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April 12, 2008

The Academy: The Vigorous Arena of Ideas, At Least Those Which Are Pre-Approved as Inoffensive and Non-"Threatening"

Silly:

A satirical response to a feminist publication at Colorado College has landed the college and two of its students in the middle of a fierce debate over freedom of speech.

Chris Robinson and another student at the Colorado Springs institution decided to print "The Monthly Bag" after seeing copies of a feminist and gender studies newsletter, "The Monthly Rag," in restrooms around campus.

The edition of "The Monthly Rag" that prompted action included an announcement for a talk on feminist pornography, information on gender-bending practices, and a tidbit about a myth involving male castration. According to Robinson, it was representative of what appears every month.

In response, Robinson and a friend created their flier, which provided tips on chainsaw etiquette, detailed a sexual position from Men's Health magazine and provided trivia about a sniper rifle what Robinson called information for the stereotypical macho man.Staff members removed The Bag within hours of receiving complaints that the publication was threatening.

"It was a serious concern that this thing was posted anonymously and included in bold print the performance characteristics of a sniper rifle," president Richard Celeste said. "I had to take that as a threat."

The authors appeared before a conduct committee in March and were found guilty of violating the campus conduct code. In lieu of punishment, they were ordered to host a public forum on the issues raised in the incident.

A letter from Mike Edmonds,vice president for student life at Colorado College, to Robinson on March 25 called the problem "the juxtaposition of weaponry and sexuality."

...

"We quickly determined this was one of the worst cases of the year," said Adam Kissel, director of FIRE, because the parody publication was singled out. "It's such an obvious double standard. The fact that 'The Monthly Rag' mentions male castration alongside an announcement for a feminist porn activist provides the same juxtaposition they're claiming for Robinson of violence and sexuality."

...

At the conduct hearing in March, Robinson and other students raised concerns about the offensiveness of The Monthly Rag. Roberts dismissed those complaints.

"There's a difference between material that is 'offensive' ... versus material that demonizes or threatens or belittles groups of people," Roberts said.

Here's a PDF of the offending flier.

The "threatening" quote about the sniper rifle's performance?

"Did You Know...??

The Barrett .50 Caliber sniper rifle has an effective range of 2000 meters?"

That's threatening and "demonizing," but the feminist newsletter's fantasies about male castration is just good old fashioned debate.

Two balls good, no balls better.

Isn't the academy supposed to promote truth? Then why not tell the truth: There are very different rules for different people. Why the constant lying about rules which are ostensibly objective and apply to all equally?

The constant dishonesty over idiocy like this cannot help but be corrosive and promote a general atmosphere of dishonesty. If every student at the college knows the goddamned administration is lying on a daily basis, why should they not lie and cheat themselves?

Thanks to Alice H.


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posted by Ace at 08:14 PM

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