stonesphinxes

Everyday Thoughtcrimes

Category: Fragile

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?

Lobotomies.

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.

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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!

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.