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April 20, 2015

Playwright Tom Stoppard: "A Frightening Time" For Free Speech

The cerebral British playwright, widely suspected of classical-liberal (that is, conservative) sympathies, will discuss the "many fronts" upon which free speech is attacked when receiving an award from the literary society PEN.

"People like me are chosen, in a sense, to represent what PEN and other organizations are doing 24/7. So I can say I'm proud to represent them," the playwright said.

Charlie Hebdo, the Parisian satirical magazine that was a target of a deadly shooting in January, also will be honored. Staff member Jean-Baptiste Thoret, who barely escaped the attack that killed eight of his co-workers and four others, will receive the PEN/Toni and James C. Goodale Freedom of Expression Courage Award.

Stoppard, who has campaigned for oppressed artists and political dissidents in Eastern and Central Europe, said threats to free speech are worse now than ever, from radical Islam to U.S. government surveillance.

...


In addition to the Paris attack, PEN Executive Director Suzanne Nossel pointed to other moves against writers, including a gunman who opened fire on a Copenhagen cultural center in March and a South African novelist confined for comments she made in appreciation of Salman Rushdie.

"It is a climate of hair-trigger sensitivity to certain kinds of speech and a very dangerous moment for writers who are seated in the crosshairs," said Nossel. "It is a tough moment on many fronts."

I hope they discuss threats beyond Islamists -- because the militant religious zealots of the left are as much of a threat to free thought as the Islamists. The Islamists will murder you, but the leftists will get you fired and, if they get their way, forbidden from speaking at all.

Feminist reformer Christina Hoff Sommers recently spoke at Georgedown -- which, you may be surprised, or not, to learn, was "traumatic" and "triggering" for many people, who objected to her speech on the grounds that it made them feel "unsafe" that someone in the world disagreed with them.



If you don't know how the game is played, the new magic word is "unsafe," because if you claim someone is making you feel "unsafe," that sets in motion Title IX protections. That is, if you want to censor someone, just claim not that you disagree with them or find them disgusting, but that they make you feel "unsafe;" then administrators are under legal peril if they do not act swiftly to restore your sense of chill.

The lefties have been playing games with this, of course, claiming dishonestly to feel "unsafe" when in fact all they feel is intellectually challenged (a situation they will encounter frequently in their lives, so they might as well get used to feeling like dummies), but now they're sort of dropping the mask and just straight-up admitting that when they say they "feel unsafe" all they really feel is that someone has disagreed with them, and they don't like it.

Feminist activists at Georgetown University are special snowflakes who felt they needed trigger warnings before another feminist who disagrees with them gave a lecture on campus.

The speaker, resident American Enterprise Institute scholar Christina Hoff Sommers, delivered the lecture on Thursday night at the famed Jesuit university in Washington, D.C.'s best neighborhood.

The lecture entitled "What’s Right (and Badly Wrong) with Feminism?" was sponsored by the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, a conservative women’s group.

A group of radical Georgetown feminists demanded "trigger warnings" at the event because, they feared, Sommers could traumatize rape victims by talking.

"Tonight, Republicans are hosting an extremist anti-feminist speaker that dismisses and denies survivors of sexual assault and the real harm of rape culture," a Georgetown student identified only as “Sarah” emailed.

"Current College Republicans leadership has not been willing to do simple things like add a trigger/ content warning, or clarify why they felt it was appropriate to bring this speaker into our community," Sarah complained.

...

Perhaps a dozen of the lecture attendees turned out to be protesters. They held up signs as Sommers spoke. Messages on the signs included "Feminists Against RAPE Apology!" and "Trigger Warning: anti-feminism." At the bottom of the "trigger warning”"sign was a scrawled message about "safe space."


They give the game away by being so blatant (and dumb) in dropping the fake pretext that this is about "protecting rape victims."

With the "Trigger Warning: Anti-Feminist," they straight up admit: This is just about protecting women from disagreement.

As a (female) writer recently said, women getting upset that other people don't agree with them isn't feminist. It's merely female.

If you want to feel triggered yourself, you can wade into these FaceBook comments about the speech.

One commenter there noted what I have frequently said: This isn't politics, this is simply personality disorder. Specifically, the Histrionic Personality Disorder, which affects 2-3% of the population (and 4 times as many women as men).

HPD is part of the "dramatic" cluster of personality disorders -- and the word "dramatic" there is well-chosen. Histrionics see discord and attacks everywhere, and seek attention by shrieking about imagined schemes against them.

How bad is it?


This bad.

A photo on Twitter shows a student holding another sign reading, “TRIGGER WARNING: anti-feminism” and advertising the location of a "safe space" for anyone who might feel traumatized by Sommers’s opposing views.

Why these students would go through all of this rather than just not attend is unclear--

It's because they are hysterics, and rather than being treated, they are being indulged.

-- but it seems like Sommers's experience with Oberlin students will be the same. In fact, the Oberlin students who wrote a piece for the school newspaper protesting the invitation preceded it with a trigger warning--— apparently, they consider Sommers to be so dangerous that even talking about her talking could traumatize someone.

"Her talk is happening, so let's pull together in the face of this violence and make our own space to support each other," the students wrote in the piece, which was titled "In Response to Sommers' Talk: A Love Letter to Ourselves" and had been signed by more than 150 students and campus groups as of noon on Friday. "It is valid and necessary to both create alternative spaces for healing and to directly challenge the violence that is happening," it continued.

Note, again, that "violence" here means "a 130-pound academic giving a speech at a venue I am not required to attend."

Oh, and if you don't feel like you've been adequately bullied by hysterics today, you can read K-Timpfs other recent piece. Zie's at zer best here.

I'll just post this because it's awesome, and may annoy the Special Snowflakes.


digg this
posted by Ace at 03:36 PM

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