Professor Laura Kipnis

Professor Laura Kipnis

Boston Herald | June 4 , 2015 | Op-Ed |

Remember when dissent was patriotic? Well, in feminist circles, it’s now a hate crime.  Just ask Northwestern University Professor Laura Kipnis, who in February published an article entitled “Sexual Paranoia Strikes Academe.” The piece, which appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education, criticized the current “climate of sanctimony” in which self-appointed feminist Thought Police attempt to silence anyone who deviates from the party line on relations between the sexes.

In response, students at Northwestern (without the slightest hint of irony) proved Kipnis’s point by protesting the professor and filing a Title IX complaint against her, claiming her words created a hostile environment for women on campus. Although the charges against Kipnis were eventually dismissed, attempts to silence those who cause “offense” are, unfortunately, all too common.

In December, Harvard Law professor Jeannie Suk revealed that students routinely ask professors not to teach rape-law or include questions about rape on their criminal law exams, so as not to upset survivors.

Last fall, Brown University students sought to prohibit a speech by a libertarian speaker who criticized the term “rape culture.” Unable to stop the event, and fearing that the speech would place victims in emotional peril, activists set up a “safe space,” for offended students to seek solace.

Bernini's Rape of Persephone

Bernini’s Rape of Persephone

Across the nation, infantile feminists seek comfort not only from provocative political and legal discussions, but also from “offensive” fictional portrayals of women.By now you have no doubt heard about the Columbia Spectator column that railed against Ovid’s epic poem “Metamorphoses.” The authors claimed that the portion of the poem that describes the mythological rape of Persephone by the Greek God Hades “triggers” traumatic recollections in rape survivors. Thus, they argued that professors should distribute the poem — if at all — with “trigger-warnings” and provide students the opportunity to opt out of class discussion.

Although such anti-intellectualism is particularly astounding at our nation’s top universities, it is certainly not limited to the halls of academia. After a recent episode of the routinely violent television show “Game of Thrones” ended with the rape of a popular character at the hands of her sadistic husband, the Internet exploded with protest. Critics lambasted the scene as a “micro-aggression” against the female television audience.Never mind that in a previous season of Thrones this same sadistic fellow castrated and sexually tortured a male character over the course of several episodes. Those fictional acts of violence were met with silence by feminists. No trigger-warning needed there. By all means, castrate away!

Rolling Stone's discredited article

Rolling Stone’s discredited article

It is notable, of course, that all of this comes on the heels of the recent firestorm over the University of Virginia rape hoax. Recall that the UVA president shut down all campus fraternities on the basis of a now discredited magazine article about a fraternity gang rape that never took place.But in our bizarrely dystopian world, feminists demand that we punish any allegation of rape without investigation into the facts, all while seeking to suppress political or academic discussions and fictional depictions of male-on-female sexual assault.To be sure, the topic of rape rightly elicits strong emotions. But we should not let these feelings stand in the way of free expression and the pursuit of truth.

It’s time for adults to say, “enough.” Enough of the name-calling (“rape-denier”; “misogynist”) of anyone who questions the current feminist narrative. Enough insisting that one’s “perspective” and feelings trump facts and due process. Enough of childish claims that there is some “right” to be free from verbal slights or offensive material.

Isn’t it time to grow up already?