American Universities are now places where students can launch heresy trials against professors for expressing politically incorrect opinions.
Laura Kipnis is a professor in the department of radio, television, and film at Northwestern University. She recently wrote an editorial that was published in the Chronicle of Higher Education: “Sexual Paranoia Strikes Academe.”
I don’t know if I agree with all of it. Since I don’t think sex should take place outside of marriage, I’m not going to sing the goodness of free “dating” in the context of modern secular America. I get a little bit nervous in general about professors dating students (or students dating professors). But I do admit much of what she says reaches me. For one thing, these relationships have sometime resulted in lasting marriages which are not being interpreted as “predatory.”
You have to feel a little sorry these days for professors married to their former students. They used to be respectable citizens—leaders in their fields, department chairs, maybe even a dean or two—and now they’re abusers of power avant la lettre. I suspect you can barely throw a stone on most campuses around the country without hitting a few of these neo-miscreants. Who knows what coercions they deployed back in the day to corral those students into submission; at least that’s the fear evinced by today’s new campus dating policies. And think how their kids must feel! A friend of mine is the offspring of such a coupling—does she look at her father a little differently now, I wonder.
It’s been barely a year since the Great Prohibition took effect in my own workplace. Before that, students and professors could date whomever we wanted; the next day we were off-limits to one another—verboten, traife,dangerous (and perhaps, therefore, all the more alluring).
Of course, the residues of the wild old days are everywhere. On my campus, several such “mixed” couples leap to mind, including female professors wed to former students. Not to mention the legions who’ve dated a graduate student or two in their day—plenty of female professors in that category, too—in fact, I’m one of them. Don’t ask for details. It’s one of those things it now behooves one to be reticent about, lest you be branded a predator.
A lot of the editorial is not at all marriage-friendly, but is more like a rousing anthem about sowing one’s wild oats as a female college student. I can’t approve of it, but I’m not surprised. Allowing people to have sex with whom they please has become the American way, especially on college campuses. Neither women or men are ready to acknowledge that they have lost anything by it.
But it is just plain weird that the same places that ignore Jesus’ rules about sex and marriage are also places where you can be branded as a kind of predator for “inappropriate humor” or “unwanted sexual advances.” How do you know that the person you are interested in is going to find your request to go on a date “unwanted” until you ask.
Kipnis delves into these issues and what she shows us about college culture does not look reassuring.
She also shows how easy it is to make accusations without evidence against a professor and wreck his or her life. The professor is not allowed to present counter-evidence, it seems.
I have only touched on a few things that Kipnis writes about. I highly recommend that you read it.
But I’m not writing this post because I want everyone to read her column.
I’m writing because Kipnis is now facing sanctions for writing it—for expressing her opinion about new rules that were imposed on her.
Students marched, delivered a petition to administrators, and issued a statement. “We can only hope that the Northwestern community will meet Kipnis’s toxic ideas with resounding opprobrium, because they have no place here.” Two students have lodged complaints against Ms. Kipnis, in part for alleged inaccuracies in her essay, with the university’s Title IX coordinator.
The marching and the statement are fine. The students have the right to be infantile (and, might I add, this would be evidence they should just wait on sex—they obviously are not emotionally equipped for it).
But the two students did not write a letter to the Chronicle of Higher Education or otherwise exercise their First Amendment rights to deal with statements with which they disagreed. They used the Title IX coordinator to punish her.
Robby Soave at Reason.com explains,
The Title IX coordinator’s job is to handle sexual assault and harassment cases, so the implication here is that merely disagreeing with a student is akin to creating a hostile work environment.
Get that? Disagreeing with new sex prohibitions is the same as sexual assault. Writing an editorial expressing your opinions and presenting arguments for them is now a punishable offense.
And the rising generation of young, mind-controlled morons is being equipped to drive the Federal machinery.
Soave asks, “Has it come to this?”
It was always aimed at this. This was the end, the goal, the objective from the beginning. The Obama Administration wants to (further) Stalinize as much of academia as possible and they have made amazing progress on the basis of a lot of lies and paranoia about sex and rape. What terrorism was for George W. Bush and his foreign policy agenda, campus “sexual assault” is for Barack Obama and his domestic agenda.
And they have enough cultural apologists and attack dogs to make it happen. Just look at what happened to George Will at the hands of my local birdcage liner after he decried what was going on with Title IX. We are being ruled over by a group of intolerant haters who work their will by accusing their enemies of being intolerant haters. Think about what the Nazis at Mozilla did to their CEO for a political donation he once made years earlier. While we try to survive this horrible economy, there are people working hard to make sure that only those who believe the right things are permitted to have any place in it.
And who is going to push back. Do establishment Republicans even think about this stuff? Is any candidate willing to defend the rule of law and face the trumped up hysteria about rape?
The cultural Nazis are going to win by default. Our ruling class is fine with it in both parties.