Student association risks suspension after sexist lecture by famous plastic surgeon at UGhent

Student association risks suspension after sexist lecture by famous plastic surgeon at UGhent
The surgeon was invited by the conservative student association KVHV. Credit: Campagne ROSA

The University of Ghent's social council has proposed to suspend the KVHV (Catholic Flemish Students Union) student association for four months, following the sexist statements made during a lecture by the famous plastic surgeon the association invited.

The plastic surgeon, Jeff Hoeyberghs, made statements like “Women want the privileges of male protection and money, but they do not want to open their legs anymore”, “We have given women dishwashing machines and cleaning ladies, until they themselves became superfluous” and “You cannot treat a woman like an equal without becoming her slave” during a lecture.

The surgeon was invited to speak by The UGhent's KVHV, a conservative Flemish student association that in the past has also attempted to invite Dries Van Langenhove, MP and founder of the extreme-right Schild & Vrienden youth movement, to one of their debates. However, his appearance was scrapped as the school feared it could not guarantee the safety, reports Het Laatste Nieuws.

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In addition to the four months of effective suspension, the Social Council also requests a further three months of conditional suspension. A 'retraction', which will remain visible for at least one year, should also be placed on their website, reports De Standaard.

The entire board of the KVHV association will have to follow a course on sexism, organised by the Gender & Diversity Unit of the university.

The Social Council's advice is non-binding, but the UGhent will make a decision before the end of the week.

The Institute for the Equality of Women and Men, in the meantime, stressed their formal complaint against Hoeyberghs. "His statements incite discrimination and hatred towards women," it stated.

Maïthé Chini

The Brussels Times

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