Cathy Young (born Yekaterina Yung, Russian: Екатерина Юнг, born February 10, 1963) is an American journalist who was born in Russia. Young is known for her writing on the topics of rape and feminism. Young is the author of two books, a frequent contributor to the libertarian monthly Reason, and a regular columnist for Newsday, RealClearPolitics.com, Time, and Allthink.
Life and career
Born in Moscow, the capital of what was then the Soviet Union, Ekaterina Jung was 17 when her family emigrated to the United States in 1980. She became a naturalized citizen in 1987 as Catherine Alicia Young, and graduated from Rutgers University in 1988. At Rutgers, she wrote a column for the student newspaper The Daily Targum and worked as a student writer for The Detroit News. She also completed her autobiography, Growing Up in Moscow: Memories of a Soviet Girlhood, published in 1989.
Continuing her association with The Detroit News, Young was a regular columnist for the newspaper from 1993 to 2000 and worked as a freelance journalist for a variety of publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Newsday, The New Republic, The Wall Street Journal, The American Spectator, National Review, Salon.com, The Weekly Standard, and Reason.
From 2000 to 2007, Young wrote a weekly op-ed column for The Boston Globe. In 2008, she began to write a regular column for RealClearPolitics.com. In 2012, she became a weekly columnist for Newsday. Over the years, Young has had a close association with Reason, where she is a contributing editor and was a monthly columnist from 2001 to 2007. Since 2014, she has regularly contributed to Time.
Young is a research associate at the Washington, D.C.-based libertarian think tank Cato Institute, for which she co-authored a 1996 policy analysis paper, "Feminist Jurisprudence: Equal Rights or Neo-Paternalism?". Her writing covers a variety of topics in politics and culture, with particular focus on gender issues and feminism, reflecting an individualist feminist perspective (c.f. Wendy McElroy), frequently agreeing with men's rights activists, while criticizing them for emulating the identity politics associated with some forms of feminism. In addition to appearing on a number of radio and television shows, she has spoken on college campuses and, during 2001 and 2002, taught a 3-week gender issues course at Colorado College.
Young supports legally recognizing same-sex marriages.
In her second book, Ceasefire!: Why Women and Men Must Join Forces to Achieve True Equality, published in 1999, Young criticized both feminism and traditionalism from what she described as a "pro-equality point of view", a philosophy which she says may be called "feminism or something else".
Describing the Gamergate controversy in relation to feminism, Young has stated that she believes that Gamergate is a backlash against feminism, but "it's a backlash against a particular kind of feminism, one that has a tendency to look obsessively for offences, read ideology into everything, and demonize male sexuality under the pretext of stamping out 'the objectification of women'."
In 2015, Young wrote an article in The Daily Beast in which she interviewed the student whom anti-rape activist Emma Sulkowicz accused of rape. In a response, Sulkowicz described Young as an "anti-feminist", saying that Young published Facebook conversations between her and her alleged rapist to shame her. Heather Wilhelm wrote in RealClearPolitics that Young's article about Sulkowicz "sets aside the hype and soberly assesses the facts." Citing Young's article, Katie Zavadski described her in New York magazine as a "contrarian feminist".
The Washington Post reported that Young has written numerous articles critical of campus anti-rape advocacy. Salon described Young as having a "history of writing to discredit [rape] victims". Commentary magazine stated that Young re-investigates "atrocious coverage of campus sexual assault myths" in the "hopes of setting the record straight and minimizing some of the incredible damage the accusations have done".