Lew is in desperate need of some education and a wake-up call, we also have to take a good look at the people who PRINTED this article. No matter what excuses they have, the fact that Ms. Lew’s article made it past three editors and into public view show a lack of care and concern for what The Aggie stands for. If the staff so strongly believes and states that they do not share views with Ms. Lew (and can apparently back it up by listing off all of their queer coverage, just as Ms. Lew lined up her gay friends and Ellen watching), then they should have never posted it. There is something lacking in The Aggie staff is they honestly believe that allowing this article to be released was acceptable. Again, no excuses can cover this large “mistake” on both The Aggie and Ms. Lew’s part.

    Here’s a final though: why has no one apologized? They have posted a retraction, and attempted to cover their asses by using the age-old tool “but we have gay friend too!”, and yet there has been no “I’m sorry.”
    Why don’t we START with that?


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