Shut Up, They Explained

 

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I do love schadenfreude first thing in the morning.  A leftist college professor wails about the closed minds of his leftist students:

The press for actionability, or even for comprehensive analyses that go beyond personal testimony, is hereby considered redundant, since all we need to do to fix the world’s problems is adjust the feelings attached to them and open up the floor for various identity groups to have their say. All the old, enlightened means of discussion and analysis —from due process to scientific method — are dismissed as being blind to emotional concerns and therefore unfairly skewed toward the interest of straight white males. All that matters is that people are allowed to speak, that their narratives are accepted without question, and that the bad feelings go away.

So it’s not just that students refuse to countenance uncomfortable ideas — they refuse to engage them, period. Engagement is considered unnecessary, as the immediate, emotional reactions of students contain all the analysis and judgment that sensitive issues demand. As Judith Shulevitz wrote in the New York Times, these refusals can shut down discussion in genuinely contentious areas, such as when Oxford canceled an abortion debate. More often, they affect surprisingly minor matters, as when Hamsphire College disinvited an Afrobeat band because their lineup had too many white people in it.

Go here to read the rest.  Most revolutions eventually eat their own, and that is what is happening today.  Case in point:

Laura Kipnis is a feminist professor at Northwestern University — and not just any feminist. She’s long been one of the few professors in American public life who are capable of making news with their scholarship, find their books reviewed by the most elite newspapers, and help start elite “conversations” about academe’s favorite topics: sex, power, and identity. She’s liberal, certainly (well known for her sympathetic views of pornography), but she’s a free thinker. And that is intolerable.

 Earlier this year she wrote an essay entitled “Sexual Paranoia Strikes Academe” for the Chronicle of Higher Education. In the piece, she decried bans on students’ dating professors, declaring, “If this is feminism, it’s feminism hijacked by melodrama.” Students were being taught to “regard themselves as exquisitely sensitive creatures.” Their “sense of vulnerability” was “skyrocketing” as a result of the “melodramatic imagination’s obsession with helpless victims and powerful predators.” She warned that “the climate of sanctimony has grown too thick to penetrate,” with any dissenter labeled “antifeminist, or worse, a sex criminal.

Predictably, her words prompted a campus backlash, with mattress-carrying protesters demanding that the university immediately and officially condemn Kipnis’s essay. They used adjectives such as “terrifying” to describe the traumatic effect of her words. Kipnis shrugged off the protests — after all, when you’re a feminist professor writing on pornography, you’re used to a bit of negative public attention. But she couldn’t shrug off what happened next. Two students filed Title IX complaints against her, claiming that she’d violated federal law with her essay and a subsequent tweet. In essence, they were claiming that her writings on matters of public concern constituted unlawful gender discrimination. What happened then should be familiar to anyone who has ever been embroiled in the Star Chamber that is academic “justice.” Rather than laughing the claims out of the university — which would have been the appropriate response — the university retained an outside law firm and launched an investigation. The university not only denied Kipnis legal assistance during the formal proceedings, but its investigators also initially refused to even describe the nature of the charges against her, insisting on interviewing her before she knew precisely what she’d been accused of doing. According to Kipnis, she’d “plummeted into an underground world of secret tribunals and capricious, medieval rules, and I wasn’t supposed to tell anyone about it.”

Go here to read the rest.  I find this absolutely hilarious.  The left for the past half century has engaged in identity politics where political issues are always viewed through the prisms of race, ethnicity and sex.  It is a handy tool to develop a loyal cadre of supporters who will swiftly shut down dissenting opinions, because dissenting opinions are perceived as not merely wrong but a personal attack on the members of the aggrieved group.  Add speech codes into this toxic brew and we have the spectacle of colleges and universities, formerly, at least purportedly, devoted to intellectual inquiry, being transformed into citadels where leftist “special snowflakes” are never to hear a discouraging word that differs with the propaganda they have been spoon-fed.  One of the many problems in fostering this type of ignorant leftist know-nothingism is that eventually the moronic social justice warriors attack their own.  Step out of line an ideological inch and the same weapons deployed to howl down conservatives:  social media, Title IX complaints, demonstrations, hysterical non-stop rantings, etc., will be brought to bear against the professors who have helped make this witches’ dance of politicized buffoonery.  As I said, hilarious.

 

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9 Comments

  1. Do Title IX Coordinators have any discretion to dismiss frivolous claims? One of the complaint against Kipnis was brought by a signal student on behalf of the entire universtiy community. To which the proper response would be, “Nice try, kid.”

  2. The whole procedure set up for these claims Thomas seems to be at war with any concept of due process that I am aware of. The below links to a satire which accurately reflects how these inane complaints are treated at most colleges and universities.

    http://popehat.com/2015/05/31/leaked-northwestern-university-email-states-rules-for-title-ix-investigations/

    Real courts are bad enough as the law and fairness and common sense are frequently not on speaking terms, but Kangaroo courts like these make regular courts appear by comparison to be tribunals of eternal light.

  3. OK, it’s funny, to a degree. But when a feminism teacher defends the right of students to “date” their teachers, you realize what that’s really about, right? She’s not envisioning her female students finding nice young men in the faculty and building Christian families.

  4. Interesting juxtaposition of two posts today. In the “Doublespeaque” post from
    Motley Monk we read about legal consequences facing those Catholic universities
    which have largely abandoned their Catholic identity in the name of “academic
    freedom”. And here we have a post about universities which have fallen over
    themselves to abandon academic freedom, where fundamentalist believers in
    various ‘pelvic issues’ can silence others and deny them due process, even
    drive them from their jobs.
    .
    Seems to me that these leftist/feminist/LBGTQ fundamentalists our universities
    have been encouraging all these years are a far, far worse threat to academic
    freedom than maintaining a vigorous Catholic university identity ever was or ever would be.

  5. “OK, it’s funny, to a degree. But when a feminism teacher defends the right of students to “date” their teachers, you realize what that’s really about, right? She’s not envisioning her female students finding nice young men in the faculty and building Christian families.”

    Who cares? On a college campus she should not be subject to a Title IX inquisition for this.

  6. “but its investigators also initially refused to even describe the nature of the charges against her”…”I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone”

    Wow, I had a very similar experience in academia; ultimately it didn’t go anywhere, but in the hyper political world of academia, of course it had some ramifications. I feel kind of validated to see that this is commonplace though – misery loves company.

  7. A possibly ‘final solution’ to all of this is for the Federal Government to stop giving money to colleges and universities as there is probably little free market demand for this nonsense.

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