Phi Beta Cons

Speaker Disinvited from Williams Because Students Got Angry

This story is almost unbelievable.

The elite and pricey Williams College has a speaker series called “Uncomfortable Learning.” The idea is to bring to campus people whose thinking is unconventional and who will spark thought and debate. One speaker who was invited is Suzanne Venker. She dissents from most of the feminist orthodoxy and sent in the text of her talk ahead of time. As she explains in this piece, she wanted the students to hear her view that feminism fails “because it denies the existence of biology and teaches that equality means sameness, which is a losing proposition when it comes to planning a life….”

You can guess the rest. When students found out that a speaker who’d make them THAT uncomfortable was going to be on campus, they did just what so many of our brilliant young minds enrolled at elite colleges do — they demanded that Venker be kept from speaking.

Of course, the spineless officials at Williams caved in. They didn’t even suggest a “trigger warning” to alert zealots that Venker’s ideas would be controversial.

If a speaker series that purports to aim at making listeners uncomfortable can’t even have someone like Suzanne Venker, then the school might as well call the whole thing off and admit that only orthodox statists and progressives are welcome.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

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