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Anti-Feminist Speaker Disinvited to ‘Uncomfortable Learning’ Lecture Series. She Made Students Uncomfortable.

Safe-spacers pressure Williams College group to cancel Suzanne Venker

Suzanne VenkerABC YoutubeA student group at Williams College that hosts speakers who challenge the campus's biases has rescinded a speaking invitation to Suzanne Venker, a conservative author and vocal critic of feminism, in response to furious condemnation from other students.

The decision to disinvite Venker is steeped in irony, given that the group's lecture series is called “Uncomfortable Learning,” and the sole reason for ditching Venker seems to be that she was a good fit.

Venker penned an op-ed for Fox News lamenting the group’s decision:

Despite the fortuitous match between my message and the ‘Uncomfortable Learning Speakers Series,’ my talk was cancelled several days prior to the event. “Thank you for agreeing to speak,” read the email, “but we’re not going to be able to host this event.”

Though my contact didn’t give a reason, the day before he’d sent me this email: “Dear Ms. Venker, A quick heads up…We’ve been advertising the event, and it’s already stirring a lot of angry reactions among students on campus. We just wanted to make you aware of the current state of students before your presentation…”

When I pressed further as to why the event was being cancelled (though of course I knew why), he conceded that Williams College “has never experienced this kind of resistance” to a campus speaker.

To be clear: Venker was disinvited by the students who had asked her to speak in the first place, not by the college. Mary Dettloff, a spokesperson for the college, told me that Williams has “a history of bringing controversial speakers to campus.”

“We don’t shy away from that,” she said in an interview with Reason. “We don’t cancel commencement speakers.”

Rather, it was the students who host the Uncomfortable Learning series—an unofficial, unregistered campus club—who ultimately made the decision.

“They were feeling very uncomfortable about the amount of protest and the tenor of the protest that was going on,” said Dettloff. “Students were being very vocal about not wanting her to come here. I think it was just getting a lit bit over the top.”

Zach Wood, a co-president of the group, told me he had been very reluctant to cancel Venker, but it seemed like the right thing to do after another student accused him of “dipping your hands in the blood” of marginalized people in a Facebook comment (this link goes to an op-ed by Wood that includes the comment):

“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 giving those who spout violence the money that so desperately needs to be funneled to black and brown (trans) femme communities, to people who are leading the revolution, who are surviving in the streets, who are dying in the streets. Know, you are dipping your hands in their blood, Zach Wood.”

While no direct threats were made against the group, Wood told me he was worried that things would get out of hand if the event proceeded.

“Originally, I was opposed to the idea of canceling, I thought we should go ahead and do it,” he said in an interview with Reason. “Their concerns were we might need security for this, we really didn’t know if it would just be a shouting contest.”

Venker was dismayed by the decision, in part because she had set aside time for the event—delaying work on a book to craft a suitable speech.

“It’s not a small thing to cancel people last minute,” she said in an interview with Reason. “You don’t come up with a speech in an hour.”

Her chief concern, however, was what her disinvitation said about the student population at Williams.

“This whole push for silencing dissent… it undermines the entire purpose of college,” she said. “It makes a huge statement about your position. If you can’t even handle hearing another position, obviously you’re not comfortable with your own.”

Williams is a private college, so it’s not obligated under the First Amendment to guarantee freedom of speech to students, faculty, or guest speakers. And even if it was obligated to make those guarantees, student groups would still be free to change their minds about who they want to bring to campus, as long as the administration did not interfere. For these reasons, it would be wrong to brand Venker’s disinvitation as an example of censorship; some students exercised their right to invite a controversial speaker, other students exercised their right to criticize them for it, and the first group of students exercised their right to respond to criticism and change their minds.

Now it’s my turn: the claim made by some students that inviting Venker was a literal act of violence is ludicrous, as is the idea that there was nothing to gain by hearing her speak. As Venker herself observed, if a student’s own opinions are so fragile that listening to a contrary take—or even temporarily residing in the same place as someone presenting a contrary take—is psychologically scarring, that student needs help. (And probably some level of exposure to contrary opinions, as Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt argued in their Atlantic cover story, “The Coddling of the American Mind.”)

It’s frustrating that an editorial in the student newspaper grappling with the Venker disinvitation gets this so wrong:

In general, the College should not allow speech that challenges fundamental human rights and devalues people based on identity markers, like being a woman. Much of what Venker has said online, in her books and in interviews falls into this category. While free speech is important and there are problems with deeming speech unacceptable, students must not be unduly exposed to harmful stereotypes in order to live and learn here without suffering emotional injury. It is possible that some speech is too harmful to invite to campus. The College should be a safe space for students, a place where people respect others’ identities. Venker’s appearance would have been an invasion of that space.

The editorial board did see some value in exposing students to Venker’s position, but ultimately couldn’t agree on whether the benefits outweighed the negatives.

Even if “some speech is too harmful to invite to campus,” this speech does not and should not include people who merely make assertions about feminism that discomfort the left. I don’t particularly share Venker’s views, but I find it likely that I could learn something from her—even if what I learned was that I was right to reject much of what she has to say. Indeed, this is the entire purpose of the Uncomfortable Learning speaker series: allow students to hear perspectives they would never encounter inside the liberal bubble of Williams.

Too many students see the bubble as a feature, not a bug, and would evidently solidify its membrane to prevent intrusions of disagreeable outsiders, if they could. That really is their loss. College should be a safe-space for the free expression of ideas—even controversial ones—not a zone of enforced emotional comfort.

Photo Credit: ABC Youtube

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  • Glide||

    I just wish they were honest. "We think this person is a piece of s--t and don't want them to be successful on our dime." I might not agree with it, but it's a thing a human might say and as you mentioned, their right as private citizens giving feedback to a private club in a private college.

    But the idea that an optional event where someone says things I don't like to a group of people who freely chose to listen is exactly equivalent to "causing harm", much less PHYSICAL harm, is such a ludicrous notion that to describe it as "childish" would be severely underestimating the intelligence of children.

  • Loki||

    Infantile would be a better word. These people literally have the emotional and mental maturity of infants. Lashing out at anything they don't understand, and throwing hiss fits anytime they don't get their way is what babies do.

  • RJ The Terrible||

    Bingo ... if the milk in the bottle is not exactly the right temperature we will throw a hissy and crap ourselves.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    It seems they have not developed object permanence yet. They think that if they cover their eyes, the big bad opposing opinions will disappear.

  • SimonD||

    Exactly. I had an almost identical thought. If listening to an opposing view causes 'physical harm', you have no business in a university setting (or any adult situation). You need to grow the f**k up (as my Dad used to say).

  • Illocust||

    I feel for the kids that ended up disinviting her. I wish they had stayed strong and brought her anyways, but when people start calling out your name with rhetoric like that I can understand fearing that the backlash may end up getting you physically hurt or actions taken to get you thrown out.

  • Lee G||

    I don't. It's the opportunity to show some principles.

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    Amen -- anyone part of a group which claims to want uncomfortable speakers absolutely gets no free pass for abandoning an uncomfortable speaker.

  • RJ The Terrible||

    I don't. It's the opportunity to show some guts (FIFY)

  • JFree||

    Well presumably this is all just part of the new libertarian moment among millennials.

    Make some tiny and basically irrelevant action that vaguely looks like fostering liberty. And then when opposed by screaming loonies quickly back down and, citing the non-aggression principle(?), cancel liberty for today.

  • kbolino||

    Where are the libertarians in this story?

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    Yeah, even the most sanguine libertarian optimist wouldn't expect much from Williams.

  • WuzYoungOnceToo||

    but when people start calling out your name with rhetoric like that I can understand fearing that the backlash may end up getting you physically hurt or actions taken to get you thrown out

    Actually, that's the only time that adhering to principles and having the courage of one's convictions really matters. If you jettison them the moment they might make things rough for you, you may as well not have them at all.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    causing actual mental, social, psychological, and physical harm to students

    students must not be unduly exposed to harmful stereotypes in order to live and learn here without suffering emotional injury.

    ?!?!?!?!?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Physical harm, eh? Upset stomachs, I assume. Likely the vapors in some cases.

  • Rich Homa||

    What's really scary is that if they believe they are actually being subjected to physical harm then it's easy for them to believe that they have the right to respond in kind. I wonder how many school shootings were motivated by that kind of twisted thinking.

  • ||

    Sticks and stones may break my bones

    But words might tear my head off and leave me twisted and bleeding out on the ground.

  • bacchys||

    An uncomfortable word is like a woodchipper...

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    What I find problematic is that there was not even one instance of the word "problematic" in this article. What kind of SJW story is this?

  • wareagle||

    when you are too uncomfortable for an uncomfortable learning series, just how close is that to peak retard among the discomforted?

  • RJ The Terrible||

    peak retard is infinite. This may be just a new record. The record will fall ... it always does

  • The Late P Brooks||

    “Students were being very vocal about not wanting her to come here. I think it was just getting a lit bit over the top.”

    Threats were made.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    “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 giving those who spout violence the money that so desperately needs to be funneled to black and brown (trans) femme communities, to people who are leading the revolution, who are surviving in the streets, who are dying in the streets. Know, you are dipping your hands in their blood, Zach Wood.”

    *outright, prolonged laughter*

  • Loki||

    Laughter and mockery are about the only way to respond to this shit anymore. It's also probably about the only thing these emotionally undeveloped little shits understand. Trying to argue with them using facts and logic won't work because they didn't come to their positions through reason in the first place.

  • ||

    Laughing is the only way to react, until mockery is labeled as a form of aggression. If someone begs to be punched in the face and you oblige them, is that a violation of the NAP?
    If living, breathing, walking, and talking is, by their own measure, just as much an aggression as if you punched them in the face is there any libertarian reason why you shouldn't?

    Honestly, I think it's going to have to come to that point. Laughing is still giving them attention for their behavior. It's going to have to come to something between "I whined and nobody did *anything*." and "I whined, got beat up, and nobody did anything."

  • Bill Dalasio||

    No.

    Just stop subsidizing this shit.

    Once you do that, it all goes away. And until you do that, nothing you do is much going to matter. Face it, does any of this shit with young people go down anywhere other than college campuses? No. The rest of the world has more important things to occupy their time.

    We don't need baristas with degrees in Women's Studies. We really can do without a steady supply of credentialed Target clerks. Hell, for that matter, the case for a four year degree for accountants is overstated. Get rid of the overcolleging of our youth and the students in college won't be inundating us with their melodramas.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    ^ This ^ is why "higher education" needs to stand on its own two feet, and get its snout out of the public trough. I'm tickled pink when I hear of how Illinois can't pass a budget and so many of the parasites are panicking. I get the warm fuzzies when I imagine what a Gender Studies professor will have to do to find honest work after the economic collapse. Gives me the giggles, it does.

  • ||

    Just stop subsidizing this shit.

    "Not giving = taking" was several steps ago. Worrying about how you'll pay for all the free shit handouts makes you part of the obstructionist/loser party and has for a couple decades now.

    When the tap runs dry, you're going to have to tell them 'No.' and then prove that you mean it.

  • Je suis Woodchipper||

    coddled and fragile. that "black and brown (trans) femme sister's" parents must be in a fugue wondering WTF went wrong.

  • ||

    I'm guessing they don't exist. These kinds of groups are typically 97% affluent white kids.

  • ||

    I'm guessing they don't exist. These kinds of groups are typically 97% affluent white kids.

  • MJGreen - Docile Citizen||

    If you saw what was going on in the midst of the numerous black and brown trans femme communities, you wouldn't be laughing, shitlord.

  • bacchys||

    Define "numerous"?

  • Chocolate Starfish ( . )||

    What the fuck is a "black and brown trans femme"?
    I am confused. Is it one of those ugly rat-faced monkey things?

  • Loki||

    some students exercised their right to invite a controversial speaker, other students exercised their right to criticize them for it make baseless accusations and vague implied threats against the first group, and the first group of students exercised their right to respond to criticism and change their minds back down like a bunch of pussies, which will only guarantee that the SJW assholes will continue to use similar tactics the next time a controversial speaker is invited to campus since now they know that intimidation works.

    FTFY. You're far too generous towards these SJW shitheads, and now the assholes at Williams College know they can silence people through intimidation. This shit will only get worse in the future.

    I'm just glad I'm not a student at that college. There's nothing worse than the smugness of SJW's right after they've just "won" by intimidating a group onto backing down to them. It's probably impossible to walk around on that campus right now without wearing a full biosuit to protect yourself from the smug.

  • wareagle||

    I wonder when the backlash is going to occur. It's going to happen. Some has begun with people having had enough of being called racist for daring question anything Obama. There was the Kim Davis business over SSM in KY along with the various bakery incidents. And there is the ongoing gun-grabbing effort and its attendant resistance. At some point, someone is going to tell these SJWs to fuck off, maybe at gunpoint.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    I think a Rad 3 is required per Osha standards when in a Smug level 5 environment. Perhaps our resident nuke can provide guidance on the best protective gear.

  • RJ The Terrible||

    This level of ass-hattery requires, no demands, the vengeance and methods of STEVE SMITH

  • Zeb||

    You are giving those who spout violence the money that so desperately needs to be funneled to black and brown (trans) femme communities, to people who are leading the revolution, who are surviving in the streets, who are dying in the streets. Know, you are dipping your hands in their blood, Zach Wood.”

    Holy shit. I don't even know where to start.

    Is giving your $50,000 (or whatever it is now) to Williams every year the best way to funnel money to... what the fuck ever that is supposed to mean? Is it only trans femme? And how many communities are there made up only of transexual femme people who are black and/or brown?

  • See Double You||

    I'd venture to say it's only a fantasy within their minds. They so, so desperately crave to be the new "civil rights" generation that they will make shit up just to lord their self-righteousness over others.

  • Zeb||

    I think that's a lot of it. They want it to be the 60s. Or at least like some cool anti-apartheid stuff from the 80s or something. I definitely knew some people like that in college in the 90s. But I don't recall them running anyone off campus like this. They were just fantasizing about having some excuse to occupy an administration building or something. Of course, nothing where they would actually be exposed to any personal danger.
    Yeah, you are so fucking courageous for chaining yourself to the railing in front of the student center.

  • See Double You||

    I do believe that the vast majority of students at most, if not all, colleges are not this politicized and may even be sick of the insanity of these few students. But like with the political process at large, they tend not to pay too much attention.

  • EMD||

    THEY ARE DYING IN THE STREETS, YOU CALLOUS BASTARD!

  • Je suis Woodchipper||

    Williams is a daycare.

  • Zeb||

    Run by the fucking 2 year olds.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Williams is a private college, so it’s not obligated under the First Amendment to guarantee freedom of speech to students, faculty, or guest speakers.

    Can Williams deploy police to stop speech?

  • WinOneForTheChipper||

    Open scene

    *knock on door*
    Host Students: Hello, can I help you?
    SJW Students: Yes, we are uncomfortable with Mrs. Venker as a speaker
    Host Students: So don't go to the speech
    SJW Students: Yes...but...
    *slamming door*

    Close scene

    This should have been the entire conversation

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Then you'd have to put up with SJWs carrying doors around campus with them in protest.

  • GILMORE™||

  • lafe.long||

    Know, you are dipping your hands in their blood, Zach Wood.

    Zach should counter this by saying that this gruesome statement caused him severe emotional harm and distress and made him feel unsafe.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, really. Inviting a speaker who disagrees a bit with the radical feminist interpretation of the world is horrible and unacceptable.
    But making horrific and absurdly hyperbolic accusations against people who are inviting people to speak in a series of lectures that is intended to be challenging and make some people uncomfortable is perfectly fine.
    There has to be a way to turn this shit around. I can't imagine that a majority of the students don't agree with the really far out activist assholes.

  • SoCal Soccar Mom||

    How much time do you spend with people under the age of 25? PC brainwashing and the "everyone must be made to feel good" movement started in the 80's. Anyone born after 1990 is a true believer. You will find a few non-believers, but they are few and far between.

  • Chocolate Starfish ( . )||

    Eastwood voice... "Don't make me fear for my safety, punk."

  • John C. Randolph||

    you are dipping your hands in their blood

    What, they're comparing him to Jesse Jackson?

    -jcr

  • Je suis Woodchipper||

    Holy shit the comments are fucking retarded.

    Apparently some students at Williams thought the presentation was mandatory.

    A Woman
    October 19, 2015 at 12:33 am | Reply
    What I think is misunderstood in this article is that fact that female students must be subjected to listening to a person who doesn’t agree with equal rights for women.

  • Je suis Woodchipper||

    Imagine a conservative campus, with outspoken conservative activists. You bring some black queer feminist on as part of your ‘Uncomfortable Learning’ series. People are up in arms. Why? Because that black queer feminist is a fucking queer. Because they look and talk funny. Because their views, if they weren’t so marginalized and easy to ignore, might threaten people’s values. Anyway, the event is cancelled, and you probably don’t even have to think about black queer feminism for the rest of your life.

    Citation?

  • Zeb||

    So, is that person saying that it's OK for them to silence anyone who disagrees with them because the conservatives in their heads do the same thing? Have I got that right? The institution supposedly devoted to open intellectual inquiry should ban speakers because nasty conservatives might have done something similar?

    It seems to me that conservative religious schools are at least honest and open about who they are and would just say that they don't want the queer-black-trans-feminist because it goes against their values.

    Fuck, this shit is really pissing me off. The administrators at some of these schools should stop being such timid shits and start kicking some of these anti-intellectual thought-police assholes out. I bet it would expand their potential market by more than it would lose.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    It seems to me that conservative religious schools are at least honest and open about who they are and would just say that they don't want the queer-black-trans-feminist because it goes against their values

    Honestly, at this point, I'd be really, really surprised if the conservative religious schools were even in the same league as these assholes.

  • WillMG||

    They're not timid they fucking support half this shit. My school had a group of these dicks last year and their membership had as many if not more faculty as members than students, especially undergrad.

  • R C Dean||

    you probably don’t even have to think about black queer feminism for the rest of your life.

    Well, they got that much right.

  • Hank Phillips||

    I will lay odds that christianofascists do exactly the same thing on their turf. Looters are looters, whether for Jesus, Hitler, Marx, Howells, London or Bellamy. Meanwhile, Soave has contrived to get those debauched by teevee distracted from the defense of individual rights--to the point of wasting time over looter v. looter squabbles. We should be indicating this chickenfight to electors as an entertaining example of why they should vote against government initiation of force.

  • See Double You||

    We all know what they mean by "uncomfortable" learning: uncomfortable to "traditional" types, like those right-wing evangelicals. Can't make them - the enlightened - uncomfortable in their beliefs.

  • ||

    The people who named the club did want speakers like that.

  • See Double You||

    Good to hear at least some of the students are open to challenging their own beliefs. Not enough, apparently.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Since none of the blabbering fools hyperventilating against Venker had to connect or interact with her in any capacity they considered themselves baited by the mere placing of her foot on the campus grounds!

    It's as if the wind itself would have become contaminated with atrocity and the molecular composition of the soil would have borne the troubled iniquities of Venker harming all organic life within a wide periphery of her movements on the campus. The local ether and its smells and sights falling into sordid disarray convulsing into a deathly spiral sucking the cognitive states of all who came near into troubled fucking collapse.

    On opposite end of the spectrum and easily just as fucking mentally weak, Cedarville College students would become shrieking altar-weepers skittering across the carpet with spasms and fevers livid under the intense fear that actual Satan would be barging onto campus like a fucking galactic destroyer mounted with special heaven-vaporizing lasers if Dan Savage was invited on that campus. The Cedarville Lovers of Jesus would mount a cavalry sweeping down from Calvary burning with prayer beams any and all notions that sick fag would ever utter a goddamn word in their presence.

    Opposites repel and rarely attract.

  • See Double You||

    I wish I could write as eloquently as you.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Lovely compliment, my friend. Post-orgasm brain breeze occasionally allows letters to glide like font droplets off the fingertips.

  • R C Dean||

    letters to glide like font droplets

    Wonderful prose, my friend.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Peace, brother.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    While free speech is important and there are problems with deeming speech unacceptable, students must not be unduly exposed to harmful stereotypes in order to live and learn here without suffering emotional injury. It is possible that some speech is too harmful to invite to campus. The College should be a safe space for students, a place where people respect others’ identities. Venker’s appearance would have been an invasion of that space.

    Gresham's Law, as applied to ideas.

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    You are giving those who spout violence the money that so desperately needs to be funneled to black and brown (trans) femme communities, to people who are leading the revolution, who are surviving in the streets, who are dying in the streets.

    Where, precisely, are people "dying in the streets" as a result of an anti-"feminist" rhetoric?

  • Chupacabra||

    Saudi Arabia?

  • ||

    He doesn't say why they are dying in the streets, though of course they are dying in the streets because of the institutionalization of "traditional society," e.g., criminalization of prostitution and drug use.

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    Something tells me these folks are not in favor of legalized prostitution. (It goes without saying that I agree both should be legal.)

  • ||

    Oh I know. We need better revolutionaries.

  • Zeb||

    Have feminists really gone that far to the anti-prostitution? Last time I was exposed to many feminists, there was still significant disagreement on the subject and there didn't seem to be one orthodox answer.

  • Chocolate Starfish ( . )||

    "as a result of an anti-"feminist" rhetoric"
    Wait, so feminists are the rat-face monkey things? I am never going to get this figured out.

  • MJBinAL||

    Now, those of us in hiring positions in business should remember that a degree from Williams college is a DISQUALIFICATION for employment, not a qualification.

    Do you really want to deal with these perennial children working for you?

  • ||

    Collective punishments are always the way to go.

  • R C Dean||

    Eh, why should I take the risk that an applicant from Williams actually is one of these twee little thugs, anyway?

  • Hank Phillips||

    That's the way elections--rigged or otherwise--operate in a heavily-mixed economy.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    So, if you got a resume from somebody from Liberty University, I'm sure you'd put that on the top of your stack of applicants, right?

  • Chocolate Starfish ( . )||

    BOOM!

  • ||

    Do you consider relying on probability and efficiency collective punishment as well?

  • Mindyourbusiness||

    Exactly. What will happen to these pathetic little pearl-clutchers when they graduate (if they do) and are faced with interacting with honest-to-God human beings with (horrors!) differing ideas?
    Shrivel up and die? or find some kind of work with the EEOC?

    Tune in tomorrow.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "or find some kind of work with the EEOC?"

    We have a winner.

    Colleges such as Williams are the seminaries of the Progressive Theocracy. They're in training to rule.

  • MJBinAL||

    We should also be making these considerations clear to the children. If you are going to be a troublemaking child who can't handle dissenting opinions, why would anyone hire you?

  • buybuydandavis||

    To run the Ministry of Truth.

  • Duke||

    I see that Williams College is in Mass. Which makes me wonder -- is this a New England thing? Are ALL college kids this retarded? I went to school in the south and worked full time. This was in the mid 90s. So while I did not have the time or inclination to engage in petulant activities like this, I don't recall seeing this kind of thing on my campus. So is this crap confined to spoiled white kids or what?

  • Zeb||

    There are quite a few of these small, liberal, expensive private colleges in New England. I don't know if that makes it a New England thing. It's probably more of a small, private, liberal, liberal-arts college thing and for historical reasons such schools are denser on the ground in New England.

  • Zeb||

    I would go so far as to speculate that even at Williams or Wesleyan, most of the students are not retarded and many probably can't stand this shit, but don't want to be subjected to it themselves so they shut up and just do what they are there to do (i.e. study and/or party). It is often the case that a shrill minority can really dominate.

  • SoCal Soccar Mom||

    I went to UCSB in the mid-90's. There were people who would protest at a drop of a hat, because they thought it was their duty to carry on the tradition set in the 60's with the burning of the B of A in Golita. That was a very, very small minority of students. It's not confined to N.E or white kids.... it happens anywhere spoiled, coddled children congregate. It also works. The loud, bothersome minority, no matter how small, gets placated.

  • Brian||

    When did college kids go ape shut koolaid drinking retarded over feminism? I don't get it.

    I'm imagining a bunch of blonde dye jobs with yoga pants mad uggs, trying to take selfies of themselves, and alternatively screeching at anyone who isn't a feminist.

    It all sounds bizarre.

  • Brian||

    *shit *and

  • geo1113||

    The chicks you describe are more likely to be sorority girls majoring in marketing. It is more like the photo on the right.

    http://davis-center.williams.e.....anner3.png

  • Chocolate Starfish ( . )||

    THERE IT IS! sorority girls majoring in marketing are the rat-faced monkies!

  • mtrueman||

    "When did college kids go ape shut koolaid drinking retarded over feminism?"

    That was during the second half of the 20th century.

  • Vitae Drinker||

    So what does she say that is onerous to black and brown (trans) femme people (is that seriously a thing?)?

    Does she advocate running them over with a car, or hunting them down at upscale coffee and cereal bars with a board with a nail in it?

  • Zeb||

    She dares to suggest that there are biological differences which distinguish male and female sex/gender and that perhaps those differences mean that we shouldn't expect identical outcome distributions among the sexes even under ideal conditions.

  • mtrueman||

    We don't know what a body is capable of. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

  • Zeb||

    No, we don't. I'm open to anything and I want individuals to be whatever they want. But there is an awful lot of evidence to support the idea that the vast majority of people do fit pretty well into conventional sex/gender categories and that there are real, biological differences and very little to support the notion that men and women are really entirely interchangeable except for a few bits of anatomy.

  • mtrueman||

    I wouldn't put too much stock in the small-minded views of the vast majority. We really don't know what a body is capable of.

  • Zeb||

    Who said anything about the views of the majority?

    We certainly don't know everything a body is capable of, but I think we do know a lot. What is your point?

  • mtrueman||

    "Who said anything about the views of the majority?"

    Sorry, I misread you. Still, a problem lurks not far off. You say correctly:

    "But there is an awful lot of evidence to support the idea that the vast majority of people do fit pretty well into conventional sex/gender categories"

    Now, an awful lot of conservative thinkers go on to paint those who don't fall in with the vast as somehow faulty or deficient. Maybe due to "bad genes," moral lassitude, or poor upbringing. Not saying you are guilty of this. Your use of the word "gender" indicates you have taken on board what may be the core of feminist teaching. My point? Only to avoid this reactionary impulse and celebrate the fact that we do not know what a body is capable of.

  • Tony||

    Venker is a vile troll of a person. She doesn't have any business giving speeches to college students, and student groups should probably not invite her around.

    However, if so-called progressive college activists can't get away from the idea that words and ideas can be physically harmful, they can go fuck themselves too. Apart from the pure offensiveness of the notion that fragile little darlings need to be protected from ideas--that some outside authority can determine your well-being for you by keeping you innocent of other people's thoughts--there is a curious contradiction going on. If an idea is blatantly stupid and offensive, it is easily argued against and dismissed. Only if it has some plausible merit can it cause people to change their minds and go down a different path. But if it has some merit, its censorship can only be the action of someone with an agenda to indoctrinate you otherwise. I hope the kids get over this shit soon.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    "Venker is a vile troll of a person. She doesn't have any business giving speeches to college students, and student groups should probably not invite her around."

    Do you have some examples of her vileness? Some links?

  • Notorious UGCC||

    It's OK, I posted an example of her badthink below.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "Do you have some examples of her vileness? "

    Of course not. That would require some thought, not simply his sense of a violated bellyfeel for feminist claptrap.

  • kbolino||

    However, if so-called progressive college activists can't get away from the idea that words and ideas can be physically harmful, they can go fuck themselves too.

    Ah, so that's why you unpersoned the offensive individual first. This way you can have your cake and eat it, too!

    In the same way, the USSR had freedom of speech and religion. All the people shot or sent off to the gulags weren't real people, anyway.

  • Tony||

    You only get a few short years in college. There are plenty of speakers worth listening to, and she is not one. Nevertheless, etc.

  • kbolino||

    Nevertheless, etc.

    The devil is in the details.

  • SoCal Soccar Mom||

    Speakers worth listening to? I have a feeling what you mean is a speaker's value is determined by the speaker's point of view or their message. If their message reinforces your beliefs, then the speaker is more valuable than a speaker who challenges your beliefs.

  • IceTrey||

    So no one at Williams has any federal student loans? I thought if a school took federal money it has to abide by the same rules as public schools including the first amendment.

  • Zeb||

    The school didn't cancel the event, so I don't think it would apply in any case. The asshole activists did their thing and the club organizing the event decided to cancel.

  • Hank Phillips||

    So, the Political State and its men with guns were in no way involved. Nor is anyone making the case the school was acting as a surrogate for any monopoly on the use of force in rejecting the loudmouthed blimp. This is clearly a squabble among goodthinkful looters all of whom sincerely believe in, advocate and would practice the initiation of force if possessed of an ounce of courage. This article is as relevant to the Libertarian Party platform and its principles as the Calico Cat and the Gingham Dog. A pox on both their houses, for they would surely unite to have us lynched if the opportunity arose.

  • Zeb||

    It is possible for a libertarian to care about things that aren't directly related to the core principles of libertarianism. Reason would be a pretty dull publication if that was the standard for inclusion. The state of the general culture is important too.

  • GILMORE™||

    " the Libertarian Party platform "

    Where the fuck did you ever get the impression this magazine was devoted to being a forum on the Libertarian Party?

  • Brandybuck||

    My theory as to the cause of skyrocketing tuitions is all the money being spent on fainting couches.

  • IceTrey||

    +1

  • LoneWaco||

    I knew a girl at school who drove a Trans Femme. I think it was called a Bluebird.

  • Chocolate Starfish ( . )||

    That was my first thought.
    Then I thought it was one on these http://a-z-animals.com/animals/aye-aye-/
    before I was shown that this is actually a feminist.

  • ||

    "She doesn't have any business giving speeches to college students,"

    I am currently working on an invention idea to develop a portable safe room for students that would fit in a backpack and self inflate whenever badspeak words are threatening.. Kinda like self inflating life vests for boaters except this would be for children in adult bodies while they are at college. I am also thinking through a briefcase model for post graduate snowflakes.

    Tony could I retain your services for beta testing ?

    No application or pre hire interviews needed as you are a perfect fit for the job.

    Pre hire drug testing is required though. I wish to prempt any disgruntled ex employee workplace mass shooting as a result of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors abuse.

  • Tony||

    Did nobody read the rest of my post?

  • geo1113||

    The second part of your post is meaningless unless you answer the questions regarding the first part.

  • Tony||

    I don't think she has an opinion worth listening to, same as most people. If reason posts something positive about her views on feminism, I'll talk about that, but I was trying to criticize campus liberals. What does it take to ingratiate oneself around here?

  • geo1113||

    So then why didn't you just do that. You had to muddy the water by criticizing Venker first without giving any examples. When you criticize someone you should be able to back up your claims because if you don't, you are no better than those liberals you try to criticize.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    Of course I believe in freedom for the thought we hate, but should we actually hate Ms. Venker's thought?

    While I didn't do detailed research into Ms. Venker's books and articles, I found this - judge for yourself how evil she is.

    "When more women make themselves sexually available, the pool of marriageable men diminishes. “In a world where women do not say no, the man is never forced to settle down and make serious choices,” writes George Gilder, author of "Men and Marriage."...

    "What exactly does marriage offer men today? “Men know there’s a good chance they’ll lose their friends, their respect, their space, their sex life, their money and — if it all goes wrong — their family,” says Helen Smith, Ph.D., author of "Men on Strike." “They don’t want to enter into a legal contract with someone who could effectively take half their savings, pension and property when the honeymoon period is over.Men aren’t wimping out by staying unmarried or being commitment phobes. They’re being smart.”...

    "There was a time when wives respected their husbands. There was a time when wives took care of their husbands as they expected their husbands to take care of them....

    "So remind me, why would a man marry today?

    "No, really. What’s in it for him?"

    No, I don't see anything controversial here. What's the big deal?

  • Notorious UGCC||

    (nb - I don't think she's blaming *all* women for these problems in the legal system and in the culture)

  • Zeb||

    I probably don't agree with everything she has to say (for one thing, plenty of men are getting married, though perhaps a little later in life), but to anyone who thinks that is so offensive that she needs to be banned from polite society I would suggest that they examine their own lives and mental conditions very carefully before saying anything else.

  • Chocolate Starfish ( . )||

    I think she is saying that wives need to be giving up the pooty more often.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I am currently working on an invention idea to develop a portable safe room for students that would fit in a backpack and self inflate whenever badspeak words are threatening.

    A plastic grocery bag would be perfect.

    "Place bag over head, tightly tie handles around neck. Leave in place until spiritual peace is attained."

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Venker is a vile troll of a person. She doesn't have any business giving speeches to college students, and student groups should probably not invite her around.

    I believe this could be considered an ad hominem argument; in its purest form.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Considered? By whom?

  • Hank Phillips||

    Ayn Rand despised self-appointed "feminists" but defended a woman's right to choose whether or not to reproduce--even to change her mind on the matter, and to get high if she so decided. She also laughed at attempts to characterize this exact sort of private playground bickering as "censorship"--something only governments can do. Pardon my Schadenfreude, but I am fresh out of sympathy for coercive nationalsocialist crybabies. These are the creeps voters elected Obama to distance themselves from, and no principle requires libertarians to offer her, the klan, or televangelists a platform for panhandling sympathy. These losers made the GOP into a prohibition party we need not associate with in any way. She got exactly what she deserved and Soave should have submitted the article to a YAF newsletter.

  • ||

    Path dependence. State the reason you assume she has been disinvited for, and on whether it's a good reason. On free-speech grounds (not limited to law), was that reason convincing? If not, why shouldn't one criticize it? Further, if you care about broad societal trends, then why do you disregard the "safe space" trend? This is clearly related to it, and does inspire legislation.

  • GILMORE™||

    1) who cares what Ayn Rand thinks. Reason isn't "Objectivist Weekly"

    2) Robby covers "Campus" issues; if you don't find the stories interesting or relevant to you, don't read them - but you haven't raised a single valid point explaining why no one else should. The magazine covers "Free Minds" which includes the state of modern campus debate.

    3) The GOP? - nothing here has anything to do with party politics. You're projecting.

  • Dylboz||

    You linked to the wrong editorial, the correct one is here:

    http://williamsrecord.com/2015.....on-campus/

  • GILMORE™||

    "It is difficult for an educated person who associates mostly with other liberal-minded people to understand how Venker justifies her beliefs or how she came to hold them. The potential value in her lecture was the opportunity for students to hear her explain herself and the chance for community members to ask her questions. In this format, students would be exposed to the reasons for her position rather than merely writing her off as irrational or unintelligent. Those reasons and justifications are the root of her wrongful opinions, so learning what they are is essential to removing those opinions from society."

    Its so generous that they eventually get around to saying, "WE SHOULD ALLOW THESE INFERIOR SUBHUHMAN SCUM TO SPEAK, IF ONLY TO LEARN TO BETTER SILENCE THEM"

  • PapayaSF||

    black and brown (trans) femme

    Putting "trans" in parentheses is an attempt to separate or even exclude an entire community from the rest of that sentence!!! This violence cannot be tolerated!!!

  • gphx||

    All a woman has to do to threaten feminists is shave.

  • MSimon||

    Bubbles burst. The better they are protected the bigger the explosion.

  • SoCal Soccar Mom||

    "The College should be a safe space for students, a place where people respect others’ identities"... as long as you are the right identity, white males need not apply.

  • Paul.||

    Rather, it was the students who host the Uncomfortable Learning series—an unofficial, unregistered campus club—who ultimately made the decision.

    Meh, if millennials want to crawl under a desk, plug their ears and sing "lalalalalalalala", let them.

  • ||

    What's the binding procedure in determining "human rights" and truth, and who are the authorities that get to do it? What's the degree to which egalitarianism has been encoded in human rights, and if it's incomplete (as I assume), how does an unequal egalitarianism even make sense?

    As for Wood, did he give details on what constitutes "getting out off hand"? Does the risk of a "shouting contest" suffice? Rather, seeing this to its logical conclusion - determining who shouts, who prevents speech, based on what ideology - would be rather telling and something to support. Conversely, bowing to the threat of shouting makes an inferior point. Any word on whether the feminist (femme trans queer colored pan and whateverr) dissenters convinced him on the basis of content?

  • BambiB||

    Williams College... what a fucking joke.

  • georgekaplan||

    God forbid the students should feel uncomfortable! No critical thinking going on in that crowd.

  • The artist known Dunphy||

    Making them FEEL uncomfortable (it's always about feelings. As PJ says, it's an infantile philosophy. They are still at the thumb sucking, stool obsessed stage) is a MICROAGGRESSION

    she could TRIGGER somebody

    Students have a RIGHT (they don't understand rights) not to be subjected to uncomfortable ideas, stereotypes and even facts that place stress on their fragile understanding of the world

  • buybuydandavis||

    "men’s rights activist"

    Bingo. This is the root of the hissy fit.

    Penises are evil. Penis bearers have no rights. Any suggestion otherwise is EVIL.

    Since feminists can't with an argument with men's rights activists, men's rights activists must be prevented from speaking.

  • The artist known Dunphy||

    My Dad is a Williams College alumnus. He thinks this is bullshit

    It's so cowardly. I rip on liberals and conservatives IDEAS when appropriate on Fbook and so far I've been defriended over a dozen times by libs... Once by a conservative

    It's pretty clear to me where the intolerance, prejudice, and closed minds are

    Libs like to equate ideas they don't with VIOLENCE

    Their terminology - 'emotional injury' 'TRIGGERING' .

    Just read that letter defending the student's decision

    We have a domestic violence pamphlet on 'dating violence' at the precinct

    It refers to all sorts of 'dating violence' to be wary of

    My favorite is it refers to insults and name calling as 'dating violence'

    Calling one's gf FAT is not violence

    Its being a dick, truthful or not

    Now it may RESULT in 'dating violence' when she kicks you in the nads

    Sorry for the rant, but these leftist speech commissars vex me

  • WillMG||

    Do these dumbasses get the point of the event?

  • ghebert001||

    Why on earth is anyone giving these feminists the time of day and giving to their petulant demands? Someone is saying things that make them feel "uncomfortable"? Who f***ing cares, don't go then...no one is forcing anyone to go listen. You can't complain that someone's speech makes you uncomfortable or feel unsafe if you have the choice NOT to go. Whoever thinks it's wrong to refer to them as "feminazis" should look at the similarities...both are fascists.

  • Mark Neil||

    "Wood told me he was worried that things would get out of hand if the event proceeded."

    So he capitulated to bullying out of fear... keep this in mind...

    "so it’s not obligated under the First Amendment to guarantee freedom of speech to students, faculty, or guest speakers."

    It is obligated to provide a place where it's students feel safe... and that includes feeling safe to express their opinions.

    "And even if it was obligated to make those guarantees, student groups would still be free to change their minds about who they want to bring to campus, as long as the administration did not interfere."

    But we're not talking about people who "changed their minds"... we're talking about people who were made to fear for their safety and the safety of their guests. Even public institutions have a responsibility to address this kind of bullying.

    "For these reasons, it would be wrong to brand Venker’s disinvitation as an example of censorship;"

    Incorrect. The speaker was silenced through fear, and through the inaction (and thus tacit approval) of the administration. The administration isn't limited to just not interfering... it has an obligation to protect a students rights... why do you think title IX has been used to deem naughty jingles as "creating an unsafe environment"? Schools are being forced to protect women's feels against wrong-think under the guise of safety, but this bullying is acceptable?

  • Mark Neil||

    Part two:

    "some students exercised their right to invite a controversial speaker, other students exercised their right to criticize them for it, and the first group of students exercised their right to respond to criticism and change their minds."

    That last part is actually pretty terrifying, that you would be so blazay about these students feeling so unsafe, they needed to cancel an event. That's not simply "responding to criticism" r "changing their minds"... that bullying. And you seem OK with that.

    "The College should be a safe space for students, a place where people respect others’ identities."

    Unless you wish to allow a speaker they don't agree with... then that space shouldn't be safe for the students doing the inviting, nor should their, nor their guests identities be respected. Whats good for me is not for thee.

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