political correctness

Cornell University senior Julius Kairey, a conservative student columnist for the Cornell Daily Sun campus newspaper, was viciously smeared last month with fliers spread around the Ivy League university that labeled him a “Racist Rape Apologist.”

His crime? Daring to question stats behind the so-called campus rape epidemic and defending due process for those accused of sexual assault. He also wrote a column titled “Islamophobia and Racism” last spring that ruffled some feathers. And the fact that he writes a weekly conservative column in general makes him a target for radical angst.

The perpetrators of the vandalism have eluded capture or punishment. Meanwhile, Kairey’s latest column, while not specifically addressing the incident, calls out campus liberals – noting “Cornell’s bullies demand tolerance but deliver intolerance; they demand civility but provide incivility.”

Kairey notes:

Political bullies on campus are defined by two characteristics. First, the fervent belief that they stand for the oppressed. As long as you aren’t “privileged” (usually meaning a white, heterosexual, Christian male) they will do whatever is necessary to liberate you from the second-class status supposedly conferred upon you by America’s inherently bigoted society. Second — as far as I can tell — the zealous conviction that as long as these groups advocate for what is “just,” they do not actually have to practice what they preach. They can ask others to do as they say, not as they do.

We see the same recurring patterns. When a controversial proposal one of the groups dislikes is suggested, they decry it as “divisive” and demand that it be defeated, launching vicious attacks against its sponsor. But when a proposal in line with their views is under consideration, any disagreement with the measure serves as proof of how far the powerful will go to prevent their definition of justice from triumphing, further reinforcing their perceived need for change. In the face of an opposing point of view, these bullies insist that the view must be based on illegitimate hatred and bigotry and should therefore be silenced. Yet, they derisively dismiss mainstream American society as racist, sexist and homophobic without feeling a moment of shame for being so condescendingly close-minded. …

Cornell’s radical ideologues usually get away with their hypocrisy because they react with such venomous hostility to anyone who calls them out on it. They only celebrate “speaking truth to power” when they are the ones doing the talking.

The voices of those that have truly suffered, or may come to suffer, from racial and gender discrimination, and other denials of basic human rights, are lost in the din of accusation and demonization. Let me be clear: Some of these bullies truly are victims. Still, they should recognize that that does not give them the right to bully others. All of us would benefit from addressing these important issues in an open, honest and democratic way, leading to the implementation of better policies with the added legitimacy of being supported by the Cornell student body.

As much as some students may not want to live by the same rules they seek to impose on the rest of us, accountability requires something very different. If Cornell’s political bullies ever hope to establish a modicum of moral authority, they might actually have to stand with liberal principles of freedom of assembly, freedom of speech and freedom to dissent.

He gave some recent examples from his university to hammer home the point – campus radicals taking over a student government meeting by force last spring to support a campaign to divest from Israel (a protest group that called itself the “Ad Hoc Committee for Student Democracy.” It’s unclear if they saw any irony in that). Kairey also cited a protest against sexual assault on campus last month at which some accused Cornell of corruption and immorality.

Beyond Cornell, it’s commonplace on campuses nationwide for conservative opinions to be shouted down or even silenced as “hate speech,” “intolerance,” “bigotry,” “ignorance,” “racism,” “homophobia” – the Left often labels those who posit ideas they disagree with rather than address the merit of those arguments or engage in discourse.

As Kairey points out – they are the ones who act with “venomous hostility,” and are “condescendingly close-minded” and “political bullies.”

It’s great to see a brave conservative student standing up to this pressure – even in the wake of such a truly hate-filled and slanderous attack against him.

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It what has to be one of the greatest examples of the twisted “logic” of political correctness, a transgender student at Wellesley College has been roundly shunned for a school leadership position.

Timothy Boatwright was born a female, and indicated such when he applied for admission to Wellesley. But after arrival on campus, he introduced himself as a “’masculine-of-center genderqueer’ person named ‘Timothy,’” and asked that folks use male pronouns when referring to him.

This wasn’t an issue … until the day Timothy decided to run for the position of multicultural affairs coordinator.

Katherine Timpf at National Review Online reports:

… some students thought that allowing Boatwright to have the position would just perpetuate patriarchy. They were so opposed, in fact, that when the other three candidates (all women of color) dropped out, they started an anonymous Facebook campaign encouraging people not to vote at all to keep him from winning the position.

“I thought he’d do a perfectly fine job, but it just felt inappropriate to have a white man there,” the student behind the so-called “Campaign to Abstain” said.

“It’s not just about that position either,” the student added. “Having men in elected leadership positions undermines the idea of this being a place where women are the leaders.”

Boatwright identified himself as female on his Wellesley application “because he didn’t want his mom to know [about him being transgender].”

Nevertheless, one would think that a “progressive” campus like Wellesley would be welcoming to a transgender student, no matter what gender he or she identifies with.

Perhaps one day there will be a manual which points out the politically correct “hierarchy” — when it’s OK and not OK to favor/oppose an “historically oppressed” group. Or something.

Read the full article.

Original New York Times article.

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So argues Arizona State’s Desiree Pharias in her State Press op-ed:

[Cole] Swindell sings to a girl and proposes a “little late-night pick me up.” He then openly tells her if she is lonely, and quite frankly, vulnerable enough tonight, she can go ahead and give him a call. He goes far enough to say if she’s “in the mood for a little regret” his offer stands evermore. Truthfully, when this song comes on, I instantly change the station, as I don’t appreciate his allusion to a one-night stand by saying, “We ain’t gotta make up, just kiss me, we could straight up blame it on the whiskey.” Bravo, Mr. Swindell! You disguised a proposition for a one-night stand in such a way that it almost sounds romantic.

While rap can be disregarded by those who are uncomfortable with its blatant misogyny, country music has a more subtle approach towards disrespecting women. It is precisely because of this that it is a more powerful vehicle of sexism. The singers of these songs are wholesome, respectful, country boys that your mom would want you to marry. In fact, she might be listening to them in her Toyota minivan right now.

Gosh, subtle (suggestive) messages in popular country music? And even more powerful than rap where demeaning, misogynist vulgarities fly out every few seconds? Who knew?

Unlike Ms. Pharias, I can’t stomach country music. I frequently playfully mock my fiancée — a big country music fan — about how you’re guaranteed to hear the following in every country song’s lyrics: truck, dog, beer, and whiskey.

About the most suggestive thing I’ve heard in a country song is when David Nail (yes, I had to look it up) sings “She’s got the blue jeans painted on tight …” Wha … how dare he objectify women like that!

Read the full article here.

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IMAGE: Jeremy Roberts/Flickr

An article at Inside Higher Ed highlights (no, not in hot pink) a … “controversy” at the University of Iowa: the opposing team’s (football) locker room is painted pink.

Controversy? Why?

Well, this is the Age of Political Correctness, especially on college campuses:

While it remains a beloved bit of visual smack-talk for many Hawkeye fans — and was even featured in a recent ESPN ad about college traditions — some students and faculty have decried the color scheme as sexist and discriminatory.

“There is no denying that [former Iowa football coach Hayden] Fry’s tactic is rooted in an antiquated age when homophobic and sexist epithets were the norm in sports,” [protester Kembrew] McLeod said.

Since 2005 Jill Gaulding, a former University of Iowa law professor, has threatened to sue or file a federal complaint against the university under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the law that forbids gender discrimination at colleges. On Thursday, Gaulding, who is now a lawyer with the nonprofit law firm Gender Justice, said the “discussions are still ongoing,” and that the locker room’s color is a type of gender slur.

“It sends the message that anything associated with female is lesser-than,” Gaulding said. “The minute I read about the pink locker room and how the university had built it even pinker, it felt like somebody had just reached out and slapped me across the face. It was that insulting. People know what it means.”

Erin Buzuvis, director of the Center for Gender & Sexuality Studies at Western New England University (uh oh), agrees with Gaulding that the locker room is a Title IX violation, but says a lawsuit victory would be tough. Still, she notes (my emphasis)

“Title IX’s application to athletics is aimed at equalizing the treatment of female athletes as well as their opportunities to play,” Buzuvis said. “If you accept that using pink in the visitors’ locker room operates a symbolic gesture of emasculation towards the team’s opponents, the pink locker room certainly represents a form of unequal treatment, since the symbolism trades on pink’s association with women and stereotypes about women’s inferior athleticism.”

But … is that a stereotype? In general and taken as a whole, are not men … superior athletes?

Before you go off with steam coming out of your ears, consider:

The mean difference has been about 10 percent between men and women for all (Olympic) events. The mean gap is 10.7 percent for running, 8.9 percent for swimming and 17.5 percent for jumping. (Source)

Men golfers hit the ball farther, in some cases a lot farther. Men tennis players hit the ball harder and faster. Baseball players throw faster and hit the ball farther than (women) softball players. Etcetera, etcetera. Why do we have separate sports leagues for the sexes, after all?

Men’s sports are far more popular with spectators because the competition level is greater. The athletes are faster, stronger, and more durable. This is just a biological fact, despite U. of Iowa’s student newspaper’s complaint that the “sexist norm of male superiority” still exists, and despite those who believe gender is merely a “social construction.”

By the way, there’s actually some psychological research to back up what the Iowa football squad (and others) have done to opponents’ locker rooms. One researcher says the color pink acts like “a tranquilizer that ‘saps your energy.'” Pink is also used frequently in “drunk tanks” and jail cells. In addition, the notion that pink is a “girl’s color” is actually relatively new; it didn’t really begin to take hold until the 1940s.

In closing, I get that efforts to encourage male athletes (and coaches) to cease using terms like “sissy” and anti-gay expressions need to be established and enforced. But over-zealous complaints about things like using pink in locker rooms — because it facetiously calls into question opposing players’ toughness, and even their masculinity — are just another example of institutions like a “Center for Gender & Sexuality Studies” finding “reasons” to justify their existence.

Dave Huber is an assistant editor of  The College Fix. Follow him on Twitter @ColossusRhodey.

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IMAGE: YouTube screenshot

Alex Stone, a sixteen year-old at Summerville High School in the South Carolina town of the same name, was charged by police with disorderly conduct following what he had written for a creative writing assignment.

What, exactly, did Alex write? “I killed my neighbor’s pet dinosaur, and, then, in the next status I said I bought the gun to take care of the business,” he said.

WWBT-TV12 in Richmond, Virginia reports:

Attorney David Aylor, who is representing 16-year-old Alex Stone, said his client’s arrest over a creative writing assignment on Tuesday was “completely absurd,” and is seeking to appeal the suspension and “proceed with the legal issues of [Stone’s] arrest.”

“This is a perfect example of ‘political correctness’ that has exceeded the boundaries of common sense,” Aylor said in a statement released on Thursday. “Students were asked to write about themselves and a creative Facebook status update – just days into the new school year – and my client was arrested and suspended after a school assignment.”

The police dispute Stone’s/Aylor’s version of events … sort of:

“The information that is being reported is grossly incorrect in reference to what led to the juvenile being charged,” said Capt. Jon Rogers in a Summerville police statement released on Thursday.”The charges do not stem from anything involving a dinosaur or writing assignment, but the student’s conduct.”

Authorities add that the “disorderly” part of Stone’s conduct came when he was questioned, and his locker and bookbag searched: he became “very irate,” “said it (his writing) was a joke,” and “continued to be disruptive.” He was eventually cuffed.

As Instapundit (to whom the hat tip goes for this story) notes, “To be thorough, they should have searched the neighbor’s yard for a dead Triceratops, too.

Read the full story here.

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Doni Wilson has penned a satirical piece for The Federalist, suggesting 9 “trigger warnings” for very sensitive students who are about to read Shakespeare’s Hamlet:

This week the British publication The Guardian reported that “Students in America have been asking for “trigger warnings” to be included on works of literature which deal with topics such as rape or war.”  Works that were of concern to students at the University of California at Santa Barbara included Things Fall ApartMrs. Dalloway, and The Great Gatsby, all of which I have taught.  This demand for fair warning so that those who have been traumatized can adequately prepare for the shock of what they read assumes that having something in a syllabus (which may or may not be read by students anyway) will insulate students from the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune that may come up in any given text…

So I was thinking, since I am teaching Hamlet to students in an intense two-week course called Fast Term, if I had known about this new demand for “trigger warnings,” how exactly would I accommodate this need for this particular play?

Read the full article here.

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