Eton College SACKS English master for producing lecture for older students that questioned the ‘current radical feminist orthodoxy’
- Will Knowland taught English at £42,500-a-year Berkshire school for nine years
- Mr Knowland said he was dismissed over a lesson titled ‘The Patriarchy Paradox’
- The class was for Perspectives module, where pupils critique subjects of debate
- It was made as a virtual lecture to be put on the intranet – but it was never aired
An Eton College master has been sacked after preparing a lecture which questioned ‘current radical feminist orthodoxy’.
Will Knowland, who taught English at the £42,500-a-year school in Berkshire for nine years, said he was dismissed over a lesson titled ‘The Patriarchy Paradox’.
He said he was appealing the gross misconduct claim and will go to a employment tribunal if it is unsuccessful.
The class was for older students taking the Perspectives module, where they are told to critique topics of public debate.
It was made as a virtual lecture to be put on the college’s intranet due to the coronavirus crisis, but it was never aired.
Eton has been accused of ‘prioritising emotional safety over intellectual challenge’ after banning the lesson.
Will Knowland, who taught English at the £42,500-a-year school in Berkshire for nine years, said he was dismissed over a lesson titled ‘The Patriarchy Paradox’
Mr Knowland told the Telegraph: ‘The head master felt that some of the ideas put forward in my lecture – such as the view that men and women differ psychologically and not all of those differences are socially constructed – were too dangerous for the boys to be exposed to.
‘I explained to the head master that I wasn’t endorsing all the ideas in my lecture, but I wanted the boys to be made aware of a different point of view to the current radical feminist orthodoxy, which insists that there’s something fundamentally toxic about masculinity.
‘In my lecture, I pointed out that, historically, masculine qualities like strength, courage and tenacity have often been as beneficial to women as they have been to men.’
The class (pictured, a title page) was for older students taking the Perspectives module, where they are told to critique topics of public debate
After his dismissal, Mr Knowland wrote a letter to the Eton community to make clear why he lost his job.
In it he said schools had a legal duty to offer a balanced curriculum and added he thinks the way the school teaches masculinity ‘lacks balance’.
He said ahead of his lecture going live it was shown to other Perspectives course teachers, with one complaining.
Eton has been accused of ‘prioritising emotional safety over intellectual challenge’ after banning the lesson
Mr Knowland said it was removed but a fallout ensued when he would not take it off his personal YouTube channel due to ‘free speech’, which led to him being sacked.
This is despite his YouTube channel saying: ‘I currently work at Eton College, but the statements and opinions on this channel are not necessarily agreed or authorised by Eton College or its subsidiary companies.
‘And because of the nature of interpretation and discussion in English literature, the statements and opinions aren’t necessarily my own either.’
An Eton College spokesman said: ‘As this matter is being appealed as part of the college’s disciplinary process, it would not be appropriate to comment before a final decision is made.’