I am sick of being silenced by social-justice warriors whose self-assurance is only matched by their ignorance

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I am sick of being silenced by social-justice warriors whose self-assurance is only matched by their ignorance Empty I am sick of being silenced by social-justice warriors whose self-assurance is only matched by their ignorance

Post by phildidge on Wed Mar 27, 2019 2:47 am

Cambridge University’s deplorable decision to withdraw its offer of a visiting fellowship to Jordan Peterson is yet more evidence that, contrary to time-honoured practice, students are now telling their teachers what to think and do. The abominable blizzard of snowflakes has university authorities frozen with fear, and winter is coming for free speech.

A Canadian professor of psychology, Peterson has unfashionable views on gender, masculinity and political correctness. To the horror of his critics, he has drawn the kind of crowds normally associated with rock stars, not bearded academics discussing Genesis (the Bible book, not the band).

He came to fame in 2016 when he opposed an anti-discrimination law requiring him to use the preferred pronouns of his students and colleagues. Learning on the grapevine last week that he was no longer welcome, Peterson said he had fallen foul of the “diversity, equality and inclusivity mob”, and rebuked Cambridge for its “cowardly” decision.

I witnessed some of that institutional timidity myself last year when I appeared at the excellent Cambridge Literary Festival. On the day of my event, Germaine Greer was scheduled to star at the Cambridge Union, the festival’s most prestigious venue, as was only right and proper for the world’s foremost living feminist. Suddenly, there was a problem. The Union told the organisers that it could not guarantee Greer’s safety. Her event was hastily shuffled off to a smaller venue. At least she was allowed to appear. These days, we have to be grateful for small mercies.

I have little doubt that it was self-righteous students who got Greer demoted from the Cambridge Union. In 2015, she became persona non grata after saying that transgender women are “not women”. Her view, expressed with characteristic Aussie bluntness, that altering your biological bits can never be the same as having half a lifetime’s experience of being female, is shared by millions of women.

No matter. That opinion has been decreed to be “problematic” by the unsmiling commissars of the Puritan Police. Greer was barred from giving a public lecture at Cardiff University after the students’ union launched a petition urging the university to cancel the event because of her “misogynistic views” towards trans women: “While debate in a university should be encouraged, hosting a speaker with such problematic and hateful views towards marginalised and vulnerable groups is dangerous.”

So, the student union acknowledged that debate in a university is a healthy thing. But only if you agree with the views of the people doing the debating. Er, that’s not a debate, children, it’s a baby shower.

The idea that students have a right to be insulated from opinions they find disagreeable runs like a golden thread of entitlement through a statement issued by Cambridge University Students’ Union on Jordan Peterson. CUSU broke the news that Peterson had been disinvited on social media before the Faculty of Divinity had the courtesy to tell the professor himself: “We are relieved to hear that Jordan Peterson’s request for a visiting fellowship has been rescinded. It is a political act to associate the University with an academic’s work through offers which legitimise figures such as Peterson.”

With its high horse well and truly saddled up, CUSU continued: “His work and views are not representative of the student body and as such we do not see his visit as a valuable contribution to the University.”

The natural reaction to such pious, pernicious piffle is: “Get over yourselves, you stupid brats, you’re at the world’s top university and should be able to handle a little intellectual challenge!”

Sadly, that response doesn’t seem to have occurred to those Cambridge clever-clogs. Finding itself squirming in the spotlight, the university came up with a picture of Peterson last month with his arm around a fan wearing an “I’m a proud Islamophobe” T-shirt.

Stephen Toope, the university’s vice-chancellor, claimed that the “casual endorsement by association” of the T-shirt slogan was “antithetical” to the work of a faculty that prides itself on inter-faith understanding. “We are a community that values respect for all others, even those with whom we disagree fundamentally,” he said, “Anything that detracts from the free expression of ideas is just not acceptable.”

Fantastic. That is exactly what a university should be. But then the vice-chancellor added: “Robust debate can scarcely occur, for example, when some members of the community are made to feel personally attacked, not for their ideas but for their very identity.”

At a stroke, he undermined the free speech he claimed to be defending. If “some members of the community” can claim that they feel “personally attacked”, whether or not that is the speaker’s intention, how the hell will anyone be allowed to say anything which questions so-called progressive values ever again?

As Jordan Peterson, responding to the Faculty of Divinity, said: “It is no bloody wonder that the faith is declining (and with it, the values of the West, as it fragments).”

Not long after that time Germaine Greer was bumped from the Cambridge Union, I appeared at the Hay Festival to discuss the 100 most influential books by women over the past century. A young woman in the audience put up her hand and asked how we could possibly include Greer’s The Female Eunuch on the list, given its author’s “offensive” views? There was an awkward silence as the panel of female writers weighed up what we could and couldn’t say.

Such a minefield! Eventually, I pointed out to the young woman that it was precisely Germaine Greer’s swashbuckling style, her take-no-prisoners courage, which had enabled her to write a book that kicked down the door of the citadel at a time when female lives were still terribly circumscribed. Students might now label her a “misogynist”, but, boy, were they were picking the wrong target. They should thank Greer and her pioneering book for the fact that women like them had the freedom today to live their lives as they chose.

You know, I have areas of disagreement with both Greer and Peterson. But I am sick of being silenced by these young social-justice warriors, most ignorant where they are most assured. They are so busy being right about everything that they are shockingly wrong. Shame on Cambridge for capitulating to their hypersensitive demands. Cambridge should take a leaf out of the Chancellor of Oxford’s book and tell students who are unwilling to embrace open values “to think about being educated elsewhere”.

If the snowflakes are allowed to prevail, we should all be afraid. Winter really is coming.



https://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/life/sick-silenced-social-justice-warriors-whose-self-assurance-matched/

Posted in full as you have to be a member to read in full

I seriously dispair that these students are possible the next potential future leaders. As how on earth are they going to be able to cope with real life problems?

phildidge

Posts : 8985
Join date : 2018-11-16

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