Cortney O'Brien

March may have been Women’s History Month, but one conservative women’s organization used it to celebrate admirable young men. In an effort to combat modern feminism’s offensive habit of defining men by misogyny, The Network of Enlightened Women, NeW, launched a contest to recognize and appreciate gentlemanly behavior on college campuses in their 2014 Gentleman’s Showcase.

The response was overwhelming. More than 2,000 votes were cast and NeW was “thrilled” with the contest results, Alyssa Condrey, Director of Programs, shared with Townhall:

We were impressed by the quality of the nominees and by how many men were nominated from colleges nationwide. These men are outstanding leaders on campus and demonstrate strong character. One nominee, for example, started a group on campus to fight against human trafficking. The women treated the contest seriously, writing detailed explanations as to why their nominee should be the gentleman of the year. One common theme was that the men showed respect for not only women, but everyone around them.

This year's winner was Ivan Yim, a sophomore from the University of Florida. Here's what women on campus had to say about him:

"[Ivan] is deserving of the 2014 Gentlemen’s Showcase award for his honorable demeanor and the way he cultivates his personal values through his campus involvements. As a Dance Marathon Operations team captain, Ivan not only believed in the mission of Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, but freely supplied his time and support to encourage a healthier future for suffering children."

Ivan gladly accepted the award:

The Gentlemen’s Showcase is significant to me in that I was participating with other gentlemen across the nation. It’s great to see how students from other schools show their admiration for gentlemanly conduct and conservative views.

Here were just a couple other admirable young men who made the cut:

Logan Mauk, Virginia Tech
"[Logan] chooses to be a civilian in the Corps because he believes the discipline, leadership skills, and brotherhood that he has been taught through the Corps has shaped him to more positively impact his university and community. Do you know many people who would wake up at 5AM three days a week and participate in rigorous and time-consuming military activities solely to become a better servant of his community? We surely don’t!"

David Saxon, Florida State University
"[David] has become a crusader for women; he has committed himself to raising awareness for human-trafficking, helping victims and, ultimately, ending modern-day slavery. He is founder and president of “Freedom at FSU”, a group he started to achieve his goal of a world without human sex trafficking. With the support of Freedom at FSU behind him, David visits with other organizations and clubs in Tallahassee to help raise support and awareness."

They’ve got my vote! I applaud NeW for introducing a contest that allows women to encourage, not tear down, the men in their lives. While the Gloria Steinem-style feminism is often defined by treating men as oppressors, the ‘Gentleman of the Year’ contest puts their good deeds on display. As NeW Founder Karin Agness explained:

The nominations of these men push back against the common caricature of the modern college man […]There is a lot of work to be done to counter the anything-goes attitude on many campuses, but gentlemen on campus aren’t going unnoticed. We must encourage more of them.

Along with the title, Ivan's gentlemanly behavior has earned him a $500 scholarship award.

Hopefully the practice of recognizing respectful young men will not end when this contest does.


Cortney O'Brien

Cortney O'Brien is a Townhall web editor. Follow her on Twitter @obrienc2.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography