From Robert Stacey Stacy McCain:
Posted on | October 28, 2015
“So what is feminism? What do feminists believe? Namely, that American women are oppressed by a patriarchy hell-bent on keeping women down, and that men and marriage are expendable. . . .
“What feminists want is to make men and women interchangeable. . . .
“I am not a feminist because I don’t believe feminists have an accurate understanding of human nature.”
— Susanne Venker
Great minds think alike, and Suzanne Venker sees the problem with feminism exactly as I see the problem with feminism. It is a War Against Human Nature aimed at using the coercive power of government to bring about an androgynous “equality” that ignores the actual differences between men and women. Feminism is a totalitarian movement to destroy civilization as we know it — and feminists say so themselves.
There’s a lot more at the link, in which the esteemed Mr McCain spends rather a lot of bandwidth taking apart the “logic” of modern feminism, but I prefer to address a different issue, the utter fear of the modern left to be exposed to any views other than their own.
October 21, 2015 | By Josh Logue
Williams College students invited Suzanne Venker, a writer and longtime critic of feminism, to speak Tuesday night, but changed their minds and took back the invite for her talk, “One Step Forward, Ten Steps Back: Why Feminism Fails.”
Venker had been invited to participate in a student-run, alumni-funded speaking series at Williams called “Uncomfortable Learning.” The program’s purpose is to expose students to controversial voices and opinions they might not otherwise hear. Many of the speakers tend to be conservative or people whose views don’t square with those of most students.
The students who run the series decided to cancel the event, co-president Zach Wood explained, after its Facebook page began to attract acerbic comments and “things got a little out of hand.”
The page has since been deleted, but one comment, which Wood quotes in an article he posted, said, “When you bring a misogynistic, white supremacist men’s rights activist to campus in the name of ‘dialogue’ and ‘the other side,’ you are not only causing actual mental, social, psychological and physical harm to students, but you are also — paying — for the continued dispersal of violent ideologies that kill our black and brown (trans) femme sisters … you are dipping your hands in their blood, Zach Wood.”
The concern, Wood explained, was that “people would get riled up while she was speaking,” maybe even throw things, and there wasn’t time before the event to organize security. “You never know,” he said. “We’re just trying to think ahead here. The last thing we wanted to do was do something destructive.”
Still, Wood said, “If it was just my decision, I would have brought Venker to campus …. Suzanne Venker’s views are views that are held by millions of Americans whether we like it or not, and if we want to push back against them, we have to try to understand them.”
Venker is the author of a number of books, including The War on Men and The Flipside of Feminism. In the past, she’s written that modern women are “angry” and “defensive” because “they’ve been raised to think of men as the enemy,” or, in another article, that “Unlike women, a man’s identity is inextricably linked to his paycheck. That’s how most men feel a sense of purpose.”
There’s more at the original. Mr McCain noted that we can read the text of the speech Mrs Venker online. The oh-so-offended-left at Williams College have actually exposed Mrs Venker’s views to more Williams’ students than would have been the case had she spoken on campus; such lectures are normally very poorly attended, but the added publicity the left has provided will (probably) lead more Williams’ students to read what she would have said than would have heard her speech.
From Jonathan Adler in The Washington Post:
Last week, a Williams College student group decided to cancel a lecture by Suzanne Venker in response to outspoken criticism from other students. Since then, the group has had second thoughts. According to Reason, the student group sought to reinvite Venker, but she is unlikely to accept. The speech she would have given is available here.
The editor in chief of the Williams Record also seems to have had second thoughts about the awful editorial her paper ran about the episode. In an op-ed published Friday, she wrote:
Although it was not our intent, I understand and accept that our editorial, as written, does advocate for limited free speech, and that was a mistake.
This letter is not a result of backlash but rather a result of the discussions that have occurred amidst that backlash. While we intended to critique the initial choice of inviting Suzanne Venker to campus, we did not intend to critique the right of Uncomfortable Learning to bring her to campus or the right of her ideas to be present here. Each time we silence one perspective or label it as “dangerous,” we compromise the freedom of speech. A newspaper – campus or otherwise – should never advocate to limit speech.
She goes on to write that student groups should be free to invite speakers to campus from any perspective, “provided of course that these speakers do not participate in forms of legally recognized hate speech.” Huh? There is no such thing as “legally recognized hate speech.” So-called “hate speech” is entitled to full First Amendment protection — which is something I would think the editor in chief of the student newspaper at one of the nation’s premier undergraduate institutions would know. I also don’t quite understand her claim that student groups should consider “the potential for their speech to discriminate against members of our community” when inviting speakers.
I suspect that Mr Adler understands perfectly well what the left see as “the potential for their speech to discriminate against members of our community;” I certainly do! The left have become so thoroughly enmeshed in the idea that controversial speech might hurt somebody’s feelings that they believe that the poor dears must be protected from such hateful thoughts and ideas. Mr McCain noted that the annual tuition at Williams College is $50,070; that seems a fairly steep price for parents to pay to see to it that Johnny or Janey are never, ever exposed to the cruelties of the real world. When they do get out of school and into the real world, they won’t have the benevolent leftist student leaders to protect them from harmful thoughts or ideas, they won’t be insulated from people who do not care if they are offended by their views.
Now, had Mrs Venker been allowed to speak at Williams, and some students thought that her ideas were too offensive to hear, they always had the option of not attending her lecture. That, it seems, was too little protection.
That, however, is the charitable version, the version which assumes that the left are really only concerned with other people’s feelings being hurt. The less charitable view is the one which I find more probably correct, that the left really want to silence all dissent. It isn’t that Mrs Venker’s opinions would hurt their feelings, but that they would hurt their arguments, hurt their political positions. The left know that they would not have had to attend Mrs Venker’s lecture, because they already have the experience of choosing not to watch Fox News or anything else which they don’t want to see or hear. What they really want to do is see to it that other people don’t have the choice to choose to listen to Mrs Venker; I’ve noted before that the left are pro-choice on exactly one thing.
Naturally, it has backfired on them: not only were they forced to reissue the invitation, but they gained more publicity for Mrs Venker’s views, and revealed themselves to be sniveling little [insert plural vulgar slang for feces here] at the same time.
This is not a First Amendment issue to me. Williams College is a private school, while the First Amendment is a limitation on government power. Further, the school itself did not take the invitation/ disinvitation/ reinvitation action itself; those were the actions of a student group, not the administration. And finally, the freedom of speech and of the press does not guarantee that any other person must listen to you, or that any other organization must publish or broadcast what you want. I see this as simply another example of the hypocrisy of the left; they want to say what they want to say, but will attempt to use every means they can to prevent the opposition from speaking. In the end, the left have no confidence the strength of their views or their “logic,” and a form of fascism is really all that they have left.