Sunday, April 13, 2008

More on the Colorado College Witch Hunt

Odd that I use the term witch hunt, because what we have going on out on the Front Range is a reversal of Salem--this time, it's the white men who are being challenged for their heresy and supposed crimes.

If you don't know the kerfuffle currently occurring at Colorado College, please read this background post. The Denver Post had a good story yesterday, including a quote from one of the feminists whose newsletter was parodied:

Tomi-Ann Roberts, director of the feminist and gender studies program that publishes "The Monthly Rag," said participants in her program were surprised when this situation arose.

"We were like 'whoa ... wow ... wait.' Obviously, there are some men here on this campus who are very angry at our flier," Roberts said.

So, being a good liberal, is Tomi-Ann going to cease publication of The Monthly Rag since some find it so offensive? We don't know, because we aren't told what followed her quote. Did she say, "Tough, I'm glad those male oppressors are offended," or did she say, "Perhaps we should look at what we're publishing and see if it could genuinely be considered offensive"? The Post author slipped up here--whether intentionally or unintentionally.

The double standard that's in play in this case is just phenomenal.

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...

"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."

Colorado College is a private school, though, and therefore is not bound by the 1st Amendment. However, they're not free to do whatever they want:

As a private institution, Colorado College is not bound by the same limitations for controlling speech that public institutions are, Kissel said. However, they have a contractual obligation because they include free speech as a value in the student handbook.

False advertisement, as it turns out.

Update, 4/14/08: Further commentary on the issue is here.

4 comments:

Ellen K said...

You may want to read the article here:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/farewell-to-predictable-tiresome-and-dreary-womens-studies-799631.html
The consensus is that the feminist studies program has become so gender-preference specific that it fails to attract enough majors to justify its existence. So this university is scuttling the program. Oh that more universities had the guts to make them fiscally responsible for their own existences. Instead, it's taxpayer money down the rathole.

allen (from Michigan) said...

I've read, over the past year or two, about a number of "studies" departments that've been either disbanded or rolled into, typically, the history department. Apparently there's a good deal of resistance to making the various "studies" a required and without making them mandatory they're withering on the vine.

I'd expect that this trend is more pronounced at private schools then public since there's less exposure to the political forces of the world at large in a private school then in a public college.

There is, I confess, an unseemly degree of gratification in the spectacle of the morally elevated trying desperately to justify their existence without, at the same time, appearing to try to justify their existence.

Darren said...

I've never really been a big fan of schadenfreude, but I must admit it can be most exhilarating at times.

Dempsey said...

"We were like 'whoa ... wow ... wait.'"

"Colorado College is a private school"

Obviously without an English department.