In this push for ethnic, sexual and racial diversity - which I think is just a mask to enforce ideological homogeneity - there’s no understanding that ideational diversity is the only relevant value for a university. The rest of it is all predicated on the assumption that if you select people because of their ethnicity or racial background or gender, that will, in and of itself, produce diversity of ideas - which is really pernicious… The idea that you’re going to get a diversity of ideas because you have a diversity of classes of people assumes that ideas and identity are the same thing. And that’s an absurd proposition. In fact that’s an essentially racial – and racist – proposition.
As a white, 22-year-old college graduate in a second-hand dress, I did not look like what we think of as “poor.” Of course, at that exact moment, I had, yes, a college degree and a coveted unpaid (because of course it was unpaid) internship at a public radio station. But I also had a minimum wage job to support myself, $17 in my bank account, $65,000 in debt to my name, and $800 in rent due in 24 days.
It’s not a happy tale. This is, after all, Everyday Feminism.
I was extremely hungry, worried about my utilities being shut off, and 100% planning to hit up the dumpster at the nearby Starbucks… I had no functional stove in my tiny apartment because the gas it took to make it work was, at $10 per month, too expensive.
Such, then, are the hardships of “Millennial college grads,” whose suffering, we’re told, often passes unremarked:
Through college debt, we are minting a new generation of people with fewer opportunities, rather than more. Even if you glossed right over the teachings of Thomas Piketty…
the teachings of Thomas Piketty
…you probably know that those who begin poor are more likely to stay poor… New grads no longer start from zero – they start with a negative balance.
Well, it’s generally the custom that loans have to be repaid. And so choosing a degree course, or choosing whether to take one at all, is a matter of some consequence. Such is adulthood.
Many college graduates are worse off than they would have been if they’d directly entered the workforce debt-free.
And so, as in many things, one should choose wisely. Ms Olsen goes on to ponder the woes of “Millennials of colour,” and the alleged “gender pay gap,” before wondering whether all university education should be “free” – which is to say, paid for by some other sucker. Say, those who would see no benefit in being forced to further subsidise the lifestyle choices of people who end up writing for Everyday Feminism.
Blake Neff notes the exquisite sensitivities on display at another $50,000-a-year educational institution:
Hampshire College in Massachusetts has announced that it will no longer fly the US flag at all in response to an incident where the flag was taken down and burned. The president of the college says that by getting rid of the flag the school will be able to focus on other issues like halting Islamophobia and promoting gay rights.
Because focusing on “Islamophobia” and gay rights, prioritising these things, is what a college is supposed to do, obviously. And it simply can’t be done while the national flag is visible anywhere on campus.
Demographics were now driving immigration policy, not vice versa. State and city jurisdictions with large numbers of illegal aliens passed law after law to minimise or eliminate the distinction between legal and illegal status. The most egregious of those policies — and the ones that jump-started Trump’s campaign — were so-called sanctuary laws. These rules forbid state and city employees to co-operate with the already listless efforts of federal officials to enforce the immigration laws, shielding even convicted criminals from any possible risk of deportation.
Although local activists had complained about sanctuary policies for years, no one with power paid attention — until a young woman was fatally shot in July 2015 on the San Francisco Embarcadero by a Mexican drug dealer with seven felony convictions and five previous deportations. Kate Steinle’s murderer had recently been released from jail back onto the streets by the San Francisco sheriff, despite a request from federal immigration agents to detain him for deportation proceedings. Yet despite the belated national outrage directed at San Francisco for its sanctuary ordinance, the city reaffirmed that ordinance in May 2016 in a breath-taking demonstration of the rule that immigration demographics are political destiny — at least until now.
Tim Blair spies an intriguing way to combat bullying:
Victoria’s controversial Safe Schools founder Roz Ward has been photographed harassing a bystander while marching in a Melbourne rally protesting against the election of Donald Trump as US president. Images obtained by The Australian show the high-profile LGBTI rights and anti-bullying campaigner trying to remove a cap from a man wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with “Trump 2016.” Ms Ward, who is carrying several copies of the Marxist newspaper Red Flag, is seen smirking while the distressed man tries to pull away and shield himself from her.
Victoria Stroup reports a harrowing turn of events at Edgewood College, Madison, Wisconsin:
Staff from the student conduct, human resources, Title IX, and diversity offices were brought together so they could decide how to respond to the “hateful message.” According to [Vice President for Student development, Tony] Chambers, “the group determined that the message constituted a hate crime, based on guidelines from the Jeanne Clery Act and state law.” He adds the group acted according to college policy and reported the incident to the Madison, Wisconsin Police Department, which is currently investigating it as a “hate crime,” and that it is also being investigated through the college’s Student Conduct Process.
The item deemed so incendiary and deserving of endless meetings and even police involvement? Amid post-election campus hysteria, some wag had left a pink Post-It note on a window, bearing four words: “Suck it up, pussies.”
Here’s a footnote to Monday’s post on Ben Shapiro’s attempts to discuss free speech with Christina Hoff Sommers at DePaul University. And specifically, the claim that his visit would be dangerous, and therefore impermissible, because the university doesn’t have sufficient security staff to protect either the speakers or their audience from harassment and thuggery by its own students.
Well, it turns out that DePaul did manage to scrape together 30 burly chaps in order to repel, as Shapiro puts it, “a 5’9” Jewish guy.” You see, in modern academia, you mustn’t be allowed to discuss censorship and intolerance in modern academia. Because of “security concerns.” At a lecture with no visible protesters. In case you’re wondering, Mr Shapiro ended up having to Skype Dr Sommers from several blocks away, at which point they had a brief online chat for the benefit of the audience, before relocating the event, along with the audience, to a nearby off-campus theatre, where the discussion could take place as intended. The Skype chat starts around 32:38.
And do note the YouTube warning, informing us that the video is “unlisted” and that you should therefore “think twice before sharing.”
Here’s more of Mr Shapiro, filmed last night at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where things got lively. And where leftist protestors tried to prevent non-students from attending the lecture, and then blocked the stage, before finally conveying their righteousness by pounding on the floor. And note Shapiro’s comment about the protestors’ evident privilege when it comes to disruption and impunity. Do we think that a conservative protest against a leftist speaker, with protestors acting in the same manner, using the same tactics and comparable language, would be accommodated in a similar fashion? Without consequences?
DePaul University’s chapter of Young Americans for Freedom says they will defy an administration ban on “controversial” speakers, and go ahead with an event next week at the Chicago school featuring conservative speaker Ben Shapiro and “Based Mom” Christina Hoff Sommers. Late Friday, YAF issued an open letter to DePaul University’s administration, noting that they could no longer accept DePaul’s argument that Shapiro did not “substantively contribute” to campus discourse, and that “security concerns” warranted keeping him off campus. DePaul’s Vice President of Facilities, Bob Janis, issued the ban in August, telling YAF students that they could not host the author... [because] DePaul’s modest security forces simply could not handle the ensuing chaos.
“Given the experiences and security concerns that some other schools have had with Ben Shapiro speaking on their campuses, DePaul cannot agree to allow him to speak on our campus at this time,” Mr Janis wrote. Since then, however, Shapiro has spoken at several schools, including Yale and UT Austin, without incident — as has Milo Yiannopolous, whose “Dangerous Faggot” tour has criss-crossed several states. YAF argues that it’s DePaul’s students, and not its invited speakers, that create the problem. DePaul’s YAF branch also note that DePaul claims to have doubled down on its commitment to free speech and the open exchange of ideas on campus, creating a “free speech” speaker series that did not feature any conservative speakers. Hosting Shapiro, they contend, would be well in line with that commitment.
So, to recap. The university’s stated rationale for censorship is that it can’t protect either the speakers or their audience from disruption and thuggery by its own students, which is quite an admission, really. And as we’ve seen, the threat of physical intimidation and mob harassment – by these would-be intellectuals of the left – is quite real. What the university doesn’t admit, however, is that this problem won’t be solved by banning any speakers deemed remotely controversial – in this case, two speakers who prefer evidence and debate over threats and hysteria. It seems to me that the problem will only be addressed, or begin to be addressed, when leftist students no longer feel that mob censorship and physical intimidation are things they can get away with, and get away with repeatedly, without facing consequences. Say, being expelled.
Given the rich seam of psychodrama hinted at above, in which victimhood is professed with rumblings of mob intimidation, and “diversity” comes to mean intolerant mental conformity, it’s perhaps worth revisiting this earlier episode at California State University, Los Angeles, where Mr Shapiro was attempting to speak, and noting both the level of student thuggery and the participation of faculty. Specifically, one Dr Robert Weide, an assistant professor of sociology - a grown man who spends his time tearing down flyers for events he doesn’t like, who denounces those who disagree with him as “fascists” and “white supremacists,” and who offers to fight dissenting students in the university gym, boasting, “I lift bro.” Several videos of Dr Weide’s progressive protégés and their, um, physical vigorousness can be found here.
The question raised by Sex Object, if read with a critical eye, is whether Jessica Valenti has ever been a victim of anything except her own bad judgment… What kind of fool would major in Women’s Studies? The kind of fool who loses her virginity at 14, goes off to Tulane, sleeps with her ex-boyfriend’s roommate, flunks out and then transfers to SUNY-Albany, that’s who. The only career possible for a Women’s Studies major is as a professional feminist, and there are only so many full-time gigs at non-profit “pro-choice” organisations to go around. However, the Feminist-Industrial Complex — the departments of Women’s Studies on some 700 college and university campuses across the United States — has a rent-seeking interest in promoting the metastatic growth of feminism, so the fact that many of their alumnae are quite nearly unemployable isn’t mentioned in the course catalogue.
The Globe Theatre’s new director, Emma Rice, detests the original Shakespeare. The Bard’s plays, she says, are “tedious” and “inaccessible.” Perhaps, with such a dim view of the source material and its creator, she should have taken a different job, but instead she chose to make Shakespeare more “relevant.” For instance, [in A Midsummer Night’s Dream] “Away, you Ethiope,” was changed to, “Get away from me, you ugly bitch.” Rice knew that plenty of Shakespeare purists would find her coarse edits appalling, so she had an actor walk on stage in a spacesuit and say, “Why this obsession with text?” She also placed identity politics front and centre. She mandated, for instance, that 50 percent of the cast be female regardless of the gender of the characters. “It’s the next step for feminism,” she said, “and it’s the next stage for society to smash down the last pillars that are against us.”
And David Kukoff on an alternative educational model of the 1970s that wasn’t altogether successful:
Following a meeting with progressive-minded parents, [educator and drug counsellor Caldwell Williams] teamed up with English teacher Fred Holtby to create a curriculum that would channel the pop-psych teachings of the time. They wanted students to guide their own learning, focus on their feelings, and engage in raw dialogue about sex, drugs, and all the other topics that animated their lives. The teachings incorporated principles of the popular self-help movement known as est, then shifted to those of Scientology.
Shockingly, it turns out that hugging lessons, watching porn and choosing your own grades has its limitations.
Feel free to share your own links and snippets, on any subject, in the comments.
Lifted from the comments, another visit to academia’s Clown Quarter, where issues of deep and pressing import are probed good and hard:
In turning attention to this understudied and overdetermining space — the black anus — “Black Anality” considers the racial meanings produced in pornographic texts that insistently return to the black female anus as a critical site of pleasure, peril, and curiosity.
82 percent of articles published in the humanities are not even cited once. Of those articles that are cited, only 20 percent have actually been read. Half of academic papers are never read by anyone other than their authors, peer reviewers, and journal editors.
[Feminist academic] Jo Livingstone laments that “the tenured, particularly men, are exempt from the kind of character scrutiny to which ordinary employees are subjected.” It’s remarkable to find self-described “progressive” people calling for “character scrutiny” for professors. It sounds like something out of Victorian times: “We hope Professor Sandwell is a respectable man, moderate in his habits, prudent, correct in his opinions, and regular in church attendance.” It’s clear that these individuals would love to able to sanction their colleagues for thinking incorrectly about feminism.
Brian Min finds more feminists exhibiting their trademark stoicism and level-headedness:
Student organisers of the upcoming talk [a critique of feminism and pretentious victimhood] by scholar Christina Hoff Sommers put up roughly 50 flyers promoting the event on four different campus buildings at Columbia University and Barnard College earlier this month. Nearly all were torn down within 24 hours. Since then, the organisers replaced the originals, posting roughly 75 flyers throughout the Columbia and Barnard campuses. That prompted another series of bizarre reactions. Flyers at Barnard College have had Sommers’ face torn or clawed off… In Lerner Hall on Columbia’s campus, two young women lurked and took pictures of student organisers as they posted the flyers… One of the students organising the event was putting up flyers… when a female student came up to her and threw a cup of cereal and pretzels at her feet.
Sweden was, for a long time, one of the most ethnically homogeneous countries in the world. As of 1940, only about one percent of the Swedish population were immigrants. Even as the proportion of immigrants increased over the years, as late as 1970 90 percent of foreign-born persons in Sweden had been born in other Scandinavian countries or in Western Europe. These immigrants were usually well-educated, and often had higher labour force participation rates and lower unemployment rates than the native Swedes. That all began to change as the growing number of immigrants came increasingly from the Middle East, with Iraqis becoming the largest immigrant group in Sweden.
This changing trend was accompanied by a sharply increased use of the government's “social assistance” programme, from 6 percent in the pre-1976 era to 41 percent in the 1996-1999 period. But, even in this later period, fewer than 7 percent of the immigrants from Scandinavia and Western Europe used “social assistance,” while 44 percent of the immigrants from the Middle East used that welfare state benefit. Immigrants, who were by this time 16 percent of Sweden’s population, had become 51 percent of the long-term unemployed and 57 percent of the people receiving welfare payments. The proportion of foreigners in prison was 5 times their proportion in the population of the country.
Feel free to share your own links and snippets, on any subject, in the comments.
Students at the University of California, Berkeley held a violent protest on campus Friday to demand additional segregated “spaces of colour” for non-white students. A video of the protest shows demonstrators repeatedly heckling white passers-by, barring them entry to a key bridge on campus by forming a human chain while simultaneously allowing students of colour to pass unmolested. Time and again, white students and professors were denied entry to the bridge as they were surrounded by aggressive protesters shouting “go around!” At one point, the video shows a protester refusing to allow an older white man to cross the bridge, eventually directing him to cross by way of a creek that flows underneath the bridge.
When protesters were asked about the motive for their demonstration, they refused to be recorded, leaving little to no explanation for the rationale behind such an aggressive protest.
If you can endure this five-minute video of the protesters being theatrical and unpleasant, you may discern the usual inchoate rumblings of oppression, and outrage at the unfairness of being expected to pay one’s bills as agreed in writing. Apparently, the entire campus and surrounding streets now belong to them, i.e., a tiny subset of leftwing students, which conveniently excuses all manner of exciting behaviour, including harassing other students, to whom the campus presumably doesn’t belong. There’s also some anti-capitalist fervour aimed at local businesses and the on-campus student store, the mere existence of which is deemed an affront to socialist piety, prompting threats of further disruption, escalating in vehemence, “with the goal of eliminating any revenue generation.”
Such kind and lovely creatures. Not narcissistic at all.
However, the heaviest, most pressing grievance appears to be this:
Protesters were angered because one of their “safe spaces” was relocated to the basement of a building where it had previously occupied the fifth floor.
If, being sane, that doesn’t sound like something that could credibly justify two hours of shouting, shoving and screaming, let alone the obstruction of traffic, both on campus and at a nearby public intersection, to say nothing of thuggish behaviour and blatantly racist harassment, then you may be missing the point. Which is, that these things allow vain, vindictive mediocrities to exert power over others. All while cloaked by the moral anonymity of the mob dynamic, which allows those so inclined to behave in antisocial ways and get away with stuff. Everything else is window dressing. Including the protestors’ claims that the failure to provide a “safe space” of suitable commodiousness, befitting their self-imagined importance, is “part of the structural racism of UC Berkeley.”
Free speech, like the right to a fair trial and the presumption of innocence, is a procedural virtue, which is why fanatics and revolutionaries hate it… Defenders of free speech are arguing not only for free speech as an abstraction, but a wider culture of honest debate, factual argument, respectful disagreement, and civilised co-existence with people who see the world very differently from us. Complaints about attacks on free speech can be seen as proxies for concerns about the maintenance of this culture, particularly in the context of the university. So in a sense, free speech isn’t one thing. It’s many things. It’s a whole network of overlapping norms about the exchange of ideas. One thing that people commonly mean when they say “free speech” is “if I’m invited to give a talk somewhere I should be allowed to do so without intimidation, interruption or threat, and people who want to come and listen to me should be able to do so.”
There are plenty of subjects that merit satire today – the diversity industry, with its shakedowns and professional bullshit artists is a rich seam, as is the transgender movement. But these areas really are too edgy for satirists, most of whom – like the vast majority of influential people in the arts – hold quite uncontroversial (left-liberal) political views and also fear the next wave of revolutionaries more than they do the ancien régime. That’s why they make jokes about the ancien régime. In fact there is plenty of edgy comedy these days – but it tends to be told in private.
According to a just-released study [by the Centre for Public Integrity], more than 96 percent of donations from media figures to either of the two major-party presidential candidates went to Hillary Clinton… Anyone who has spent a moment around elite reporters or studied their output knows that they tend to be left of centre. In 1981, S. Robert Lichter and Stanley Rothman surveyed 240 leading journalists and found that 94 percent of them voted for Lyndon Johnson in 1964, 81 percent voted for George McGovern in 1972, and 81 percent voted for Jimmy Carter in 1976. Only 19 percent placed themselves on the right side of the political spectrum. Does anyone think the media have become less liberal since then? None of this means liberals — or conservatives — can’t be good reporters, but the idea that media bias is non-existent is ludicrous.