Christina Hoff Sommers remembers when professors and students would argue with her; now they try to ban her.
I’m not a big fan of Christina Hoff Sommers or Kirsten Powers. But they both have their good points and those points are emphasized in Kirstin Powers’ column, “‘Safe-space’ America dangerous to dissenters.”
Christina Hoff Sommers has been speaking on college campuses for two decades challenging students to embrace what she calls “equity feminism” over “gender feminism.” In her view, the former is focused on legal equality between men and women, the latter on disempowering women by portraying them as perpetual victims of the patriarchy.
This heretical view now requires campus security.
Prior to a mid-April lecture at Georgetown University, the American Enterprise Institute scholar was deemed a “rape apologist” by campus feminists for challenging statistics that she says overstate the rate of rape on campus. “The postings were so frantic that Georgetown sent undercover security into the audience,” Sommers told me.
While Powers doesn’t get as apocalyptic as I did about these students and professors, she substantiates my argument—that students and others are laying down a framework to justify violence against people for what they say.
An Oberlin College lecture a few days later met the same fate. The Oberlin Review published an open letter, “In Response to Christina Sommers’ Talk: A Love Letter to Ourselves” two days before Sommers’ visit. Usually people wait to offer a “response” until after an event has occurred, but not so in our Brave New World. The students wrote that Sommers’ presence on campus was “harmful,” and lamented that “her talk is happening, so let’s pull together in the face of this violence.”
In case you missed that: A differing viewpoint is an act of violence.
Exactly. And, therefore, it is an act of self-defense to respond with violence. Count on it. This is going to happen soon (if it hasn’t already).
But after Powers recites some of the horrible treatment and reactions that Sommers has received, we get this sad paragraph:
Authoritarian group think on campuses has indisputably drifted from the fringes into the mainstream. “Since the early 1990s, when I would go to campuses, everyone was nice including the women’s studies professors,” Sommers said. “They would come to argue. In one case, a professor prepared his whole class and they came to argue, and that was fine. They wanted to debate me, which is what was supposed to happen. In the past students would prepare themselves to debate, now they object to me to being there.
They not only object. They treat her as if she were an aggressor so that she has to be escorted by campus security for her safety.
The revolution is here already.