I’ve said from the start of this GamerGate thing that it’s not really about left and right. Yes, these SJWs are almost uniformly leftist. There’s no doubt about that. But what they’ve done is not in the liberal tradition. Although I’m independent now, I came up as a lefty. One of the things that I always held dear was absolute freedom of speech. Another thing that was valued was the free and open exchange of ideas. Even if you found some person or ideology personally distasteful, you still had to sit down and hear the other side out.
For one, how else will you find common ground if you never talk to people who disagree with you? Also, hearing opponents speak, reading their materials, etc…that’s all ways to improve your own arguments. The reason so many of these rad fems suck at debate is because they’re locked inside their own hugboxes and refuse to come out. Now, they want to lock everyone else inside with them. That’s the reason behind the recent safe space push on college campuses here in the United States.
Over the past 10 months or so, old-school liberals have thankfully started to speak out against this insanity. The first big splash on this front that I can remember was Jonathan Chait back in the winter. I reported on it here at TheRalphRetort.com:
Make no mistake, these people are in the minority. Most Democrats in America are not feminists. Most women in America aren’t even feminists. The rank-and-file, for the most part, reject the rad fems and their methods of ostracization (not to mention censorship). But their ruthless tactics and prominence among academia makes them a formidable foe. Until now, no prominent liberal has been willing to speak out. I understand why. The SJWs are quite skilled at ruining your career, particularly if you’re on the same side as them. Doors that used to be open instead slam shut, you’re vilified in their media, etc. It can be the end of a career.
It’s great work by Chait, and I encourage all of you to go check it out. Judith Shulevitz is another prominent liberal who has called out this bogus behavior in the past. Here’s a little something from her as well:
At the beginning of the article (archive), Shulevitz describes a debate last fall at Brown University. It was between Jessica Valenti and libertarian Wendy McElroy. One of the rad fems on campus caught wind of this, and knew that McElroy was likely to criticize the term “rape culture.” This alone was enough to prompt the young woman to action:
“Bringing in a speaker like that could serve to invalidate people’s experiences,” she told me. It could be “damaging.”
Ms. Byron and some fellow task force members secured a meeting with administrators. Not long after, Brown’s president, Christina H. Paxson, announced that the university would hold a simultaneous, competing talk to provide “research and facts” about “the role of culture in sexual assault.” Meanwhile, student volunteers put up posters advertising that a “safe space” would be available for anyone who found the debate too upsetting.
The safe space, Ms. Byron explained, was intended to give people who might find comments “troubling” or “triggering,” a place to recuperate. The room was equipped with cookies, coloring books, bubbles, Play-Doh, calming music, pillows, blankets and a video of frolicking puppies, as well as students and staff members trained to deal with trauma. Emma Hall, a junior, rape survivor and “sexual assault peer educator” who helped set up the room and worked in it during the debate, estimates that a couple of dozen people used it. At one point she went to the lecture hall — it was packed — but after a while, she had to return to the safe space. “I was feeling bombarded by a lot of viewpoints that really go against my dearly and closely held beliefs,” Ms. Hall said.
Last week, another throwback type, Froma Harrop, joined this chorus. Like the others, she called out the pussy bullshit that is threatening to ruin colleges here forever. I know my favorite part of going to university was the debates before, during, and after class. Arguing is really fucking fun. If you don’t have anyone with differing opinions, then you end up with monolithic, head-nodding pod-people. Plus, when they leave school, they get hit with a rude ass awakening. Real life doesn’t give one fuck about your safe space, politically correct mentality. It’s gonna hit you in the mouth…repeatedly.
The 2015-16 academic year has opened with a predictable collection of demands for banning certain views, often involving sexual or racial matters. Many are couched in convoluted claims that disagreeable speech is making students feel “unsafe.”
Much of the squelching aims to fend off challenges to some of the more ludicrous theories of victimization. Well-constructed thoughts on social injustice can be defended in debates.
But the concern here goes beyond the issue of free speech. What do these bizarre definitions of sexual or racial harassment do to the students’ heads? They, too, are free speech, but when they are shielded from counterarguments, they take on the air of “facts.” The students leave school with “givens” that are not givens five feet outside the campus gates.
Case in point is the story of Ellen Pao. A hotshot Harvard-educated lawyer, Pao sued her Silicon Valley venture capital employer for gender discrimination. As evidence, she cited a partner’s referring to a porn star on a private jet.
Where would an otherwise worldly woman come to see a mere mention of porn-watching as evidence of sexual bias? No need to answer.
Don’t hurt ’em, Froma. Damn, she even cracked Pao’s head for good measure. I like where this is headed:
Brown offers an exhaustive list of advice for men wanting to counter sexual violence. Item No. 9: “Refuse to purchase any magazine, rent any video, subscribe to any web site, or buy any music that portrays girls or women in a sexually degrading or abusive manner.”
Firstly, most pornography is legal, and school administrators have no business telling their scholars what is permissible reading.
Secondly, do the students have any time left to read Shakespeare? Come to think of it, they’d better not. (“Frailty, thy name is woman!”)
Come to think of it, there’s a lot of classics that will be banned in the name of “protecting” students. I thought college was all about being exposed to new things, people, and ideas? What in the hell are these idiots really thinking? I can tell you. They realize that the only way their pernicious ideology can ever get a real foothold is through rigging the game.
More from Harrop:
College kids have forever made angry, unwise remarks. In olden days, that speech would end up forgotten, buried in a landfill on the yellowing pages of the student rag. Now the public cries are forever archived in the great cloud and easily retrieved by prospective employers and mothers-in-law.
And when a law firm, for example, Googles the name of the graduate who said an article mildly critical of her advocacy group made her feel “unsafe,” it might very well regard her as a risk not worth taking…
I actually feel sorrier for the students goaded into making tyrannical demands than I do the author of the piece. That’s because, to quote Shakespeare again, “the evil that men do lives after them” — especially in the Internet age.
Mic drop finale. I gotta say, it warms my heart to see this backlash starting to set in. Hopefully more come around to the side of reason and sanity. I have a lot of respect for people like Chait, Shulevitz, and Harrop. It’s risky to speak out against the new SJW tendency on the left. I know I used to get labeled as right-wing, or “Tea Party” when I used to shit on it as a young leftist. It’s one of the reasons I now identify as an independent. The fact that these keyboard warriors and safe space sissies think they can tell people who have been in the game for decades that they aren’t really liberal is insane. That’s why I love how Chait put it. There’s liberal and then there’s progressive. I, for one, hope the liberals end up wiping these progressive shitheads off the map. It’s going to take more people speaking up to accomplish that, though. To his credit, President Obama said many of these same things himself recently. No matter what you think of the guy, I believe that should be commended.
Let me know what you think down below. I’ll be back before lunchtime with more posts. Don’t forget, Janet Bloomfield is scheduled to join us on TheRalphRetort LIVE tomorrow night at 6PM EST. I’ll setup the stream for that later on today over on the LIVE channel. Catch you guys later.