A Boise State University professor who reportedly made demeaning comments about women entering STEM fields stirred up protests over the weekend.
Scott Yenor, a political science professor at Boise State University, made the comments during the National Conservatism Conference in Orlando, Florida on 31 October.
"Every effort made must be made not to recruit women into engineering, but rather to recruit and demand more of men who become engineers," Mr Yenor said. "Ditto for med school, and the law, and every trade."
He doubled down on his statements after a video of his comments resulted in social media backlash. In a post on Twitter, he said that "making special efforts to recruit women into fields where they don't seem to want to be" are not worthwhile. He claimed that he did not want to prevent women form entering those careers.
The state college issued a statement saying that while it did not agree with Mr Yenor's comments, it "cannot infringe" on his ability to express his views.
"Boise State University understands that the open exchange of ideas, which is fundamental to education, can introduce uncomfortable and even offensive ideas," the statement said. "However, the university cannot infringe upon the First Amendment rights of anyone in our community, regardless of whether we, as individual leaders, agree or disagree with the message. No single faculty member defines what Boise State – or any public university – endorses or stands for."
CNN spoke with Idaho state Representative Brooke Green, who said that Mr Yenor's beliefs were "not only outdated, but completely sexist and reflect a society that no longer exists."
She helped organise the protest against Mr Yenor, which drew about 500 people.
"Many young women at the university are worried their futures are in the hands of a tenured professor who believes they do not deserve to be there and occupy a seat that belongs to a man," Ms Green said.
She went on to say that "women shouldn't have to spend time today defending our value in society or rights as human beings."
Ms Green said that the gathering was intended to "send a message saying we will continue to occupy professional spaces, whether it's a boardroom, courtroom, or leadership role within our community."
The Independent has reached out to Mr Yenor for comment.
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