Cathy Young Articles

A Real Dialogue for a Change

Which may be a first on the issue of campus rape hysteria.
Jan 25, 2016

Apanel on “Grappling with Campus Rape" was part of the "Hot Topic" program at the American Association of Law Schools annual meeting, held January 6-10 in midtown Manhattan. Indeed, that issue has been the focus of particularly intense polemics in academia. A number of law professors, even some with strong liberal feminist credentials, have spoken out against the campus rape panic and the push for harsher measures that they say trample on students' rights. Late last year, 19 Harvard law professors signed a strongly worded letter denouncing the CNN-sponsored campus rape documentary The Hunting Ground for misrepresenting a case involving a Harvard Law School student.

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Strange Interludes

A second introduction to a master of the mysterious.
May 25, 2015

A middle-aged company man on a business trip in 1970s England gets lost miles from the nearest town and, running out of gas near nightfall, takes refuge at a hostel, where things go from weird to worse. 

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Who Shot Boris Nemtsov?

There’s no shortage of suspects.
Apr 27, 2015

A month and a half has passed since Boris Nemtsov, the Russian political activist who rose to prominence as a dynamic young reformer in the 1990s and later became one of the fiercest critics of Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian rule, was shot dead a few blocks from the Kremlin. The shocking murder, which quickly raised questions about the Putin regime’s culpability, has largely faded from the headlines in the Western press.

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Murder on the Kremlin’s Doorstep

Boris Nemtsov, 1959-2015.
Mar 16, 2015

If Boris Nemtsov, the Russian statesman and activist killed in Moscow last week, had been a character in a political thriller—and he certainly had the looks and charisma for the part—the script might have been criticized as lacking subtlety. There is the opposition leader gunned down on the eve of a major protest march, shortly after an interview that foreshadows his murder. There is his nemesis, the authoritarian strongman whose foes often turn up dead, vowing to personally oversee the investigation. 

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Novorossiya Is Still a Dream

And the ruble is in free-fall.
Dec 22, 2014

A year ago, Ukraine’s “Euro-maidan” protests, spurred by then-president Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to reject a promised trade agreement with the European Union and rush into the well-paid embrace of Vladimir Putin, began to escalate in Kiev, turning to violent clashes with government forces. A Ukrainian revolution, a Russian land grab, and months of undeclared war later, we still don’t know whether these events signaled the beginning of a revival of Russian power or the beginning of the end of the Putin regime.

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No Winners Yet in Ukraine

Putin’s success has been exaggerated.
Sep 29, 2014

The conflict in Ukraine took some dramatic turns this month that led many observers to conclude that the Kremlin was succeeding in its effort to keep Ukraine under Russia’s thumb, with the collusion of a spineless West. Actually, while Russia has wrested some concessions, the handwringing is largely unwarranted—so far. But much depends on the West’s willingness to continue applying pressure to Russia and offer meaningful aid to Ukraine. And, even in the best-case scenario, a “frozen conflict” zone in eastern Ukraine is a likely and troubling outcome.

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Derangement in Moscow

Russia’s virtual reality.
Sep 08, 2014

"Maybe it’s all a matrix and we’re all like programs written by somebody else. .  .  . And none of us really exists, just the matrix. The program works, you live your life and think everything’s fine. Here you are drinking coffee right now.

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Prophet of Ukraine

The Russian novelist who’s seen it all coming.
Apr 28, 2014

New York 

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Who Are You Calling Fascist?

Putin’s Russia is in no position to criticize Ukraine.
Apr 14, 2014

Throughout the Ukraine crisis, Moscow has insisted that the Euromaidan protests against the pro-Russian regime of Viktor Yanukovych were driven by far-right groups, fascists, or even “neo-Nazis” and that Yanukovych’s downfall has brought these dark forces into the corridors of power. These claims are echoed by Kremlin-friendly Western commentators on the left (the Nation’s Stephen Cohen) and the paleocon right (’s Justin Raimondo). Far-right extremism in Ukraine is indeed a worrisome problem.

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The Other Russian Crackdown

Unrest in Ukraine means more repression in Moscow.
Mar 17, 2014

Putin’s Pardons

A sign of strength or of weakness?
Jan 13, 2014

As the winter holidays approached, the beleaguered Russian opposition had a rare occasion to celebrate: Russia’s three best-known political prisoners were unexpectedly granted their freedom. On December 20, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former oil tycoon whose arrest a decade ago escalated Vladimir Putin’s war on independent politics in Russia, received a presidential pardon and was flown to Germany, where his mother is undergoing cancer treatment.

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A Media Smear

Noxious gender politics go mainstream.
Apr 22, 2013


A sexual assault case involving several teenagers in Steubenville, Ohio, last fall turned into a national story—and, for many on the left, a vehicle to indict America as a misogynist “rape culture.” While the two defendants were convicted in March, there remain unanswered questions about the case (currently the subject of a state investigation). But one thing that emerged clearly in the media coverage is the disturbing influence of radical gender politics. 

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Putin’s Innocent Victims

A mean-hearted ban on the adoption of Russian ­children by American parents.
Feb 04, 2013

After retaking Russia’s presidency last year, Vladimir Putin seemed to be headed for master-of-the-universe status. The political stage had been cleared of potential challengers to his power. The protest movement that had risen in December 2011 in response to his planned reelection had dwindled by the summer of 2012, demoralized by a lack of clear goals, divided, and weakened by stepped-up repression.

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The People Versus Vladimir Putin

Russia’s strongman may be more vulnerable than you think.
Jul 02, 2012

After Vladimir Putin’s predictable victory in the Russian presidential election in March, the opposition​—​which had enjoyed a few heady months of visibility and freedom after the December parliamentary vote became a debacle for the Kremlin​—​seemed demoralized and disoriented. The protests were losing momentum, and it looked like the “Russian Spring” would be merely an intermission before the new Putin presidency.

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Out of This World

George R. R. Martin and his fantastic universe.
Apr 02, 2012


The 11-year-old daughter of a great noble house is brought to court as bride to the crown prince, only to find herself reduced to a hostage against her mutinous family. A king’s fatal injury on a boar hunt may or may not have been an accident—and his two brothers challenge the legitimacy of his heir, unleashing a war that rips the realm apart. A royal cortege crossing a city ravaged by wartime privations is besieged by a hungry crowd, whose pleas turn to anger, and whose anger escalates from obscene taunts to a deadly riot.

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Russia’s Once and Future President

A depressing victory for Putin.
Mar 19, 2012

In the end, the outcome of the Russian presidential election was as predictable as it was depressing. Vladimir Putin won, with an official tally of nearly 64 percent of the vote—more than enough to spare him the dreaded runoff—amid charges of widespread fraud at the ballot box. The question remains whether this is a lasting defeat for freedom in Russia or a last and ephemeral victory for Putinism.

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Russian Thaw

Putin loses his grip.
Jan 02, 2012

"We went to jail in one country and came out in another,” Russia’s most famous blogger, 35-year-old anti-corruption crusader Alexei Navalny, said on December 21 after serving two weeks’ detention for alleged disorderly conduct during demonstrations against vote-rigging in the parliamentary elections of December 4. 

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Steeled in Struggle

The saga of Stalin’s daughter.
Dec 19, 2011

It’s an old saw to call someone’s life worthy of a novel. Yet when several obituaries used the phrase to describe the life of Lana Peters, an 85-year-old retiree who died in Richland Center, Wisconsin, in late November, the phrase rang true. Mrs. Peters, reclusive in recent years, was known in her former homeland as Svetlana Alliluyeva, and in a former life as Svetlana Stalina. Once the Soviet Union’s most famous child, she became its most notorious defector—and that was only the start of her saga. At the end of it, Stalin’s daughter was both a relic and a victim of her inhuman time.

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He’s Back

Vladimir Putin, the once and future president of Russia.
Oct 17, 2011

Perhaps the best commentary on the news that Vladimir Putin will return as president of Russia next year, with placeholder-in-chief Dmitry Medvedev stepping aside for his longtime mentor, was offered in a caustic satirical poem in the three-times-a-week independent paper Novaya Gazeta by maverick writer Dmitry Bykov. Bykov recalled that, some two years ago, when interviewing think tank president Igor Yurgens—a leading drumbeater for Medvedev as Russia’s great liberal hope—he bet Yurgens a case of cognac that Putin would retake the presidency in 2012.

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The Noble Lie, Feminist Style

False accusations of rape are more common than you think.
Aug 01, 2011

We will probably never know for sure what really happened between former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn and the chambermaid who accused him of sexually assaulting her in a Manhattan hotel room on May 14. In the days after the French politician’s arrest, media commentary was strongly on the side of the alleged victim, and any attempt to question her credibility was met with indignation. 

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