Catherine Alicia Young (born Yekaterina Yung Russian: Екатерина Юнг; born February 10, 1963) is a Russian-born American journalist. Young is primarily known for her writing about rape and feminism. She is the author of two books, a frequent contributor to the libertarian monthly Reason, and a regular columnist for Newsday and RealClearPolitics.
Life and career
Born in Moscow to a Jewish family, 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, The Weekly Standard, and Reason.
From 2000 to 2007, Young wrote a weekly op-ed column for The Boston Globe. In 2008, she began writing a regular column for RealClearPolitics.com. In 2012, she became a weekly columnist for Newsday. Over her career, Young has had a close association with Reason, being a contributing editor and a monthly columnist from 2001 to 2007. Since 2014, she has regularly contributed to Time magazine.
Young's writing covers a variety of topics in politics and culture, with particular focus on gender issues and feminism, reflecting an individualist feminist perspective like 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.
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". Young has defended the social media campaign Women Against Feminism.
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".
Young supports legally recognizing same-sex marriages.
In his book The Blank Slate, Steven Pinker identifies Young as an "equity feminist", and further describes her as an "iconoclastic columnist" who has argued against rape-related "dogma".
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".