Thursday, July 18, 2019

Question Progressivism? No Degree For You!

By Professor Doom

     Once again I find myself comparing the people who run higher ed to the Soup Nazi of Seinfeld—any deviation from what he wanted meant “no soup for you.”

     I grant that in the advanced fields, acceptance and belief in a certain orthodoxy is pretty much necessary to get a graduate degree. Mathematics, of course, would be Exhibit A for really needing to believe in the truth of the things your field has to say, and I concede my own belief in such is so strong I can’t even conceive of how someone could pursue a graduate degree without believing (more accurately, “understanding,” at the risk of being presumptuous) the same things I do.

       In less rigorous fields, say economics, I’ve heard that there’s likewise little room for dispute of “established” facts, with many economists with opposing views (say, against our Keynesian system) advising to keep such views silent until after receiving tenure. Since on most campuses such is nigh impossible, opposing views in economics, and other fields, are basically silenced by action within the department.

       Perhaps established scholars should have this ability…perhaps. It’s no secret that ideologues have taken over many of our campuses, but they’re generally not scholars. Do they poke their noses into what the graduate students think? The clarification is important. I can totally see a bunch of mathematicians being unwilling to award a doctorate to a student who says “calculus is all wrong and doesn’t actually work,” (unless the student come produce an amazing proof, anyway). Ultimately, it’d be up to the scholars to make the decision, no matter the field.

       So the question remains: does admin enforce ideological purity, or the scholars?

       Scholars may have been the sole arbiters of such in the past, but no more:

Feminist grad student says biological men can’t be women. Now the university is investigating her.

      Isn’t it fascinating how reality appears to have changed. A century ago, if you said “men can’t be women,” it’d be considered just as much an obvious statement as “the number 2 can’t have the same value as the number 3,” and yet today the former is no longer clear, to the point that even saying as much can get you in trouble with the “leaders” running the school.

      How did they even out about this heretic in their graduate school?

University of California-Santa Barbara feminist grad student Laura Tanner is under fire for remarks that she made on social media — particularly on her Twitter page. Tanner, a doctoral candidate in the school's department of Feminist Studies, is an "outspoken critic of transgender ideology," according to the outlet.

     Wow. Much like my previous post on the nazis running our campuses, a social media post can get you in hot water. Note carefully: she didn't speak this heresy within the department or on a campus web-page, merely to her friends. And punishment will still be meted out.

     What, exactly and precisely is the problem here? Here’s the awful thing she said:

"A woman is someone with a female body and any personality ... not a 'female personality' and any body." 

"Any other definition is sexism," the banner concludes. 

     I begrudgingly concede there may be some things a student can publicly say which would merit investigation—a call for violence, particularly violence against specific people, comes to mind, but the above? She’s a grad student, a borderline scholar at the very least, so perhaps admin should have let the department “educate” her, and keep their grotesquely overpaid noses out of it.

…the school is investigating her remarks after trans "allies" demanded that the administration take action against her. Such critics called Tanner "absolute trash" as well as a "dumb b****." Some have even suggested that Tanner should die because of her sentiments.

     See, now those death threats should merit investigation, but I know how hypocritically these places are run. The gentle reader should note carefully what happened here: someone snitched to admin about this heretical student, and it’s not a stretch to figure it was someone in her department. So, the Bias Response Team is activated and a mighty pack of dogs of war is unleashed:

The school's newspaper even went as far as calling her "transphobic." The chair of her department — Laury Oaks — said that Tanner's remarks are "distressing," and said that he could file both ethics and Title IX complaints agains her. Online, Oaks shared responses from the school's Title IX Coordinator, Ariana Alvarez, who confirmed that the department is "actively engaging in a response" to Tanner's social media posts.

     Poor girl, she’s screwed. The mighty Title IX fiefdom will come crashing down on her to enforce purity, I can assure you.

     I know scholars aren’t always known for extreme bravery, but the department head there worries me greatly. The head is distressed over a Twitter page. Where do they find these people so unsure of their knowledge that a tweet can cause such turmoil?

     The answer to the above question is contained in the above. Anyone with the courage to question the narrative, even a little, is filtered out long before they can get their degree (although they probably would be unemployable even afterwards).

       Like so many who question the narrative, this graduate is long past childhood, and is a mother of three (all young adults), as she’s willing to share on her website.

        Since her scholarly work will doubtless be silenced, I’ll allow her the last word here, where she (like so many other adults) questions “transitioning” children, among other things:

My research and scholarship are currently focused on resisting the discursive erasure of women and girls, particularly in health and gender discourse; attempts to disassociate the female body from womanhood; the mistaken idea that biological sex is socially constructed or possible to change, the loss of women and girls' civil rights through changes to laws that remove sex protections and define gender as a feeling; and the abusive and dangerously experimental practices of medically "transing" children and young adults.


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