Everyday Thoughtcrimes

Category: Education

Shelter Me

Several universities are considering a ban on the rather insignificant social media app Yik Yak, which allows anonymous posting to a local bulletin board as:

“People have been saying some very racist, very hurtful things,” (senior, Ashley Winkfield)

Because god forbid our tender 18 – 25 year olds are confronted with any opinions that they may not share.

Little Ashley is scared, because:

“These are people we are going to class with, people who we see every day, and they might have some type of ill will toward us,”

And it’s all anonymous!  So we can’t even alert the Miniluv that there are students, I say students right here at this very institute of higher learning, that are thinking wrong thoughts!

Next thing you know those youths will be Fritterin’!

We’re in need of some reeducation, right here in River City.  Give me a moment while I fan myself and give my pearls a good clutch.

You know what will stop people from having and expressing crimethink?


Mostly, they’re not 100% effective.

What I wonder, is why we’ve failed Ashley so profoundly that she thinks that other students who think things that she finds repugnant pose an actual danger to her.  I understand the feeling, in a sense, she thinks because she does not have the self control to simply stop looking at a completely voluntary app where she sees things she doesn’t like, that other students also share the same total lack of agency.

Clearly someone who dislikes black people (or trans people, or Martians, or what have you), for whatever reason, is on the verge of decompensating into a hemorrhaging fount of racism at any second that will infect everything around them.

Of course, it is entirely impossible that someone could dislike, or even hate a segment of the population, and do exactly nothing about it but bitch and whine.

It’s when people aren’t even allowed to harmlessly bitch and whine that they start getting really mad.

Fortunately someone at Duke apparently has a lick of sense:

“On this campus and I think on most, what we tell students is freedom of expression, even offensive freedom expression, is what we cherish,” Duke Student Affairs Vice President Larry Moneta said.

I don’t know what else it is but terrifying when young people, en masse, seem to be unable to tolerate the idea that free speech is not important when we all agree on something – It’s important for the things that you detest hearing.

You can claim to care about freedom of speech when you can grit your teeth and defend the most vile and reprehensible speech you can think of.  Anything less than that and you may as well sign up for the Thoughtpol and man the reeducation camps.

For Ashley, I suggest she move home with her parents until she’s capable of facing the real world.

This might be more comfortable.


We’ll Keep You Safe

Even if you think you’re an adult with agency and responsibility, we know that you’re actually a shrinking violet of the frailer sex, who needs protection from the world and herself, says the National Panhellenic Conference to University of Virginia’s 2,000-odd sorority sisters:

At some U-Va. chapters in recent days, students described mandatory emergency meetings with representatives from their national chapter telling them they risked suspension, fines and other penalties if any of them attended bid night parties. Boys’ Bid Night is typically a night when sorority sisters go from house to house sharing drinks with friends.

Now some sororities are planning mandatory in-house retreats that night, to avoid any risk of  inadvertently violating the rule.

At some chapters, women were told not only to avoid going to fraternity parties on Boys’ Bid Night, but to avoid any social gathering with fraternity members

You are clearly not responsible for your own actions and choices, we must protect you from those awful boys.

You know, it would probably be best, since boys are so incredibly terrible and obviously not a one of them have any self control (Rolling Stone has proved that positive of course), that we set apart special “Women’s Safe Spaces” in restaurants and public spaces.  We could even put screens between the sections so that our brave sisters don’t have to endure the patriarchal male gaze.

You know, in fact, we should also institute an entirely new way of dressing that frees women from the aforementioned visual rape continuously perpetuated upon them by those dirty men, and rejects the shallow and misogynistic concepts of modern capitalism-centered beauty.

Take that, patriarchy.

You know, it’s really unsafe out there, and we can’t “blame the victim” by expecting women to learn and behave in ways that don’t directly place them in harm.  We really should have special bodyguards to make sure women don’t get themselves into any trouble.

But, you know, you really can’t trust those frat boys, steeped as they are in anti-woman rape-encouraging culture.  A woman should really have a male family member accompany her to any gathering where there will be a group of men.  She can even wear her new beauty-positive clothing as a statement!

Together, sisters, we’ll show them how strong modern women are!



Not just something known to cause cancer in rats in the state of California.  (Though, are we aware of any substance and/or object that doesn’t cause cancer in the state of California?  The best risk management for cancer has to be moving away from California.)

This particular version causes grand revolutions, interpersonal spats, and great outbreaks of calvariam eksplodigi on our great campuses of higher learning.

I have been known to generate high torque from the PC crowd myself, when I state, without embarrassment or appropriate markers of shame, that men and women are NOT equal.

Now I’m not a neanderthal – I think that all human adults of majority age with adequate mental capacity should be able to vote, to own property, to pursue an education in whatever they prefer, and to get paid for their work what their work is more or less worth (not my fault though if you are incapable of negotiating, or feel the need to take sabbaticals to tour the NorthWestern Pacific ashram circuit every three years).

However, anyone who has ever spent a microsecond in a weightlifting gym is well aware that the sexes have some pretty wide gaps in at least physical ability.  Don’t believe me?  Take a set of guys and girls at the same level of total lack of physical fitness and have them train to do pull ups.

Instead of being a believer in egalitarianism, or meritocracy, or any other more sweeping ideals, which I find do not take into account how individual we generally all are, I believe in the The Standard.

The Standard is what any human needs to meet to do The Job.

For instance, if The Job is firefighting, The Standard will be that one needs to be able to sprint up 12 stories in 70 pounds of gear wearing a respirator, in the temperature equivalent of the African Savanna, and potentially haul a 200lb person back down those 12 stories with vigor.  These are the things that are necessary to properly do The Job.

If The Job is nuclear engineering, The Standard will be a high-level education in physics and/or medicine and the ingenuity to put such information into real-world practice.  Note there’s no corporeal requirement whatsoever.  A brain in a tank might meet The Standard, if they were capable of communicating coherently with their embodied compatriots.

If The Job is a public school administrator, The Standard will be that one requires a huge glutenous ass on which to rest comfortably at their red tape dispenser, the possession of at least 7 cats, and a healthy measure of disgust toward both children and those who actually work for a living.

You didn’t turn in your paperwork.

You’ll notice however, that there is no mention of gender, race, sexuality, religion, or any other defining characteristic of a particular individual other than their ability to meet The Standard.  A girl from the projects, a boy from an Appalachian town with a population of 12 and a GDP assessed entirely in dirt, and a transgender Bangladeshi trust fund baby can all do The Job if they meet The Standard.

Sometimes, however, The Standard will be difficult for a set of people to reach.  There may be few women, if any, who meet The Standard to become a firefighter.  Personally, I don’t care.

It is far more important to have The Job done in the way it needs to be done than anyone’s feelings about not being able to do The Job.

Who would I like to rescue me from burning building?  The affirmative-action chick who was allowed to test at a reduced gear weight and half the lifting ability so that the FD wouldn’t get screamed at by social justice warriors, or the huge dude who passed with flying colors, wearing a weight vest just for a little extra challenge?

When my ass is on fire, I’m taking the person who can do The Job.  Period.

I would also take the huge viking chick who wore a weight vest to her testing as well.  The operation here is “Carrying ass out of fire,” not “Being a female firefighter in a display of how anything you can do we can do better.”

Yeah, you’ll do.

The Standard also does not discriminate by poverty level or any other characteristic.  Yes it may be more difficult for little Hiram Skaggs from Dysentery Creek, NC to get into Harvard for that physics degree, but if everyone knows where the bar is set and the bar doesn’t involve your skin color or dangly bits, everyone gets to take their shot per their individual proclivities.

Ideally, if I ran the world, The Job wouldn’t even know it was Hiram Skaggs applying.  They would be reviewing the merits of Applicant 3467-15.

If all the accepted applicants end up being Samoan women, so be it.  If the Coalition of Transgender Vietnamese Speakers is upset about being underrepresented they should brush up on their physics.  Or get more cats.  Or otherwise look into getting their demographic to reach The Standard.

I want the best people for the position, not a happy demographic rainbow of people who are potentially incompetent but check the boxes.

That’s what makes us equal – Everyone gets their shot, everyone gets to fail in their own special way.

This is Why I Don’t Believe You: II

Duke University is threatening expulsion of a student accused of rape.  In this case it seems like a version of the “both people were equally smashed, therefore the male is a rapist” nonsense.

The student, Lewis McLeod, is taking legal action regarding Duke’s hideous mangling of their own due process guidelines.

However, what I find most pertinent is:

In violation of a no-contact order, the accuser attended a social event at McLeod’s off-campus residence.

Because, you know, that’s what you do when you’ve been raped and you’re pursuing legal action against the rapist.

You go to their house for a party.

Of course.

Note that before attending the party, she consulted with the women’s center on campus to see if doing so would violate the order.  This was not an instance of accidentally being in the same place, or being taken by a friend to a party she didn’t realize would be at the rapists house, she went out of her way to be in his residence.

Why did she do this?

Because she’s full of shit, and knows she wasn’t victimized.

This is Why I Don’t Believe You

Emma Sulkowicz, a student at Columbia (and unsurprisingly a visual arts major) has declared that she was violently raped by a fellow student.  To protest the university’s official finding of “not enough evidence” and their clearing of the accused, she has taken the following tack:

Outraged, Sulkowicz began carrying a 50-pound mattress wherever she went on campus, to suggest the painful burden she continues to bear. She has vowed to keep at it until he leaves the school.

However, after making an initial inquiry with the police,

Sulkowicz did not press criminal charges, a lengthy process that she said would be too draining

Of course.

Carrying a 50 pound mattress for years or more and collecting all the delicious attention from various concerns, that’s easy.  Actually going through the legal process to help authorities take what she has presented as a dangerous and violent man out of circulation so that he won’t victimize other women?

Can’t be arsed.

Paul Nungesser, the man accused by Sulkowicz of rape, was also accused by two other female students at essentially the same time.  One accused him of groping her at a party, the other of “intimate partner violence” including forced sex and emotional abuse.

Coming as a complete shock, when given the opportunity to plead their cases, groped girl –

had graduated and was unable, she said, to participate in the process

The outcome for intimate partner violence and forced sex girl –

The university dropped the intimate partner violence charge after that accuser, saying she was exhausted by the barrage of questions, stopped answering emails over summer vacation.

“It’s just such an awful burden,” said the fragile ladies, raising a limpid wrist to their pale foreheads, and sinking artfully to their finely upholstered fainting couches, “to have to keep telling the tale of my trauma to those who refuse to recognize that those possessed of uteri would never lie.  It feels like being violated all over again to have my strictly editorial embellishments questioned!”

The audience is entranced.

I, on the other hand, am wondering why we have a bunch of presumably strong, capable, intelligent modern women who decide to roar like lions, then act like mice when someone with authority notices said roaring.

The simple answer, and I love the simple answer, is that her story will get a bunch of sympathy and attention and accolades for bravery and perseverance from people to whom it can remain literary and ambiguous.

The police and other authorities have the capability to establish whether or not one’s story is factually correct.  Facts are the natural anathema of attention whores.

This is why carrying a 50 lb mattress advertising your trauma to the general public is a good, workable, idea, but helping the police put away a presumably violent criminal is “too hard.”

It’s because you’re lying.


William Desmond, a Harvard Law student, and apparently a victim of a post-modern text generator, writes in The National Law Journal:

Although over the last few weeks many law students have experienced moments of total despair, minutes of inconsolable tears and hours of utter confusion, many of these same students have also spent days in action—days of protesting, of organizing meetings, of drafting emails and letters, and of starting conversations long overdue.

Via the National Law Journal

He is referring to the general trauma of those embattled ivy league law students due to the recent killings of two black men by police officers.  Of course, he is arguing that he in not in fact whining, and that exams should be delayed to allows these future crafters of policy and prosecution ample time to fully recover from their “minutes of tears.”

Over at The New Yorker, law professor Jeannie Suk reports her students are having a difficult time dealing with having to discuss topics that make them the least bit uncomfortable:

One teacher I know was recently asked by a student not to use the word “violate” in class—as in “Does this conduct violate the law?”—because the word was triggering. Some students have even suggested that rape law should not be taught because of its potential to cause distress.

Via The New Yorker

Her students are clearly bright enough to have unearthed all on their own the eldritch secret – “If you refuse to discuss a topic, that topic will then cease to exist.”  It’s just like discovering calculus…

Students at Columbia Law School have been offered extensions on their final exams, as well as counseling services to assist with the existential trauma caused by the Brown grand jury decision.  Harvard is clearly jealous.

All over the country college students are finding themselves unable to cope with the possibility of hearing opinions and information that conflicts with their currently-held beliefs.

These are presumably our best and brightest.

Best and brightest they may be, but seemingly possessed with as much backbone as your typical planarian.  I saw the vestiges of this floppy and limpid accommodation of whining in my own college experience in the late 90’s, but hoped with childish naivete that the “adults” would step up and knock sense into my fellows.

That sense being that the inability to deal with adversity or the slightest discomfort is a handicap, not a point of pride, and certainly not something you want to crow about to others in an overwrought op-ed.

This emotional fragility is an embarrassment.  If you are a college student that needs exam extensions over the Ferguson events, or would like to become a lawyer without ever hearing about laws addressing crimes that make you uncomfortable YOU are an embarrassment.

These students should consider simply staying home.  The world is clearly too much for them.