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Free speech is so last century. Today’s students want the ‘right to be comfortable’

Student unions’ ‘no platform’ policy is expanding to cover pretty much anyone whose views don’t fit prevailing groupthink

22 November 2014

9:00 AM

22 November 2014

9:00 AM

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Have you met the Stepford students? They’re everywhere. On campuses across the land. Sitting stony-eyed in lecture halls or surreptitiously policing beer-fuelled banter in the uni bar. They look like students, dress like students, smell like students. But their student brains have been replaced by brains bereft of critical faculties and programmed to conform. To the untrained eye, they seem like your average book-devouring, ideas-discussing, H&M-adorned youth, but anyone who’s spent more than five minutes in their company will know that these students are far more interested in shutting debate down than opening it up.

I was attacked by a swarm of Stepford students this week. On Tuesday, I was supposed to take part in a debate about abortion at Christ Church, Oxford. I was invited by the Oxford Students for Life to put the pro-choice argument against the journalist Timothy Stanley, who is pro-life. But apparently it is forbidden for men to talk about abortion. A mob of furious feministic Oxford students, all robotically uttering the same stuff about feeling offended, set up a Facebook page littered with expletives and demands for the debate to be called off. They said it was outrageous that two human beings ‘who do not have uteruses’ should get to hold forth on abortion — identity politics at its most basely biological — and claimed the debate would threaten the ‘mental safety’ of Oxford students. Three hundred promised to turn up to the debate with ‘instruments’ — heaven knows what — that would allow them to disrupt proceedings.

Incredibly, Christ Church capitulated, the college’s censors living up to the modern meaning of their name by announcing that they would refuse to host the debate on the basis that it now raised ‘security and welfare issues’. So at one of the highest seats of learning on Earth, the democratic principle of free and open debate, of allowing differing opinions to slog it out in full view of discerning citizens, has been violated, and students have been rebranded as fragile creatures, overgrown children who need to be guarded against any idea that might prick their souls or challenge their prejudices. One of the censorious students actually boasted about her role in shutting down the debate, wearing her intolerance like a badge of honour in an Independent article in which she argued that, ‘The idea that in a free society absolutely everything should be open to debate has a detrimental effect on marginalised groups.’

This isn’t the first time I’ve encountered the Stepford students. Last month, at Britain’s other famously prestigious university, Cambridge, I was circled by Stepfords after taking part in a debate on faith schools. It wasn’t my defence of parents’ rights to send their children to religious schools they wanted to harangue me for — much as they loathed that liberal position — it was my suggestion, made in this magazine and elsewhere, that ‘lad culture’ doesn’t turn men into rapists. Their mechanical minds seemed incapable of computing that someone would say such a thing.

Their eyes glazed with moral certainty, they explained to me at length that culture warps minds and shapes behaviour and that is why it is right for students to strive to keep such wicked, misogynistic stuff as the Sun newspaper and sexist pop music off campus. ‘We have the right to feel comfortable,’ they all said, like a mantra. One — a bloke — said that the compulsory sexual consent classes recently introduced for freshers at Cambridge, to teach what is and what isn’t rape, were a great idea because they might weed out ‘pre-rapists’: men who haven’t raped anyone but might. The others nodded. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Pre-rapists! Had any of them read Philip K. Dick’s dystopian novella about a wicked world that hunts down and punishes pre-criminals, I asked? None had.

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When I told them that at the fag-end of the last millennium I had spent my student days arguing against the very ideas they were now spouting — against the claim that gangsta rap turned black men into murderers or that Tarantino flicks made teens go wild and criminal — not so much as a flicker of reflection crossed their faces. ‘Back then, the people who were making those censorious, misanthropic arguments about culture determining behaviour weren’t youngsters like you,’ I said. ‘They were older, more conservative people, with blue rinses.’ A moment’s silence. Then one of the Stepfords piped up. ‘Maybe those people were right,’ he said. My mind filled with a vision of Mary Whitehouse cackling to herself in some corner of the cosmos.

If your go-to image of a student is someone who’s free-spirited and open-minded, who loves having a pop at orthodoxies, then you urgently need to update your mind’s picture bank. Students are now pretty much the opposite of that. It’s hard to think of any other section of society that has undergone as epic a transformation as students have. From freewheelin’ to ban-happy, from askers of awkward questions to suppressors of offensive speech, in the space of a generation. My showdown with the debate-banning Stepfords at Oxford and the pre-crime promoters at Cambridge echoed other recent run-ins I’ve had with the intolerant students of the 21st century. I’ve been jeered at by students at the University of Cork for criticising gay marriage; cornered and branded a ‘denier’ by students at University College London for suggesting industrial development in Africa should take precedence over combating climate change; lambasted by students at Cambridge (again) for saying it’s bad to boycott Israeli goods. In each case, it wasn’t the fact the students disagreed with me that I found alarming — disagreement is great! — it was that they were so plainly shocked that I could have uttered such things, that I had failed to conform to what they assume to be right, that I had sought to contaminate their campuses and their fragile grey matter with offensive ideas.

Where once students might have allowed their eyes and ears to be bombarded by everything from risqué political propaganda to raunchy rock, now they insulate themselves from anything that might dent their self-esteem and, crime of crimes, make them feel ‘uncomfortable’. Student groups insist that online articles should have ‘trigger warnings’ in case their subject matter might cause offence.

The ‘no platform’ policy of various student unions is forever being expanded to keep off campus pretty much anyone whose views don’t chime perfectly with the prevailing groupthink. Where once it was only far-right rabble-rousers who were no-platformed, now everyone from Zionists to feminists who hold the wrong opinions on transgender issues to ‘rape deniers’ (anyone who questions the idea that modern Britain is in the grip of a ‘rape culture’) has found themselves shunned from the uni-sphere. My Oxford experience suggests pro-life societies could be next. In September the students’ union at Dundee banned the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children from the freshers’ fair on the basis that its campaign material is ‘highly offensive’.

Barely a week goes by without reports of something ‘offensive’ being banned by students. Robin Thicke’s rude pop ditty ‘Blurred Lines’ has been banned in more than 20 universities. Student officials at Balliol College, Oxford, justified their ban as a means of ‘prioritising the wellbeing of our students’. Apparently a three-minute pop song can harm students’ health. More than 30 student unions have banned the Sun, on the basis that Page Three could turn all those pre-rapists into actual rapists. Radical feminist students once burned their bras — now they insist that models put bras on. The union at UCL banned the Nietzsche Society on the grounds that its existence threatened ‘the safety of the UCL student body’.

Stepford concerns are over-amplified on social media. No sooner is a contentious subject raised than a university ‘campaign’ group appears on Facebook, or a hashtag on Twitter, demanding that the debate is shut down. Technology means that it has never been easier to whip up a false sense of mass outrage — and target that synthetic anger at those in charge. The authorities on the receiving end feel so besieged that they succumb to the demands and threats.

Heaven help any student who doesn’t bow before the Stepford mentality. The students’ union at Edinburgh recently passed a motion to ‘End lad banter’ on campus. Laddish students are being forced to recant their bantering ways. Last month, the rugby club at the London School of Economics was disbanded for a year after its members handed out leaflets advising rugby lads to avoid ‘mingers’ (ugly girls) and ‘homosexual debauchery’. Under pressure from LSE bigwigs, the club publicly recanted its ‘inexcusably offensive’ behaviour and declared that its members have ‘a lot to learn about the pernicious effects of banter’. They’re being made to take part in equality and diversity training. At British unis in 2014, you don’t just get education — you also get re-education, Soviet style.

The censoriousness has reached its nadir in the rise of the ‘safe space’ policy. Loads of student unions have colonised vast swaths of their campuses and declared them ‘safe spaces’ — that is, places where no student should ever be made to feel threatened, unwelcome or belittled, whether by banter, bad thinking or ‘Blurred Lines’. Safety from physical assault is one thing — but safety from words, ideas, Zionists, lads, pop music, Nietzsche? We seem to have nurtured a new generation that believes its self-esteem is more important than everyone else’s liberty.

This is what those censorious Cambridgers meant when they kept saying they have the ‘right to be comfortable’. They weren’t talking about the freedom to lay down on a chaise longue — they meant the right never to be challenged by disturbing ideas or mind-battered by offensiveness. At precisely the time they should be leaping brain-first into the rough and tumble of grown-up, testy discussion, students are cushioning themselves from anything that has the whiff of controversy. We’re witnessing the victory of political correctness by stealth. As the annoying ‘PC gone mad!’ brigade banged on and on about extreme instances of PC — schools banning ‘Baa Baa, Black Sheep’, etc. — nobody seems to have noticed that the key tenets of PC, from the desire to destroy offensive lingo to the urge to re-educate apparently corrupted minds, have been swallowed whole by a new generation. This is a disaster, for it means our universities are becoming breeding grounds of dogmatism. As John Stuart Mill said, if we don’t allow our opinion to be ‘fully, frequently, and fearlessly discussed’, then that opinion will be ‘held as a dead dogma, not a living truth’.

One day, these Stepford students, with their lust to ban, their war on offensive lingo, and their terrifying talk of pre-crime, will be running the country. And then it won’t only be those of us who occasionally have cause to visit a campus who have to suffer their dead dogmas.

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Show comments
  • Rupert

    Christ Church, not ‘Christ-church’ or ‘Christchurch’ (or, as it has appeared elsewhere, ‘Christ Church College’).

    • Kooljeff

      Talking of corrections. The article uses the term “Stepford” a reference to the film “The Stepford Wives”, a tale of men replacing their independently minded wives with robots (there was a sequel where they did the same to their children). The illustration owes more to “The Midwich Cuckoos” about alien beings who dictate what we think or do. So what are we talking here, compliant students or dictatorial students, or metaphors gone wrong?

      • Joshua

        He is largely saying that these students are unable to think for themselves. That is the comparison to the stepford wives.

  • Damaris Tighe

    Products of their pre-univ, politically correct education. The longer an EU referendum is delayed, the more brainwashed kids will become voters while those who lived in a pre-EU Britain die off, & Britexit becomes less likely. I’m convinced this is one motivation for delay.

    • AJH1968

      They will go on to become civil servants, with a complete lack of empathy or lateral thinking, and pontificating in the same bland way, with no significant grasp on reality.(those books you recommneded is brilliant by the way).

      • WirralBill

        They are already there and have been for a decade+ – they are in all the major town halls shielding rape gangs, calling it racism when the raped girls complain; they are in police forces, taking swift action against people who stand up for themselves against burglars and other criminals; they are in the criminal justice system, re-interpreting the law in the way they think it ought to have been written in the first place, and hosing taxpayers’ cash at the feckless and irresponsible. And they are in Common Purpose, spreading their poison like a farmer spreads muck on his fields.

      • Damaris Tighe

        Glad you’re enjoying them (if that is the word).

        • AJH1968

          I think if anything it dispels the notion that popular parties (Like UKIP) would not have a coherent policy. If they can force the civil service to abandon the popular narrative (Grand scemes and utopian idealism) they can only be successful. I think if anything the most important qualification should be empathy; for the footsoldiers and the vulnerable., Utopian ideals should remain on the shelf.

          • Kennybhoy

            “If they can force the civil service to abandon the popular narrative …”

            Problem is that it is a more popular narrative than you think. A substantial part of the population at large are complicit when it suits them…

      • Alyson Cruise

        Wait, we lack empathy…. When compared to the man who called for people like me to die because he doesn’t understand us?

    • global city

      Yes. “The people will never realise what has been done to them”

    • Kennybhoy

      Sorry to disagree but not everything is about the EU. In my not inconsiderable personal experience European unis are nowhere near as bad as those in the English speaking world in this regard. Further to what Dorothy wrote above, this phenomenon goes back nearly thirty years on the other side of the pond.

      • Damaris Tighe

        I wasn’t saying it was the fault of the EU & agree this rubbish comes from the other side of the pond. My point was about the implications for referenda & elections as these people join the electorate.

        • Neil Saunders

          This madness has been imported from the United States, whose higher education system has been largely captured by the ideological descendants of the Deweyites, Boasians, Antonio Gramsci and the Frankfurt School. That said, the semi-housetrained Euromarxists who run the EU have done nothing to resist it and will continue to do much to encourage it.

          • Damaris Tighe

            Please see the edit to my post – the original was badly worded, I wasn’t suggesting that the EU is behind our educational system.

          • Tad_Porter

            You’ve imported some of our worst excesses, and even managed to improve on some. I’m thinking especially of the anti-Zionist stuff, which finds much more sympathy among your political and journalistic elites than it does over here. Also, our higher education establishment is considerably larger and more diverse (with respect to quality as well).

    • http://twrl.github.com/ Tom Robbins

      The EU doesn’t regulate education, except to convert qualifications from one country to another.

      • Damaris Tighe

        I think my post must have been badly worded – I wasn’t suggesting it did but making a connection between the products of our ed system & the electorate.

    • SimoneNonvelodico

      EU doesn’t have much to do with it, really. I’m Italian, grown up in as much EU as Britain, even more (we do have Euros after all) and this kind of mentality is seen as madness from the majority of the people of my generation. If anything, it’s got more to do with a certain tendency of anglophone countries (I say this because USA are in this big time too) to try and “simplify” these issues into rules. Banning words, images, ideas is a very easy way of pretending you’re banning racism, sexism, or other forms of bigotry/intolerance, except that it isn’t true at all. There’s a reason why we need judges even if we have a law; things need to be understood on a case-by-case basis, in context, with subtlety and common sense. These are the consequences of trying to find an easy recipe to eliminate intolerance which simply does not exist.

      • Damaris Tighe

        My post was badly worded – I didn’t intend to suggest that the EU was behind it. Please see edit.

      • mctruck

        Rules as a substitute for thinking – see Daniel Mitchell on “zero tolerance” in schools.

    • John Smith

      Hahahah, shouldn’t you be here…? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/index.html

      • Damaris Tighe

        Shouldn’t you be on LabourList?

  • evad666

    ha the joys of the dominion of the illiberal left with its silenced or pre arranged debates lacking dissent.

  • grimm

    Haven’t the hordes of middle class twerps who dominate higher education always been an insufferable, morally righteous bunch? Brendan O’neill’s observations simply tell me that their righteousness has taken on a soggy, sharing and caring 21st century quality. This quality is widespread particularly among media pundits who make a career out of moral outrage.

    • global city

      but, as the state has expanded, so have their areas of operation. This type of thinking infests so much of the public and quasi public sector…and it is all geared to come down on us from above….. enforcement by diktat and sanction.

      We can see the consequences in places like Rotherham, but the insidious spread is much wider and much deeper than that.

      • Samson

        The corrupt police officers and politicians in Rotherham blamed political correctness for their crimes, but that doesn’t make it a fact. The PC brigade are dipshits, but they don’t carry the guilt of every jobsworth in the country.

      • Neil Saunders

        The state has contracted where it shouldn’t have – e.g. the now-privatised utilities, services, railways, etc. – and also expanded where it shouldn’t have – e.g. the institutionalisation of Political Correctness, and the silencing, mockery or even criminalisation of dissident opinions. Activist students, who were once agents of legitimate social and intellectual change, are now merely enforcers of an entrenched, arrogant status quo.

      • fmf

        Or perhaps free thinking individuals looked at the world and drew A DIFFERENT OPINION FROM YOU? Independantly, not through magical brain-washing…imagine that!!

        • global city

          Yes, free thinking individuals…or should that be ‘free thinking individuals’?

          • skeptik

            More like a think like us or else we’ll shout you down kind of “free”

        • Colonel Mustard

          Plenty of brain washing going on from you cats. And don’t pretend there isn’t. There were plenty of hippies around in the sixties. No-one tried to stop them saying stuff.

          People like you represent the greatest threat to individual liberty and freedom of expression since the 1930s. You might as well label stuff you disapprove of as “decadent art” and have it locked away.

          • fmf

            No one… No one tried to stop hippies saying stuff? Seriously? You believe that? Are we just making up history to suit ourselves here or what because frankly I remember “Flower power” actually being a very revolutionary student led moment.

            You are all just kidding yourselves if you think you are the first older generation to be scared by the youth that come behind you. You’re nothing special, insecure bag of hot air, with your propaganda and fear. “Witch burners” lol ^_^

    • Paul Cooper

      It’s actually been a fairly rapid change on campuses. Ten years ago this stuff was the preserve of tiny Marxist cliques studying Critical Theory. Now it pervades the university.
      Student Unions encourage this attitude to things, to the detriment of their members – if students are coddled away from anything offensive they will never learn to deal with the real world and will probably have a complete breakdown if they ever visit a less “enlightened” part of the world. It’s not healthy for SUs to encourage and affirm students in their conceits about nonsense such as “cissexism” and “heteronormativity” and they’ll just end up engendering anxiety among their more sensitive students.

      • davidofkent

        I’m afraid you lost me with the ‘cissexism and heteronormativity’ bits. Nice words, though. PS I couldn’t be bothered to look them up on Google.

        • Isobel

          Cissexism is similar to transphobia. It’s so much easier to argue against the existence of an issue if you refuse to actually look up what it is, don’t you think? Because you’re totally right – prejudice against transgendered people is an entirely non-existent, “nonsensical” concept:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_unlawfully_killed_transgender_people

          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jamieann-meyers/we-matter-transgender-day-of-remembrance-2013_b_4289786.html

          http://www.ucu.org.uk/media/pdf/r/6/transphobic_hate_crime_in_eu.pdf

          But no, I totally agree that we should ignore the pervasive violence experienced by LGBT folks in favour of whining about how people give you funny looks if you argue against gay marriage.

          I’m not denying that shutting down the debate over abortion was ridiculous, and of course suppressing free speech is dangerous. But don’t equate suppression of free speech with the fight for equal rights. They are not the same thing. Don’t use a vocal minority to make blanket generalisations about “the youth of today”. (Of course the older generation complaining about how the youth are “doing it wrong” is an entirely new idea, so well done for living up to the stereotypes there).

          Also, on the “pre-rapist” argument front:
          You all do realise that there is a difference between punishing someone for a crime they haven’t committed, and educating people so that they know enough not to commit the crime? No one is suggesting that we punish people who haven’t raped anyone. Unless the author is trying for a slippery slope argument. Which is, you know, a logical flaw.

          Also, genuinely curious: do you all really believe that culture plays no part in how people think? That being inundated with songs about how women clearly “want it”, in videos where women play the role of sexualised objects and nothing else, every day of our lives, has absolutely no effect on people’s attitudes?
          Incidentally, I voted against banning “Blurred Lines” on my campus, because I argued that much as I may disagree with the song and its values, we shouldn’t suppress people’s right to express their opinions. Most people agreed with me, and the motion to ban it ultimately didn’t pass. Looks like the majority are against suppression of free speech. I’d say that you’re ignoring evidence against your argument for convenience, but the suppression of free speech clearly isn’t really your worry, is it?

          • Kennybhoy

            Good, coherent response. Mebbes just a wee bit sanguine in parts but a fine riposte nonetheless.

            Respect.

          • Kennybhoy

            “… but the suppression of free speech clearly isn’t really your worry, is it?”

            Care to elaborate?

          • Isobel

            To be honest, I was going to delete that afterwards, because I thought it wasn’t really fair, but I figured since people might have already read the comment, it would be a bit disingenuous!
            Basically I wanted to say that it seems like a lot of people here are more focused on things like transphobia not being genuine concerns, or the fact that people take issue with them being against gay marriage, than free speech. But I didn’t explain it very well, and am not sure I could argue that one very effectively, so consider it retracted.

          • Kennybhoy

            Double props. There are no’ many hereabouts with this level of integrity. 🙂

          • joeymoto

            ‘You all do realise that there is a difference between punishing someone for a crime they haven’t committed, and educating people so that they know enough not to commit the crime?’

            Are you that delusional to think people need educating on not to rape someone? Do I also need educating on not to kill and steal as well?

            Pathetic.

          • Isobel

            I think that people do need educating on consent. I think there is a general view that “rape” is defined as some crazy madman jumping out of the shadows and attacking poor innocent girls on the street, whereas in fact rape is often far more mundane. It’s often more of a case that people simply don’t understand what consent is – which is a clear, resounding yes. To give an example:
            if you watch Game of Thrones, you probably remember the scene where Jaime raped Cersei, his sister? During the whole scene, Cersei was saying things like “no”, “please stop” etc.
            But the director, and several viewers argued that it was all ok, because it was “consensual by the end” (real quote). There was this general idea that Cersei could repeatedly be saying no, or stop, but it still wasn’t rape, because she secretly, deep down, did want it.

            The wikipedia page on rape statistics is quite interesting:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_statistics#United_Kingdom

            Quite a lot of women, statistically, don’t believe they’ve been raped if they didn’t fight back, or if they didn’t verbally and repeatedly say no. Obviously this isn’t the case, but there certainly is the common misconception that if the woman isn’t actually screaming in terror, she wasn’t raped.

            I’m sorry if I haven’t explained that as well as I’d like, but yeah. Education on sexual consent is really important. I’d take issue with you calling me “pathetic”, but to be fair, I was quite sarcastic in my initial response, so I guess I can’t complain!

          • nationman

            quite telling that you’re using a fictional example to espouse a point.

          • Isobel

            Pretty sure neither the director, who said “it’s consensual by the end” nor the audience, who agreed, are fictional. This close reading business is tricky, isn’t it? 🙂

          • Isobel

            But of course I forgot. Apparently you lot don’t believe that media and culture have any bearing on real life whatsoever.

          • nationman

            Apparently you think they’re the end all be all of real life. Stick to statistics, you have a better argument there.

          • nationman

            I see so we’re using GOT fans as shining examples of knowledge of consent. Why not throw in fans of the twilight books? I’m sure you could find a far better example of lack of consent. The tweens who dig the stuff could also give you a better strawman.

          • KatherineBranwen

            People like you and your peers have downgraded rape into something akin to a boy whispering in your ear.
            You people make me sick.
            Rape is VIOLENT. It’s not hurt feelings or somebody not getting your permission for every step of foreplay.
            But then, how else are you going to claim to be victims. You’re all in love with the idea of victimhood. In your world, it’s the highest status you can achieve.
            You are the perpetually offended, always outraged, reality challenged, pathologically hostile bullies of the world.

          • Jack Bandit

            First, you used wikipedia to cite your argument.
            Second, you used GOT to cite your argument.

            I don’t know what kind of men you have in your life, but most people (regardless of gender) know the difference between consensual sex and rape. I have to agree with another poster, the definition of rape has been watered-down to an absolutely ridiculous degree.

          • tinus42

            In Sweden it is legally rape if a man has sex with a woman who is under influence of alcohol. Also if a man has sex with a woman and the woman later regrets it (even if it’s months or even years later) it is considered rape under criminal law. It’s why Julian Assange is in trouble. He had sex with a Swedish woman and she declared it to be rape later on. She was probably paid by the Americans so they could extradite Assange to Sweden and have Assange extradited by Sweden to the US for high treason.

          • Alex Q

            “In Sweden it is legally rape if a man has sex with a woman who is under influence of alcohol. Also if a man has sex with a woman and the woman later regrets it (even if it’s months or even years later) it is considered rape under criminal law.”

            I’m a Swede and have studied swedish law, and this is total BS. Stop spreading lies.

          • Kennybhoy

            “Are you that delusional to think people need educating on not to rape someone?”

            You need to get out more man…:-(

            “Are you that delusional to think people need educating on not to rape someone? Do I also need educating on not to kill and steal as well?”

            You jumped “people” to “I”. From the general to the personal. Sloppy.

          • Brogan75

            “You need to get out more man” – how do you know he/she/it is a “man” ? shame on you

          • Steven Stone

            To be fair people need to give the f**king gender terms a rest to. ESPECIALLY with the way the english language is, where Man started out as a genetic term meaning human, is still often used as such (for all mankind) and while Women retained the additional bit tacked on to identify gender it was dropped for men.

            I find it as amusing as men thinking pink a feminine colour when it was originally very masculine (natural dyes fade, red was a mens colour, wash that a few times and you’ll get pink.) and was particularly the colour for young boys. It was one of the initial things hijacked by early feminism as a way of showing equality to men by wearing a mans colours.

          • Alyson Cruise

            Malamuth 1989, repeated about a thousand times since – 35% of male university students do not know what rape is.

            Theft isn’t the same – it’s easily understood.

          • Smell the BS

            The real delusion is thinking that people who are likely to rape are to be found on a university campus, willing to listen to some feminist preaching about ‘rape culture’.

          • Sy Delta Parkertron

            If people didn’t need educating not to rape someone, then there would be no rape

          • Neil Saunders

            You’re a doubleplusgood duckspeaker, Isobel.

          • Isobel

            Always a solid response; if you don’t agree with someone, make comparisons to Nineteen Eighty-Four. Original and productive. It’s especially clever, because us silly students don’t read dystopian fiction anymore. The idea of it being one of the biggest genres going at the moment, being especially popular among teenagers and young adults, is just daft.
            Another golden tactic is to compare your opposition to the Nazis. I hear that one’s popular on the old intertubes 🙂

          • Neil Saunders

            If you say so, Isobel. (Ever heard of a Straw Man argument, by the way?) I didn’t say or imply anywhere that you hadn’t read the book (indeed, understanding the allusion would require it, unless you just quickly googled to determine its meaning and relevance), but it’s fairly obvious from your remarks here and elsewhere that you don’t understand it.

          • Isobel

            I was also thinking about the article writer’s point about the people he had been talking to having not read Philip K. Dick. I took this and your comment to imply that students are not aware of dystopian worlds in which free speech is banned, or that we don’t understand them. So I wanted to point out that that sort of fiction, and concerns surrounding that, are actually very popular right now. We aren’t all mindless drones following The Man. I did also already state that I thought banning the abortion debate was silly, and that I was against banning songs like “Blurred Lines”, much as I dislike them. I believe those who do want to do this are in the minority, and that you are doing our generation an injustice in assuming that we are all incapable of thinking for ourselves.
            But I’m interested to hear what you think I don’t understand. Please explain it to me in clear, monosyllables? (Seriously though, if you think I’m not getting the point, please try and tell me what the point is. I genuinely want to know, and I do like a good argument. Like most students I know :P)

          • Neil Saunders

            You assume too much, Isobel. You appear to be looking for trigger words and sentiments, in order to offer a pretext for trotting out your ready-made sermons. Try to have a little intellectual charity and humility, and – to adapt the words of Oliver Cromwell – be besought in the bowels of Christ (so to speak, since I’m an atheist!) to consider that you might, just might, be mistaken.

            If you comprehensively understood “Nineteen Eighty-Four” you would not hold the opinions that you do, nor express them in the way that you do. Re-read the book, and perhaps find several commentaries on it to draw out and clarify its implications. (You might also want to read Orwell’s splendid little essay, “Politics and the English Language”, which is easily available online.)

          • Isobel

            Honestly, if I weren’t open to the possibility of ever being mistaken, I wouldn’t be here arguing at all. I wouldn’t be at university studying English, where my opinions are routinely taken apart and interrogated, just as they should be. I don’t think it’s fair for you to assume that because I disagree with you, I must be some sort of pig-headed loon, with no self-awareness whatsoever. I also don’t think you really have any basis for that assumption, other than, as already stated, that you personally disagree with me. You’ve yet to tell me why, by the way. All you’ve really said here is – “if you understood George Orwell, you’d agree with me.” This seems to me to be quite the non-argument. Please clearly state to me why what I’ve said in my above statements is wrong. I have read George Orwell. I am not, despite what you want to imply, a complete twit. I know what free speech is. I am against its suppression.
            I also like having flaws in my arguments exposed. It happens to me all the time – it’s how I learn. Problem is, you haven’t actually done that. Make with the monosyllables.
            I apologise if my tone is too strong – I don’t mean anything by it, and I do appreciate you taking the time to answer me 🙂

          • Neil Saunders

            I said none of the things that you attribute to me.

          • Neil Saunders

            See my previous reply regarding the problem of making assumptions, since you have assumed me to hold opinions that I have neither expressed nor implied. I have nowhere called you a “pig-headed loon” or anything like it, and I should not be debating with you at all if I believed you to be a “complete twit”. This is one flawed argument exposed. (There are many free, online resources concerned with critical reasoning which catalogue the most common flaws in argument – Robert Todd Carroll’s “Becoming A Critical Thinker” is particularly good, I think.)

            I should say, in general, that you would not use ideologically-loaded neologisms such as “transphobia” (to take a salient example from your earlier comment), which resemble Newspeak terms or the kind of corrupted terminology that Orwell discusses in “Politics and the English Language” (insofar as they prejudge the issues with which they are concerned), if you had fully understood and taken to heart the message of Nineteen Eighty-Four.

          • Isobel

            So you stated (a little patronisingly, if you don’t mind me saying) that I haven’t considered the possibility that I could ever be mistaken.
            “consider that you might, just might, be mistaken”.
            “try to have a little intellectual charity and humility”.
            This, to me, is the definition of pig-headed. Maybe we’re using the word differently. Either way, the statements you made there are what I was taking issue with. I pointed out that I’m perfectly happy to be wrong. You ignored this in favour of, just as you are accusing me of doing, picking out specific words and running wild with them.
            Either way, the arguments I’d want you to answer aren’t concerned with whether you called me a silly name.
            I do not consider the word “transphobia” to be like newspeak. Here is its very simple definition, found with a quick google search:
            “intense dislike of or prejudice against transsexual or transgender people.”
            The countless instances of violence against, or even murder of transgendered people? Transphobia. The only problem I have with the word, is semantically I guess it’s not really that accurate. Transphobic people aren’t scared of transgendered people. They’re prejudiced. Not the same. Either way, when people use the word transphobia, the above definition is what they mean. I think, personally, that cissexism is a better word, as it avoids the “phobia” part. Would you consider “sexism” to be newspeak? Cis is simply the word used for people who are not transgendered. Do you not believe transgendered people exist, or? Help me out here.
            To take issue with the word seems to me to evade the issue. Real violence is happening against these people. We need to name this violence, and we need to find ways to stop it.

            Other issues I’ve raised, which I don’t think I’ve got a solid answer for yet:
            1. Really, truly, I want someone to give me an answer here: it seems like the article writer is saying, and that you are all agreeing, that culture has no impact on how we think. This seems to me to be patently incorrect. Of course the media we consume every day has some level of influence on us, especially if said media has been surrounding us since our youth. It could be that I’ve read this wrong, in which case, I’m happy for someone to point out my mistake.

            2. The pre-rape issue.
            Sexual consent can be confusing. Sometimes, people think they have consent when they don’t. Sometimes, women believe because they didn’t fight hard enough, or shout loud enough, that they weren’t raped when they were. See my above comment, or a quick google search of statistics would also work. So yeah, I think sexual consent classes could be a great help. I was also pointing out the the writer has failed to differentiate between punishment for a crime not committed, and education. No one’s responded to that one yet.

            3. Finally, I’m arguing that I think the general consensus of many of these comments that students today are obsessed with suppression, and the banning of free speech, is clearly unfair. One example I did give – my campus voted not to ban Blurred Lines. As a generation we love our dystopias – from the Hunger Games, to Divergent. Dictatorships and oppression are clearly issues we’re concerned with. So I feel like this sort of generalisation is harmful.

            I’ve read plenty on Critical Thinking, thanks. I even did a module on it :p

            On the “loon” front, I’ll be honest, I just really like the word “loon”…

          • Alex Cockell

            if you look into the ideological underpinnings of the first Campus Rape Survey put together by Mary Koss back in 1984 – there were some discrepancies back then – and some problems in the way the initial data was captured. Have a look here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNsJ1DhqQ-s
            And here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKgrYVtYSCk

            Peer review etc seemed a little lax…

          • Isobel

            Hi Alex, thanks for the videos. I found the first one particularly interesting and well-articulated. Badly gained statistics are derailing, and those women at the debate are clearly not helping themselves or us.

            I do have a few points though:
            First, there is the obvious fact that though rape statistics are often misrepresented or badly gained (as with most statistics on these sorts of issues, really…), this does not negate the fact that sexual consent still needs to be discussed. Sexual Consent classes are still a good idea – I think it’s important to make sure we’re teaching teens and young adults of both genders to have a clear awareness of what constitutes consent. It’s obviously daft to say that having sex while drunk necessarily constitutes rape – I totally agree with the video. But it’s not uncommon for people to assume that just because a girl is wearing revealing clothing, or is drunkenly dancing near you, that she wants to have sex with you. “She was asking for it”. This is why people were upset with Blurred Lines, particularly the repeated refrain “I know you want it”. No, you don’t know she wants it. Not until she actually tells you she does.
            We live in a culture where the line “it’s consensual by the end” is considered a valid excuse by many for a graphic, horrific rape scene in a popular show. (Game of Thrones – Jaime and Cersei.)
            On the statistics front, though I do totally take the point, it’s also worth noting I think that many women are likely not to report rape, especially if they were drunk at the time. I personally have friends who have experienced this.

            For “real evidence”, here’s my uni’s “sexism on campus” page, where people anonymously write in their everyday experiences of sexism. Have a read, and then come back to me and argue that classes where people are encouraged to talk about what is acceptable sexually and what is not wouldn’t be useful. Just take a look at how many examples they get of women (or sometimes also men) experiencing unwanted sexual advances.
            https://www.facebook.com/spottedsexismatexeteruni?fref=ts

          • Alex Cockell

            Actually – Pharrell – who wrote the lyric is a feminist. “I know you want it” – is an observation. Thicke is actually flipping it… “The way you grab at me, must wanna get at me”… the line of consent is blurred – so he flips it. “Go ahead – get at me”.

            http://www.reddit.com/r/FeMRADebates/comments/1ydyph/whats_up_with_blurred_lines/

            And this comment from songmeanings.

            Ok I have to add my interpretation here since I only just heard that it
            is being related to rape. First off I am a man so of course that may
            affect my interpretation but everyone’s is affected somehow. Not to
            offend but I sort of equate women who have been raped calling out this
            song as being along the lines of PTSD flashbacks. Of course not that
            severe or anything but when you have been through something traumatic
            you tend to be alittle jumpy about it happening again. Like how a car
            backfire can set off an ex marine. It is not a gun but it sounds like it
            so it triggers the response. Like the “I know you want it” line. Yes
            rapists have said it but I have also said that to my wife when we are
            getting into it. Her response, “damn right I do” not “you sound like a
            rapist”. Context matters alot.

            Ok so that was the preface, here is the meaning I got from it. The first section with context is

            OK, now he was close

            Tried to domesticate you

            But you’re an animal

            Baby, it’s in your nature

            Just let me liberate you

            You don’t need no papers

            That man is not your mate

            And that’s why I’m gon’ take you

            What I got here, and this is important as it sets the scene for the rest
            of the story, is that she is a wild and outgoing woman who has gotten
            into a meaningful relationship and has settled down. However on this
            night that she meets him she is out showing her wild side. He is trying
            to seduce her by injecting the idea that she is still wild and she
            almost got tied down by this guy but she hasn’t yet and she should
            embrace her wild side again.

            So that is the scene that starts it, happens every night at bars. Guys
            trying to get laid even with married women. Then the next important
            line.

            But you’re a good girl!

            The way you grab me

            Must wanna get nasty

            Go ahead, get at me

            Seems like they are dancing and she is being touchy. He, like just about
            every guy, immediately interprets this as she wants to get nasty. Again
            happens every night at bars. Most night it happened to me too. Most
            nights I was also wrong, I went home dissapointed like 99.99% of other
            guys do every night.

            So I’m just watchin’ and waitin’

            Alot of critiques have related this to a stalker, but what part of this
            song leading up tho this implies any sort of a stalker situation. Again
            it may be the same sentence but it has an entirely different meaning
            based on the context preceding. My thought is that they are still
            dancing and he is watching her, again like it always is, girls dances
            with guy, he dances back like shit while watching her dance. Meanwhile
            he is WAITING. Now this is important to the rape nonsense. What does the
            word waiting mean folks? He is waiting for her to make the decision to
            leave her relationship and get nasty with him. Again, WAITING.

            No more pretending

            Cause now your winning

            Here’s our beginning

            I always wanted a

            Good girl!

            Now after all the seduction she has gone home with him. “She is winning”
            In his words she made the right choice. :Here’s our beginning” This is a
            critical line I believe because the line that follows it is “I always
            wanted a good girl” Now I would have said that this line means that he
            always wanted to make a notch on his bedpost for a good girl so he can
            brag about how he got a committed woman in bed. However the line “here’s
            out beginning” changes that. Because of that line I have to say that he
            means the beginning of a relationship. What guy would use that line to
            talk about a one night stand or a night of raping for that matter? This
            tells me that he was very into her because she is a good girl and he
            wanted to find a good girl which to be honest is a very hard thing to do
            in a bar. So he succeeded in getting her to leave the first guy for
            Robin.

            Now like I said earlier if you are looking to characterize this as a
            rape anthem you can. It definitely fits that if you want it to. I think
            my review is much more thorough and based solely on the information
            provided by the song. Which is key. If there were some sort of line like
            “come on just drink this” then I would be with you the whole way, but
            there is no basis for the rape claim in the song except for some lines
            have been used by rapists.

            To prove my point I could also very well argue that this song is
            promoting pimping. Where Robin is the pimp at a club trying to recruit a
            new working girl. He mentions specifically that he is a pimp, an
            irresistible one at that. At the end she is winning, possibly a
            reference to all the money she is making. What you don’t like work. That
            could be referring to her not liking her job and how having sex would
            be better.

            This is of course ridiculous but I am trying to show how given a
            preconceived notion you can find a totally incorrect meaning in just
            about any song. Like how everybody hears a love song in the intentional
            stalker story of every breath you take. Of course the final point here
            is let’s imagine for a minute that it is about rape. This means that
            Robin Thicke decided to do a song about raping a girl in a club. So much
            so that he got Pharrell Williams to collaborate on it, as opposed to
            the much more typical story of a guy trying to pick up a girl even if
            she is tied down already.

            http://songmeanings.com/songs/view/3530822107859454162/

            Sounds like “I know you want it” is to fit the metre of the groove – but is an observation in this case – “You appear to be into me – but I want YOU to make the overt move..”

          • Alex Cockell

            I’d agree. I’m on the autism continuum, but what IS confusing is when the dictionary is rewritten – so “equality” is actually some kind of Versailles deal.. and GenderFem calculus resolves to me somehow being “creepy” or “rapey” simply because I’m breathing… or something…

            What complcates things even more for me is that I was sexually abused by girls and silenced by them thrreatening to cry rape- while Steinem/Dworkin were screaming at me through the culture that somehow I was a rapist because male..

            I was one of the first ever people to receive an Asperger diagnosis in 1987.

            Hello cognitive dissonance and suicidal eating for 30 years.

          • Isobel

            That’s awful – I’m so sorry you had to go through that. One thing I would say though, is I think it’s a myth that feminists don’t care about female-on-male abuse. We’d argue that the downplaying of serious abuse from women to men is part of a system in which men are considered to be strong and lacking in emotion, and women are considered to be weak and over-emotional. That’s the sort of problematic thinking, harmful ultimately to both genders, that we want to counteract as a movement. If you find “feminists” who argue otherwise, then they need to really re-evaluate their outlook. I’m so sorry you’ve had to encounter these sorts of people. It’s another reason I think Sexual Consent classes would be so great – these are just the sorts of issues that could be talked about.
            Another point to bear in mind, I guess, on the women being scared of men front:
            as women we are constantly being bombarded with warnings against walking home alone, against dressing too suggestively, against drinking too much, against talking to strangers. We’re told to keep our keys in our hands, keep our heads down, walk fast, don’t talk, don’t engage, don’t do this, don’t do that. If we do get hurt – these are the questions we’ll be asked: did we follow all the rules? So it’s hardly surprising that women can tend to be a bit jumpy, or if we choose to cross the road at night when we notice a guy behind us. We know, logically, that most men won’t hurt us. But we also know that most men isn’t all men, and there is always that chance. We know that if this guy wanted to hurt us, statistically he would be much, much stronger than us, and we would simply not be able to defend ourselves. We know that on a night out, if we’re drunk, and we’re raped, our drunkness will count against us, and our clothing. We’re taught all our lives that we have to be on our guard. It’s unsurprising that we’ve obeyed the order.

          • Alex Cockell

            Guess what? The “feminists” (misandric radfems?) are the ones in power. Have a look at the statements made by Robin Morgan, Germaine Greer, Gloria Steinem etc,..

            What also confuses is the way that UK society was always more egalitarian than American, especially after WW2. Also if you consider that Warren Farrell and Christina Hoff-Sommers were both prominent members of NOW before Steinem charged in and hijacked the women’s rights and mens’ rights movements.. Steinem was previously CIA…

            There is a grass-roots attempt to retake and right the course that feminism should have taken.. Think back to how egalitarian we all were in the 80s… and were getting better.. CHS’s side of the debate was frozen out from the academic side. Hence how the laws have got completely skewed against men. And as one of the periphery – it scares me when effectively Valenti wants to garnish my pay because penis, Watson wants to enslave me because reasons, and Krista wants to kill me because biology.

            Sorry – if an ideology demonises a section of the populace because biology, that’s bigotry.

          • Alex Cockell

            Also doesn’t help that in actuality – we ARE a sexually dimorphic species, and as Lou Gramm says in “feels like the first time” – “it the woman in you that brings out the man in me” – the difference is one of the things that drives sexual attraction. and propagation of the species.

            Of course – it doesn’t help when you have a bunch of man-hating trans-exclusionary lesbians and other sociopaths driving the movement.. Look at http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/mallorymillett/marxist-feminisms-ruined-lives/
            for example.

            CHS and Farrell are both egalitarians; Steinem, Morgan, Greer etc are anything but. they are female supremacists – and came clean at Femifest 2014 (I was monitoring Twitter).

          • SexyIsntSexist

            “I think it’s a myth that feminists don’t care about female-on-male abuse”

            http://whiteribbon.org/domestic-violence-law/refuting-40-years-of-lies-about-domestic-violence/

          • Philip Edwards

            You contradicted yourself within a single post.

            “a system in which men are considered to be strong and lacking in
            emotion, and women are considered to be weak and over-emotional. That’s
            the sort of problematic thinking, harmful ultimately to both genders,
            that we want to counteract as a movement”

            “We know that if this guy wanted to hurt us, statistically he would be
            much, much stronger than us, and we would simply not be able to defend
            ourselves”

          • Hzle

            Yes saying that someone is “statistically much much stronger than us” is another curious, somewhat humourous statement.

            “I would pick a fight with you mate but statistically you’re not just much stronger than me, you’re much much stronger than me…only statistically though, otherwise I’d ‘ave yer!”

            But I think I might be statistically a tad more logical than Isobel

          • MagcargoMan

            It’s because RadFems will twist the situation to suit them no matter what.

          • Alex Cockell

            I suppose on the consent front, it’s the arse-about way it’s being looked at and being done, along with shutting down the objections in a “if you’re not with me you’re against me” manner (if you disagree with me you’re a misogynist”), and changing the endpoint without working through the cultural scripts…

            And when you have a full rework of cultural drivers – weaponising sex on one side but not the other – so sociopaths are genetically selected for… huh? WTF? (look back at Jong and extrapolate logically – the film Looking for Mr Goodbar covers it). Hence how Game/PUA was a reverse-engineered adaptation to that for STEM folks.

          • SexyIsntSexist

            “But it’s not uncommon for people to assume that just because a girl is wearing revealing clothing, or is drunkenly dancing near you, that she wants to have sex with you. “She was asking for it”.

            It’s not uncommon? What does that mean? The facts are that a majority of rapes are committed by a minority of people.

            Debate is good, but hijacking and controlling debate so narrowly is not. Which is exactly what radical feminists are doing. Because they are not after equality, but liberation from patriarchy. Not that they even have a clue what that might be outside of the guesses which make up radical feminist theory. And make no mistake, radical feminism is the orthodoxy today

            http://straightstatistics.org/article/how-panic-over-rape-was-orchestrated

            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/7442785/Rape-conviction-rate-figures-misleading.html

          • Neil Saunders

            You haven’t understood a single word I wrote, have you, Isobel?

          • Jas_9000

            I’m sorry but 1 in 30,000 men seek sex reassignment surgery. Optimistically maybe 1 in 500 or 1000 might be inclined. I’m not reevaluating my vocabulary to accommodate that kind of minority issue. We’d be awash in jargon very quickly if we took every edge case as the *most serious issue of our time*.

            We’d literally be unable to remember all of the jargon that could be produced by extreme minority predilections, conditions and disorders.

          • Dumah

            Just to note, you’re a tiny bit off with the statistics, there. Gates (2011) says that approximately one person in 300 in the USA identifies as trans*. The MBRFSS in 2007 and 2009 gets one person in 200, and Conway (2002) suggests athat as many as one in fifty have ‘strong feelings’ of being transgender, and between one in a thousand and one in two hundred actually take steps to transition (with Olyslager and Conway (2007) refining that to ‘at least one in two hundred’). There’s actually some anecdotal evidence that as many as one in ten people might have some feelings in that direction, though that’s highly speculative.
            Point is, it’s hard to measure, but it’s a long way from ‘1 in 30000’, unless you’re counting people who literally can’t transition because, for example, they happen to live in the DRC.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Come off it. Too much of the demand for equal rights actually means the demand for more rights and the right to shut down anyone who disagrees.

            Will you ever understand that you cannot FORCE people to change the way they might think, even if you manage to INTIMIDATE them into staying silent?

            You are becoming what you profess to campaign against. Bigoted oppressors.

          • Contra

            The most persistent violence against homosexuals is perpetrated by other homosexuals so lets not pretend that heteros are out there pounding on homos. Just like most crimes against black people are done by other black people. Mathew Shepard was killed over a bad drug deal, not because he was a homo. I don’t know anyone who goes around beating up homos but, to give but one example, I had a relative who had rage problems (common with homos) and beat his boyfriends up on a regular basis.

          • Erik Wedin

            “You all do realise that there is a difference between punishing someone for a crime they haven’t committed, and educating people so that they know enough not to commit the crime?”

            You do realise that crimes that cant be informed without expert educators explaining them are illegal in judicial principle since you are not supposed to need self styled “educators” to not be a fcking criminal and live a normal life?

            By the same logic I will now educate you not being a psycho. That includes not referring to criminal acts while you hate the police and the justice system without whom the word “crime” is as meaningless as Steven Pinker found out during Montreal riots.

          • JoeKing

            ….you all do realise that there is a difference between punishing someone for a crime they haven’t committed, and educating people so that they know enough not to commit the crime?…

            Right, that’s why there are all sorts of classes for women on how to act so they don’t attract the wrong type of man. No wait, we don’t do that do we? No, we assume every man may be a rapist and force him to endure ‘training;’ just in case he decides to rape.

            More feminist bs.

      • No Man’s Land

        You are right, I was a student 10 year ago and it was fringe. I now work in a university and it’s become all encompassing very quickly. Although, oddly, I think the people who actually believe this dogma to still be in the minority.

        • Kennybhoy

          Nothing odd about it man. Standard activist tactics is to seize control of the microphone and other available levers of control.

        • Colonel Mustard

          Silent intimidated majorities were a feature of East Germany. Just because people are forced not to say certain things doesn’t stop them thinking them. Or to believe the things they are forced to say. That is why the whole thing is so ludicrous but it is creeping in everywhere.

          I had to look up “cissexism” and still don’t understand it.

          • Vera

            Won’t be long before these types are running the BBC – maybe they already are.

        • nocussing

          The smart ones take advantage of this situation and make money off of it.

      • Dorothy

        Maybe in the UK this is new. My university campus in Canada twenty years ago was incredibly “PC”, and the only “safe space” for a pro-lifer like me was at the Catholic college. But even then the organizers of the “Homo Hop” were doing whatever they could to force the Catholic college student newspaper to sell them advert space. Eventually they got their way.

      • BoredInOxford

        I’ve seen cissexism twice in two days after never seeing it ever before.

        yeah, I don’t get it.

        • Contra

          The two most common online dictionaries don’t have this ridiculous term listed. I had to google it to find some nutjob homosexual liar explain it. Basically, if you trust your eyes and common sense then you are going to offend some extreme pervert as (s)he tries to become the opposite sex. Can’t change the chromosomes, I notice.

          • someone

            Right. Did you know that there are males born with two x chromosomes? There are also XY females. Are you suggesting that the XX males are actually female and the XY females are actually male? Why define gender as such? I suspect it to be a religious reason. If so, does an XY female have a male “soul”? should she resist the urge to sleep with men and only sleep with women as to avoid being a homosexual and an “abomination” in the eyes of god? What about XXY males? They have two X chromosomes, but also a Y. They are phenotypically male. How would you describe their gender?

          • Hzle

            Also XXX females believe it or not – I’ve met one who doesn’t know it* and now wants to have kids – she doesn’t realise she can’t…

            However it does seem that nature designed animals to have 2 distinct sexes – with chemical and biological mechanisms to ensure different behaviours for each sex – hence gender. Doesn’t always happen that way of course.

            There is a whole lot of “theory” made up by people to pretend otherwise, but its not science.

            *her mother didn’t tell her – but did tell me. Strange story

          • Bryan Tomlinson

            Also XXXX males, believe it or not. Generally Australian and lager than life characters.

          • Contra

            You conveniently forgot to mention that these birth defects are extremely rare. Perhaps I could mention that downs syndrome people have double the normal number of chromosomes. Does that also indicate a normality? Hardly.

            Yes, my primary reason for dismissing cissexism is my christian faith. This faith is a reasonable as well as a mystical faith hence why I first mentioned the obvious scientific problem with “transgender” baloney. God created a perfect world that became corrupted when man sinned. The corruption continues and the LGBTQ (I expect more letters to come) community is a prime example.

          • someone

            It is rare. It is also random. Im not saying it is normal, I am just pointing out a flaw in your definition of gender. simply basing it off of chromosomes is making a complex issue black and white and it leaves some interesting grey areas.

            also you didn’t answer my question. How should these people behave sexually?

          • Contra

            There is no flaw in my definition of gender. You are trying to blurr the genders by citing rare genetic birth defects. To answer your question, I would have to know a lot more about those birth defects. There really isn’t 60 shades of grey in this world, although I can tell you lean that way. Mostly, things are black and white when you are living God’s way. In Canada there is a CBC host who admitted he lived according to the book “60 shades of grey”. Now he is up on multiple sexual abuse charges. So much for blurring the boundaries.

          • Joanna Robinson

            At my university it was LGBTQQIIAA+. They eventually stopped adding letters and just added the plus in an effort to appease everyone.

      • fmf

        Having a complete breakdown vs. not tolerating debate about human rights issues are COMPLETELY different concepts. We CAN handle you “debating” abortion, but we’d really rather you not, because it’s not up for debate.

        • Simon

          I worry you might have missed the point about “dead dogma”…

        • A Person

          It’s a distinction without a difference. You are defending censorship and dogma-enforcement at a publicly-funded university. Moreover, you’ve shown yourself to be too much of a cowardly maggot to name what you are doing explicitly and honestly as what it is.

          • fmf

            Um .. I’m not in this article? You know nothing about me? Piss off?

            You shout “censorship” all you like, all I can hear is “why is my view now old fashioned? I’m hip and current, listen to me!! It’s the students who are stuck in their ways, not the person who still thinks abortion is up for debate, the students I tell you!”

            I pity you x

        • Hzle

          “because it’s not up for debate”

          Says who?

          • fmf

            Says you if it was your body people are debating about. I think you’d find you’d want a bloody say.

          • MagcargoMan

            I like how pro-death people like you mindlessly spout the “My body” line without a hint of irony when you also fail to mention how you also decide the outcome of a second body that isn’t yours (the baby’s).

          • fmf

            When you have children, if they need a heart, or blood, or an eye, or a liver, or a kidney, I expect you’ll be totally fine with the government whisking you into hospital to support them through an organ donation, no matter what, because you don’t have the right to decide the outcome of a second body that isn’t yours, right? I mean, you consented to having a child right? And it’s your child, so your responsibility really.

          • MagcargoMan

            Wow, you really are a sociopath if you think not letting you kill unborn children will lead to organ donation against your will.

          • fmf

            How is it any different? Use of your womb against your will, use of your organs against your will? is it because you’re related to someone in your womb? what if you were related to someone who needs an organ, what’s the difference? tell me magcargoMan.

          • Hzle

            Who’s using a woman’s body “against her will”? Nature, perhaps

            If a woman has unprotected sexual intercourse then many think she has some responsibility for what might happen, also a huge responsibility for the new life that has been created.

            That responsibility is difficult to handle – but I suspect part of the problem is that you don’t like men (or pro-life women for that matter) having a say in what your responsibilities are.

            But the fact that there is another life involved makes it more complicated than just “my body, my choice”. The reality is that you’re saying “somebody else’s body, my choice”

          • fmf

            If you catch a virus, and it uses your body against your will as an incubator, is it nature using your body against your will? Yeah. But does that mean we can’t treat you and make you better and return your body to you? No.

            What gives anyone the right to determine what other people’s responsibilities are?

            No one wants an abortion. We realise they can become babies and children if they are bought to term. No one who could easily avoid one would choose one, it’s much harder and invasive and expensive than contraception, in most places. But accidents happen, and contraception failures happen, and not everyone is prepared to bring a life into the world that they cannot support or see rot in a foster home. Not everyone is prepared to spend 9 months being responsible for that.

            Other people’s right to life do not trump our rights to our own bodily autonomy. We can’t be forced to donate organs, even to our relatives or direct offspring. Organs can’t even be taken from deceased people to help other’s live without express permission from organ donar registration schemes. If you were hanging off a cliff, I don’t HAVE to save you. Autonomy of already living and autonomous people trumps the life of a person entirely dependant on them, if that is what they choose.

            Not your uterus, not your “responsibility”, not your capability, not your choice.

          • MagcargoMan

            “Use of your womb against your will”

            Unless the child was conceived through rape, this is a ridiculous statement. If your child was conceived from consensual sex, you willingly had sex, which means you know the consequences of unprotected sex, yet apparently all these options weren’t chosen or somehow you tried multiple and failed: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control/

            “what’s the difference?”

            Time for some basic logic. Taking out an organ against your will means someone carved you up without your permission. Meanwhile, having consensual unprotected sex gets you pregnant if you don’t use the dozens of contraception methods available. Shocking, I know.

          • fmf

            Consent to pregnancy is not consent to sex. See my other comment. Planned parenthood supports abortion, because the rights to life of a foetus do not trump the right to bodily autonomy of the living. It’s just how it goes.

            Imagine if you had to be grateful for your mother for bearing you to term, instead of knowing she had no choice but live a celibate life if she didn’t ever want children. Because contraception fails. There is no 100% safe contraception.

          • MagcargoMan

            “but live a celibate life if she didn’t ever want children.”

            Hysterectomy. Tubal Ligation.

            All it sounds like to me is you just want to have unsafe sex and abort whatever child is conceived afterwards because birth control is too much of a hassle.

            “Imagine if you had to be grateful for your mother for bearing you to term”

            The sociopathy shines through again.

          • fmf

            Yeah, being grateful to people for sacrificing their bodily integrity to bring others into being…so sociopathic. Imagine respecting that. Imagine. Imagine respecting the power and the responsibility, imagine it being recognised as a choice and a sacrifice, instead of demanded.

          • MagcargoMan

            I assuming your mother shamed you every day for being born because that’s the only way you could have turned out this way. Goodbye.

          • fmf

            (No my mother does not shame me for being born but I am grateful for the sacrifice that pregnancy represents, because I’m not sure I would have made the same decision in her place, and I’d like to think she chose it and was not forced into it, despite falling pregnant with me earlier than planned.)
            But you’re right it’s better to agree to disagree here.

        • zombiekiller117

          Inter-uterine sausage making is a holy sacrament in the church of P.C, obviously.

          • fmf

            Actually, people’s right to do whatever they want with their uturuses/bodies and having full bodily agency is actually a pretty big deal to some people.

          • zombiekiller117

            Nobody is stopping woman doing what they want with her uterus, for example if you want a hysterectomy you can have one. Nobody is stopping you doing anything with your body however inter-uterine sausage making involves someone else’s body.
            As I said Inter-uterine sausage making is a holy sacrament in the church of P.C and any who want to disagree with it MUST be burnt as heretics !

          • MagcargoMan

            Where’s your child’s agency in having it’s potential life happen or not? Oh wait, I forgot about the double-standard “Muh body” peeps fail to mention…

          • fmf

            It’s not a double standard. A foetus is different to an independently living human. A person living inside you or through your body is different to a person who isn’t.

            If that foetus had a body depending on it for survival, it too would have “muh body” rights. As it is, everyone has bodily autonomy about what to do with their body, meaning no tissue or organ can be used without permission, by anyone, even after death we require persmission to use organs.

            Are you saying we get more rights to use other’s bodies for live when we’re foetuses than at any other point in our lives? Once we’re born we can’t requisition our families bodies to keep ourselves alive without their permission, why should we be able to do it before we are born?

            No one would abort a child if they wanted it. No one should be forced to have a child that they don’t want or cannot afford. Birth control isn’t perfect, neither are cars, it doesn’t mean that people who have accidents should have health care.

          • Hzle

            “A foetus is different to an independently living human”

            This does not make it ok to kill a foetus (as you imply). The burden is on you to show why this dependence on the mother means a foetus can justifiably be killed. And you can’t do so.

            In fact I doubt you’ve followed the many implications that far*. More likely you just naively plucked an argument out of the air that seemed to give the ok for abortions whenever the mother decides it.

            Perhaps, then, you’re just thinking what you want to think?

            * another is that you imply that being dependent makes it ok to kill someone – so what about dependent spouses, people in nursing homes etcetc? Another gaping hole in your argument

          • fmf

            You’re right with the second one. You’re not legally obliged to donate body tissues to keep someone alive, even if they depend on you, and you refusing will kill them. The death is a secondary outcome, the primary outcome is that you have the right to choices about your body.

            You’re not legally obliged to pay for nursing homes, or care for a spouse. If you left them, social services would pick up the slack, presuming you informed them (if you just left someone to die without even telling authorities, I imagine that yes, that would count as negligence and murder).

            You’re not legally obliged to donate blood to save someone’s life, even though they depend on you, even if they are a relative, even though it’s not that harmful. People have bodily rights, and they come BEFORE other people’s right to life, because sometimes, you have to choose. In all situations with born people, we choose to protect bodily integrity above the right to a dependants life, why is it different with abortion?

            Even dead people have to have previously signed an explicit consent form to donate organs.

          • Hzle

            You haven’t told me why it’s ok to kill the foetus.

            All your examples were of letting people die who were going to die without help. If a pregnant woman does nothing except eat, sleep & live as normal, the foetus will have a chance of surviving (at least after 8-10 weeks it’s chances get much better & if modern medical supervision is available)

            Abortion, on the other hand, is taking action to kill it. It’s a different scenario. So your argument is an specious analogy that breaks down* – therefore invalid.

            You’re welcome.

            * it also breaks down if you are assuming that parental responsibility is the same as filial responsibility

          • fmf

            Er, no it won’t. If a pregnant woman does everything normal, she will probably damage the foetus with alcohol poisoning, caffeine also damages it, also they need extra folic acid. Also, the foetus directly inhibits her ability to exist normally, due to the fact it forces her to feel very uncomfortable all through the last 4 months of pregnancy, reducing mobility to a waddle (in fact if you lift or move too much you can miscarry), squashing your bladder, disturbing your sleep, and even in the early months it makes you feel very nauseous, gassy, and screws up your vaginal climate.

            Not to mention at SOME point it will need to be borne…and that’s not exactly a safe (people still DIE in labour, even in hospitals), quick (my friend was in labour 22 hours), painless (they had to cut her vagina wider to help the baby through) or easy procedure, even with all the drugs that modern medicine offers. (And she WANTED this baby.)

            So actually, no, it’s not exactly “living as normal” carrying a foetus. It is a big deal, and if you had a uterus, I wouldn’t tell you what to do with it, considering that either option is a serious life changing choice.

            (Why? Parental responsibility to protect their children’s lives at the expense of their bodily autonomy, how does that require anything to do with filial responsibilty? )

          • Hzle

            “If a pregnant woman does everything normal, she will probably damage the foetus with alcohol poisoning, caffeine also damages it, also they need extra folic acid”

            Wow….Now we’re *really* on planet lala.

            If all this were enough to kill a baby, then you wouldn’t feel the need to argue for abortion. Of course it isn’t so I guess you’re conceding my point: that abortion is direct action to kill the foetus (that stands a decent chance of surviving otherwise), and therefore not analogous to letting a relative die by not donating blood – as you claimed

            Remember, your argument was:

            “A foetus is different to an independently living human”

            ..as though this justified killing it. When I questioned this you

          • MagcargoMan

            “If that foetus had a body depending on it for survival”

            So basically a life only matters if benefits someone else? How sociopathic.

            “Are you saying we get more rights to use other’s bodies for live when we’re foetuses than at any other point in our lives? Once we’re born we can’t requisition our families bodies to keep ourselves alive without their permission, why should we be able to do it before we are born?”

            No, but it’s interesting to see the logical hurdles you’ll jump to make such fallacious interpretations to justify killing developing-life.

            “Birth control isn’t perfect, neither are cars, it doesn’t mean that people who have accidents should have health care.”

            All I see here is desperate excuses for not wanting to use condoms or morning after pills.

          • Hzle

            “No, but it’s interesting to see the logical hurdles you’ll jump to make such fallacious interpretations to justify killing developing-life”

            Interesting but chilling. The abortion issue is feminism’s darkest hour

          • fmf

            no, that’s not what I said. Re-read it. If a foetus has a body depending on it for survival, the foetus would have the right to choose whether to support that body or not. The one being depended on has the right to opt out. The one which depends on the sacrifice of another does not have the right to force that sacrifice.

            So if we can’t use other people’s bodies when we’re born and “developed”, why can we when we’re pre-born? What’s the difference? What make’s a foetus so special? There are helpless and dependant people every day who die because they cannot requisition other people’s bodily organs/fluids/tissues, WHY do they have less rights than foetuses?

            Condom’s fail. Morning after pills fail. Morning after pills can be not easily available. What do you expect people to do once it’s past that point? It’s not so much excuses as it is a real necessity and problem.

          • MagcargoMan

            “The one which depends on the sacrifice of another does not have the right to force that sacrifice.”

            If I see you hanging off the edge of a cliff and I was the only one who could pull you up I’ll remember to ignore you because I would have to use my body arm to grab your hand. Livin’ the sociopath life.

            “So if we can’t use other people’s bodies when we’re born and “developed”, why can we when we’re pre-born? ”

            It’s almost as life pre-born life’s entire existence revolves around another body…

            “Condom’s fail. Morning after pills fail.”

            And yet there’s like 12 other contraception methods, so giving up after only those two isn’t trying hard enough.

          • fmf

            You would have the right to ignore me, it wouldn’t mean you’d HAVE to ignore me. It would be your CHOICE.

            Yeah, pre-born life’s existence revolves around another body, until it doesn’t, because it’s born. But born people require other bodies to live sometimes too, why are they not entitled to them? Because #NotAllBornPeople require other bodies to live, is that it? That seems very unfair.

            Coils fail, hormone pills fail, implants fail, injections fail. Contraception in general can fail. If a car was 99.999% safe, would you refuse medical treatment to those who got injured driving in it?

          • MagcargoMan

            “You would have the right to ignore me, it wouldn’t mean you’d HAVE to ignore me. It would be your CHOICE.”

            Lol, trying to justify letting someone fall to their death for no good reason. I’m sure it’d hold up in court.

            “Coils fail, hormone pills fail, implants fail, injections fail. Contraception in general can fail.”

            We get it. You over-exaggerate the fail rates to excuse how often you would abort you own children out of pure convenience.

          • fmf

            Trust me, you can do what you want with your uterus, and may we all be judged by own own “gods” in the end. But I’m not going to judge you, because it is first and foremost your own body and you have the right to refuse permission to use it.

          • MagcargoMan

            Forgot that other comment I just made a minute or so ago, and can I just say “fair enough”.

            It’s clear neither of us are going to reach some sort of agreement. It’s probably wise at this point to just part ways and not continue this argument between us.

            I’m sorry if I have offended you. No hard feelings. I’m just a very opinionated person.

          • fmf

            Okay, thanks.

      • Trevor Trust

        Student unions everywhere are completely compromised by this ideological refuse. A friend of mine has a daughter on council at her university and she is denied even having a VOTE much less a voice on ANY issue simply because she is white.

        I wish I was joking…

        • porcelaincheekbones

          she should threaten to sue under the Equality Act. should do it

        • Quest for Liberty

          I’m sorry, I can’t bring myself to believe you. Where is this University? And are you sure?

    • fmf

      Yeah, exactly. No one ever liked students. The author liked students when he was one, or from a romantisced age he wasn’t part of, but of course he doesn’t like them now, when he’s not one. He’s blindly self-unaware.

    • Rogsie

      They have. But then these oppressors are the biggest saves of all.

  • amir.sadbury

    Charles Powell on Bye-election, UKIP, Europe (on 26:40min);

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQ9W6wX2pLw

    • global city

      Do we have a special bond of community with Europeans that we do not share with others?

      One of my gravest concerns about the EU and this false ‘community’ is that they see Americans and Australians as ‘them…and attempt to force us to do likewise.

  • Maria Spirova

    While I agree that the culture of offense-taking and policing speech is on the rise, and it will have certain consequences if not challenged, I fear Mr O’Neill here is essentially just bemoaning the fact that his outdated, stupidly destructive views are no longer cool with the younger crowd. He is mourning his own youth when it was cool to burp beer, slap the lasses, be rebellious and fancy oneself a cowboy, standing proud and alone against a world of wusses.
    Boohoo, Mr O’Neill, boohoo. You may not realise it, but you have just done whar every middle-aged, out of favour, pseudointellectual has been doing for millenia – you have thrown you hands in the air and declared the next generation failed, wrong, mad and unfeasible. You like your own imagined privilege, but other people’s group privileged consensus offends you, because consensus offends you in principle.
    Yes, lad culture is infuriating to women and it kills you we are pushing back, no? Well, old man, learn to live with it, it is the new cool. You don’t have uterus? I do and I refuse you the power of telling me what I am meant to do with its contents.
    The whole point of this article is that you object to the evening of the playing field. The safety zones you so deperately decry are meant to protect the weak, but your type of thinking hates weakness so much ypu cannot swallow the idea of concessions being made to it. You bristle to realise that now you are the weaker party of the debate, easily outshouted and shunned for your laughable views, and you are panicking about losing your sense of entitlement. You displace this sad realisation in the most facile and unoriginal way – by demonising mass dissent with your views.
    Free speech comes with all sorts of effects and one of them is what you have been experiencing – you are entitled to your views, but noone is bound to agree to listen to them. Universities are the space of students where they shape the debate and who to admit to the same debate. Students don’t owe you a platform if they feel what you have to say is irrelevant and insulting.

    • DaveAtherton20

      “easily outshouted and shunned for your laughable views”

      Hoist by your own petard methinks, along with your cheap insulting remarks. You just want anyone with a contrary view is to be silenced. Are you opinions so shallow that they do not stand up to scrutiny?

      I would have thought that someone with a Bulgarian surname would know under communism what freedom and free speech is not.

    • Christian

      You agree with abortion up,to the point of birth then? Your uterus, your contents.

    • Anthony Scala

      Maria, you are obviously an extremely bitter woman. You do realize that when you attack the person and not the argument that you come off as ignorant. Btw, how do know what middle aged, out of favor pseudo intellectuals have been up to??? It’s obvious by your overlong post that it kills you that there are opinions out there that don’t align with yours. Boohoo

      • global city

        Immature is the appropriate description. Ironically, the desperate attempt to prove their grasp of world issues always exposes their sheer ignorance.

      • Trebor

        “Maria, you are obviously an extremely bitter woman. You do realize
        that when you attack the person and not the argument that you come off
        as ignorant.”

        Perhaps you should have thought harder before putting these two sentences next to each other.

        • Anthony Scala

          Why??? Simply a fact..I could go into more detail of course, but can’t put too much effort in responding to anonymous internet posts…And yes, before you bother to reply, I am aware there’s a name above her post.

          • Trebor

            You made an ad hominem attack on what you propose to be Maria’s personality, and then criticised her for doing the same to the author of this article.

          • Alex

            Ad feminam, surely

    • Moputabee

      Has this been written by an adult?

      • Richard Baranov

        My reaction exactly.

        • Dorothy

          No, of course not! It has been clearly written by an adolescent, and adolescents’ brains are not fully developed, as perhaps they ought to be told.

          • WirralBill

            Not even a particularly bright adolescent – but one, no doubt, accepted into Britain’s vast university industry where they probably think they’re clever…

        • global city

          No. She has clearly not spotted the pretty fundamental flaws in the constructs she has accepted. Pity is that one day she will and embarrassingly move on, only to be replaced by yet another idiot kid willing to be used as a dead brain for four or five years of their lives.

          • Alex

            And with so many more people railroaded through university (for a fee, of course), and 60% of them being women (what equality?), the feminists have even managed to grow their constituency beyond the 50% it used to be while they claimed oppressed minority status in the 1970s alongside the true minorities in ethnicity and sexuality.

      • Kennybhoy

        Nope.

    • JohnCrichton89

      “Students don’t owe him a platform”………….. people (should) have the right to free speech, not an audience.
      Students didn’t have to go and listen to this guy, more to the point. They weren’t just saying “we don’t want to hear what you got to say” they were saying; “We don’t want to hear what you’ve got to say, so nobody is allowed to hear it”.

    • Richard Vine

      Your argument is just as facile as my stating that because you don’t have a penis your views on rape are worthless.

    • No Man’s Land

      Five up votes, the rest of the exec committee must have logged in to read it.

      • Kennybhoy

        lol

    • David Paxton

      “but other people’s group privileged consensus offends you,”

      I am definitely getting old. I haven’t a clue what this means.

      “You bristle to realise that now you are the weaker party of the debate, easily outshouted and shunned for your laughable views, and you are panicking about losing your sense of entitlement.”

      Might is right?

      You seem to be lauding the ability to drown out a voice as opposed to discrediting it through debate.

      The termites really have spread. The scary part of this is that you are probably very smart and well educated. Terrifying.

      • mohdanga

        “You bristle to realise that now you are the weaker party of the debate, easily outshouted and shunned for your laughable views, and you are panicking about losing your sense of entitlement.”

        Yes, ‘laughable views’ such as allowing free speech and debate at institutions that us ‘weaker part(ies)’ ie mature people, have been told, in no uncertain terms by the current crop of students and administrators are bastions of free expression.

    • Dorothy

      So much to say. But, first, thank you for supplying a first-person example of what Mr O’Neill was talking about. Second, your tone is distinctly ageist, which is rather funny, actually–how old do you think Mr O’Neill is? Third, Mr O’Neill was invited to speak by Oxford students, whose idea of shaping the debate was to invite two interesting, well-known journalists, one of whom–Mr O’Neill–they strongly disagree with on the subject of abortion. Fourth, the topic was actually about whether or not a culture of abortion had a detrimental effect, not on your uterus or its “contents”, but on BRITAIN. Fifth, at the risk of sounding ageist myself, are you aware that the adolescent brain is not yet fully developed? Just something to consider when you are mocking those over the age of 21. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/the-teen-brain-still-under-construction/index.shtml

      • global city

        immaturity is the most obvious hallmark of all of these intolerant eyjits….again, just like those most fanatical in Cambodia and China, as “their minds had not been polluted by real life and human compassion”, as the leaders who unleashed the fanatical children onto the denounced explained it.

        • Dorothy

          It’s really very sad, though. On the one hand, parents hand over their children to the state to be educated and therefore abdicate their own responsibility to be the primary educators of their children, but on the other hand, becoming good unreflective disciples of the state makes life relatively easier on the children. Or does it?

          • Alex

            Not just the state, it is perfectly possible to become a good unreflective disciple of lucre, or a religion, or any other power base with an ideology attached.

          • Dorothy

            That’s true: the Jesuits used to say something like, “Give us the child for seven years and we will give you the man.” However, the old Jesuit curriculum was all about turning out deeply intelligent men whose Roman Catholicism survived the non-Catholic white collar work world, not about enforcing harmful state ideology. Sadly, today many surviving Jesuit schools are just as likely as anyone else to burn a little incense before the god of queer theory and any other little lares or penates of the state these days. However, this is a in-house Catholic problem. The overarching problem in the UK is that MOST children are educated by state employees whose loyalty will be first of all to the state and its educational philosophies, however crooked or crazy, and its “targets.”

          • global city

            You are right, but you do identify something that O’Neil neglects to mention. Most kids at uni, having to pay through the nose for the privilege do not take part in this nonsense, as they used to, rolling along for a sitin or whatever, mainly for the craic or excitement.

            This group may be extremely noisy but they are tiny,and represent nobody, not even on campus. They are a self selecting bunch of pseuds who represent nobody but each other.

          • Kennybhoy

            “This group may be extremely noisy but they are tiny,and represent nobody, not even on campus. They are a self selecting bunch of pseuds who represent nobody but each other.”

            Alas this is not entirely correct. As I wrote above the “problem is that it is a more popular narrative than you think. A substantial part of the population at large are complicit when it suits them…”

        • Kennybhoy

          “…as the leaders who unleashed the fanatical children …”

          Nazi Germany too…

          • global city

            Yes…all the evil loons have subscribed to the empty heads of children being exploited mercilessly!

    • gerronwithit

      Ha! Ha! The sanctimonious bleatings of the dissatisfied mingers who seek ideological revenge for being unable to take a joke.

    • garwalf

      “The whole point of this article is that you object to the evening of the playing field. The safety zones you so deperately decry are meant to protect the weak, but your type of thinking hates weakness so much ypu cannot swallow the idea of concessions being made to it. You bristle to realise that now you are the weaker party of the debate….”

      So let me see if I’ve got this straight. Your safety zones have been created by some authority in order to protect the weak and powerless–you and your fellow fragile flowers, I assume. These safety zones are necessary to even the playing field between you and your more powerful opponents–people like Mr. O’Neill–whose concessions you also require to maintain your safe spaces. And yet you say that Mr. O’Neill and others like him are the weaker party.

      If your power depends upon institutional protections and the concessions of your opponents, you don’t actually have any power. A safe space isn’t a citadel. It’s a quiet attic room.

      • global city

        or a padded cell!

      • Alex

        The idea of safe spaces is to ensure a consistent ideological direction from a broad-based support (“all women”). This expedites the feminist political movement. It also stops free-thinking opinions getting in.

        It is the pragmatism of the left; you once saw it also with trade unions, where everyone was pressured not to break the strike, and everyone coming into the industry had to join the union. You also see it in corporations: you see what happens to you if you talk down your job on social media.

        Suppression of dissent has some value, because people should be able to unite in solidarity to achieve a common interest (I have deliberately included a “cross-party” comparison with both the pursuit of profit and workers’ rights) and this may often involve ensuring members are focused on the bounteous long-term rewards rather than the short. Is it worth it? Sometimes.

    • ADW

      “you object to the evening of the playing field. ”

      That’s quite a poetic typo actually. All of us, at the close of play, surely rail against the dying of the light over the field …

      Back to planet earth. You write “Universities are the space of students where they shape the debate and who to admit to the same debate.”

      Rubbish. They come to learn, and amazingly, the precocious lot might find that external speakers and other adults might have something to teach them.

      “You don’t have uterus? I do and I refuse you the power of telling me what I am meant to do with its contents. ”

      I’m guessing you have never seen front line combat either. Therefore, you are refused the power of telling us what to do with our soldiers, we can invade who we like.

      You have never had a terminal illness? Ok, you are denied the right of telling those that have whether they should have the right to assisted suicide.

      I don’t have a uterus either, but I have a certain interest in them, one in particular. You are telling me I have no interest in the contents, even those for which I am 50% responsible?

      • Dorothy

        Oh crikey! I thought she DID mean the dying of the light over the playing field. It was the only thing she said that I thought had a smattering of original thought. But no, she means the evening out of the playing field. Alas.

    • global city

      and so the stifling idiocy and cruelty grows apace.

    • mandelson

      Perhaps that which was untimely ripped from your uterus will appear to you in the next life and ask ” why mummy?”

    • Seat of Mars

      Maria, I think you’ve got the wrong end of the stick on this free speech thing. Your right to free speech does not extend to intimidation and stifling the expression of opinions you don’t, or think you won’t, agree with. Indeed the whole point here is that this debate didn’t happen, so you don’t even know what Stanley or O’Neill were going to say. This is a profoundly immature approach to life. You are infantalising yourself and your peers.

      Your obsession with protecting the “weak” is a very odd motivation. Are student minds so childlike that simply hearing differing opinions will precipitate some form of mental breakdown? What will these fragile minds do when outside the “safe space” of University and in a world that cares not one jot for their sensitive opinions?

      Incidentally I am also a woman (or, in your cruder terms, I have a “uterus”) and this doesn’t mean that I must clap my hands over my ears when a man speaks on issues that concern me. The free flow of thought and ideas is an absolute fundamental to a prosperous intellectually engaged society.

    • Paul Cooper

      Ironically Brendan was going to defend the pro-choice position. But I guess you lack the reading comprehension skills to realise that. Or did you just assume he was anti-abortion, being a man? Seems like you’re prejudicially “othering” him. Off to the thoughtcrime gulag you go!

    • WirralBill

      “I fear Mr O’Neill here is essentially just bemoaning the fact that his outdated, stupidly destructive views are no longer cool with the younger crowd.”

      It should be easy to put him in his place, then, using reason and logic.

      Except that you didn’t, and couldn’t. Your attitude is typical of “authoritarian liberalism”.

      • Kennybhoy

        “It should be easy to put him in his place, then, using reason and logic.”

        See Isobel’s post above. 🙂

    • Alex

      Except the debate about abortion is not a live issue in this country, and hasn’t been for fifty years. It is an American import. You talk about the universality of the old guard disparaging the younger generation, but you ignore the universality of the younger generation thinking it’s the first one to ever have been enlightened and progressive.

      Men and women both have a hand in creating babies and taking responsibility for them when they are born. While there is unfortunately really no way round the fact that women have to have the ultimate say on abortion, so there can never be total equality, why in heaven’s name should men not even be allowed to talk about it without a woman there?

    • RightChuck

      Nasty self-righteous little fascist. Hope you choke on your own bigotry.

    • beckys

      As a person who also has a uterus (because apparently this is the one quality in today’s society that defines me), I find it disgusting that anyone would think that a man should not even have an opinion about matters such as abortion.
      At the end of the day, what I do with my uterus is my choice and I would live with the consequences. But whether you are a man or woman, when it comes to having a child you both become equals – a parent. It is not your gender that creates differences between you but your behavior.

      • Dorothy

        Yes, what is with defining women solely by our wombs? I thought biological determinism was definitely a mortal sin to the PC crowd. How is a woman defined after she has a hysterectomy? Transgender-not-by-choice? Ex-cis female? Differently middled?

    • Kennybhoy

      “While I agree that the culture of offense-taking and policing speech is on the rise, and it will have certain consequences if not challenged”

      Care to elaborate.

      “Well, old man, learn to live with it, it is the new cool. You don’t have uterus? I do and I refuse you the power of telling me what I am meant to do with its contents.”

      You were actually doing well until this. Blatant misrepresentation of the author’s intent. I would elaborate but I see that beckys has beat me to the punch below.

      This in particular,

      “..I do and I refuse you the power of telling..”

      is utterly chilling. Totalitarian.

      “The whole point of this article is that you object to the evening of the playing field.”

      This may indeed be a hidden motivation for the article but the ostensible point is about censorship. A point you rather too easily glossed.

    • rolandfleming

      He was invited by other students! What right do you have to prevent those students from hearing the debate? Nobody is forced to go. If you are worried about being offended, don’t attend. But for goodness sake don’t try to shut down discussion, that is the way of tyranny!

    • Kennybhoy

      Twenty up votes! The tom toms must be throbbing loudly! lol

    • Kennybhoy

      First ever Disqus post Ms Spirova ! Why am I not surprised!

    • Bram

      Typical. Bot comes in, once. Leaves turd. Departs. That’s it.

    • g1lgam3sh

      What are you?

      12?

    • Count Boso

      I don’t believe you’re a real person. I think you’re made up

    • Hzle

      “Yes, lad culture is infuriating to women and it kills you we are pushing back”

      No we just don’t like being told what we can say, think and do by political extremists.

      “You don’t have uterus?”

      The main problem with your logic (though there is absolutely no chance of you seeing this) is that you see a child as ONLY the contents of a woman’s uterus. One could interpret things differently and say that a woman has the privilege to carry another life inside her. That life is the most important thing in both parents lives and therefore a certain respect should be given to both parents not just one.

      People who argue your position want men to have zero power within their family, therefore please don’t pretend to be about “equality”. As Germaine Greer has finally owned up – that is a fraud.

  • skeptik

    What about one of the greatest scientific achievements of our time (landing a probe on a comet) derailed in the media over a friking shirt? What have we become?

    • Christian

      Cowardly and imbecilic is what we have become

      • Coniston

        Just as well that, in the 1930s, Churchill wasn’t denounced as Naziphobic and forbidden to make speeches lest he offend.

        • Fencesitter

          That’s probably only because he was an MP. Parliamentary privilege is one of our greatest inventions. Despite this, WSC was pretty isolated in his views for a long time. A lone voice in the wilderness. Even when he became PM, most people don’t appreciate how close we came to doing a deal with Hitler.

          • zombiekiller117

            Not going to war is bad because ????

          • Contra

            Right. So we did a deal with Stalin. A man responsible for millions of deaths. We should have stayed out of the war as WW2 was really a war between two socialist dictators fighting over land and resources.

          • xhare

            Oh my, don’t call Hitler a socialist dictator. That will make these youngsters uncomfortable.

            Remember, that during Churchill’s time socialist dictators were all the rage. Only Hitler’s later actions (WW2) caused some to question that groupthink. To this day, many haven’t given up on, and continue to defend, the Stalinist version.

        • Peter Houlihan

          That’s not all that far off what did happen. Opponents of naziism in the UK were pretty much ostracised prior to the invasion of Poland.

          • Colin Charles

            You guys remember “Soviet style” education? This is it.
            WWII started because Hitler took Germany away from the bankers. If The Allies really cared that much about the sovereignty of Poland, then Poland would have remained an independent country after the war. Nothing is ever done for virtue, or a greater good.

          • Peter Houlihan

            Well, I think the UK would have liked to see an independant Poland (don’t forget, they hosted the government in exile for decades) but they just weren’t strong enough to take on the SU after it became clear the occupation of eastern europe was permanent.

          • gregg

            “WWII started because Hitler took Germany away from the bankers.”
            i’ve read a bit about this. it seems ww1 was entirely a banker war, and 2 was the completion of it (for the time). do you have any good references that go into detail on this alternative history?

          • borisbadenovisback

            There are numerous books on the subject of bankers and their involvements in wars, beginning with the Rothschilds. The internet will help you do the research.

            However, if you want to understand America before, during, and after WW2, Diana West’s book, American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character, is indispensable.

          • Dr. Truth

            Please go to youtube & put in the search engine, “All wars are banker wars!”

          • Democide

            Very good video, must have seen it around a year ago. It’s recommend that everyone watch it.

          • Coniston

            The western allies were powerless to get the Soviets out of Poland at the end of the war. The Soviets had millions of troops occupying eastern Europe. Short of nuking Moscow there was unfortunately nothing we could have done.

          • Contra

            Ageed. But the British guarantee to Poland’s independence only applied to Germany. This was a secret part of the deal so Stalin would be given a free hand during and after the war.

        • Laerrus

          lolol

          He said things about the Nazis that he and his British Empire had been doing for hundreds of years…

        • zombiekiller117

          Yes, because had the Germans won the UK elite wouldn’t have been permitted to get away with child sex abuse, English girls would be pregnant to handsome German boys instead of Pakistani goat herders and we’d all be cruising on autobahns to get to jobs worked in beautifully designed classical buildings instead of 60 story monstrosities.

          • Coniston

            If Germany had invaded Britain they had plans to deport many millions of Britons (not only Jews) to work as slave labour in the Greater Reich. Anyone who had spoken out against the Nazis before or during the war would have been executed. Thank heavens the Third Reich was totally destroyed.

          • zombiekiller117

            Quit reciting 70 year old wartime propaganda and get real.

            Germany didn’t want war, and in any case had the Germans won the UK elite wouldn’t have been permitted to get away with child sex abuse, English girls would be pregnant to handsome German boys instead of Pakistani goat herders and we’d all be cruising on autobahns

          • Coniston

            I presume you are one of those (I thought they were extinct) who three times a day stand to attention, say ‘Heil Hitler’, salute the swastika, and sing the Horst Wessel Song.

          • zombiekiller117

            I presume you are one of those ( I hoped they were extinct ) who supported mass 3rd World immigration flooding into UK which lead to the rape of 1400 White girls in Rotherham.
            ONLY Anti-Whites defend the current situation in White countries.

          • Fergus Pickering

            Of course Germany didn’t want war. That was why they marched around armed to the teeth. It was all a matter of fashion.

          • Hzle

            “Of course Germany didn’t want war. That was why they marched around armed to the teeth”

            Heh. Yes the terrifying, formidable war machine, zillions of tanks, the luftwaffe….

            I suppose one could argue that was all intended to avoid war – until they started marching into country after country and making plans to exterminate anyone who looked as though they had a funny nose* and therefore might be Jewish.

            * they had a special nose-measuring instrument. Not making this up – completely mad.

          • Fergus Pickering

            I’ve always thought the germans were a bit mad. The nose-measuring instrument is right up their street. The EU is a mirror of what is wrong with them. The see everywhere ineluctable rules which must be followed. And of course the Stae is God walking on Earth. Only a German could have said such a silly thing..

          • zombiekiller117

            Soldiers generally marched armed, SILLY

          • Fergus Pickering

            No they don’t. Ours don’t. SILLY yourself.

          • zombiekiller117

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jp6AIukSPCA
            Not a rifle or sword among any of them, is there ?
            Actually USA is constantly war mongering so it seems all the guns are appropriate…..

          • Fergus Pickering

            A SWORD! Give the man a putty medal. There are also boots for kicking people to death and gloves for strangling people with.

          • zombiekiller117

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jp6AIukSPCA

            2nd Time,
            Not a rifle or sword among any of them is there ?
            Seems reality conflicts with your ignorance.

          • Dr. Truth

            3rd Reich was NOT totally destroyed, they simply moved to the US!

          • Angrytomato

            Stay out of adult conversation, little boy.

          • Contra

            HItler had no desire to invade England until Churchill started bombing Germany. David Irving has a lot of good info on this. I’m not a fan of Nazi Germany but they weren’t all bad and we weren’t all good.

          • Fergus Pickering

            Nope. They were all bad. Trust me.

          • Contra

            What I meant was that Hitler wisely moved Germany away from the Jewish banking system which restored the economy in a big hurry, created the autobahn and improved conditions for the German poor. Also, there were many people that opposed Nazism yet today we are told that all Germans were Nazis. Childish, don’t you think? I agree that most everything else the Nazis did was bad.

          • Fergus Pickering

            No of course they weren’t. But they knew SOMETHING naty was going on. Whether we would have been brver who knows? We didn’t do too well in the Channel Islands I believe..

          • Contra

            Agreed. But knowing something and doing something about it are two different things. I know Canada has no business getting involved in the Ukraine war but our jets are over there anyways. I know that freedom of speech is being ground to pieces by the PC police state but to fight it would mean losing every dime I have. I have a family of 7 to support so I can’t just think of myself. I’ll bet a lot of Germans were in a similar dilemma. Unfortunately sometimes evil triumphs and there isn’t much a guy can do. Think of Europe and the Mongol hordes sweeping through.

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          • Fergus Pickering

            This is ironic I trust. Are you suggestng that fucking children is something particular to the UK elite?. Do you know nothing about the roots of the Nazi party? Naw. You must be ironic

          • zombiekiller117

            Ok, you seem to want to defend the UK elite, are you also a pervert ?
            P.S The NSDAP held at least 2 purges where known perverts were put to death. Hitler loved the German people and viewed the German children as the future of the Reich, he had no sympathy for perverts.

          • Fergus Pickering

            You are a silly fellow. The word pervert used to be used of people who became Roman Catholic. It’s a siily word. You only hve to look at Nazi uniforms to KNOW they were stuffed with gay people. All that dressing up.

            The ‘purges’ didn’t have much effect. And do you really believe that a sexual predelict ion for young boys is found only in t he ‘British Establisment? Perhaps you have heard of Plato, Caravaggio, Christopher Marlowe, Or perhaps not. You sound fairly ignorant .

            I could not be a paedophile. I didn’t go to a public school and of course there were NO paedophiles at my Scottish school. Good heavens no! The very idea. I was propostioned by a dirty old man when I was in my wolf cub uniform (and very sweet I looked) but I doubt he was a memeber of the Establishment.

          • zombiekiller117

            Ok, you believe wearing Hugo Boss designs is a sign of immorality, from an the Anti-White point of view, sure.

          • Fergus Pickering

            Hugo Boss? Never heard of him. Is he an upper class pervert? You are obsessed! You should definitely get out more.

          • zombiekiller117

            Careful, your ignorance is showing, Anti-White.

          • Steven Stone

            Kind of funny because the Nazis where very strictly Roman Catholic up to and including hitler himself. If you didn’t attend the state approved Roman Catholic churches you’d likely find yourself in a camp in short order.

        • mikewaller

          To a considerable extent, he was. And the pro-Hitler Daily Mail was at the forefront of those trying to silence him.

    • gerronwithit

      Not just the shirt. According to, ahem, Breitbart, the thing could have had a nuclear power plant but the green lobby had them banned as being too ‘dangerous’. One ‘green’ scientist had proclaimed that this would highlight how solar energy would be the way forward here on Earth. Here on Earth as on the lump of rock if the sun doesn’t shine on the panels then there is no electricity and £1 billion does not go up in smoke as there is no energy to make smoke, so it falls ‘asleep’ forever.

      • Alex

        They ruin it for the rest of us who are open-minded but not single-minded about new technologies. Clearly we do need to invest in renewable energy: it’s increased energy independence, if nothing else, even if you don’t believe the oil will run out. But we also need to be moving to nuclear energy and be exploiting fracking. Instead we get a vicious polarised debate with one side chaining themselves to trees and the other guffawing at everything Clarkson comes out with.

        • William_Brown

          We do need to drastically reduce our dependency on Arab oil and Russian gas, so every possible option should be explored, developed and encouraged. Political dogma, from either side, needs to be left out of the energy debate – it’s too important.

          • fmf

            But political dogma IS debate…do you really think people go “I’ll pick a party, and THEN form all of my opinions on important issues based on what they tell me”? No, people have opinions, and the ones who share opinions/sides of debates are labelled as different political stances. At least comment with things that actually make sense.

          • http://temporal.pr0.pl/devblog Jacek Złydach

            No, that’s exactly what most people do. They pick a party that matches some of their beliefs, and then pick the rest of the beliefs from that party wholesale. Politics is a mind killer. Arguments are soldiers. If you’re disagreeing with some part of your party’s beliefs, it’s like stabbing your own soldiers in the back.

          • Fergus Pickering

            That’s not the way I work.

          • LiveFree

            THIS. Well said.

          • fmf

            This is just silly. Is it what you do sir? Then why do you think others do it?
            You may have to support a party that isn’t perfect due to the nature of democracy, this is not the same as swallowing it’s policies whole!

          • William_Brown

            Political dogma IS debate???….
            Think about that for a moment fmf, think about that.

          • Terry Field

            Give up. There is no hope…

          • fmf

            I know, I meant, it’s what happens in a debate stalemate. It looks repetitive, and stupid, but it’s an unfortunate truth of politics.

          • PrettyGoodYear1988

            “At least comment with things that actually make sense.”

            You just said that “dogma is debate,” which is a turn of phrase I think Orwell himself would be proud of.

          • Hzle

            Political dogma is not debate. All you need to say, like Branson, is that you support the right policies not political parties.

            Some people may function as you say – they shouldn’t.

          • fmf

            Product of debate, or a side of the debate then, or “what happens when you reach a stalemate in a debate.”

          • Paul Jennings

            “We do need to drastically reduce our dependency on Arab oil and Russian gas, so every possible option should be explored, developed and encouraged.”

            Isn’t that political dogma?

          • William_Brown

            No, it’s keeping an open mind with regard to our energy production, rather than being wholly anti renewables, anti nuclear, or anti fracking. Everything should be explored and developed thoroughly, without political prejudice.

          • Steven Stone

            I assume you are in the USA. The USA gets almost none of its oil and gas from the middle east, instead thats simply big buisness making money selling the stuff to europe. I think the USA gets around 35% or more domestically, about the same from the incredibly hostile country of Canada, most of the rest from Mexico and then whatever is left over from the middle east/australia/other oil producing countries.

      • skeptik

        Yeah that wouldn’t surprise me now that the probe has gone into deep sleep because the comet isn’t pointed at the sun…nice move guys.

        Who do we send the bill for damages to?

        • fmf

          The scientists working on the probe had contingency plans, they aren’t as feeble as you are. As the comet moves, the probe will come into the sunlight again, it just isn’t active right now.

          • skeptik

            well DUH of course it isn’t active now and we’ll have to wait until it comes closer to the Sun and rotates into the right orientation before the battery recharges again. Nothing a proper power source wouldn’t have dealt with.

          • Luke Laupheimer

            That “proper power source” you speak of is called a “battery.”

          • Dewayne Huntsinger

            What he’s referring to is an RTG (radioisotope thermal generator) it uses heat from the decay of plutonium to produce electricity. it’s about the only way to reliably power anything past Mars orbit, it would have been ideal for Philae but ESA has a virtual ban on them.

          • Korg

            Just throwing it out there – if that spacecraft had an RTG and had exploded in low earth orbit, wouldn’t about a million people have developed thyroid cancer within 20 years?

            There is a somewhat sensible “let’s not all die” argument.

          • http://eztv.it Dr Rob Johnston

            Errr … re: ‘wouldn’t a million people have… developed thyroid cancer …’ NO!!!
            Remember, Greenpeace et al predicted hundreds of thousands to millions of excess deaths after Chernobyl? They never materialised and even the ‘accepted’ excess death of toll of 4,000 from thyroid cancer is swamped by the number of cancers occurring ‘naturally’ and the huge extra mortality caused by the collapse of the Soviet health care system. Korg’s comment is another example of the WHO/UNSCEAR concern that the greatest sources of morbidity and mortality related to radiation are exaggerated claims by the ‘Green’ industry – which cause serious psychiatric problems, suicides and abortion of perfectly healthy foetuses by scared pregnant women.

          • Alex Fiedler

            You would be right to think so but all the RTG’s launched since Voyager in 1971 have been encased and are able to survive explosion and uncontrolled re-entry.

        • Guest

          “gnaaa you failed at landing a probe 300 millions Km from Earth, gnaaaa nice move guys” – seriously show some respect.

      • Solaire

        This isn’t really true. The reason nuclear RTG’s weren’t used on Rosetta/Philae is because we’re running out of the Plutonium-238 required to make them. NASA’s current stockpile of Pu-238 is just 36 lbs. To put that into context, the batteries for the curiosity rover’s mission to mars in 2011 used 10 lbs of Pu-238. Solar panels are simply more readily available, while still being effective (provided you don’t end up parked under a cliff face). http://www.wired.com/2013/09/plutonium-238-problem/all/ goes into more detail.

        • mikewaller

          It really is very naughty to upset these guys by giving them the facts. Indeed, it might make them feel uncomfortable!

        • Jimothy Russells

          NASA didn’t make the Rosetta spacecraft, it was the ESA

          • Solaire

            True, can’t let them take credit for this one! Though unfortunately the ESA doesn’t currently have much of an independent nuclear fuel capacity at the minute so it wouldn’t have really made sense to talk about them in my post – though they do have a few projects in development which will hopefully give us our own fuels for future missions.

        • http://temporal.pr0.pl/devblog Jacek Złydach

          At least one ESA scientist stated on Twitter that the reason they haven’t even considered RTG is that Europe has no RTG production capacity and experience with that technology *because of politics*.

          You can also hear that statement in the video from the press conference that is at the end of the following article:

          http://www.quora.com/Why-were-solar-panels-used-on-the-Philae-Lander-when-we-have-RTG?redirected_qid=2738543

          • Solaire

            I agree that there are political reasons for our lack of plutonium and therefore RTG production, but it seems likely these are financially motivated rather than environmental.
            The current Pu-238 production process is extremely expensive, while also being fairly inefficient. If you already have the facilities in place then that’s not so bad, but it would be difficult to convince european research councils to spend their already limited budget on creating new facilities.

            It would be surprising if the environmental lobby had any effect on this as we are currently developing RTGs with a cheaper but potentially more hazardous isotope (Am-241).

            The green lobby *has* held back our development of conventional nuclear power plants, but to suggest they
            are also behind this decision is misleading.

          • Steven Stone

            To be fair the nuclear industry is in the somewhat absurb position of having to throw away fuel rods with something like 90% usable material within them since to refine them again is basically the way to get plutonium for nuclear weapons, sorting it out from the still useful uranium so it is largely political in nature. Its not like they have a lack of ‘spent’ fuel rods after running some of these reactors for several decades.

          • Speedy Steve

            Now that NASA has become little more than an Affirmative Action feel-good program, I doubt the United States could ever put another government employee on the Moon.

      • goggyturk

        Or maybe it was because a solar power system is lighter (every gram counts when you climb out of the Earth’s gravity) and safer to handle on the ground.

        Are you speaking about the lander in this case? You are aware that fitting a nuclear power source to a machine the size of a washing machine will massively increase its size and weight?

        • BinaryWatcher

          Not really, no. The extant power system was something like 12.2kg IIRC. Depending on the design of RTG, a comparable nuclear power system would have been between 2-3 times that mass. For a 100kg lander, that’s not so big an increase.

          And the volume — the second most critical factor — would have been less.

          And yeah, I used to work in the US space program. I have a bit of experience in the subject.

    • Enders_Shadow

      The journalists reporting it were too ignorant to understand the significance of the achievement – or maybe their editors were – so they looked for a ‘relevant’ story which could rouse some controversy instead. Very sad.

    • fmf

      There are many elements to this. The media is made up of journalists, editors, and the public/consumer. So who are you blaming? The consumer? The journalist?

      Also, do you understand “derailing”? Because having considerable coverage about the probe landing AND also having articles about an innapropriate shirt IS NOT derailing, it is merely WIDENING the coverage of the event, which surely, is what the author of this article would approve of?

      • skeptik

        i’ve only one word for this : Stepford

        • fmf

          Fantastic! Labelling me completely gets rid of all my arguments!!

          And you could say that’s what “stepfords” do to their opponent’s, but the difference is, there are reems and reems of material where the issues they are “debating” are discussed logically and thoroughly. So where’s your logical and reasoned answer to me hiding? Or are you just censoring me because I disagree? 😛

          • skeptik

            Call me when you have something approaching an “argument”.All I’ve seen thus far in your comments is hivemind thinking and feeble attempts to shut down all real arguments…

            Classic crap like “we’d prefer if you didn’t talk about” X is the very antithesis of debate

          • fmf

            “The very antithesis of debate”…aw it’s so cute how bothered you are that the yoof don’t want to play with you.
            Nothing I say will count as a real argument to you, because you don’t want to admit that perhaps your views are over. They’ve been more than defeated in intellectual circles, getting another gas bag in to roll out the same wrong arguments is a waste of everyone’s time. You don’t want to admit it, but you are not relevant.

          • Colonel Mustard

            “Fantastic! Labelling me completely gets rid of all my arguments!!”

            No more so than a signboard with a skull and crossbones and the word “Minefield” on it gets rid of mines, but it’s helpful to know what you might be stepfording into.

          • fmf

            I think people can judge for themselves actually, without you telling them what to think about who I am, thank you.

      • Brogan75

        No, it really derailed.. A delusional bi*ch on twitter raised something foolish, and because internet is a great thing but has given freedom of stupidity (not just speech), that comment was all over. Wrong was the scientiest when he apologized.

        • fmf

          It’s the internet, there’s as many rails as you like, a new one with every thread! What you’re pissed about is that the rails EXIST. And that people noticed them. Sorry, but cartoon sex objects is not appropriate, especially when people already feel distanced from your field.

          If you really care about science, you’d want girls to know they are seen as more than T&A, you’d want him not to wear that shirt.

      • Thidran

        Inappropriate shirt =/= sexist.
        http://www.theverge.com/2014/11/13/7213819/your-bowling-shirt-is-holding-back-progress

        This is the problem I have with this style of coverage. It relies heavily on power words, and waters them down in the process. Why is that bad? Whenever actual problems come around which will actually NEED said power words, they won’t be given their due weight due to overuse. That fair enough? This one was just the earliest, which kicked off shirtstorm.

        Don’t even get me started about the journalist himself.

        • fmf

          You’re uncomfortable with definitions of words evolving. Sexism is a system, the shirt is a tiny part of a much larger system which together creates the power of the word as you see it. Just because there’s more press now and you hear about these micro aggressions now, doesnt mean they aren’t related to the bigger sexism that you heard about before.

          • Thidran

            I’m uncomfortable with stretching the bounds of definition to meet ideological goals. See the conflation of institutuionalized racism/sexism with racism/sexism nonsense. Want another example? The abuse of rape by conflating it with things that aren’t rape(Even if they’re heinous themselves). There is evolution, and then there’s intentional mangling in order to score points. Worse still are those that abuse ambiguities in language in order to tear down others. http://kazerad.tumblr.com/post/99894002228/words Personally, I like this piece to explain a bit on language.

          • Hzle

            Really excellent points.

            Words sometimes evolve, and sometimes fanatical groups attempt to hijack the meanings of words. Words like “racism”, “sexism”, “misogyny”, and “hatred” are so politically powerful that various people try to redefine them to suit their own cause, then pretend that everyone agrees with them.

            We’ve all noticed that politicians never answer the question, and never make an unambiguous promise. Vague language is their bread and butter. Same with the people who pretend that gender roles = stereotypes = sexism = misogyny. These are the worst kinds of fools and liars

          • fmf

            1. Rape culture is not claiming to be equivalent to rape, nor diluting it. It’s simply about accepted mindsets that are condusive to rape. (e.g victim blaming, saying men’s sexuality is overpowering, etc.)

            2. Racism/Sexism…with education, it becomes clear that being aware that someone is something is not why racism or sexism matters. It matters because one class was oppressed. Just because that message has been lost/hidden because it’s more comfortable to think no-one is privileged, doesn’t mean it’s not true.

          • Thidran

            1. Rape culture is prevalent in specific places, but it has been stretched to its’ current definitions. It was first coined in the 70s in prison due to men raping other men. “It’s a culture of rape”. Remember that? Maybe you should think about how prison rape is a joke nowadays that certain feminists even indulge in. It’s because of mangling it into something it’s not.

            2. Racism/Sexism? Once again, you’re confusing racism/sexism with institutionalized racism/sexism. If you’re talking about oppression though? Groups have been oppressing other groups over the centuries. If you wanna focus on the institutionalized bit, a good lesson you can take from it are from the Irish. People claim that white people can’t be oppressed? Look to them as an example.

          • fmf

            1. No, you’re wrong actually: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_culture#Origins_and_usage

            and only very ignorant feminists would joke about that.

            2. I know, it’s fascinating. But the Irish were oppressed by the English, I.e, OTHER WHITE PEOPLE. In today’s culture, is easier to be white than black or brown, simple as.

    • Simon Fay

      “What have we become?”

      Not we – them.

      • http://www.doodlesinanimation.blogspot.com Annie T.

        We’re all human.

        • TJLeeWilliams

          Speak for yourself. I AM LIZARD! *slurp*

      • Falconfly

        Actually, you, since you’re taking this edgy manchild’s idiotic rant at face value, without examining why he’s an utter hypocrite.

        • Simon Fay

          You’ve been a busy boy today. No gardener up at the manor to lecture?

          • Falconfly

            Love it how you fail to address my point. Alas, I’m most curious about that specific insult. Projecting something? After all, you do seem like a redneck…

          • Hello45678

            As somebody who knows people that refer to themselves as rednecks, I can tell you that they are far more capable of logical argument than you are. Just let that sink in as you consider the words ‘ad hominen’.

        • Ryan McCoy

          So why is it, one of such high intellect, that he is an utter hypocrite? Enlighten us feeble minded degenerates.

          • Falconfly

            I’ve already posted a comment here explaining why, but it basically boils down to him doing the exact same thing as the feminists he’s criticising.

          • guillermobernard

            WTF?

          • Ryan McCoy

            That is not an explanation by any objective standard.

        • Hello45678

          I’d hardly call this an idiotic rant. After looking at some of your comments you’re an utter keyboard warrior and fall into the class of people that prompted the writing of this article.

          I personally don’t give a shit about people like you because I spent my first 2 years of university travelling and setting up businesses instead of complaining against every aspect of society.

          My university has been ruined by people like you, but I’ll have the last laugh:

          In all your complaining and hyped up political correctness, you just hide the fact that your life is completely and utterly average.

    • Inverted Meniscus

      What was so irritating was that the guy apologised for wearing a shirt!!! He should have told his critics to FO squared.

      • FelipeBudinich

        He was *forced* to apologize.

        • Ria

          you cannot, technically, force a person to apologize the way that you can, say, force a boulder up a hill. (humans have a choice. a boulder has none.) but he did know the consequences should he refuse.

          • xhare

            Forced apologies are still considered a victory. A victory for their totalitarian impulses.

        • Hzle

          Maybe, but his female friend who made the shirt (and is now inundated with requests for the shirt – is now talking about maybe giving some money to a grant for women in STEM sciences.

          One comment on her blog noted that there are already special grants for women in these fields – basically a form of discrimination in their favour.

          I was half thinking about buying the shirt – but I don’t think I will do now. I wish he had not apologised so cravenly

      • Jankers

        a lifetime of rational decision making based on empirical evidence and his mighty melon was blown when a woman criticised his dress sense.

        • borisbadenovisback

          LOL Boris will borrow this non-trademarked opinion!

          This also makes one wonder just how rational those decisions were and what type of empirical evidence he used!

      • Matt Bloggs

        He had about as much choice as your average North Korean.

      • Speedy Steve

        Quite frankly, I’m glad you’re offended. Now Virgin are looking for rocket scientists. Bye y’all!

        • Inverted Meniscus

          Silly person.

          • robbydot

            Prat, more like.

      • Fergus Pickering

        Indeed he should have.

    • Keated

      1) The media wasn’t all that interested in following this story until that point anyway. I find that significantly more upsetting.
      2) Do you at least understand the objection to the shirt, or like so many others I’ve seen is this simply a kneejerk?

      • skeptik

        Well the media is only interested in the promulgation of pseudo-marxist thought (and I’m from a left wing background), it’s a race to see who will win the oppression olypmics, in fact there seems to be a scale of “oppression” these days and down at the bottom are the ordinary people.

        So having said that…the media aren’t interested in much these days. Well the shirt was awful, a fashion crime perhaps but then he’s a scientist so nothing less could be expected.

        My gripe is that SJWs are always saying don’t criticize us for what WE wear (or don’t wear), don’t look at us and then go naked and jump up and down in frustration because no one is looking at them.
        So they don’t like being told what to wear and then they gang up on a guy for a tacky shirt, some perspective and logic is required here.

        “One rule for me but not for thee” is NOT the way to run a civilized society

        • Keated

          The media is Maxist? Okay, seriously, in which country do you live? From the UK’s constant coverage of Farage’s UKIP party without asking blindingly obvious questions and eating up neo-liberal bullshit, constantly ignoring the increase in true alternative parties like the greens, to the USA’s ridiculous media circus around everything, you would be hard pushed to find a truly left leaning mainstream media outlet.

          So, in answer to point 2, basically ‘no’ then. And a dig at scientists too. I take it science isn’t your profession then?

          Oh good, THIS argument. It’s NOT ‘one rule for me but not thee’ because the ‘rule’ is simple: Don’t objectify people. This tends to happen more to women, because of the overall balance of power ingrained into society.

          In the former case, it’s about victim blaming mentalities, and claims to attempt to excuse rape after the fact. In the latter, it’s about making the world of science look less welcoming to women, a world which already has a massive gender disparity between men and women. STEM fields have been trying to rectify this, and wearing a shirt like that directly contradicts that. Do both of these things involve clothing? Yes. Is that the REAL focus? No. Anyone who tries to tell you it is is either mistaken or deliberately trying to distract you.

          • skeptik

            How did I guess you were going to come out with that nonsense…the BBC is a spokesthing for the Fabian Society.

            Blah blah blah oppression

          • Keated

            Really? That MUST be why UKIP gets so many appearances on Question Time compared to, again, the greens. Obviously UKIP are the left leaning ones.

          • skeptik

            I lost interest after you started on the “oppression” olympics

          • Keated

            Which part would that be? The part where I used facts to demolish your ridiculous premises? The part where I took you apart with simple logic? Or the part where you were unable to answer a simple question?

          • skeptik

            a fact is verifiable you know it’s a FACT not some delusional stuff you just made up…Thanks for playing you’re a real stepford

          • Keated

            Farage Question Time appearances: 14
            Benett (Green party leader): 2 (harder to find a definitive count, so feel free to correct me if I’ve missed some)

            No, no, clearly I see fit to make these things up.

          • Gwangi

            Because UKIP and Farage and overturning the whole basis of British politics – whereas the Greens, well… Who’s their leader again? Noddy? Or a commune of pixies and elves?

          • Keated

            Overturning? Torie Party 2.0? Really? Their policies, such as actually exist (they currently have no manifesto, because whenever they DO people read it and work out what weapons grade bollocks it is) are generally just extensions of current government policies, even the particularly racist ones (don’t forget the ‘go home’ van in London a while back)

          • Colonel Mustard

            Maybe if she was wasn’t so whiny and irritating she’d get on the panel. Lucas never seemed to have a problem.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Don’t objectify people in the sense of images of women on a shirt sounds like the Taliban. I have a tie with penguins on it. Is that ok or am I in danger of “objectifying” them? I’m not sure whether they are male or female or how penguins might feel about it, even if we could ask them ALL.

            The images were not even photographs but almost cartoons FFS.

            Christ you people are scary. Like something alien and po-faced from a 1950s sci-fi movie.

          • mohdanga

            I’m wondering what the femin*zis and continually offended brigade would have thought about WWII bombers having stencils/paintings of women on them? Just another example of men perpetuating the massive disparity between men and women pilots in Bomber Command/USAF one would expect.

          • Keated

            Gonna have to call Godwin’s Law on that one, champ, but thanks for playing.

            As for the latter, if you’re unable to accept that someone can do something praiseworthy, whilst at the same time calling out problematic elements within that, well, frankly I feel you’re a good 10 years to young to be trying your hand at debate.

          • mohdanga

            Another dopey response from a ‘progressive’. Please try harder. Aren’t you progressives always on about the ‘fascist right’??
            Yes, wearing an innocuous shirt certainly is cause for alarm. All sorts of ’empowering’ female celebrities flaunt it all for the crowds yet this is a show of how ‘liberated’ they are. Now back to your social studies course. Carry on, Mr. Mensa.

          • Keated

            In my experience? No, honestly. YMMV.

            As for the latter, I suggest you look up the word ‘agency’ in this context. Therein you shall find your answer.

            As for your attempt at an insult, I have a masters in engineering, a masters in physics and am about a year away from being a doctor of physics. GGWP.

          • mohdanga

            And all that education hasn’t instilled any common sense but has allowed you to toss around trendy acronyms. Yawn. Carry on.

          • Steven

            It is decades after being awarded the doctorate that one realises how little one understood. Humility comes with age.

          • Brogan75

            And still know nothing about life.Irony.

          • Angrytomato

            Name your schools…that way we can know which ones hand out degrees like candy.

          • Jim

            He’s “called Godwin’s Law”.
            That means he doesn’t have to respond.

          • Smell the BS

            ‘Problematic’ – they love that word, don’t they?

          • Brogan75

            post a picture of the penguins tie on the internet, on a public site, wanna bet some animal-terrorist will start a campaign? yes they ARE scary. 1984 was written against these kind of people.

          • Keated

            Mhmm, your delusion is delicious.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Au contraire, it appears that you are the strange deluded one but your delusions are far from delicious.

            Zero sense of humour too. In the 17th Century your sort used to stomp about looking for jesuits and Christmas trees and burning witches.

          • Jake Martinez

            This is the most ridiculous concept – Can you even explain what depictions of women are objectifying and which ones are empowering? Please attempt to do so that we can rip whatever tripe you come up with apart in a million pieces.

            Your subjective right to be offended does not actually matter. It means nothing. The very idea that your interpretation of a piece of clothing has any impact on other people’s interpretation, or that they even need to ACCEPT your interpretation is the height of hubris.

            It’s no wonder that so many people like yourself are such amazing racists. Your inability to empathize with differing points of view is a hallmark of your type of thinking.

          • Keated

            Objectifying – the reduction of someone to an object status. This often includes images which do not feature their whole body, focus on sexual parts or use them as a stand in for actual objects.

            Empowerment, as a general rule, requires agency.

            Accept it? No. BE AWARE of it as what is effectively for a minute or two the spokesperson for an entire branch of science, an ambassador to those who may be taking the first steps towards joining that field? Yeah, that. It’s not exactly asking much. Taking 10 seconds to think ‘is this a good idea?’ in those situations seems entirely reasonable.

            Ah yes: ‘Do you think that people should have equal opportunities? Yes? You racist!’

            Dudebro, do you even logic?

          • Jas_9000

            You’ll also hear that it’s sexist to give female characters agency that involves male traits. Sarkeesian makes exactly that point about television characters. She simply objects to almost everything and that’s not a viable standard for society. Characters and art usually deal with specific individuals. They aren’t meant to represent an entire class of people.

            Artists should not be required to pass under Orwellian supervision to present their vision.

          • Keated

            To a certain degree, insinuating that a female character can only have agency through male attributes IS sexist though, or are you so blinded by your own dogma that’s not fairly obvious?

            They wouldn’t HAVE to represent a whole class of people if there were more representation.

          • Slava

            Whoa, that’s not what he said. He never said the characters can “ONLY” have agency through male attributes. He was talking about cases where the agency involves some male traits. Involves =/= Only.

          • Jas_9000

            First, I didn’t say only. Secondly, male traits in this case are defined by Sarkeesian to include strength, violence, stoicism, competitiveness, rational, decisive, non-nurturing and dominant. Some people will not accept that these stereotypes should be used in this way.

            Her thesis is arguing for a specific direction for female portrayals. One that reflects her own political views and her own feminine ideal (emotional, nurturing, cooperative). Which is great for….her. Other women would disagree. My point is that just because someone talks about gender representation doesn’t mean they are doing so without their own biases.

          • PhoenicianRomans

            Objectifying – the reduction of someone to an object status.

            The pictures on the shirt weren’t people. They weren’t even pictures of actual people. They were freedrawn illustrations (by a friend of his, a woman).

            There was no “someone” being reduced to an object status. If you have proof Dr Matt Taylor actually *does* reduce ACTUAL women to object status, would you care to present it?

          • Keated

            I must have missed the point where I said they had to be flesh and blood people. Of course you can objectify a character, or make one for the sole intention of objectification.

            At what point did I accuse Dr. Taylor of anything besides a lapse of judgement?

            Perhaps you should set fire to your strawman, so we could have a discussion about the points I ACTUALLY raised.

          • PhoenicianRomans

            I must have missed the point where I said they had to be flesh and blood people.

            Well, thank you then for raising our awareness of the problem faced by imaginary people who are objectified. I’m sure we all feel for their pain.

          • Keated

            Imaginary people matter, culturally though. For example, more people would be upset if (when) Batman dies than they do if actual people are actually dying of starvation or disease, or at least, they’d care way more.

            Representations thus do matter.

          • PhoenicianRomans

            Imaginary people matter, culturally though.

            Oh yes, and it must be terrible for them when, as you said, “they are reduced to an object status”. The pain Batman must go through when someone thinks of him as a thing rather than an object. Or the agony Wilma Flintstone must suffer knowing there’s actually porn featuring her naked body out there – without her permission. She’s probably got PTSD from it.

            Truly – thank you for reminding us of the feelings of the imaginary women on Dr Taylor’s shirt as they are subject to objectification by him. Your commitment to Social Justice is inspiring.

          • Anonymous

            You should be forcibly injected with thorazine.

          • Adam Peak

            Loads of people choose to be objectified. Colonel Sanders never had a problem with it. Your trouble is you think women are too stupid to think for themselves. It never occurs to you that many women (and men) enjoy dressing up, or even undressing, for fun, turning images of ourselves into objects (I prefer the word “icon”, but it means the same – a depersonalised image).
            Your problem is that you’re LOOKING for trouble and therefore see objectification as a negative thing, when it’s just not. It’s like saying eating a lollipop is offensive. It’s just an activity. Some women like being naked (as do some men), others like looking at photos of this. As long as all parties are happy to go along with the game, where on earth is the issue (other than in your diseased mind)?

            “Objectifying – the reduction of someone to an object status. This often includes images which do not feature their whole body, focus on sexual parts or use them as a stand in for actual objects.

          • Keated

            Psychologically speaking, and there has been actual research on this, long term exposure to objectifying material can lead to forms of self objectification. That, to me, isn’t exactly a sign of liberation but rather of being beaten down by systematic propaganda.

            And your problem is that you apparently lack nuance. Hand me a cup of water while I’m sat at my desk, and even if I’m not thirsty I appreciate the gesture. Hand me a cup of water while I’m drowning and at best you can expect a few expletives with my last breaths 😛

            Ah, it seems we’ve stumbled into the ‘not being able to objectify women freely whenever and however I want is the same as feminists hating all forms of sex!’ argument. Please, feel free to continue. Maybe at some point you’ll actually respond to a point I’ve actually made, rather than skimming and then making up your own?

            Diseased mind? Pretty weak ad. hom. there dudebro, pretty sure my mental capabilities are well within a couple of standard deviations of the norm, likely on the upper side.

          • Adam Peak

            OK, I’ll play…
            Your first para reiterates your apparent belief that self objectification is negative. I don’t think it has any inherent positive or negative value. It’s like saying walking or talking is inherently positive or negative. It’s just a human activity. Like abseiling or stamp collecting. In the same way that abseiling can potentially be dangerous, it doesn’t have to be so, adverse effects can be minimised with care and education, and above all people have the right to choose whether to do it or not. Ditto self-objectification.

            As a male who has a DJ identity,self-objectification is something that gives me pleasure and fulfilment – instead of representing myself as a person, my DJ identity is an iconic, objectified representation of certain cherry-picked facets of who I am. I choose to do it. In this example, I am no different from the woman on the t-shirt who allowed an iconic image of herself to be captured and used to sell clothing. As long as she got paid what she wanted for her efforts, more power to her elbow!

            Maybe people can be influenced by the objectification of others, but it makes us happy, it doesn’t hurt anyone and maybe even entertains a few people rather than haranguing them. So if I enjoy self-objectification, why shouldn’t any woman?

            It’s not that I even really care passionately about defending the right of males to look at pictures of naked women, I feel you’re missing my point (maybe I’m not explaining it clearly). What makes your mind diseased ON THIS SUBJECT, and I don’t mean it as an ad-hom, I’m just highlighting the flawed thinking that leads to your point of view… is that you are assuming passivity, if not downright victimhood, on the part of the woman being objectified. You are assuming it’s being done systematically and deliberately with the intention of doing harm to that woman (if not all women).

            I fundamentally view it as flawed thinking to deduce that erotic pictures of adult people, who have voluntarily taken part in the production of these pictures, is in any way a social problem. I don’t believe it is and I don’t think (yet) you have been very successful in persuading people that this is something wrong. Most people seem to think it’s harmless and I don’t think you’ve done a good job of explaining exactly how this does any harm in the world.

          • Anonymous

            All “research” involving feminism is academic fraud. Death to your research. Burn down women’s colleges now!

          • Slava

            Alright, so if the UN Women’s Ambassador goes for a big speech, and wears something too revealing, let’s say, then am I right to criticize her because she is a public figure, and during such an import speech, should have thought “is this a good idea?”. No, of course not. It’s the same with this.

            And objectification is interesting. Are we no longer allowed to sexualize any human being? I can find something sexual, and also as human. If I find someone attractive, I don’t immediately think they have no other qualities. That’s not how that works. A depiction of female sexuality is not an implication that they have no other qualities, just like a depiction of someone’s athleticism or intelligence doesn’t imply that they have no other qualities.

          • Anonymous

            “people” who use the term dudebro deserve to have their so-called equal rights taken from them. no free speech for me, no free speech for thee

          • kovácsné

            If I may add something: the uproar about the bloody shirt was ridiculous, the same way uproars about bare tits in tabloids, or juicy ladies in advertisements are ridiculous. But take a look at all these things together. My daughters (9 and 10) have obviously no concept about feminism (thank god…) , yet they ask me things like “is it uncool to wear glasses? Ladies on posters never do!” “Is it true that only women with big tits are cool?” and so on. (And they don’t even watch TV night and day (: ). I can handle these questions, no problem. But many can’t. And while it is not my problem, it is in fact my problem, with the kids surrounded by a world that teaches one thing and practices something completely different (:
            These images and ideas pouring on you from everywhere since early childhood won’t directly make you a rapist or a half mad teenager with bulimia, just change your perception about yourself and others. You won’t necessarily hurt others or yourself physically as a result, but nevertheless you can make life very uncomfortable for everybody, including yourself. Whenever human beings (not necessarily women, but humans in general) are considered by others as inanimate objects without emotions or an actual brain, it gets a bit worrying. This is where the author is right, by the way: the ONLY way to sort this out is by open debate.

          • mohdanga

            “In the latter, it’s about making the world of science look less welcoming to women, a world which already has a massive gender disparity between men and women. STEM fields have been trying to rectify this, and wearing a shirt like that directly contradicts that.” Good grief, one scientist wearing a shirt the do-gooders don’t like and this is another example of males oppressing women in the ‘wrold of science’.

          • Keated

            Indeed, the wrold of science ( 😛 ) has a great many issues like this. That’s the thing – most of them aren’t that big, but nor’s a single drop of water. Give someone enough, however, and they can drown.

          • Brononymous

            Why didn’t all these feminists go into STEM, and instead choose Gender Studies?

          • PhoenicianRomans

            Don’t you understand – society needs more kneejerk feminist criticism and less actual science or engineering…

          • SexyIsntSexist

            aka “feminist science”

          • SexyIsntSexist

            Like, durr. (That’s actually what they said to their careers adviser when choosing a degree)

          • Angrytomato

            Well, one teaches you how to be useful to society and the other teaches you how to whine about it. Can’t you see what a tough call that is??

          • Brogan75

            “making the world of science look less welcoming to women, a world which already has a massive gender disparity between men and women” – the t shirt was designed by a woman, friend of the scientist. There were plenty of women scientists interviewed and taking part in the project, and the delusional bit*ches on twitter had to focus on the bikini (not even naked) drawings on a shirt instead of the scientific accomplishment. This world is getting in serious problem and I can ensure you equality (or feminism, in this case) causes will NOT be more popular in future because of this idiotic attitudes.

          • Keated

            One can appreciate the scientific achievement AND also call out problematic things. Perhaps you are unable to do so?

          • Starbirth

            Problematic? That shirt was empowering – brash women full of themselves guns blazing! Do you also find Catwoman and the Hulk problematic and offensive? And if yes, when do you propose to ban/censor that sexy filth (along with 90% of all movie stars, musicians, celebrities, models, etc. etc. etc.) from the face of the Earth?

          • Keated

            I called for a ban… where exactly? No, really, where have I said any of these things should not exist, should be banned, have no place at all? Could you guys please stop attacking strawmen and actually attack the points I raise? It’s embarrassing to win this easily because you’re off fighting your own shadows.

            Ah, the ol’ ‘Women can be weapon toting too, as long as they wear less than the men’ gambit.

            Problematic? Sometimes, normally for specific reasons, like some of the impossible, spine-breaking poses in Liefield-style comics, most often on covers for titilation.

            Also, since I’m already complaining about you guys as one amorphous mass, could you take a moment to realise that things are rarely perfect empowerment or perfect sexism? They’re usually a mix of both. Pointing out the sexism or other problematic elements in something is rarely an attempt to diminish its other qualities, but actually seeking to improve it – next time round, try leaving out the problematic stuff, leaving more space for the awesome stuff.

            I’d much rather this discussion had been more like:

            ‘Dude, that shirt’s a bit inappropriate for that broadcast, you know, women in STEM and all that?’
            ‘Ah, my bad, sorry. Shall we go back to talking about awesome space shit?’
            ‘Hell YEAH we should go back to talking about awesome space shit’

            With the understanding that point 2 doesn’t take away from the awesome space shit, but is just something to bare in mind. But because so many people seem to have gotten stuck between points 1 and 2 (for example, calling the people who called him out on it fascists), getting to point 3 is proving rather challenging, despite, as a scientist myself, I imagine that Dr. Taylor himself would much prefer to get on to point 3.

          • Brogan75

            yes yes you are winning, pat pat, happy you can go to bed satisfied now.

          • Colonel Mustard

            They are all like that. Arrogance and certitude combined in an unpleasant package telling live human beings that they are on the wrong side of history simply because they dissent and insist on expressing contrary opinions.

            It’s just one of the upper rungs on the same ladder that descends into Taliban and ISIS territory.

          • Starbirth

            The shirt is empowering according to sex positive feminists. From then on its just intra-feminist ideological cognitive dissonance and bickering. No consensus exists as to what is sexually empowering, and what is sexually victimizing. Having history in mind, however, most (usually non feminist) people agree that brash, sexually emancipated, self-confident women wielding guns is the polar opposite of victimization.

          • Brogan75

            Perhaps she ONLY called out on a NON problem, without mentioning any appreciation. She only saw the shirt (Which had NOTHING wrong) and freaked out. Grow up and understand how the world works.

          • Keated

            Did she say she didn’t appreciate the scientific achievement, or was that your assumption? There wasn’t exactly much mainstream media coverage of this prior to shirtgate or shirtstorm depending on your preferred nomenclature, which implies she was probably watching because she was interested in science.

            Ah, ‘Grow up and understand how the world works’ – the battlecry of those on the wrong side of history

          • Brogan75

            She didn’t comment AT ALL on the achievement, she ONLY focused on the t shirt. DO-you-get-it?

            It’s the battlecry of anyone who can teach how how to live, boy.

          • Colonel Mustard

            The wrong side of history? Who decides that? You?

            Do you think the national socialists told those who opposed their “brave new world” that they were on the wrong side of history too?

          • Slava

            That’s an interesting point to make.

            Can you appreciate Hitler’s economic achievements from 1931 to 1939?

          • Colonel Mustard

            I’d like to “call out” you as a “problematic thing”.

          • Slava

            Another simple rule is “don’t tell me what to wear”. If you don’t like my shirt, that’s YOUR problem, not mine. That’s really simple, and I support that for all genders.

      • Peter Houlihan

        1) Sure they were, there were articles everywhere
        2) I understand the argument they’re trying to make, but it’s still complete nonsense.

    • Iain

      On the other hand that particular shirt has now completely sold out, and there is a three month waiting list if you want one!

    • liberalprogress

      Did you even see the shirt. It clear objectifies women in a degrading way. The man deserved the reaction he got.

      • skeptik

        keep taking those hallucinogenics

      • Joe

        ‘They deserved it because of what they were wearing’. Never thought we’d hear a feminist say that.

    • Nittacci

      Maybe if he worried more about his project and less about making a fashion statement, his probe would still be working on that comet instead of becoming a dead piece of junk floating in space.

      Go look at a picture of the guys who put men on the moon. A bunch of nerds in white shirts and black ties. Nobody was a special snowflake wearing a special shirt his girlfriend made with full-sleeve tattoos. Because they were more concerned about doing something great than 15 minutes of fame, like the teary beta special snowflake rocket scientist who wanted to suck the air out of the room and make the media coverage of their project all about him.

    • Katie Daze

      It wasn’t derailed by a shirt; it was merely detracted from (and probably not in a huge way that matters over the long term).

      What happened is some people commented; they exercised free speech. They did nothing whatsoever that is different from what the author of the article is advocating people be allowed to do; speak.

      That people cannot voice their opinion on something very public without the kind of fuss reactions criticisms of this shirt triggered is just another example of what the author is describing. The author is describing behavior not views and the behavior of voicing an opinion is not what the author is complaining about. Criticizing a highly inappropriate clothing choice is not plunging us into a 1000 years of darkness.

      Did it ever occur to you that teachers showing this historic moment live in classes to 7 year olds might have students parents who wouldn’t appreciate this imagery? Or that this imagery might itself be so distracting to some viewers (for instance classes of 12 year olds) as to derail the teacher’s intended outcome for showing such content in class, that it might in itself ruin the moment or lesson it for plenty of people and that they have a right to say so? As much right as you had to make your post above?

      The fact is there are dress expectations in just about any scenario you can think of and criticizing peoples’ failure to uphold those expectations is neither new nor radical nor necessarily unmerited. You might be cool with a lawyer who insists on wearing a night gown or bat man costume or a clown outfit when representing you in court but that would make you unusual and it would probably indicate a lack of good sense on your part.

      Regardless whether or not you agree with their opinion, your notion that it’s somehow a problem that naturally leads you to query what the world is coming to is exactly the kind of conduct the article describes because other than voice an opinion, what exactly did people who mentioned the shirt in a non praising manner to do “derail” anything? Nothing whatsoever, they voiced an opinion and that’s it.

      • http://stopwhitegenocide.com/ Bruce Wayne

        Giving you twats the vote was the biggest mistake White men ever made.

        • Liz Winsor

          Thanks for proving her point.

          • Peter Houlihan

            If “idiot replied to me, therefore I’m right” is your standard for proof, then I’m pretty sure I can “prove” to you than the moonlandings were fake and 9/11 was an inside job.

      • Liz Winsor

        Well said.

        • Angrytomato

          Get a life.

      • Peter Houlihan

        If you think they did nothing other than what the author is advocating then you either haven’t read his article or you haven’t read the ones about shirtgate, or both.

        He is making a call for free speech, they made a call for censorship (over a complete non-issue, but that’s another story). The fact that they used their right to free speech to call for censorship doesn’t make them pro-free speech.

        I seriously doubt any teachers of seven year old kids will be showing their class live footage from the control room where this guy was working: if nothing else, seven year olds don’t have that kind of attention span and it would go completely over their heads. But even if they did, an image of a scantily clad woman smaller than a postage stamp on the screen and barely noticeable isn’t going to harm them any more than a trip to the beach or walking past a billboard with a moisturiser ad.

        • Katie Daze

          What call for censorship? Not being able to wear whatever you like to work is a mundane part of being an ordinary adult, not some kind of censorship.

          • Hzle

            Well in that sentence he’s talking about the army of controlling feminists who don’t want men to have a say on abortion, or indeed any view other than their own to be expressed on the matter

            Of course with the shirt we have an army of controlling feminists trying to bully people by widespread complaining through social/political channels (including internet sites like Twitter)

            Your point about work attire is narrowly true of course, but this argument about teachers not being able to show footage to kids is INCREDIBLY weak. They’re clutching at straws, trying to fabricate a justification when really they are just narrow-minded authoritarian bullies.

          • Peter Houlihan

            Ok, I think you’re falling into “haven’t read the article” territory here. He gave several instances of students seeking (and achieving) censorship of opinions they disliked on the basis that they had a “right to feel comfortable.”

            As for shirtstorm, it is censorship if his workplace has a casual clothing policy. And it’s notable that some of the people calling him out on it don’t even hold themselves to the same standard: https://twitter.com/SmegmaKing/status/533025020768165888

      • Angrytomato

        Oh God, shut up. It was a SHIRT.

    • Gwangi

      Yep, and a shirt which promoted, in a cynical PR marketing campaign, a gormless women’s magazine owned by a French arms manufacturer too!

      The word ‘feminist’ should be crossed out and replaced with the word ‘idiot’ or similar: THIS IS WHAT AN IDIOT LOOKS LIKE. Harriet Harman to a tee.

      Read this for the full shocking story: http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/politicians-actions-speak-louder-then-words-on-a-tshirt-9831884.html

      • BinaryWatcher

        Um, you DO know the shirt was **handmade** for the guy by a FEMALE friend of his, right?

        • Neil2

          They don’t care.

      • Paul Jennings

        As detailed by BinaryWatcher the shirt was made by a female friend of his for his birthday. She was in turn honoured that he chose to wear the shirt on such an important occasion.

        I’m puzzled that you lump the Ched Evans issue with the situation over Matt Taylor’s choice of shirt. Ched Evans is a convicted rapist, he had sex with a woman who had no capacity to consent. Matt Taylor wore a shirt that some people disagree with. Evidence also supports the contention that women on the whole are still paid less than men.

        You might want to consider your own sense of perspective.

    • ex_turpi_causa

      Well I think it’s safe to assume it isn’t getting much coverage because not much has really happened. Yeah, it’s amazing and definitely a great achievement but at the same time all that’s been learned from it is that it’s possible to land a probe on a comet.

      It also just won’t really concern most people in the day-to-day here on Earth until it affects them more directly – like feminism probably has.

    • Jankers

      What a shirt it was tho, far more interesting than watching a tin can full of wires and microchips land on a ball of icy dust in the infinite inky blackness of the eternal void that is ‘SPACE.’

    • Joan

      It wasn’t derailed. The landing went fine.
      The press release was _critiqued_.

      Big Difference.

      • Peter Houlihan

        Instead of enjoying the fact that he helped put a machine on a ball of rock hurtling through space, he was crying on live television and apologising because his shirt offended some idiots.

        I’d call that pretty derailed.

    • Noa

      Whatever we have become, Mr Cohen, and our generation, created it. We have no-one to blame but ourselves.

      http://www.samizdata.net/2014/11/an-opened-letter-to-professor-stephen-l-carter/

    • David davis

      Well, what we do is get all the PC-Nazis together, tell them they are being “resettled in the East”, and then fly them to a comet and land them on it.

      Those that don’t bounce off and float away into space right away will enjoy each other’s company free of bad-shirt-wearing-scientists and those who “make them feel uncomfortable”.

      Our “probe” can film them butchering and eating each other in their desperation.

    • http://atlantarofters.blogspot.com/ The Sanity Inspector

      We’ve become people who can land a probe on a celestial snowball, and then collide with a special snowflake.

    • Sleyths

      Are you CRAZY? that shirt literally raped every woman who saw it!!!

    • Liz Winsor

      We’ve “become” nothing different from what we’ve ever been, just in a new set of circumstances. The screeching about critiques of the hallowed scientist’s idiotic shirt are every bit as, if not more ridiculous than the supposed eclipsing of the scientific achievement by the man’s pedestrian sexism.

      How about the possibility of two simultaneous responses, both of which are entirely accurate?

      • Awesome comet landing!

      • Your shirt makes you look like a real asshole!

    • Mike

      Ironically, that shirt IS a perfect example of what this article is talking about but it’s people like you who are the Stepford students here. Taylor wore that shirt and some people (men and women) pointed out that they feel it was inappropriate on Twitter. Then anti-feminists then took to internet on both social media and the news and created this propaganda that feminists made a huge deal about the shirt. Type “comet shirt” into google news. All the headlines are about crazy feminists. You won’t find anything actually criticizing the shirt. The only reason that 99% of people know about the shirt is because of anti-feminists being offended by feminist opinions. Everyone references the headline of that one verge article (without reading it because it actually makes very reasonable points) and pretends like that sums up all of feminism. You literally responded in agreement to an article stating how we should listen to all people’s opinions by promoting the silencing of some people’s opinions….

  • will91

    This Mark Steyn interview perfectly encapsulates my feelings on the censorship which takes place on University Campuses.

    Well worth a watch. Watch from about 7 minutes onwards.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXdS_3Hm72o

  • misomiso

    That podcast was bananas.

  • TimboX

    Pretty scary stuff. How utterly sad that these ‘students’ are so mentally fragile.

    They’re all just special little snowflakes, aren’t they.

  • Christian

    As Churchill,observed, the new fascists will call themselves anti fascists

    • Dorothy

      All to true, to judge by the antics of Germany’s “Anti-Fa”.

    • Rik

      I see you have met the UAF the Orwellian nightmare grows daily

      • Christian

        All too familiar with those creatures

    • Rogsie

      As Germany’s experience showed, being intelligent, educated, sophisticated and civilised is no defence against being infected by fascism.

      • Kol Khara

        Considering the state of the German economy before and after the fascists took over, can you blame them?

        • chinaman03

          weak argument. they were in the right place at the right time in history. i believe any strong, capable mind with different ideology would be able to turn around German economy at that moment.

          • Kol Khara

            Did they? No. Who did? The NSDAP. People tend to appreciate not requiring wheelbarrows of cash to purchase a loaf of bread. Everyone in Germany appreciated that and Time Magazine even called Hitler man of the year in 1936.

        • tetridae

          Yeah, blaming Germany for world war one and have them take both blame and pay for it was the single most important contribution to creating a platform for Hitler.

      • Keated

        Nor is being an anti intellectual, as shown by modern fascist groups and, in spades, the comments on this article.

        • Colonel Mustard

          The only fascist round here is you – and any fellow nutjobs you attract to your posse.

        • Contra

          Prove your intellectual prowess by putting forth a coherent argument instead of tossing around insults. Calling people names is mere schoolyard prattle.

        • loftytom

          Ad hominem, loser.

    • Keated

      The burning irony of you writing those words in defense of this article…

      • Christian

        Well either I’m a fascist and don’t know it or you don’t know what irony is. Think I’ll plump for the latter……..

      • Jack Bandit

        The next time you feel like dabbling in socio-political commentary, take your keyboard, slam it on the table a few times (key side down) & then post it. I guarantee that whatever you end up with will be a better argument than any post you’ve got on this thread.

  • Moputabee

    Could not agree more Brendan.

  • Eric Muldrow

    This woman would not let him finish a statement. She obviously didn’t want a dialogue.

    • Dorothy

      Not a woman. Please! An adolescent girl.

  • sarah_13

    I am embarrassed that this women speaks on such an important issue, she sounds hysterical. As a woman i’m astounded. This person was having an argument with herself she wasn’t responding to him she speaks for no one but herself.

    • No Man’s Land

      She’s appalling isn’t she? I can’t decide if she’s terrifying or laughable. Without a doubt she’s boring.

    • obiwan

      The podcast was infuriating, tbh. That woman just would not SHUT UP. Brendan could hardly get a word in edgeways. Please don’t do this again, Spectator. Too irritating to suffer again.

  • No Man’s Land

    I tend to think was goes around comes around on the campuses. I mean this lot would fit nicely in with the 70s crowd. They’ll prove to be just as ineffectual.

    Give it ten years and there’ll be the unwelcome return of the ladette.

    God it’s depressing…

  • Seat of Mars

    Mark Steyn: “The biggest “safe space” on the planet is the Muslim world in which all legitimate forms of intellectual enquiry have been suppressed… A “safe space” is when you close yourself off to a free market of ideas.”

    These unthinking automatons are the product of PC progressive education systems. Their lack of intellectual engagement with the world will leave us defenceless against attack and worse, when they get older, they will gleefully impose their totalitarianism on the rest of us.

    Interesting too how you don’t see students calling for safe spaces from a culture that would execute gays and put all women in bags. What do the Rad Fems on Facebook say about Oxford’s Islamic Society?

  • Aethelflaed

    Seems like us ‘older folk’ had better vote UKIP then to save the children from their ‘Lord of the Flies’, pre-crime isolation. It is not just sensible, but a humanitarian action for the good of others.

    Or, there again maybe we need to let the ‘Rugby boys’ slog it out with the ‘Stepford Girls’, and get off the playing field.

  • Leics Fox

    Best article I have read for a very long time, As a student I recognize this kind of thinking from many of my fellows

  • global city

    These are exactly the same terrifying fanatics that you used to see in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge or in Moa’s China during the Cultural Revolution. The greatest danger of this is that violence is the next logical step, as extreme sanction is always needed to squeeze out the last of counter revolutionary, establishment or patriarchal (delete as appropriate, according to the prevailing meme).

    As they say, liberty is fragile and has to be actively fought for. we have been under attack by utterly hostile Left Wing authoritarian forces for more than 50 years and if it is allowed to continue for much longer, will have tipped us into a truly nasty situation. As is referenced in the article, these are our leaders of tomorrow.

    Universities are academies of left wing mindfuckery now and drastic action needs to be taken.

    • John Smith

      Wow, truly amazing. This is your argument:

      1) Left-wing students are terrifying fanatics
      2) Mao and the Khmer Rouge were fanatics
      3) Left-wing students are like Mao and the Khmer Rouge
      4) Therefore their next logical step is violence.

      I don’t really need to argue with this one…

  • Toby Guise

    Shurely the obvious response to the argument that only women can discuss abortion is that two lives are involved in an abortion, and the other may frequently be male? After all, the left loves a victim.

    This seems the only and obvious way of rebalancing the abortion ‘debate’, and yet neither Brendan or Tim Stanley make the point. Why?

  • edithgrove

    I blame Christ-church for setting a terrible example.

  • davidofkent

    They are reflecting society, though in a slightly exaggerated way. Opinion is not allowed now on certain subjects which have been decreed ‘beyond comment’. Obviously opinion on different cultures and races is ‘verboten’ and until recently, so was immigration. Global warming and ‘men as permanent rapists’ has received the mark of satisfaction from small minds and both are virtually off the debate list. Any opinion that people should actually pay for what they consume will be beaten down with a large stick and to suggest that ‘our NHS’ is not the greatest gift to mankind will result in a near-death sentence. The dear little kiddies at university are merely reflecting what they have heard, since they haven’t yet got around to doing any thinking.

    • global city

      that is not now a reflection of society, it is an indication of what has been imposed ON society…and which we must shake off.

    • Kennybhoy

      “They are reflecting society, though in a slightly exaggerated way. ”

      Spot on Maister K.

  • Jess

    I’m disgusted that this lunacy is finally making its way here to the UK. I desperately need to emigrate.

    • Neil Saunders

      But where do you go?

    • Neil Saunders

      But where do you go?

      • Jess

        I wish I had a definite answer to that but everywhere I look crazy, 3rd wave feminism seems to be contaminating everything it touches. ._.

        • Neil Saunders

          My thoughts exactly, Jess – there’s nowhere left to run to. We have to stay where we are and fight this madness.

          • Jess

            Are you familiar with #GamerGate?

            Gamers have finally taken a stand to stamp out shoddy, haphazard journalism and as a result the mainstream media is pulling out all the stops to paint us as a rabid, woman hating flashmob.

          • Neil Saunders

            I became vaguely aware of the Gamers after the Elliot Rodger killing spree incident (and the Internet discussion it prompted), but I’m not very knowledgeable about them. I’ll pursue your lead, though, Jess. Thanks!

          • Jake_Was_Here

            Here’s an explanation of #GamerGate in 60 seconds: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipcWm4B3EU4

            Same person did a more in-depth video here: http://youtu.be/9rTFDhVmnUE?t=2m29s

  • KB1000

    “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

    Have they never heard this? Do they see it as out of date on some way?

    • mandelson

      Sorry doesnt apply if what you are saying is “offensive”.

    • global city

      but that is a basic tenet of our civilisation, the same one these people are out to destroy.

  • Samson

    The hottest topic throughout my uni years was the uni newsagent’s apparently indefensible sale of bottled water. Their view was that you had to be Naive to drink Evian (there the same word backwards!!!!! which was an actual debate point) and that anyone buying it was a foolish victim of capitalism.

  • SteveGJ

    Didn’t Malcolm Bradbury rather capture this in The History Man which was largely about the tyranny of received dogma at a university and the lack of tolerance for dissenting views? So hardly a new thing, as that was written in 1975.

    • Neil Saunders

      Yes, but there it was a power-mad lecturer – fired up with ideological zeal – terrorising his students into intellectual conformity, and punishing dissidence. Here, the students themselves are a self-appointed Red Guard, policing the thoughts and words of their fellow students.

  • kaymanisle

    The morally righteous thought police have long been alive and well on campuses up and down the country. In the late 1980s I had to endure lectures about ‘what to think’ from politically naive students about South Africa, gay rights, CND, Thatcher etc. Dissent was not permitted so it became an amusing discussion in politics seminars that we’d sit there and lament the way the NUS and others was forcing students to take particular lines on issues rather than allowing discussion and debate. The Conservative students were banned/unfunded, boycotts of various brands disrupted our ability to conduct ‘normal business’…… What happened to these people? They’re all bankers, management consultants and lawyers.

    • mike4ty4

      So what did the most politically _adept_ students say about gay rights and what was their detailed argument with every single logical premise and conclusion, implication, and evidence to back each premise as truth?

  • mollysdad

    If the feminazis object to their uterus being occupied by a foetus, they should keep their legs shut as well as their mouths.

    • Malus Pudor

      That’s quite exquisitely expressed… my compliments !

      • Sahra Mullins

        Any many telling women to keep their legs shut would be pissed at the woman they’re dating if the followed through on that advice.

        • MagcargoMan

          Mollysdad is not saying women can’t have sex, but is saying if you don’t want a child don’t have un-protected sex.

    • Decent Human

      That is a truly repulsive thing to say. You have every right to say it, but it is a fundamentally disgusting comment that I can only hope if some kind of joke.

      • mollysdad

        It’s not a joke. When one of these discontented bitches spreads them, she’s the only one who’s meant to get f**ked. Her baby isn’t.

      • loftytom

        Please explain in detail why it is repulsive.

        • Miguel González Del Pino

          It’s disgusting because it starts with name-calling which, in an article that is about how real discussion and debate may be endangered, is quite ironic as it is one of the most pointless uses of freedom of speech. It is also disgusting because it tells a sector of society (women, for the record) that they must keep their mouth shut which, in an article that is about how real discussion and debate may be endangered, is quite ironic. Those are general points which I hope provide an ‘in detail’ explanation. Personally, I find it extra disgusting because it gives the impression of an authoritarian attitude towards women which tries to tell them what they can or can’t do with their bodies.

          • porcelaincheekbones

            oh shut up pussy, real women don’t care, we’re adults

          • Miguel González Del Pino

            See? Completely pointless 🙂

          • ThomasER916

            See? You’re really stupid 🙂

          • Tynam

            Women may be. You clearly are not, whatever your age.

          • Beth Marshall

            Don’t be so fucking ridiculous. I’m more of a woman than you could ever claim to be, and I fucking care. Don’t claim to speak for the whole of your sex when you’re obviously in the unintelligent minority.

          • porcelaincheekbones

            he’s speaking for a sex he doesn’t belong to, white knighting benevolent sexist. More of a woman? No, you’re a kunt, to play the True Scotsman card.

          • Beth Marshall

            If you think he’s the sexist one in the conversation, you’ve really got your ideas wrong. You’re defending someone who told women to ‘keep their legs shut’? I’ll do what I want with my legs, and my body, and my ideas at MY university, thanks. You seem to be sexist against your own sex, it’s laughable. I’d rather be a ‘kunt’ than an imbecile any day.

          • porcelaincheekbones

            An argument between two men. One has an opinion, fine, ignore it. The other claims to speak for all women, problematic. Oh, you’re a Uni SJW. That explains why it took you 4 months to read this article. Any excuse to be offended. I don’t like your chances in the real world, troll.

          • Beth Marshall

            Anything to avoid revision, bro. Look, stop with the ridiculous insults. Comments like the one you posted really, really annoy me. And it did offend me. And it annoyed me that nobody had called you out on it four months ago, so I did. All I really want you to see is how your comment is problematic. ‘Real’ women are not characterised by their indifference to anything feminist, or their wilful acceptance of the kind of opinion expressed by that idiot telling me to keep my legs crossed. Be whatever sort of woman you want, but please don’t label feminists’ very real concerns about society as any less real than yours.

          • porcelaincheekbones

            4 months after standing up to a benevolent sexist white knight mangina I get shit from you, Sisterhood indeed. “And it annoyed me that nobody had called you out on it four months ago, so I did.” Did it occur to you, did you ever engage a shred of critical thought that maybe, just may-be that’s… Cos everyone agrees with me, you idiotic child. You tried playing No True Woman fallacy and it failed. You tried to get your feelzzz to justify your insecurity that someone dare disagree with you and I can stand up for myself. Oh, like an adult! F your censorship, Princess Snowflake. Go back to tumblr.

          • Beth Marshall

            It amuses me that you’re attempting to stand on some kind of feminist platform now. Your comment didn’t stand up to anything or anyone. Instead, you attacked somebody who was standing up against sexism. There wasn’t any trace of intelligence in it – I read it as an incoherent slur. Nope, that didn’t occur to me at all. I think the reason is more like people don’t want to engage with somebody who appears so closed-minded. And even if people do agree, the small group of people who have read the comment is hardly enough to justify its content. A tip: when arguing with somebody, focus on pointing out flaws in their argument rather than attacking them on ‘insecurities’ you assume they have, it makes for much better reading. Gosh, I’m young?!?! You’ve big time got me there, I’m so very insecure about my… age? Please expect to have to support your views however many months after you’ve made them public, I don’t know why you think it’s unreasonable of me to criticize them. Anyway, I really do have things to do. But to reiterate, this was about your original comment after all: women do care about being told what to do with their own bodies – your attempt to deny that simply perpetuates the patriarchal trend of denying women their own voices.

          • porcelaincheekbones

            I’m not reading that whole thing you’re not worth it. Go away troll.

          • Marin

            I would just like to point out that he is not telling all women to keep their legs shut, only women that don’t want to have a baby. He’s also not telling all women to keep their mouths shut, but just the ones who want to complain about everything and talk about how men are less than women and deserve to be treated as such.

          • Dickson Butts

            I’ll make his point but in less juvenile terms: Pregnancy is a natural consequence of sex (biologically it’s the SOLE PURPOSE of sex). Women should take responsibility for their own actions and live with the consequences instead of getting a free pass at the expense of the fetus (or foetus if you prefer).

      • Raoul Duke

        Perhaps you could explain why it’s “repulsive”. Because you disagree?

      • CNN is a State Dept Mouthpiece

        Maybe it’s disgusting to you, but you can at least be adult enough to admit that it’s your own subjective judgment that deems it disgusting, and not that it’s objectively a disgusting thing to say in any way.

        Saying “I’m offended” is the biggest crock of horseshit ever invented.

        You don’t have any right to not be offended. You only have a right to say what you’d like without bringing physical or financial harm to others.

        So when you, or anyone else says “I’m offended”, remember, the world has every right to say “so fucking what? fuck you. no one cares about your feelings.”

  • William_Brown

    It has always been thus. Most will mature and learn to really think for themselves, rather than be under the mistaken impression that they already do. The brain is like a muscle, and they’ve only just started to use it as an ‘adult’ when they arrive at Uni. Given regular exercise, it does get stronger. Occasionally it doesn’t, which explains the continued publishing of The New Statesman and The Guardian.

    My son is now 34 and used to be a ‘Stepford Student’, holding on to exclusively left wing dogma for some years, even after university – My my, there were some ‘impassioned debates’ around the dinner table at times! However, a career, wife, mortgage and baby later, he now has the confidence to embrace individualised, critical thinking….and acknowledges that Dad did know something, after all!

    • Kennybhoy

      “When I was ten, I thought my parents knew everything. When I became twenty, I was convinced they knew nothing. Then, at thirty, I realized I was right when I was ten.”

      – Mark Twain

      More seriously though…

      The problem nowadays is that these notions have escaped from academia into the wider culture….

  • Simon_in_London

    “As the annoying ‘PC gone mad!’ brigade banged on and on about extreme
    instances of PC — schools banning ‘Baa Baa, Black Sheep’, etc. — nobody
    seems to have noticed that the key tenets of PC, from the desire to
    destroy offensive lingo to the urge to re-educate apparently corrupted
    minds, have been swallowed whole by a new generation.”

    The ‘PC Gone Mad’ Brigade were of course right. They were fighting for an essentially free society and should have been supported by left-Libertarians at the time. Bit late now it’s twenty years gone.

  • Simon_in_London

    Abortion – men don’t have uteruses, but we were all foetuses once. Foeticide and any limits we should place on it is rightfully an issue for everyone. ‘My uterus – my choice’ is no different from ‘my child – my choice’ – but infanticide is illegal.

  • Donafugata

    Since the time when polytechnics suddenly gained university status students numbers have proliferated.
    Clearly there wasn’t a quantum leap in the intelligence of the average young person it can only mean that the quality of the average university entrant is now lower.

    A university education used to be privilege now it seems any idiot can go to “collige” and because there are so many more of them I do think that they should have to pay tuition fees.
    The country can’t afford to pay for mickey-mouse mass
    education, education, education.

  • ChrisTavareIsMyIdol

    We are all pre-rapists now

    • Neil Saunders

      Perhaps, but all the mainstream parties have acquiesced in this madness.

  • Sam_Beresford

    “We seem to have nurtured a new generation that believes its self-esteem is more important than everyone else’s liberty”. Absolutely agree – that’s an astute observation. But I’m one of this ‘new generation’, and I have no truck for the bigotry that this article describes so well.

    There really is a ‘silent majority’ opposed to this kind of nightmarish groupthink, and thanks to the internet you don’t actually have to stick your neck out in quite the same way as perhaps you did in the past to stand up to it. You can criticize or satirize the Oxford bigots from the safety and relative anonymity of an online comment or a Twitter post, and if enough people do this, beat them at their own game.

    I scrolled through many of the comments on the Independent article that the girl who organised this Oxford protest wrote, and with one exception every comment was highly critical of her. Most of them reasonably, insightfully and intelligently so. That’s encouraging. It suggests that the general population is catching up on the tactics of these oppressive activists; in a few years, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a protest at an event like this called off because of the barrage of counter-protest. The battle’s not over!

  • Nathan

    I never thought I’d endorse an article from The Spectator but, Mr. O’Neills archaic views aside, this piece touches on a really worrying development in student politics, which is increasingly mimicking the old conservative order that it claims to have rejected.

    As a student myself, I can confirm that student politics has become obsessed with censorship. Whereas alternative perspectives were once welcomed, the people who express them are now banned from campus or subject to Twitter hate campaigns.

    Now, its probably an understatement to say I’m a pretty left-leaning guy myself. I abhor lad culture, I’m largely pro-choice and I’m not the biggest fan of the state of Israel. But as Noam Chomsky (not someone the Spectator usually finds common ground with) put it:

    “Goebbels was in favor of free speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you’re really in favor of free speech, then you’re in favor of freedom of speech for precisely the views you despise. Otherwise, you’re not in favor of free speech.”

    • Sam_Beresford

      I’m pretty sure that you have achieved a world first, quoting Noam Chomsky in support of an article written in The Spectator.

    • Kennybhoy

      Well said young sir! And double props for the Chomsky quote in support of an article in the Speccie! 🙂

  • James

    We should do what Muggeridge often propounded and that is shut the Universities down for 10 years. “Education” has long been a joke, but now has become rather a dangerous joke.

  • skeptik

    As an atheist and a humanist I find myself having some sympathies for Mr O’Neill’s views on various issues but clearly not on religious grounds, I guess we’d be diametrically opposed ideologically but have reached similar conclusions.

    But these are excellent points being raised here and are worthy of debate in a free society (oh wait did I say free, I meant Orwellian)

    One thing always bothers me…why is TV these days full of cookery/baking shows and then, in the same breath, people obsessing about being fat? Hasn’t anybody noticed the relation between shoving tons of “scrumptious” food into their mouths and this new terrorist organization the (un)secular state of europe and eating crap?

  • greggf

    Brendan, there’s a war coming that will change their views – for ever in some cases!

  • Daniel Olive

    Yes in the good old days, students disagreed with old white men. Now, they disagree with old white man called Brendan O’Neill, which is very different.

    • Kennybhoy

      lol

    • EricHobsbawmtwit

      Please can you explain in more detail what your problem is with white men? Are you a white man? Is there a correlation between skin pigment and anything, apart from Nobel Prizes I mean?

    • Dorothy

      What’s different is they make threats that frighten the college brass into cancelling the invitation other students offered to the “old” white man called Brendan O’Neill.

  • Christopher Steele

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/godlessness/2013/10/04/atheist-society-harassed-by-student-union-at-freshers-fair/

    Its not just ‘right-wing’ things that are being targeted, if you criticize a religion (that isn’t Christianity ofc) from an atheistic perspective your liable to be shouted down as a bigot

    When I was growing up (I’m only 22 for god sake), feminism, equality etc meant meritocracy to me- the idea that regardless of X Y Z you should be judged on your individual merits and not by identity politics. Its kind of said to see these labels which I believed in be warped into some sort of morality guide on every issue- Video games mustn’t have scantily clad women, We should appoint MPs based on their gender not on their abilities etc etc

  • EricHobsbawmtwit

    I don’t think students of today are any different to their past incarnations. In the 60’s and 70’s they were all pinkos. Today’s generation doesn’t have a monopoly on bad ideas.

    If you have a son or daughter contemplating heading to University though, you can do a lot worse than give him or her a copy of Letters to a Young Contrarian by Christopher Hitchens.

    Being an “exile or outcast on a remote shore” builds self-esteem rather than destroying it. I wonder how many of these automatons will recant as they become older, more experienced and more circumspect?

  • Kennybhoy

    That is a cracking illustration!

    • EricHobsbawmtwit

      It’s fantastic isn’t it.

  • AJAX

    When the Far Left was driven out of electoral politics with the bankruptcy of Socialist economics in the 1970s it shifted into trying to dominate society thru cultural means such as this & the unelected legislative (i.e. via the civil service), using the power of law to force its views upon the rest of us. There’s a nest of them in the Home Office, check out the ban on entering England currently on the American polemicist Michael Savage, imposed by their rubber stamp dreadful Home Secretary Theresa May.

    The Tories are totally useless at stopping this totalitarian drift in the heart of government, they haven’t got the intellectual calibre or philosophical drive for it, let’s hope UKIP can do better. It needs to be actively confronted & rooted out by a Classical Liberal Government with some ginger about it.

    • EricHobsbawmtwit

      I thought all the lunatics headed into the Environmental movement.

    • DaveAtherton20

      Also the left has drifted into controlling our bodies, smoking, drinking, fat, sugar, salt etc.

      • Neil Saunders

        Yep. Power was always the name of the game with these people. They were never really on the side of the working man or the forces of enlightenment – these were merely means to an end.

    • Kennybhoy

      “It needs to be actively confronted…”

      Third time I have written this here but it needs saying…

      “Problem is that it is a more popular narrative than you think. A substantial part of the population at large are complicit when it suits them…”

      • Neil Saunders

        When people are hanging on to their casualised, short-term contract jobs in an uncertain labour market, in order to pay their bills and mortgages, they’ll be reluctant to rock the boat, whatever their private convictions. This madness has become institutionalised to the point where it is now the official doctrine of all public and private organisations.

    • Neil Saunders

      It wasn’t the bankruptcy of socialist economics that spawned the PC left, but the delayed effect of the New Left in America and the Soixante-Huitards in Europe coming to occupy key positions in academia and the culture industry generally. For them, it was never really about the industrial proletariat or the redistribution of wealth, but always about power, and they rapidly found a new client base in non-white immigrants, sexual minorities and women (as viewed through a feminist prism) and a new ideology in identity politics.

  • wudyermucuss

    They are ideologues.Bigots.
    You cannot reason with such people.
    They lead to Stalin,Mao,PolPot.

  • beenzrgud

    The future will be populated by bland unthinking clones. Maybe somewhere in the back of their minds they will feel that they have lost something along the way, the problem is that by then there will be nobody left to tell them what it is.

  • EricHobsbawmtwit

    Isn’t the most disturbing thing about this the lack of challenge from the Universities themselves? I mean the abject fear of any kind of controversy turning the Chancellor, Vice Chancellor, Deans and so on into quivering jelly.

    So is the problem today’s generation or the previous one? Is it the lack of independence of institutions these days, dependent as many of them are on government money?

    • Kennybhoy

      “Isn’t the most disturbing thing about this the lack of challenge from the Universities themselves?”

      Who do you think bred, nurtured and taught these students? Always look to previous generations for the root cause.

      • EricHobsbawmtwit

        Yes. I think there’s a lot of truth in that.

  • Alyson Cruise

    Yes, your free speech is so under attack that you have multiple national newspaper columns, debated the issue in an Oxford student podcast, published the full text of your speech and misrepresented every objection to your presence in order to silence the voices raised against your lethal, toxic views, like when you called for the deaths of trans people because you don’t understand their medical care at all.

    • DaveAtherton20

      Bearing in mind that Oxford is funded out of my taxes and should be a bedrock of learning and debate, you are missing the point. The fact that an institution like Oxford folded in the face of some extreme, silencing feminists, you are just not getting it.

    • DaveAtherton20

      Alyson looking at the Oxford Student publication it appears that many students and staff were equally appalled. For example the The Rev. James Paice (Ch Ch 1990-1994) said:

      “If practical reasons was their real reason, they should have offered an alternative date. It is also shameful given the Christian foundation of The House.” He added in reply to Jack.

      “You make various mistakes, Jack:

      1. You assume all females are pro abortion. In my experience, most abortion protestors ARE female.

      2. What about the Christian responsbility to stand up for the most vulnerable? What can be more vulnerable a person than a baby in its own mother’s womb?

      3. A debate by its very nature is 2 sided, not lop sided. One side may have weak arguments but that is not the fault of the debate.

      http://oxfordstudent.com/2014/11/17/christ-church-cancels-abortion-debate/

    • Penny

      Alsyon – If Ms Harriet Brown’s performance in this podcast is anything to go by I’m rather surprised the author of this article managed to utter a single toxic, lethal sentence, much less air a view.

      If you find a view toxic and lethal then surely the thing to do is to turn up to the debate and challenge it with your argument? (which, incidentally, means having the grace to hear the opposing view rather than constantly interrupting a la Ms Brown)

      Listening to the arguments on both sides enables you to hear aspects of the issue you have not previously encountered. That may help you firm up and further your own arguments or it may make you change your mind. Shutting up a debate because you think it unhealthy is to deprive others of the right to hear the arguments. It also suggests that you may be insecure in your own or that you simply do not credit others with the sense to reach the most sensible conclusion.

      • Penny

        One further thought on this: do you not think it wise for women to hear both sides of this particular argument? An unplanned pregnancy is, for many, a major event in their lives and it may not be the case that they are fully aware of the facts. I say this because as a woman with my student days rather well behind me, I have met older women who have been quite happy with their choice, one way or another. But equally, I have met others for whom an unplanned pregnancy proved to be a regret some time after the fact. In one case resulting in severe and life-long depression. Surely we should be debating every aspect of this issue so that the informed choice is exactly that?

  • Bill_der_Berg

    A decade or two ago, the Oxford Union announced that no Conservative speakers would be invited to address them. They backed down when some prominent leftist and liberal speakers announced that they would not be speaking at the Union either.

    I would be surprised to see a similar show of solidarity these days.

  • emma

    you really think a bunch of pc students pose a threat to freedom of speech? in my opinion any place where someone can be open about their sexuality or religion without fear of being harassed seems like a good idea. the ‘real’ world is tough enough as it is guys, a bit of emotional protection can’t do anyone any harm….

    • Kennybhoy

      First evah Disqus comment emma! Why am I not surprised? lol

      The tom toms must be beating loudly! 🙂

    • Neil Saunders

      The intolerant PC left are good at dishing out harassment (e.g. the self-righteous thugs of UAF), but they’re such delicate hothouse flowers that they have to be sheltered from the cold winds of open debate.

  • Paddy S

    Reagan was right, the new fascists have come from thus who call themselves left wing liberals.

  • PeteCW

    “(anyone who questions the idea that modern Britain is in the grip of a ‘rape culture’)”

    But try getting them to actually address the very real rape culture that is alive and raping poor white girls in Blackburn, Rotherham and all those other Northern towns… they can’t cope with it. When it comes to the real world and the actual horrors it contains, these Stepford students run back to their ‘acceptable’ and ‘appropriate’ text books, suck their thumbs and hide under security blankets of idiot left wing dogma.

  • OSP

    Great article. This stuff is getting scary.

  • Keifer Wynn

    As a musician I found a specific portion of this piece especially arresting, the rock music thing is so true. Students and college age kids really seem to disdain the raucousness of Rock in favor of the mind numbing muzak that prevails today. Rock music is provocative, subversive and passionate and the tripe that passes for music nowadays couldn’t be more formulaic if there was a conspiracy to make it so.

  • Rotherham_Solutions

    The only good dogma, is a dead dogma.

    • Keifer Wynn

      ^^^^ Dogma?!?!?!

  • cellularwaves

    Speaking as a student, the problem is, I think, that we have been taught not how to conduct discourse, or to debate, but only to consume, and this is how we register our disapproval. As a result we have become hopelessly reactive, like a baby refusing to accept a spoonful of food rather than tasting it, however unpalatable it may be, and deciding for ourselves what we think of it. Moreover, we have become so pervertedly individualistic that if a story/argument doesn’t exactly fit the perimeters of our world view and life experiences we reject it out of hand. We look at the conclusions rather than the facts, the end result rather than the process. It’s awful, I hate it, I find myself doing it from time to time and it’s a conscious struggle to stop.

  • mikewaller

    Of course, much of the censorious behavior described above is appalling. However, the article seems to make the tacit assumption that freedom of expression is an absolute right, a view I do not share. For example, “muddied oafs” who gratuitously offend beauty-challenged females and homosexuals do deserve to be given a very hard time. How else otherwise are we to maintain the smallest vestiges of decent behaviour? On the other hand, and in spite of the fact that I think pro-lifers are wholly misguided or worse (why not, instead, devote their energies to saving the millions of wanted babies who die each year for lack of basic medical support?), stopping an abortion debate should be enough to get a student sent down.

    • DaveAtherton20

      “offend beauty-challenged females and homosexuals do deserve to be given a very hard time.”

      I agree, with robust and intellectually sound arguments, not by censorship.

      • mikewaller

        What kind of dream world do you live in? Have your ever tried confronting rugby players “with robust and intellectually sound arguments” ? I did once and got my face shoved in a container of Camembert, a cheese I loath, for my troubles. In the real world it simply has to be made clear to them “this is the kind of nonsense up with which we will not put”. It is offending people that gives such bozos their pleasure and only sanctions have any effect.

        The grown-up realisation is that unrestricted freedom of speech would be intolerable so judgment has to be exercised. The right to say “Cameron is a rich bastard who ought to be voted out of office” should be inviolable; allowing a gang of mutton-headed rugby players to give gratuitous offence to innocent third parties for no good purpose would be a crass failure in leadership.

        • DaveAtherton20

          Was it a formal debate?

        • Simon Fay

          Shame they didn’t shove your face in summat stronger. Like a fire. And your would-be leadership.

        • g1lgam3sh

          How very…precious.

  • Malus Pudor

    I never thought I would ever agree with Bendan O’Neill on anything … but this expose of the frivolous posturing students of today is a brilliant piece of journalism…

    Once these spoilt brats have to face the realities of life, they will realise that will have to compromise their faux-idealistic views and, of course, the urge for financial and social security will propel them towards abandoning their ludicrous utopian ideals…

  • http://www.frankfisher.org Frank Fisher

    It’s all part of the grand EU Sovietisation of England. The EUSSR is coming, and coming fast, and our brainwashed youth will fight to make it happen. Anyone who disagrees with surrendering their liberty is a fascist, doncha know?

    A storm’s coming.

    • Kennybhoy

      Oh ffs! Not everything is about the EU ya loon! This phenomenon originated in the USA decades ago! European unis are actually less corrupted by it than those of the English speaking world!

  • Diggery Whiggery

    Our country’s finest ladies and gentleman. It makes me so proud …………and effin scared at the same time. The fact that these chimps will be in charge when I’m old and vulnerable fills be with dread and foreboding. You can bet your bottom dollar that once we’ve paid for their education they’ll be the first to ‘assist’ us to die so that we don’t cost them anything in our old age.

    • Kennybhoy

      I suspect that the the degringolade will intervene before the wee bastards get the chance…

  • Richard

    There are many reasons that I can bring to mind. One is the demographic shift in the UK student population. There are now many, many Asians in higher education, who are bright, and tend to achieve very well in exams. However, this group is not particularly well-known for challenging society or assumptions. They tend, instead, to focus on dogma (the Islamic ones) and acquisition (the non-Islamic ones). So between those groups, there is not much scope for questioning anything. That is the nature of their cultures, as we can see in the Indian subcontinent. They will also tend to fight for their own advantage as a group, with little effort put into other more general issues.

    Another change is that wrought by the Left. The Left does not use freedom of speech in order to generate more freedom of speech, or real debate in ideas. It uses freedom of speech in order to win a battle in which it will triumph, for a variety of reasons. Once ensconced, that freedom of speech is out the window. There are ample demonstrations of this around the world.

    The other is the success of capitalism and the availability of technology. This is the least anticipated, somehow, though very predictable.

    The strange world we inhabit in the UK is one of the victory of the socialist left culturally – at least temporarily – but the more sustained success of capitalism in reality. This latter force will be the definitive one, as it is supported demographically. However, there is a much bigger over-arching picture, too, which is the destruction of capitalism and any form of societal differentiation within a European-constructed society. As indigenous people become a minority, the law of the jungle will take hold, mediated by the law of theocracy.

    These zombie-students are simply the beginning of the journey.

  • Hello45678

    Unfortunately, your article is not only correct, but doesn’t even begin to grasp the magnitude of this issue.

    I’m a University student and my University has had to change drink names, club night names, ban certain twitter accounts, and the feminist society has accused every male of inherently wanting to rape women (they even put signs above the men’s urinals saying ”no means no” in some form of bizarre stereotyping), and anyone who says anything remotely alternative is shot down and told to get a 9-5 job.

    It’s honestly a culture of complete BS and the people I study with are some of the most stupid people I have ever met, yet I’m supposed to be in a top rated education establishment.

    Most students here have no ambition, other than what their mums and dads have told them, they’ve never traveled or experienced anything remotely interesting.

    Unfortunately it’s predominantly an English thing, it’s not even a UK thing, and it’s certainly not a worldwide thing. I’m 22 and my wife is American, they do not have this level of crap out there I can attest to that.

    Luckily, I am moving out there and don’t want to be a part of our stupid ”oh, but I’m offended” culture for much longer.

    To the author of this brilliant article, I thank you for these words and hopefully assure you that some of us have more brain than just the ability to get some A levels and pretend to be intelligent.

    • Sam_Beresford

      Isn’t it just as bad, if not worse, in much of America?

      • Jake_Was_Here

        Most of the really looney universities over here either are located in places that are already progressive enclaves, or have TURNED their immediate surroundings into progressive enclaves.

      • Hello45678

        Well, yes and no. But mostly no.

        I understand why you would say that, but the media gives Americans an incredibly bad name. We’re always shown the ‘horror’ stories. However, it’s pretty dependent on where you are in America, after all it’s a country 80 times the size of England, but with only 4 times the population and the culture varies wildly by density, religion, political views and actual law.

        We hear the horror story of police brutality on students in usa for example, and then tarnish all with the same brush, but there’s plenty of horror stories like that here, but they hardly effect the day to day life of a student.

        I’ve met and know a ton of American University students and teachers and they are on the whole far more laid back, and there’s much less of this ‘CV politician’ stuff going on and putting people down for a kick or just for the sake of complaining.

        The students at my uni seem to get this kick out of shutting things down, writing articles for the student newspaper that are clearly intended to ‘call out’ people, and to be awkward in general.

        I think it just comes down to our negative culture. In America i can talk to someone at a bus stop and make a lifelong friend, in England if i talk to someone at a bus stop they tell me to F-off, look awkwardly at their phone or assume I want to mug them.

        To me, given the general (not everyone of course) attitude to strangers and others in general it’s no surprise that a culture like ours pumps out on mass university students with the types of issues presented in this article.

  • Tomasz Szymaniec

    Having heard the discussion regarding stepford students, I am completely embarrassed to hear a student from my generation advocating the position that certain issues should be fenced off from society, indeed, censored. If a particular group of people advocate racism,etc. let that voice be heard, and then demolished by opposing logical arguments in a democratic setting. Otherwise, we have dogma and the end of all debate.

    • Neil Saunders

      It’s also important, as I’ve mentioned elsewhere on this thread, to have intellectual charity towards your interlocutors and intellectual humility regarding yourself. Don’t start from a presumption of error or – even worse – wickedness on the part of your adversaries.

  • http://linkedin.com/in/adatherton David Atherton

    All these student will completely reverse their positions once they are about 35

    • Richard

      Trouble is, they will have created a society where that is not possible. Once you have a Soviet-style state, it takes a revolution to change things.

      • http://linkedin.com/in/adatherton David Atherton

        No, they have no power. Let them rant on about sexual politics, much less dangerous than socialism. One thing they will come unstuck on is ‘African-American’ culture, like rap lyrics. Meantime the rest of us get on with creating wealth. The most dangerous student protest this year was forcing that university in Glasgow to discontinue investment and partnerships with big oil.

  • AtilaTheHen

    Who is this Harriet Brown? What a dreadful woman.

  • Gerschwin

    Were it ever thus, just twenty years ago they wore PFLP T-shirts and bleated about the bourgeoisie and the coming revolution… same old, same old… just different clothing, new slogans, alternative proscribed beliefs to fit the 21C.

    Difference is I suppose 20 years ago they were still getting laid, now they’re not, not with the new feminism to embrace – so they’re frustrated to boot.

    But in the end it really is just more of the same lefty tinsel town politics University has been so good at for so long.

  • oxford students for death
    • The_greyhound

      It isn’t argued at all. Merely an assemblage of sanctimonious platitudes and fashionable pieties .

    • Barzini

      The best reply to that article is the following:

      If having opposing opinions expressed in some part of a building complex that you live in makes you feel “uncomfortable”, then you don’t belong in a University.

      Fuck off back to pre-school, where your worldview won’t be challenged and you won’t ever hear anything that makes you feel uncomfortable.

  • Aporia

    I’m at Edinburgh Uni (one of the abovementioned twenty that banned Blurred Lines) and this pathetic, limp-minded attitude is rife among the student bodies and press. I would consider setting up a society to stop the banning of free speech, but it would, of course, itself be banned in the interests of student’s physical and mental well-being.

    Why, according to them, are students now incapable of processing, analyzing and criticizing controversial viewpoints without feeling the sudden, uncontrollable urge to roam from lecture theatre to lecture theatre, karate-kicking unfortunate females and ethnically cleansing student minorities?

    I actively seek offensive and controversial material; it’s fun, and it helps me confirm what I’m against. The next generation of leaders will have weak, uncritical minds if they’re stopped from doing the same.

    • Guest

      These students will not become the next generation of leaders. Ignorance and irrationality have existed since the beginning of time, in fact I’m starting to think it plays a role in human evolution because it’s so intertwined into our progression. Just because these are collegiate level children/adults, doesn’t mean they’re some godsend of intelligence. Plenty of irrational people graduate from university, there are irrational people who hold PHDs! Likely because there is no focus on reasoning skills in school anymore, it’s all about a curriculum of surface knowledge, remembering, reproducing, pretending to care about X topic, writing and figuring out for other people and not yourself. There are brilliant people who hold PHDs, but that is because of the individual not the environment. Many paths in life require a distinction so people obtain it.

      We do not teach wisdom in schools. We do not teach reason in schools. Our culture is all about thinking within the box, thinking within the system, a product of capitalism and a focus on wealth and control. When you vote democrat or republican, you’re really just voting for the same thing. We are oppressed by our own culture, too many people are unhappy, too many people wake up with anxiety about the future, and too many people are hungry around the world. This is the byproduct of a broken world structure that is like a rusty, whiny, smoking mechanical contraption built to ooze out a fountain of golden pleasure for the cigar smoking corporate overlord who is profiting off your misery. Life shouldn’t be a competition for anyone, but our society has become too much like a game in order to benefit the few, we waste so much potential energy on a day by day basis, world hunger could be solved in a matter of hours if the world had proper values guiding it.

      My point is this bleeds into our school systems, into people’s minds. We become like a programmable-machine caught in its own illusions instead of a gentle, connected, technologically advanced force of nature. It’s up to us to educate ourselves, and to become reasonable in accordance to ourselves and in respect to the condition of our culture, in respect to the human condition, in order to change it positively. We live in a technologically-inclined children’s playpen, the world is radically absent of any wisdom or a collective value system that doesn’t consider money first. We live in a cultural hegemony, naturally, and this will organically change into a different type of society through revolution.

      The collective consciousness of human kind is not only primitive, but it is easily manipulated and convinced. Don’t believe me? Look throughout history. This will change exponentially overtime as the world gets more connected and economically advanced through the chaotic, now world-wide culturally induced oppression that causes society to progress perpetually towards more advanced states technologically, but more importantly, politically and philosophically. I’m twenty years old. Does it sound like I learned any of this from school?

      • timbazo

        ‘Likely because there is no focus on reasoning skills in school anymore, it’s all about a curriculum of surface knowledge, remembering, reproducing, pretending to care about X topic, writing and figuring out for other people and not yourself.’
        I would put it more succinctly. We now teach children what to think, not how to think.
        Many other readers probably agree. Many of them probably also supported Gove. They should question their views on the latter. Gove was far from alone. However, he was one of the Ministers who have turned education in this country into a machine.

        • rubyduck

          You are joking,

          • Tynam

            He is really not. Ask any teacher.

            Gove did one-size-fits-all “education” – he picked the style of education which would have worked the best for him, personally, and then demanded that nothing else be taught.

            All pupils who are exactly like Michael Gove were very well served by this.

          • Hzle

            I think that’s arguable both ways – but successive governments of all stripes have screwed around with education (Blair & co were the worst culprits for me but long before that)

      • timbazo

        Short of a revolution, these students will become a new generation of leaders. They will form a self-selecting elite that will claim the right to rule due to their academic qualifications. That’s the frightening reality.

        • Chris Johnson

          Yeah, that’s what they said about Generation Xers. What do we have now? Exactly the same type of leader we had in the 90s.

          They said the same thing about the baby boomers too. What do we have now? The same ultra-conservative jerkoffs that ALWAYS get into power.

          • Wolf

            You call Obama Biden and the mass of liberals, ultra-conservative jerkoffs? I think you need to look back into what makes the difference between liberal ideas and thinking and conservative ideas and thinking. John Wayne thought he was a liberal until he learned what conservatives believed and wanted and found out “Hey, I’m a conservative.”

            Look into your stuff Chris. You are claiming we are being led by the exact opposite of who we actually are being led by.

          • CNN is a State Dept Mouthpiece

            Obama has killed over 4,000 innocents in ten different countries with drones during his term. He’s a war criminal.

          • Wolf

            Yeah, I hate how he leads or rather sacrifices our family and friends in the armed forces too. And I agree that he has no regards for innocent people, only power and control. That’t not a political party thing, that’s a personal and moral thing. And someone like that needs no place even close to any seat of power.

          • ToAd gRoAn

            wouldn’t have been any different with any other person elected. it’s just political theatre. the plutocracy calls the shots. not us. elections are just for show, makes us feel like we have some kind of say. but we don’t. the curtain is going up again soon. places everybody!

          • Tynam

            Yes, he is. Much like pretty much every American president for the last 70 years.

            His innocents-killed count is a lot lower than the last one, though. Not that that’s much of a standard.

          • ToAd gRoAn

            wouldn’t have been any different with any other person elected. it’s just political theatre. the plutocracy calls the shots not us. elections are just for show, makes us feel like we have some kind of say. but we don’t. the curtain is going up again soon. places everybody!

          • Tynam

            OK, you _must_ be American. Only an American could call Obama’s utter conservatism – and right-wing conservatism at that – “liberal”.

            Please be aware that the vicious civil war the US is having between the positions it describes as “left” and “right” is a conflict between the positions that everyone else on the planet would describe as “right-wing free market conservatism” (Democrat) and “right-wing free market conservatism, plus religiously-phrased bigotry” (Republican).

            The US does not, at this time, possess a liberal political party, or even a centre-right one for that matter.

          • Cim Thayne

            Actually, right-wing free market conservatism is Classical Liberalism, or proper Liberalism. And Obama is far from right-wing.

          • Nicolas B.

            You must be kidding ! Obama is for death penalty.

          • Reggie von Zugbach

            With luck, as a receiver.

          • dcalfine

            Until he is against it.

          • Dave Baker

            Yes and no. Many free market conservatives are social conservatives.
            Social conservatism is not liberalism.

          • Wolf

            Are you trying to tell me that a party that is actively tearing down the free market and small businesses of America is “right-wing free market conservative”? Because the current liberal minded Democratic party is more closely related to full fledged socialism than anything else. You must not be an American and must not keep up on American politics or news, as I wouldn’t expect a non-American to do. Just as I likely don’t keep too close of an eye on the political happenings in your nation.

          • Tynam

            I’m sorry, but you are wrong.

            This is not your fault. American politics contains such a tiny, restricted proportion of the world’s political options that it’s *very* hard for someone who only hears about the choices available inside that bubble to appreciate how big the playground is.

            So let me show you the problem. This is a quick, approximate political map of my country:

            http://www.politicalcompass.org/ukparties2010

            On the same scale, the entirety of US mainstream politics fits in a 2×2 box at the top right. (Here’s the 2012 election chart, but the similarity of your two parties has actually become *worse* since then.)

            http://www.politicalcompass.org/uselection2012

            For comparison, here’s what a more healthy range of democratic alternatives looks like:

            http://www.politicalcompass.org/germany2013

            So yes, that is _exactly_ what I am telling you. There are – despite some of your politicians overuse of that word to mean “anyone I don’t like” – no socialist parties in the United States. (Hell, there aren’t even any major socialist parties in Britain any more – haven’t been since 1992 – and we’re _massively_ to the left of you.)

            To name one example of something a socialist party would do that no US politician would even think of: there are no US parties that would even talk about renationalising the prison system – the most obviously corrupt and destructive privatised system in your society.

          • Tynam

            And I’m afraid your assumption that nobody outside the US studies US politics is wrong – of necessity. Many non-Americans – myself included – keep a *very* close study of your politics. Why? Because I care a great deal about the politics of *my* country… so I don’t have a choice.

            The trade treaty that plans to overrule my courts with corporate-sponsored tribunals that will steal my tax money for major multinationals is pushed by the US, through your corrupt administration, backed by a corrupt congress.

            The copyright law that destroyed basic public use rights in my country was pushed on the grounds of “harmonising” with US policy… which is basically dictated directly by Disney to a media-owned state.

            The trade treaty that is attempting to “harmonise” our customer protection and environmental standards is a stealth attempt to *destroy* them – by “harmonising” with the lowest common denominator. That would be the US, the democracy with the weakest standards of consumer protection.

            The utterly corrupt party currently running my government just tried to sell off the public health blood banks… to Lockheed Martin.

            I’m interested in your politics because I have to be – because the symptoms that make your political parties indistinguishable from each other are *spreading*.

          • Verbatim

            My sister has recently achieved a Masters Degree in US Studies from Sydney University. She’s keenly interested in American politics and many Australians are engaged with the world beyond our borders.

          • ToAd gRoAn

            i do believe “wolf” has run away with his tail between his legs?

          • albertWestpy

            I might add that I have found most non-Americans know more about the USA than most American citizens who seem to care about nothing other than accumulating crap in their otherwise dull and uncultured lives.
            Yes, I understand that I’m cynical but at 73 I should be able to get away with a few things.

          • Secret Person

            No, you’re just a bigoted ahole.

          • albertWestpy

            LOL, now that is the type of response that I would expect from an American. Thank you, Secret.

          • Silent Bob

            Obama and the Democratic party have no relation to socialism. That’s just nonsensical US conservative group think. I spent decades of my life in the US and most US citizens can’t seem to get the definition of socialism correct at all.

          • John Brookes

            Socialism=Good. All governments are socialist, its just the degree they disagree on. Of course there are many other dimensions to government. But to America’s discredit they can’t even have a debate about socialism because it is verboten.

          • That Guy Who Said That Thing

            “actively tearing down the free market and small businesses of America”- God, you’re such a little drama-queen.

          • ToAd gRoAn

            i do believe “wolf” has run away with his tail between his legs??

          • albertWestpy

            Wolf, As an American as well as a card carrying member of the Socialist Party USA, I would like to inform you that you don’t have a clue as to what your talking about:
            1. USA ranks 134th. in the world for government commitment to education.
            2. # 54th. in education expenditures.
            3. # 14th. in education.
            4. # 72nd. in girls going to grad school.
            5. # 85th. in boys going to grad school.
            6. # 33rd. in acceptance of evolution.
            7. # 2nd. in general ignorance.
            Reference Sources: Brookings Institution, Pew, World
            Economic Form and so on.
            The Democratic and Republican parties are nothing more than different sides of the same capitalist coin. I have in Amsterdam and Berlin, each for a year or more, and have spent as little as 4 weeks in 34 countries, returning to some such a England 5 times. I’m 73 y/o and have done grad work. In the developed countries I have been to I have not encountered any group of people as misinformed, under educated and as arrogant as fellow Americans. In anticipation of what might be a question on your part I will tell you in advance that I allowed myself to remain here due to family. If not I would have been gone since the 60’s and now I’m too old. Maybe in another life.

          • Sam

            Number 6 concerns me in that there must therefore be at least 100 countries with better commitment to education that do not accept evolution.

          • Astrid Kristian Lundberg

            bless this comment

          • http://www.thegantry.net/blog Casey

            Wow. Teh Stoopid is strong with this one.

            Ignoring the right-left paragdim (which is literal nonsense; there is no single value to define such a spectrum) this creature self-evidently has never opened a history book. Such an ignorance of terms such as liberal & conservative is mind-blowing.

          • Tynam

            Of course there’s nothing as simple as a “right-left” spectrum. If you had actually clicked my link, and possessed the ability to read, you would have seen a more sophisticated multi-axis graph – still only an approximation, of course.

            I was attempting to explain to you that the way the US uses the words “liberal” and “conservative” is NOT THE SAME as the way the rest of the world uses them.

            (And if you think there’s a big difference between your political parties, can I just point out that every single major Obama policy has been a Republican policy of the 80s-2000s – most of them ones the Republicans enthusiastically supported until Obama implemented them.)

            Your entire political system – every party, every politician – sits in the ground occupied by _single conservative parties_ in other countries. The differences you fight to the death over are *tiny*; they’re drowned out by the total policy similarity of your only two political parties.

            Calling the US Democrat party “liberal” seems as ridiculous to a European as calling them “Martian”.

            But then, we have actual liberalism over here, not to mention conservatism, socialism, social liberalism, and other ideas that the US has long since forgotten or never discovered.

            I can’t blame you for your ignorance of political history *or* theory since John Locke and Adam Smith; since American education does not cover the existence of the rest of the world, you are unaware of the developments in thought originating from other countries.

            But I can blame you for you personal attacks. Free hint: if your whole argument is “you’re stoopid”, you don’t actually have an argument. That being the case, why not stay silent and learn until you do?

          • Waiting

            I think the fact that different political parties call themselves something doesn’t mean their actions define the word. In American the Republican party does not push “modern conservative” policies. But, every thinks Republican = conservative, so whatever they want must be conservative. Wrong, these terms have meaning and it should not be influenced by groups that hijack the words and don’t actually believe in what it stands for. I cannot tell you how many times political parties have flipped ideology, but I can link my essay when I’m done with it if you’d like.
            I’d also like to add that the way in which researchers create a multi-directional spectrum is absurd. It simply doesn’t make sense. A govt cannot respect the people’s liberties and rights but control the economy. History shows this. A govt cannot determine what rights people have (for ex. curb the right of free speech) but allow a free market economy.
            It is more govt or less govt. The fact that some try to make make it multi-directional and right leaning has no historical or factual basis. They just throw people on a chart and define specific legislation however they want.
            note: (free market capitalism is not the same as a govt influenced market where handouts are given to business, which is also big business who enjoy govts ear)

          • Tynam

            Free market capitalism _is_ the same as a government inflluenced market where handouts are given to business. In a free market you can buy anything, including government.

            Preventing this needs regulation, with teeth, and a means of maintaining regulatory independence.

            And no, it’s not “more government or less government”. Real life never fits on single-line charts. The world is much more nuanced than that.

          • Waiting

            It is not. If government is not allowed to interfere in business, then there would be no interest in “buying” government because it would have little market influence and no handouts for businesses. Handouts to businesses is
            not capitalism, if that is occurring it is most definitely not a free market.
            I’m not saying we don’t need regulations, we do, but the
            regulations I think you are proposing are unnecessary if there is not desire to purchase political influence in the first place.

          • Tynam

            You’re correct in principle.

            But to create a government which “isn’t allowed to interfere in business”, you have to also make it incapable of fulfilling any of its actual functions – since *everything* affects business in some way.

            The economy is too interdependent for “government” to be a magic category with no benefit to businesses in suborning it.

            What function, exactly, do you imagine goverment can perform without businesses pressuring it to perform them differently, and worse, for their gain?

          • Waiting

            Not absolutely true. Your question cannot be answered simply. The issue is that government takes from A to give to B. Regardless of how many regulations exist, this is what government does. So who is to decide the winners and losers?
            I would like the market to decide. Those that are efficient and necessary will survive and those that are not will fail.
            But, government can perform every necessary function without benefiting an industry at the expense of others. What can you imagine government not being able to perform without business influence?

          • Tynam

            The trouble is that the market does not, in fact, allocate resources to those things that are efficient and necessary.

            It allocates resources _efficiently_ to those things that are _profitable_.

            That has the same effect – IF all consumers are ideal market-based decision makers, informed on all issues with negligable search costs.

            Unfortunately this does not, in any way, describe humans. (Which is one reason so many market models and arguments are nonsense.)

            In practice, your approach fails because it can’t deal with externalities.

            Unregulated free markets promote massive _inefficiency_ across society, because it’s usually cheaper for a business to cause large general harm for small savings to them.

            (A simple example: without regulation, businesses dump toxic waste in the water supply. It causes a thousand times the cost to _society as a whole_, but it’s cheaper _for them_.

            But government can’t prevent that without “interfering with business”. Regulation will naturally benefit those industries that don’t produce toxic waste, or can dispose of it safely cheaply, over those with significant clean-up costs. In fact, public safety regulations are detrimental to industry in proportion to the extent that that industry is, without them, detrimental to society.)

            It’s also been proven that nothing attracts wealth as quickly as capital. In particular, investment beats wealth production as a means of acquiring capital. So a free market – again, unrestricted by government – will always metamorphose into an oligarchy, because wealth concentration happens naturally unless specifically opposed. Given limited total resources – land is the perfect example – the first thing a capitalist can do in a free market is make a fat profit by rent-seeking.

            This makes the entire market less free. But it happens anyway, because individuals profit.

            Too much wealth concentration is extremely bad for the economy, and for society. But the free market can never fix that problem. It’s very efficient at finding maximum _local_ profit, but pays no attention to _global_ cost.

            tl;dr summary: A free market can, in theory, solve the tragedy of the commons. But in practice it never does.

          • Gerschwin

            This is from what? Chapter 14, ‘A Beginner’s Guide to Basic Economics.’ Just complete twaddle. Seriously, freshman? You must be.

          • Greg Price

            Anyone who is paying the least attention to reality in the US knows what Tynam posted is 100% true.

          • Gerschwin

            Balls. Anyone knows that anyone who posts ‘anyone/everyone knows…’ anywhere on the internet knows nothing. Get it? Probs not.

          • Greg Price

            What Tynam posted is exactly what we see in the US all the time. A market that distributes to maximize PROFIT, not utility or the public good.

          • Waiting

            I suggest you go to http://mises.org/ and learn the difference between classical liberalism and modern liberalism. One is based on individual liberties (notice the similarity in spelling) and one describes the policies that support government control. This is an extreme problem and left wing proponents have been systematically blaming dictatorships and authoritative, oppressive regimes as right wing. I’ll give you a tip to help you on your search for the truth. When Hitler suspended the Constitution, absorbed all state power to the federal level, declared martial law, dictated production and wage levels, and suspended the liberties of millions of citizens, it was not not considered to be classical liberalism. Common sense prevails in these matters.
            True conservatives (classical liberals) = liberties
            Modern liberals = state power (authoritative power)
            I pray that one day people who don’t know the difference, such as yourself, take the time to be properly educated. Because guess what? Giving government all the power doesn’t work out well for people like you and me.

          • Tynam

            I took a look. I’ll give *you* a tip to help you on the search for the truth: The site is an interesting combination of obvious truth, second-rate libertarian propaganda and utter lies and ignorance. Learn more, from many other sources.

            I notice that you are, conveniently, decrying liberalism while claiming the right to tell liberals what “modern liberalism” stands for.

            I shall exercise the same privilege.

            If “True conservatives” stand for liberties, then there is not a single “true conservative” left on the face of the Earth.

            *Modern* conservatives stand for the neo-liberal agenda: rule by a small elite of hyper-rich, backed by enough state power to enable them to steal a substantial proportion of all wealth generated by the rest of the population, without allowing that population any influence over the nation in which they live.

            (Take a look at the text of the TPA or TTIP for an idea how this is accomplished. Oh, wait, you can’t; you’re not allowed to read the terms of the treaties that will override your national laws. Only corporate negotiators are allowed to do that.)

            Guess what? Giving *anyone* all the power doesn’t work out well for people like you and me. It doesn’t matter whether you call them “government” or not. If you haven’t also limited the power of, for example, landowners and corporate CEOs, you belong to them.

            A state without government does not produce “individual liberties”, except in the sense that Somalia has been a bastion of individual liberty.

          • Waiting

            The funny thing is we see eye to eye on this subject. First, I don’t use mises as my one stop shop for information. But, I would be interested to see what you think is a “lie”
            If I am putting words in the mouths of “modern liberals,” if you do respond can you tell me what they believe in and how that will fix the circumstance that both our nations are in.
            I agree that “modern conservatives” are what you say they are. There is no difference between govt and corporations in America. Interest groups and lobbying control every bill and flood elections with candidates who will push policy in their favor. I believe in limited government, and thus the sanctity of liberties and rights, because more government control means more corporate power. One just has to look at who is assisting politicians in writing these bills to know that the expanse of govt is also the expanse of corporations. It’s very important that you understand I’m not pro-anarchy. I see the necessity of govt, obviously. But, I am for limited govt, meaning less power over day to day life, and most importantly in the constrains of our Constitution. In America that means legislative power to the states and Congress as a overseeing body. Of course I understand how crucial regulations are. But, when the federal government in America makes regulating bodies them become dominated by the industry, which is why they are ripe for abuse. I understand we need them, so what true conservatives believe is regulation at state levels. Much easier to influence and much more willing to vote in the public interest. In, America you vote for either party and they expand the govt, because thats what big business wants.
            I see “modern liberals” in the wrong because they believe that pure govt control is the answer. But they seem to forget the friendly relationship govt and business has always had. If you give more power to the govt, then it doesn’t matter what laws you pass, big business will always be involved and in the end, the public will lose
            If you see this differently, then please tell me how and why. I’m always up for a friendly debate. I think that all people like you and me want the same thing, corporate control has gone too far, and govt is used as a way to expand power. It’s disgusting, and I believe people want it to end.

          • Tynam

            I agree with you – I think we see eye to eye, and are being confused by differences of *terminology* rather than fundamental differences of opinion. (Not helped by the modern tendency to draw too little distinction between *economic* liberalism, and *social* liberalism.)

            I don’t have the time right now for the more detailed response you ask for and deserve, so I’ll get back to you with it on Sunday when I’m free from work…

          • Greg Price

            What you describe as True Conservative/”Classic Liberal” is Libertarianism, not liberal.

            Libertarianism is basically Social Darwinism’s political expression.

          • Hell_Biker

            “liberal” and “conservative” are useless terminology.

            You are also very clearly clueless if you think that you can call EITHER party’s politics “free market”, as both parties aggressively use the power of legislation to benefit cronies while punishing opponents.

            The term you’re looking for is fascism.

          • John Huntsman

            Because socializing the best healthcare system on the planet and bailing our failing companies is free-market conservatism…

          • Tynam

            Sorry not to reply sooner. It took me a few hours to stop laughing at “best healthcare system on the planet”.

            Some context: in a hard-fought election here in the UK, the single most damning and effective charge the opposition are levelling at the government is that they have made our health system more like yours. Every British citizen, even their supporters, is terrified of losing our effective and affordable healthcare and being forced to be like you.

            It is well known, everywhere, that the US health care system is the single least efficient health care system in the planet. Your average cost per procedure is nearly double hours, for a health care outcome no better.

            You are the _only_ rich democracy where health care is a common cause of bankruptcy. Until I started talking to Americans, I had literally never heard of a human being scared to go to the doctor because of what it might cost. The idea that people in your country used to – and still do – actually *die* because they were afraid of medical costs is horrifying to us. It’s like something out of the Victorian era.

            Now that I’ve finished explaining that, I’ll reply to your actual point…

            Compared to the _actual_ socialism we have here in Europe, yes, Obama is free-market conservatism.

            The weak, market-led, fake stuff you have in the states doesn’t become actual socialism just because one of your parties likes to scream “socialist”.

          • Gerschwin

            ‘It is well known, everywhere…’ where? Who knows this? You and your friends? It is not well known anywhere.

          • Tynam

            Sorry, Gerschwin, you’re suffering from an isolated US viewpoint. Ask any random ten citizens of Europe what they think of US healthcare; the results might be eye-opening for you.

            Free hint: Nobody’s jealous of the healthcare you have, before Obama or after.

            In fact, healthcare is always top of the list in conversations about “why we wouldn’t want to live in the US”.

          • Gerschwin

            No. That’s not true. Ask any random European what they think of the US healthcare system and they’ll tell you it’s the best in the world- which it is by a country mile – see I’ve asked them so I know this. Offer them their taxes back to buy their own health insurance and they’ll take it like a shot, as would you. Now down at the Students’ Union you probably sit around complaining about the terror of the bourgeoisie or whatever you heard about in your latest lecture but in the real world people with serious illness seek treatment in the USA long before the National Shakespearean Health Service has had a chance to kill them off.

          • John Huntsman

            People vote with their feet. I have NOT heard of a lot of US people fundraising so they can go to Europe to have a treatment. But Europeans/Canadians trying to get to the US for treatment? Lots.
            Pray you never hear “I am sorry but the NHS does not pay for experimental treatment’.

          • Greg Price

            People hear that all the time from Insurance companies.

            And yes, people DO try to get overseas to get care they can’t in the US due to for-profit Health Care.

            Watch Michael Moore’s “Sicko” for the story of US citizens who flee abroad for care.

          • John Huntsman

            Might as well read 1960s Pravda! Haha.

          • Greg Price
          • John Huntsman

            You are refuting me with the Guardian and NaturalNews? Hilarious. You could have tried for some less biased sources?

            However, you did at least link some sources, which is commendable!

            Why not look at something like the WHO report:

            http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/89/1/10-076612/en/

            Which is a lot less “propagandy” and actually illuminates some of the issues we have.

          • ToAd gRoAn

            you guys John Huntsman and Greg Price sound like republican/democratic sock puppet accounts. lmao typical ignorant brainwashed c̶i̶t̶i̶z̶e̶n̶s̶ wage slaves…

          • ToAd gRoAn

            you guys John Huntsman and Greg Price sound like republican/democratic sock puppet accounts. lmao typical ignorant brainwashed c̶i̶t̶i̶z̶e̶n̶s̶ wage slaves.

          • Secret Person

            And you sound like a typical liberal brownshirt.

          • ToAd gRoAn

            i’m canadian you twat

          • Greg Price

            Then you need to do better research. The excellent documentary on health care “Sicko” documents several accounts of US people fleeing to other nations to get care they cannot get in the US.

          • Greg Price

            Sicko (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0386032/)

            Includes INTERVIEWS WITH Europeans, Canadians, etc.

            They’re VERY happy with UHC.

          • John Huntsman

            You better stick to colds and hope you don’t have real health issues then. Also: noone in the US is denied emergency treatment – by law, even before the system was socialized. Which was one of the problems with it.

          • Tynam

            Actually, I’ve had health issues my entire life, although they’re nothing to the massively more severe issues suffered by many people I know.

            That’s why I’m glad I didn’t fulfil my childhood plan of moving to the US with my friends. I’d be broke and some of my friends would be dead, at the hands of your murderously inefficient, overpriced, underperforming system.

            I’m interested in how that “emergency treatment” the law requires deals with cancer, bone marrow loss, renal failure, diabetes, pregnancy, arteriosclerosis, or dental care.

            (That was a rhetorical lie. I’m not interested; I already know the answer. It deals with it by ignoring it until it’s too late, then spending a hundred times as much as it would have cost given even a little early detection and treatment.)

            I sincerely hope you never have to deal with any of those things, however, with the sincerity I always feel for people suffering in backwater countries without real health care.

          • Gerschwin

            ‘That’s why I’m glad I didn’t fulfil my childhood plan of moving to the US with my friends. I’d be broke and some of my friends would be dead, at the hands of your murderously inefficient, overpriced, underperforming system’

            Had you moved to the US you would have made something of your life and you wouldn’t be sitting here late at night, must be nigh on midnight in the UK, blaming everyone for your failures and inadequacies. Sad boy.

          • John Huntsman

            It is your responsibility to pay “a hundred times less” for “a little early detection and treatment”. You don’t have a right to other people’s work or property, including doctors or tax-payers.

          • Greg Price

            Tell that to the employers and stockholders who are making BILLIONS off of stealing the wages of workers and the properties of homeowners and small businesses.

            As a member of society, I am required to contribute what I AM ABLE TO contribute, but I also have the right to demand sufficient resources to live regardless of how others value that contribution.

            The measure of a human live =/= the economic value of his produce.

            Your horrid worldview would say it is the duty of the poor to simply die because they cannot support themselves (often through no fault of their own).

          • John Huntsman

            You sound entitled. Nobody owes you anything for existing or for being a member of society. You don’t have a right to a job or healthcare, and most of all, you don’t have a right to other peoples’ resources or property. In other words, get a job, hippie.

          • Secret Person

            Then emigrate to a country that offers the benefits you seek and claim asylum. You do know that the massive numbers of illegals flooding Europe is going to bankrupt the system?

          • Greg Price

            Why should I have to abandon my country just to be treated with human dignity and compassion?

          • Gerschwin

            He’s hasn’t got a clue, he’s very immature for starters.

          • Secret Person

            Yes, and there’s no such thing as the Liverpool Pathway. And even the NHS published an article about a study that shows that deaths are much higher than the US system. Neither system is the best but going to a system like the French where doctors are paid much less than the US and they freeload on American innovation isn’t going to fly in the US. The fact is that Europe free loads on the US for technology and military backup and they get their fat social welfare state and long vacations. They are no different from Greece, it’s time to make them pay for these benefits. Unfortunately for them, most of them are, like France are running massive benefits. It would be most fitting to make it worse.

          • Greg Price

            Technology? Maybe. “System”? Not a chance.

            The US is well down the list in every term describing OUTCOMES (which is the true measure of how well a health care system works).

            The only chart we top or near top is COST.

            For profit, “market” health care is a failure.

            Period.

          • John Huntsman

            The reason for the cost is not enough competition.
            The reason for having the technology is the free market.

          • Greg Price

            Stop lying.

            In Europe, Canada, Britain, Australia, etc the cost is LOWER and they have the a similar amount of competition because the government acts to force out profiteering.

            Much of if not most research and development is funded in whole or in part by government and/or public universities, not the “free market”.

            In fact, the “free market” routinely IGNORES research into drugs to treat “unprofitable” diseases or that would reduce the cost to consumers for medicines that already exist.

            The “free market” is why we now have no anti-venom for the bite of coral snakes ( http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/health/a6131/coral-snake-antivenom-crisis/ ).

            The “free market” is responsible for the raft of “orphan drugs” to treat rare or severe medical issues.

            http://www.orpha.net/consor/cgi-bin/Education_AboutOrphanDrugs.php?lng=EN

            The “free market” is responsible for preventing the development and introduction of generics for some medications like insulin to keep people using their high-priced “brand” versions.

            http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMms1411398 [requires subscription, unfortunately]

            http://consumer.healthday.com/diabetes-information-10/diabetes-drug-news-179/why-isn-t-there-any-cheap-generic-insulin-697553.html [cites and summarizes NEJM article]

          • John Huntsman

            I mean if you think there is a market (read value) in developing cures for “unprofitable” diseases, go for it. Oh wait, barrier to entry too high? You have to test your new pharmaceuticals for decades? Huh.

            And yes, let’s force out profiteering. Let’s make sure noone invests in developing new drugs but the government.

          • Greg Price

            Better a group controlled (at least in theory when run right) by ALL of us, rather than just by a few profit-motivated investors and stockholders.

            That’s what government is FOR: to provide those goods and services that “private” or “market” groups either can not or will not provide.

          • John Huntsman

            Just as much as the current government is run by you. You have more of a say if you buy a single share in a healthcare company than if you vote in elections. If you give people power, they will use it. If you let people provide services voluntary, they will.
            What you are suggesting is that you know better what other people need.

          • Tynam

            Anyone who thinks the US had the best healthcare system on the planet has never, in any way, dealt with health in any other democracy on the planet.

            Hint: Until I started talking to Americans, I had never met – or heard of – anyone being afraid to go to their doctor because of fear of medical costs. I had never heard of people being unable to change job because they might lose health insurance. I had *certainly* never heard of people with life-threatening conditions being denied care, or people trying to auto-euthanise so as not to bankrupt their families.

            The US healthcare system is infamous, worldwide, as the least cost-efficient, most expensive, most overpriced, most insurance-broker-driven sytem anywhere in the world. And not by a small margin; it’s nearly twice as expensive – for the same outcome – as the second-worst.

            In fact, the pathetic standard of the US healthcare system is widely cited in most countries as the number one reason *not* to live in the US.

            You pay twice as much for your healthcare as my country did, for example, while receiving worse medical coverage.

            (True until our latest government, anyway. Our Conservative party has been busy implementing a US-style model of health care as fast as they can – so our costs have spiralled up, our death rate is increasing, and our health care system is acknowledged to be in danger of total failure for the first time in decades. We’re still not a fraction as badly off as you were, though)

          • John Huntsman

            I have had to live for years in and out of the USA and have had to deal with the health systems of other countries, particularly Europe (multiple locations) and Canada. I can tell you this: people are left to die, with their only hope being collecting enough funds from friends and relatives to go to the USA and be cured.
            Yes, the US system was far from perfect, and mostly because of lack of competition (medical care is very heavily regulated). But with the changes, I expect it to get a lot worse for almost everybody.

          • trav45

            Hey, I’m an American and I don’t think Obama’s a liberal. Just middle of the road (and distressingly pro-corporations. If you think he’s right wing conservative, you haven’t been watching Congress to see what right-wing really is.

          • Secret Person

            Although an American, I’ve been following closely British politics and our Democrats are most certainly aligned to Labour in the vast majority of ways. UK Conservatives are certainly left of Republicans. Who cares what the labels are, that sounds bigoted, it’s the policies that matter. And, yes, many Americans are ignorant about critical thinking of politics. It doesn’t help that, unlike Europe, our populace is 30% comprised of low IQ minorities and increasing. Add in extreme racial identity politics and we’re fast approaching Latin American style politics. We’re already there in parts. The lack of transparency, the crony capitalism, the use of govt (ex IRS) against your political enemies, the demonization of opponents with the help of the MSM, the pandering with freebies to the lower class, and the corrupted politicians. Sounds pretty close to what Chavez, or any other Latin American despot, does. It’s just a matter of time before we finally reach 100%.

          • Greg Price

            Compare what Obama has DELIVERED vs what he PROMISED. He’s a sell-out Corporatist, just like Bill Clinton was, and Hillary will probably be.

            But “weak poison” that offers a chance to survive (right-wing Democrats) is better than “strong poison” that will kill you on the spot (the TEAGOP).

          • Raoul Duke

            Um… Obama is a baby boomer. The BB generation ended in 1964

          • Jimpithecus

            What world do you live in? It sure isn’t the same one I do.

          • Closedshop

            They become power players on the left though.

            What do they have to offer to any working or struggling person?

        • OzzWorx

          They will become the next generation of drone bureaucrats. Every interaction, chosen or forced, with the government will be fraught with PC danger!

        • Dudley Morris

          At the very least, they’ll make up a large chunk of bureaucratic upper/middle managers, and media producers. And the nature of their qualifications – most of the “Stepford” types have liberal arts or humanities/quirky social science degrees – ensures they’d have a hard time finding work outside the public sector or media, environments where their zealotry will get a sympathetic hearing and help ensure career progression.

          • Secret Person

            Not true, the SJWs will demand that the private sector hire the unemployable ethnic/gender studies grads. The only other option is what’s currently happening which is private and taxpayer funded orgs are supporting these parasites as professional agitators/community organizers. With manufactured grievances which is something that is NOT helpful to society.

        • Steve

          Yes, i’ve worked with some of these elite. Liberal arts today is progressive arts of selective group-think appropriateness.

      • Andrew

        You are right about ignorance and irrationality being part of human evolution. It is memorizing techniques that made us human. This is our advantage, memory, not “intelligence” (unless your definition includes same.) That is the bigger brain – more RAM. So we don’t reason, we remember what we have been taught.

        • montague_stjohn

          I look forward to your forthcoming article in Nature!

      • vectoron

        To be honest, this sounds like the lofty crap you learn in school. “now world-wide culturally induced oppression”

        Hipster much?

        Also: You can’t teach wisdom, the very definition of widsom is knowledge gained from experience. I think you probably need MORE school.

        • CNN is a State Dept Mouthpiece

          Are you drunk or just stupid?

          • Kennie

            you seem like a ‘Stepford student’
            or are you just rude and ignorant?

      • Will Skux Ormshaw

        HOLY shit, I listened to the argument or whatever it was that’s attached to the article (which I didn’t bother reading) and it was fucking idiotic. It’s like two people who are both wrong arguing has become the new thing, and nobody seems to see just how stupid it is, and they just march along to the tune of whichever side they think they should identify with.

    • Guest

      These students will not become the next generation of leaders. Ignorance and irrationality have existed since the beginning of time. In fact I’m starting to think it plays a role in human evolution because it’s so intertwined into our cultural progression. Just because these are collegiate level children/adults, doesn’t mean they’re some godsend of intelligence. Plenty of irrational people graduate from university, there are irrational people who hold PHDs! Likely because there is no focus on reasoning skills in school anymore, it’s all about a curriculum of surface knowledge, remembering, reproducing, pretending to care about X topic, writing and figuring out for other people and not yourself. There are brilliant people who hold PHDs, but that is because of the individual not the environment. Many paths in life require a distinction so people obtain it.

      We do not teach wisdom in schools. We do not teach reason in schools. Our culture is all about thinking within the box, thinking within the system, a product of capitalism and a focus on wealth and control. When you vote democrat or republican, you’re really just voting for the same thing. We are oppressed by our own culture, too many people are unhappy, too many people wake up with anxiety about the future, and too many people are hungry around the world. This is the byproduct of a broken world structure that is like a rusty, whiny, smoking mechanical contraption built to ooze out a fountain of golden pleasure for the cigar smoking corporate overlord who is profiting off your misery. Life shouldn’t be a competition for anyone, but our society has become too much like a game in order to benefit the few, we waste so much potential energy on a day by day basis, hunger could be solved in a matter of hours if the world had proper values guiding it.

      My point is this bleeds into our school systems, into people’s minds. We become like a programmable-machine caught in its own illusions instead of a gentle, connected, technologically advanced force of nature. It’s up to us to educate ourselves, and to become reasonable in accordance to ourselves and in respect to the condition of our culture, in respect to the human condition, in order to change it positively. We live in a technologically-inclined children’s playpen, the world is radically absent of any wisdom or a collective value system that doesn’t consider money first. We live in a cultural hegemony, naturally, and this will organically change into a different type of society through revolution.

      The collective consciousness of human kind is not only primitive, but it is easily manipulated and convinced. Don’t believe me? Look throughout history. This will change exponentially overtime as the world gets more connected and economically advanced through the chaotic, now world-wide culturally induced oppression that causes society to progress perpetually towards more advanced states technologically, but more importantly, politically and philosophically.

    • UKSteve

      UKIP is banned from most, if not all university campuses, at election times.

      But then if you’re receiving EU money…

      http://www.brugesgroup.com/eurorebuttal/propaganda.live?article=172

      • ItinerantView

        The last thing they want to provide is context and perspective, especially as it is among the young, anti-EU sentiment is growing all over Europe.
        The Guardian reporting one poll that even in “traditionally pro-EU countries, such as Germany, support is atrophying. It remained high among older people but the 25-50 age group was split 50-50 between EU supporters and opponents. Across the EU, eurosceptics outnumbered EU-supporters by 43-40%.”

        http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/nov/13/le-pen-wilders-alliance-plan-wreck-eu

    • Jon Ca

      So true, you are absolutely correct. Once they start banning speech, next they’re burning books, and imprisoning people for saying what they don’t like!

    • John E Woodside

      Not for nothing, but the mental video of someone drop-kicking know-it-alls in a lecture theater sounds like it would make for a great movie scene… But seriously folks, set up your pro-free speech society, just make it an underground one like they did in the Good Old Days. That way, you have something to tell the grandkids about…

    • Jimbo Green

      You should get a speaker system set up somewhere and play ‘Blurred Lines’ as loud as possible and see what happens.

      • G Tony Jacobs

        Only trouble is, it’s a terrible song.

        • Jimbo Green

          It’s not that bad.

    • Craig Crestford

      It should be criticized openly, that’s everyone’s right but not banned.

    • Janice Fiamengo

      I love that: the Society to Stop the Banning of Free Speech. Great publicity if it did get banned.

    • cartimandua

      Then you are not able to think clearly or understand the modern world because nowadays propaganda goes sieg heil virally in seconds. New technology has changed everything and multiplied risk.
      Islamists are getting apparently sensible young people to mass murder. In the USA pro lifers are making laws which make being a fertile female practically illegal. There have already been deaths of women denied treatment. There have already been prosecutions for miscarriage.

      • Greg Price

        In this case “treatment” is legalized MURDER of a human being (the pre-born baby). Saying that abortion is “treatment” is no different than the Germans saying that the death camps “processed” Jews.

    • Sarah

      maybe they need to watch V for Vendetta to understand what is really going to happen when you give up your rights to “feel safe”! to understand what REAL issues threaten our societies and future! at this rate we will be back in line as grey plated slaves before this generation has the “right” to GROW UP!!!

      all the work and effort to FREE those minorities and “outsiders” (race, gender, faith, orientation) and THEY are going to send us backwards, only on the other ship, bc what LED to the allowance of these once “unacceptables” is going to be the very thing that stifles any progress or ACTUAL equality!!
      (that’s the kicker,they scream equality, but if you don’t jump on the PC bandwagon, you now get thrown overboard!!!!)

      • Hzle

        “they scream equality, but if you don’t jump on the PC bandwagon, you now get thrown overboard”

        I talk to these progressive types a lot. Their conversation is punctuated with anecdotes about people’s attitudes – the implication is that those attitudes are obviously not just wrong but ‘outrageous’.

        They’re actually on a moral crusade – with every bit of the zeal of religious nuts: they know best so nothing else matters. They go looking for instances of WrongThought

        A common feature of such people is that they make no attempt to understand the people they are judging. So it is with our PC friends: if they get the slightest sign of ambivalence towards immigration, or any hint of patriotic pride, they are apt to start judging you as a dangerous flag-waving EDL member, or white supremacist.

        • Secret Person

          Exactly. There is no difference between them and the Spanish Inquisition except that they are not as bloody….yet.

          • Hzle

            Yes, one can look at how words like “equality” were used in the past – and by whom (eg: around the time of the French & Russian revolutions – didn’t they go well…)

            Gender politics people are less aggressive and more passive aggressive – they won’t kill you for being male, you just won’t have a job, can already get kicked off your course for the mere accusation of sexual misconduct… Looking good for young men, these days

  • The_greyhound

    University students? Tomorrow’s shelf stackers. Feminists? Tomorrow’s wizened and embittered spinsters.

    Time these losers were found something useful to do with their lives. Organ donation perhaps.

  • Simon Fay

    The West’s equivalent of Mao’s Red Guards. At least if these creatures try it on with you in the Stompie Macketzie bar you’ve a good supply of glass to hand for shoving in their faces, which is the least they deserve. I wonder how far these mental pathologies would have wrapped themselves around public discourse were it not for the amplification of social media’s hivemind? Voltaire has been reworked for them thus –

    “I might secretly agree with what you say, but will fight to your death for my right to not have to defend your right to say it”.

    • EricHobsbawmtwit

      Is married. I checked.

  • Forrest_Higgs

    “Their eyes glazed with moral certainty, they explained to me at length that culture warps minds and shapes behaviour…”

    It certainly does, and academic culture is no exception to the rule.

  • Simon Fay

    Very lively debate. May I just say that all cyclists look like twats?

    • EricHobsbawmtwit

      Yes.

    • Penny

      That is just plain cyclist-ist!

  • tyler42

    A generation of namby pamby insular cotton wool wrapped fragile snowflakes, unable to bear even a moments criticism without bursting into tears and cowering behind their mothers skirt.

    What a disgrace. This is what happens when children are allowed to behave like spoilt brats. They turn into spoilt brat adults.

    Worst generation.

    • poltard

      “worst generation”

      let’s not forget the generation that paved the way for this in the 60s

  • holocene

    O’ Neill is completely missing the point. This isn’t about being ‘sensitive’, or not having to deal with uncomfortableness. I’ve had an abortion before and as I walked into the clinic I got called a murderer by a bunch of catholics outside (when O’ Neill has experienced that, he can come back and lecture about the ‘real world’) and I didn’t break down sobbing because I’m so naive to think that people are anti-choice. I scornfully told my friends about it afterwards and that was pretty much it.

    This issue isn’t to do with sensitivity, or wanting to live in a bubble where you never get offended. These are the issues – a) our human rights are NOT up for debate, b) they are especially not up for debate in a formal setting at a prestigious institution, and c) they are most certainly not up for debate by people who will never have to get an abortion, and so will never have their choices around abortion restricted.

    • Simon Fay

      More of the same. A self-obsessed little tyrant posing as a victim. If you’re ever caught in a fire please insist on staying put until a female firefighter can deal with you.

      “I scornfully told my friends about it afterwards and that was pretty much it.”

      Did you fill them on in the empowerment you got from the abortion itself – or did conversation stick to the trolling by the Taigs?

    • DaveAtherton20

      So where between an abortion at 2 months of a pregnancy and killing a baby 5 minutes old does the baby’s rights kick in and yours are secondary?

    • Penny

      Do you not think that the arguments – on both sides – need to be heard, and by both sexes?

      The decision to terminate a pregnancy must vary, in terms of ease, among the population. I’ve certainly known young women for whom this has been the most practical choice and they’ve no regrets. I’ve known others who struggle and some who later had regrets. Both sides of this debate surely allow us to see the spectrum of views? And might it not give young men a little more insight into the dilemmas some women might face, which in turn might make them – and young women – more responsible in their sexual lives?

      Your experience sounds horrible and I genuinely sympathise, but while censorship restricts behaviour, it does not change minds. This is why debate is so vital. .

    • mohdanga

      So having a debate about abortion is the same as removing your ‘human right’ of being able to have the abortion? Logic not your strong suit, is it?

  • Jacques

    I remember a few weeks ago at Halloween, EUSA (Edinburgh’s student union) ran a highly-publicised campaign to make sure that nobody wore native American outfits or Arab robes, since these are ‘culturally appropriative’. Which I can understand. The most disturbing thing about their advice, though, was that there was absolutely nothing wrong with women dressing as ‘slutty nurses’, since to tell them not to would be telling women what they can and cannot do with their bodies, which is wrong. Yet EUSA also bans the Sun on the grounds that the women in it are topless and may lead men to rape. I’m not sure that they even know what they believe in.

    • Dorothy

      Were there costumes deeply offensive to faithful Roman Catholics, e.g. men dressed as nuns and dodgy-looking priests? I saw the Edinburgh posters, too, and I wondered why sectarianism wasn’t on their radar. I mean, this IS Scotland!

  • Imogen Helen Dale

    To be honest its pretty rubbish being a student, you get screwed over every which way on the premise that it’ll ruin your future and go against your record that students are too afraid to rebel- however, i implore you to talk to illustration/graphics/arts students, they’re pretty much as liberal as ever, in fact our visual communication lectures are based around protesting our beliefs, and delivering manifestos. the lectures have covered marxist/communist/gender and age issues to name a few, referencing Stephane Hessel’s ‘Time for outrage.’ the discussions are always open and everyone always disagrees! 🙂

  • Alison Lavinia Houston

    This is the result of Common Purpose’s effective work. The question is what are we going to do about it? A whole generation of young people has been brain washed, a great many people of my age working in the public sector have been brain washed. The Church of England has been brainwashed against the central tenets of its own faith, our police forces have been brain washed, nobody is allowed to speak freely. The racist and Islamaphobic slurs are used to close down debate ( see James Dellingpole’s experience on a television programme called “Free Speech”.) Then there is the sacking of the EU scientific adviser (which you can read about in this magazine) even science has to be on message.

    It is no good us ordinary folk complaining about it. We have to have a political means of fighting back. Libertarians ought to put their in fighting to one side, we need a common purpose ourselves to rid society of this evil in our midst.

  • Chris Reeves

    Tell us more about how you are being oppressed by being opposed for once in your life. Keep digging up and erecting strawmen to attack and de-legitimise all those women and intersectional feminist allies who look past themselves and are now finding their voice in a world which previously ignored and even suppressed them.

    I am a feminist and this article proves we’re making an impact.

    • DaveAtherton20

      They/you have a voice we do not.

    • mohdanga

      zzzzzzzzzz….

    • courier69

      “Tell us more about how you are being oppressed by being opposed for once in your life. ”

      Okay. Based on your supposed “progressive stack”, I am above you foolish feminists because black oppresion or something like that. And yes, Yes, crazy, unfair shit has happened to me and my family at times (for example, my exsistence).

      Found it much better to focus on the good and make a positive impact on the world, rather than holding the rest of the world back in order to look good.

  • Amber Daniels

    God, help us all, cause America and Canada is right behind you guys. If we disagree with someone about an issue and it is not the popular side to be on, then we are shouted down as hypocrites or hateful. And if the “mother of this world” forbid that I believe that we should be supporting Christians or Israel. It can go both ways, too. This is breaking my heart. What is wrong with these kids?!?!?!

    • skeptik

      in a few words the Frankfurt School of “thought”, destroy society at all costs and “re-make” it in a “better” way as set out by some pompous asses in 1930.

      • Richard

        Ancient Rome was also mindless like this towards the end, and that was way before the Frankfurt School.

  • Jake Martinez

    I’m absolutely disgusted by these children. Yes, social media is certainly amplifying their insanity, but frankly the problem can directly be traced back to intersectional feminism and it’s reliance on identity politics and microagression theory.

    It’s simple really, to band everyone together (the intersectional part) then everyone must constantly be oppressed (ahem – identity politics) and what better way to get that conclusion than by indulging in a steaming hot plate of claims of microaggression (your words, thoughts, book, picture, video game is racist/sexist/something-phobic)!

    How these children turned into such brainless dolts is beyond me. Thankfully the solution to this tripe is easy – stand up to them. They absolutely lose their shit when someone points out how foolish they are and their only weapons ever are just words. Simply refuse to comply.

    Please check this out:

    http://press.gamergate.me

    These people have been standing up to these fools for 3 months now and their opponents have been losing their collective minds:

    They’ve been slandered as everything from a “hate group” to “terrorists”, “worse than ISIS” and of course the perennial favorite of the internet outrage industry “evil misogynists”. Sound familiar Brendan?

    Anyone who is sick of this garbage needs to do what Brendan is doing and start calling people out for it. We don’t need another #ShirtStorm or another #GamerGate before we wake up and start putting these bullies in their place.

  • studmuffin

    Feminism has made women weaker. They can’t handle any criticism or debate, and just start throwing temper tantrums like toddlers who aren’t getting their way. What happened to the women who helped settle the American West and pitched to help the effort during World War II?

  • Toms18

    My advice is this: If you are conservative or ‘right-wing’, and especially White conservative, you need to seriously think about packing up, moving on, and emigrating out of this country. We are done, England is done for. Let the Cultural Marxist lefties, immigrants and ‘diverse’ Britons have the country and see what happens when we leave, it will go the way of South Africa within a decade.

    I’m serious, if you care about your children and future, get out of this country whilst you can. We are totally and utterly done for, the youth of today are so brainwashed its actually beyond belief.

    • liberalprogress

      Good riddance.

      • CortexUK

        Take your hate somewhere else. Grown ups talking.

      • Toms18

        ‘Liberalprogress’ – Jesus, pass me the sick bucket.

    • poltard

      Not all of our youth has been compromised. You tend not to see them because whenever they speak they get shut down, but they are there, and very passionate.

      Besides, where will you go? The entire of Europe and America is facing the decay from the left.

      Better to stay for the fight that is ahead.

  • Kevin

    Francis Schaeffer predicted this amazingly well in “How should we then live?” written in the 1970s.

  • Kathy Liu

    This is the self-esteem generation growing up. Not only did “self-esteem” education turn out to be bunk, but also threatens the future. Good job educators. Also made worse by social media.

  • liberalprogress

    This article is a smear campaign against feminism written by a misogynist. 1 in 4
    women are raped on campus, all we our trying to do is dismantle what
    causes rape culture.

    • skeptik

      Still on LSD then or is that too 60’s?

    • Brogan75

      I bought roses to my girlfriend last week, it was her birthday. She loved them.Sorry just wanted to pi*s you off.

      • skeptik

        missoggonust!!! i lurn to spull in unyvorcity

      • liberalprogress

        YOU FAILED.

        • DaveAtherton20

          You sound an absolute charmer from your profile: “A feminist dedicated to the total liberation of women. I fight to end male violence, regain reproductive sovereignty, and ultimately dismantle the gender-caste system.

          Washington, DC”

          • Penny

            What does “regain reproductive sovereignty” actually mean, I wonder?

        • Brogan75

          yes I can see that 😀

    • DaveAtherton20

      As we all know you are talking misandrist rubbish, and I quote:

      “The one-in-five figure is based on the Campus Sexual Assault Study, commissioned by the National Institute of Justice and conducted from 2005 to 2007. Two prominent criminologists, Northeastern University’s James Alan Fox and Mount Holyoke College’s Richard Moran, have noted its weaknesses:

      “The estimated 19% sexual assault rate among college women is based on a survey at two large four-year universities, which might not accurately reflect our nation’s colleges overall. In addition, the survey had a large non-response rate, with the clear possibility that those who had been victimized were more apt to have completed the questionnaire, resulting in an inflated prevalence figure.”

      Fox and Moran also point out that the study used an overly broad definition of sexual assault. Respondents were counted as sexual assault victims if they had been subject to “attempted forced kissing” or engaged in intimate encounters while intoxicated.”

      http://time.com/3222543/5-feminist-myths-that-will-not-die/

    • Penny

      And how, exactly, does closing down a debate on abortion further your aim?

    • Halophilic NC

      If you actually had a 1 in 4 chance of being raped, would you even bother attending college?

    • CortexUK

      Misogynist how?

    • Barzini

      I’m sitting here in with a bunch of female and male university friends and we are pissing ourselves laughing at your comment – get out your mum’s basement and back into reality…….

      It’s precisely because of people like you that regular women have almost zero interest in feminism anymore, you have destroyed your own movement by pedaling ridiculous fantasy statistics that even children can tell are bullshit…..

  • David JK Carr

    Higher education is a bubble. When that bubble bursts (and it will) then maybe this psychosis will collapse with it.

  • Brogan75

    Wonderful article.And 10 years from now, the same “students” will be either still “studying”, or at JP Morgan.

  • Invin

    Thank you! For so long I felt like I was the only one who saw this happening. The thought policing, group think, and censorship mob mentality is everywhere. We need to stand up for freedom of thought, speech, and debate, especially in our schools. It’s near full-on social engineering territory already and only getting worse.

  • Ben Poser

    Ignoring the article I wanted to show my friends the video of the protest march.
    What happened to that incredibly fairly edited video?

  • John Smith

    If we forget about the abortion debate, which I’m not qualified to speak on, what this all boils down to is the impact of culture on people. One side of the debate (the Right) claim that T-shirts depicting women, or songs about rape don’t actually hurt anyone because they don’t convince anyone that women are just naked objects, or that rape is OK. The other side (the Left) argue that seeing images of naked women can subtly change how people see the world, can persuade them that women (naked, which relates to the rape problem) are objects to be worn or ogled at rather than spoken to, and that rape might be OK.

    The way I see it is, both sides have got issues. The Right forget that culture can affect how people behave – it does have a material impact. In the 20th century we got a pretty close-up view of what this looks like, in the propaganda regimes of Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. At least to some degree, the citizens of these states were persuaded (or brainwashed, if you like) that racial minorities were the source of all evil, that communist collectivism was the only effective political system…You can probably tell that I don’t know much about the content of their respective propaganda, but it is recognised that beliefs and actions were altered by the words and images (the ‘culture’) produced by each regime.

    Ironically, this could also apply to the student Left, if we accept that they are engaging in the kind of suppression and propaganda outlined by the author of the article and by the commenters below. But, being a student myself and having met ‘Stepfords’ in person, I can assure the angry that these are not a generation of future Stalinists, they’re (fairly) principled kids. Most of them just want people to treat each other a little better. They hope to stop rape, to protect the rights of minorities and women. These are good causes. Where I think they fall down is in the execution.

    The Left believe that culture shapes how we act (which is reasonable) and that therefore we should change our culture in order to address certain actions (rape, discrimination etc). However, as this article and its commenters make abundantly clear, changing our culture is not so simple. People do not like being told what to do. They do not like being told they are a potential rapist. There must be a better way of doing things than personal vilification because it is quite counterproductive. One reason why Nazi propaganda was so effective was because it was not dictated from on high. Nazi ideas were progressively introduced into society, people were assimilated rather than fought.

    If the Left wants to achieve a fairer society, where rape is gone and people are treated with respect regardless of where they come from or what they believe, it must change tactics. Aggressively denying freedom of speech only polarises society and makes things worse. Equally, the Right understates the impact of words and culture. The things people say and practice shape how we see the world as much as they reflect it. When the Nazis published cartoons of demented Jewish puppeteers people believed it, and acted accordingly.

    In conclusion, let’s all just be a bit nicer to each other.

    Feel free to comment, but try to keep to the overall argument.

    • mohdanga

      The Left wants to achieve a ‘fairer’ society by banning all speech and activities they don’t agree with. Simple. And what rights do women and minorities not have in the UK? Women make up a majority of university students and with the open door immigration policy the UK will be majority non-white in a generation or two. Then utopia will finally arrive!

  • Red Lagoon

    Well they did try to shut down GamerGate with the same methods (successful in some degree), so yes after this 3 months I can totally agree with this article.

  • Christopher Little

    “One day, these Stepford students, with their lust to ban, their war on offensive lingo, and their terrifying talk of pre-crime, will be running the country.” On that day, politics by other means will likely be in order for those who are intent on preserving their liberties.

  • CortexUK

    That shrieking little Hitleress on the podcast was an absolute disgrace.

  • Beatnik Revolution

    From universities, to shirts, to video games, these social justice warriors are a toxic breed that believe that individual liberties end where their feelings begin. They would be more than happy to create a fascist state as long as it marches lock step with their political dogma. At least here in the states this sort thinking used to be isolated to extreme religious conservatives, but now its the far left that has embraced authoritarianism. Back in college we were encouraged to take on challenging ideas, now the kids are all special snowflakes that look at peoples shadows and believe they are appropriating the culture from PoCs (Persons of Color is just code for Colored People in the 21st century).

    I have never met anyone as racist, sexist, or bigoted as these so called SJWs lunatics that have taken over the nut house.

    • colchar

      Yesterday I saw the Twitter feed of someone who was in the same PhD program as I was. Rather than advertise herself as an academic, an educator, or a researcher she advertised herself as a “social justice campaigner”. I didn’t much like her while we were in graduate school together, and I like her even less now!

      • Tynam

        Terrible. How dare she have priorities different from yours!

    • Craig Crestford

      Feminist Frequency is not asking for censorship. The angry gamers are acting like the pro choice activists in this article who are shutting down the debate with bullying instead of arguing. btw I am pro choice, pro birth control, pro planned parenthood.

      • Joseph Fanning

        They’re not asking for censorship in the same way that mafia goons that wreck your shop up aren’t threatening you for protection money, just “demonstrating the sort of things that might happen” if you don’t pay up. FF’s never actually given us anything resembling a solution that doesn’t involve censorship, its writers actively cheer censorship, and they absolutely refuse to engage in any debate or even an unscripted Q&A session.

  • Daniel

    Just one comment to who ever did paint the illustration to this article: brilliant work. Really, really well done — something you love to loath.

    As for the audio recording — did it continue past the equal playing field? Or was that the end of the so-called discussion (BTW, this is why you need a moderator — she just went in and hogged the “discussion” by talking and talking).

  • flo

    is this satire? I just cannot compute how these ill-informed, parodic statements could otherwise possibly stand. So now it’s not imperative and human to listen to oppressed minorities but to mock their existence and right to be represented. great

    • Elvick

      Women are not an oppressed minority in the first world. If you believe this, you are the ill-informed one.

    • DaveAtherton20

      Flo keep us updated on your speaking tour of Middle East countries on the importance of feminism is a Muslim country.

    • mohdanga

      What ‘oppressed minorities’?? And why should anyone be forced to listen to them? Dopes like you don’t have an issue with slagging white males because we are the majority. No worries about our feelings, right, sunshine?

    • MrsDBliss

      Women make the majority in universities.

  • Mrs Josephine Hyde-Hartley

    I wonder if the plural of “uterus” is really “uteri” ? Like fungus/ funghi..

  • A G-n

    “Robin Thicke’s rude pop ditty”? I would have been ashamed to have you defend pro-choice. Have you heard of consent? You seem to have heard of lad culture, but you obviously think it is all joshing and jolly fun. Are you aware that your views represent an aging segment of the population who will in time be as criticised for their views on gender as those of the 1850’s were for their views on race?

  • Mrs Josephine Hyde-Hartley

    But it can’t be a very hospitable place if the students don’t feel comfy. I should have thought it makes good business sense for a university to make sure everything that goes on happens freely and safely.

    • MrsDBliss

      Business sense maybe but the whole,point of university is that you are intellectually challenged.

  • flik

    The idea if two men (without uteruses) debating abortion actually sickens me (a non sentimental obs and gynae doctor) too

    • Barzini

      It doesn’t matter if it sickens you or not…….your (or my) feelings are not important.

      What’s important is that in this country we have freedom of speech – how a conversation (to which you are under absolutely zero pressure to attend) makes you feel is of no significance in comparison to our right to free speech….

      The fact you cannot see this not only saddens me, but actually scares me…..

      I would find the idea of two women having a debate about how men should continue to work longer than women before being eligible for a pension to be somewhat bizarre also, however I would never dream of cancelling the event…..

      • flik

        Good for you. Now imagine you were born into a matriarchal world and you did have a problem with two women debating a man’s longer enforced working life and you tried to shut it down not to limit freedom of speech; but in order to open up a more interesting debate about equality and power
        and a person’s rights over their own bodies.

        • Elvick

          I’d argue that matriarchal humanity wouldn’t have made it to 2014, so it’d be a moot point…

          But, to humor you. I don’t see a problem. Especially if the two women, have opposing views or if one of them represents what many men feel is relevant.

          Men are shut out before they even speak on the subject. They could parrot 100% what feminists think, but they don’t give him the opportunity. They assume he has no idea, because penis. They assume he wants to oppress them, because the boogie man known as patriarchy.

          The person that I’ve found I agree with on male issues most is a woman. Karen Straughan. I don’t need someone with a penis to represent me. I need someone who knows what they’re talking about.

        • mohdanga

          The ‘father of abortion’ in Canada, Henry Morgentaler, was hailed by the left and feminists, given honourary degrees, the Order of Canada, because he performed abortions in violation of the existing law. Would you deny him the right to debate the abortion issue because he has no uterus? Or because he agrees with you he would be allowed?

    • Penny

      Why? What effect does the lack of a uterus have on the brain’s ability to formulate a view? It’s just a debate; just the view of two people who are open to challenges from the floor.

      If we exclude views and subsequent discussions based on the lack of direct involvement then most of today’s pressing issues are out of bounds for the majority of us.

  • flik

    How fortunate for you that most of the words, ideas, Zionist theories, lad banterisms, pop songs and Nietzscheisms were written by privileged white men with whom you have been conditioned to agree.

    • Greg Lawlor

      Comrade flik, I am nothing short of honoured to have a revolutionary
      brother in arms, such as yourself! I can never help to admire those, who
      are so stridently zealous in their loyalty to their ideology, that they
      will not even let outright scientific proof, get in the way it; let
      alone logic or reason… Freedom of speech, freedom of expression,
      freedom of conscience, the lives of the innocent… be damned! I have
      every faith that those of your esteemed ilk, will not rest, until you
      have achieved your aims, at any cost, and crushed all dessent! To be
      sure, it is men like you whom we need, comrade, if we are ever to
      achieve a wonderful Communist/PC utopia, like the one in… 1984. Come
      comrade, the revolution starts today! Today the Universites, tomorro the
      world; and, who knows, the day after that, possibly even people’s very
      minds! VIVA LA REVOLUTION!!!!!!!!!! I’ll get the champagne, why you bring out the guillotine….

      • flik

        Fuck you. What do you know about the lives of the innocent? Have you ever met anyone? I mean, to whom you weren’t formally introduced?

        • Greg Lawlor

          flik. I’m afraid you have me figured wrong. I’m just a normal guy. What I take issue with is your atitude. you seem to feel that the lives of the unborn are expendable. Life begins at conception, that is scientific fact! You also seem to view Freedom of speech as some kind of privilage, which makes you a dangerous man, in my opinion. The troubling thing is that there are many like you. You don’t seem to appreciate just how hard won these freedoms were, nor do you seem to feel that those who disagree with you are deserving of them. What kind of a society do you think we would have, if everyone took that kind of atitude?! You seem to feel that others need to justify themselves to you, in order to be entitled to have their opinions heard… it appears to me, that, in the absence of being capable of “getting the ball”, you have chosen to “go for the man”… this can be illustrated by the comment you just left me. You seem to feel that you, in your arrogance, can simply dismiss the views of important philosophers, simply by insulting them and their backgrounds, their race, even… This is made even more disturbing by the fact that you don’t seem to be able to form a coherent argument of your own…

    • mohdanga

      Yes, as a ‘privileged white man’ I was given everything on a plate, special treatment, snapped my fingers and the servants came a running….never had to work at anything, never had to compete, never had to prove myself, was given straight As in school, the hightest paying cushiest jobs.
      And yet you, as a poor non-privileged woman choose and continue to live in a country built by these nasty white privileged males instead of high tailing it to say, the Middle East or Africa where our ‘white privilege’ does not exist.

  • MikeF

    The most urgent political task in the UK today is the preservation of – perhaps even more so the reinvigoration of – the political process itself, which in turn means the political culure of free speech and open debate without which the electoral process is meaningless. It is as fundamental as that.

  • jeffersonian

    “the key tenets of PC, from the desire to destroy offensive lingo to the urge to re-educate apparently corrupted minds, have been swallowed whole by a new generation.”

    Well of course (sadly). Most (thoough importantly not all) of the world’s military and political Communism collapsed in the late 20th century – cultural Marxism on the other hand has had two generations to brainwash students in the West. Their alleged moral superiority has never been challenged – and as a result we are where we are today.

  • Greg Lawlor

    Comrade flik, I am nothing short of honoured to have a revolutionary brother in arms, such as yourself! I can never help to admire those, who are so stridently zealous in their loyalty to their ideology, that they will not even let outright scientific proof, get in the way it; let alone logic or reason… Freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of conscience, the lives of the innocent… be damned! I have every faith that those of your esteemed ilk, will not rest, until you have achieved your aims, at any cost, and crushed all dessent! To be sure, it is men like you whom we need, comrade, if we are ever to achieve a wonderful Communist/PC utopia, like the one in… 1984. Come comrade, the revolution starts today! Today the Universites, tomorro the world; and, who knows, the day after that, possibly even people’s very minds! VIVA LA REVOLUTION!!!!!!!!!! I’ll get the champagne, while you bring out the guillotine…

  • Guest

    A lot of the points of debate that the author chooses to mention appear to be women’s issues (abortion, rape culture, sexism in pop songs etc) when there are plenty of other lively topics for debate (Israel/Palestine, euthanasia, the rise of minor political parties etc). I get the feeling he may just be feeling a little sore after a “Make me a sandwich” joke fell flat…

  • Chiara McDermott

    A lot of the points of debate that the author chooses to mention appear to be women’s issues (abortion, rape culture, sexism in pop songs etc) when there are plenty of other lively topics for debate (Israel/Palestine, euthanasia, the rise of minor political parties etc). I feel that he may just be feeling a little sore after a “Make me a sandwich” joke fell flat…

    • MrsDBliss

      He mentions those other ones too and the similar responses to them.
      Perhaps read the article before commenting?

      • Chiara McDermott

        Not really Mrs B. Even you can’t suggest it’s quite disproportionate.

        • MrsDBliss

          Firstly don’t insert ‘even you’. You’re playing the man not the ball debasing your argument.
          Secondly he talks about them and their reaction as further examples in an article that’s a response to this issue therefore the amount of attention given is appropriate as he is responding to this actual in ident that he’s just experience. He has also written previous articles on these experiences.
          The fact is you can’t adequately respond to the points he’s making so you’ve chosen a poor argument and added to that a fabricated insult to him – again playing the man not the ball.
          I hope you’re not a university student. Your ability to substantiate an argument is very poor.

          • Chiara McDermott

            Alright Mrs. B, calm down, have a cup of tea and maybe learn some English grammar during all the free time you choose to spend arguing on these articles. I can see from your profile’s history that you’re quite the ignorant comment fiend so I’m going to get on with my life and leave you to it. Enjoy!

          • MrsDBliss

            So your response is more insults rather to actually formulate an argument? Ok, so were clear on that.

  • aaaaaa

    There is no university called “University of Cork”, please fix the name.

  • oxford student

    There is now an alternative platform for those to express their opinion in Oxford: http://versanews.co.uk/category/views/

    Completely agree with what the author said, though one should bare in mind that the crusaders of political correctedness, as they like to think of themselves, are but a minority in Oxford. The 300 signed up on facebook is but 1% or less of the student population. These censors and accusers, loud as they might be on social media, are by no means an accurate representation of Oxford students.

  • Rene Caron

    Anyone who remembers the flick ‘The Village of the Damned’ with the white haired groupthink children will recognize the stepfords. The stepfords can only win where there is little resistance. They colonize areas of society where people are vulnerable, schools and colleges. But when they encounter people like atheists they crumble. They can’t debate. They can’t reason. They give opinion mored weight than fact. They are easy to mock and because they are a social construct they shy away from ridicule. So I say bash them with facts and follow through with ridicule.

  • Jas_9000

    Oddly enough this seems to be particularly popular with the sons and daughters of privilege. A class angle that I can’t quite wrap my head around. Are they working through their guilt over their good fortune? Were these children the most isolated? The most praised? The most sure of their divine rights?

  • Mike Hayes

    Interesting. I also find them to be incapable of compromise at times.

  • Ryan Mc Donagh

    This particular brand of dog-piling ‘feminist’ has been handed the megaphone, and become the prevailing voice in feminism. Which leaves a lot of men in a difficult situation. You see, I care about equality, and so do many millions of other men, but until their is an uprising, against these hardliners, we will never, ever want anything to do with feminism. What a shame.

  • Meittimies

    You’re too pessimistic if you think these same people are going to “run the country”. The world out there is a harsh, diverse place. When these special snowflakes leave their circle-jerks, that reality is going to come down on them and hard. The real implications of this is the fact these universities are now openly training underachievers that will not be ready for the competitive world of career-building when universities should train people exactly for that; To nurture shepherds that move fields of study forward, not blind sheep who wallow in groupthink.

    Skills and talents stagnate when you do not allow any sort of criticism to be heard. These same people who are acting offended from the tiniest things in campuses now, are going to be flipping burgers at McDonalds few years from now when they realize their degrees in social science are not worthy of anything outside of their circle-jerks (that is, unless their rich parents have landed them on some easy job).

    • Trevor Trust

      The problem I see with that is that these people tend to go into media and education. Look at the state of left-leaning media today and you’ll see so much feminist/marxist cheerleading, completely divorced from reality. The self-esteem revolution in education and child-rearing is exactly what primed these young people to be susceptible to this brainwashing once they reach post-secondary. As Brendan wrote: “We seem to have nurtured a new generation that believes its self-esteem is more important than everyone else’s liberty.”

      Sure, they’ll have difficulties elsewhere, but the media is very powerful in shaping social perception and education has the ear of every kid coming up to become active citizens. To suggest they have no power to push themselves onto society is a bit naive.

      • Meittimies

        Of course I cant speak for behalf of UK, seeing that I come from Finland but at least here these people wouldn’t be able to find any job in media or journalism outside of garbage tabloids, the standards here happen to be very strict in that regard. If these people really get to hold high and important position in media, then thats more of a sign of the weakness in UK media than anything else, when they let clearly unprofessional people to be in charge.

        And if you compare this to the recent smear campaign on say Gamergate, you’ll notice the mainstream media has pretty much forgotten about it already and Shirtgate divides opinions much more decisively. Why these hacks got to be so effective in gaming media is the fact it is still a nurturing community and medium lacking academias and respect other mediums like books and movies have, and the mainstream does not care about them so there is no-one there to protect the community but the community itself. Whatever smear campaigns they spread only hurt few individuals instead of being a massive scary force of brainwashing propaganda. Of course what they did was wrong and they need to be stopped.

        But GG is another example of what happens when these hacks retire from their hugboxes and attempt to spread their bullshit to people with any actual experience and perspective. Those who constantly shield themselves from the real world cannot survive in it.

        • Trevor Trust

          I agree with everything you’ve said here and you hit the nail on the head re: GG.

          However, you’re probably right about the media in Finland but, sadly, that’s simply not the case in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, as well as other countries I’m sure. GG showed a lot of people just how deep the complicity goes and identified a lot of media outlets.

          It’s a sad state of affairs and will only lead to disaster if unchecked. What to do about it in a big-picture sense escapes me, however.

          • Meittimies

            IMO simply impose a stricter “draftsman”-like community air to reporting and journalism. Unprofessional hacks should rightfully be shamed out of the industry. The lack of criticism inside the media circles themselves may be the main culprit of all of this. If one cannot do his job, then he should be fired from it. Its that simple. I know if I’d apply for a job as an animator and then couldn’t draw for shit, I’d be fired. Why should this be any different to journalism?

          • Trevor Trust

            This is a significant part of the problem. No one on the inside is willing to rock the boat.

  • skeptik

    comrade #451 Leningrad battalion reporting for duty to help fight the evil forces of the empire. Death to all who oppose my views!

  • Trevor Trust

    Listening to that “discussion” is very informative for anyone unfamiliar with these people. Notice how she rarely lets him finish talking. She steps all over him in the middle of his points, often just merely making noises to simply grab the floor back from him and then run her gish gallop of nonsense.

    The absurd, ill-defined, practically meaningless talking point phrases such as “The intellectual well-being of the university” are repeated ad nauseum.

    Some people, namely women and minorities, must be “protected from feeling unwelcome” if controversial topics are even “given a platform” to be discussed.

    These people have no business being anywhere near places of higher learning, much less in positions of power.

    Western societies MUST address these people and the danger they represent or we’re in a lot of trouble.

  • Roy

    What is discussed here; universities, their administrators their client students and hangers on, these are the flotsam and jetsam of society that are the ones with the least knowledge of every day life on the lower rung. Yet these people are the ones taught how to lead, how to speak with authority, and how to manipulate themselves to the top few rungs of the ladder on leaving their previous learning phase. So they soon find themselves leading the rest. It isn’t done today to learn the job from the bottom up. These know-it-all’s are the ones catapulted through the system, given through their prowess at nothing in particular to do with the attainment of the position. Not withstanding the ironic part of this, these are the ones who have imbibed any rotten cause or weird philosophic meandering while at university. Is it no wonder we have catastrophic collapses in the countries financial domain and collapses in the decision making and policy forming areas of the country.

  • freddiethegreat

    Freedom of speech on a university campus???!!!!? what planet are you from??? Thirty plus years ago, I heard of students being shut up, heckled or failed for either expressing a belief in God, doubting evolutionary theory or disagreeing with a lecturer on the causes of WW2.
    On the other hand, at a theological college students were told that they could take ANY stance in an exam / essay – as long as they could provide a coherent, reasoned and substantiated argument.

  • Brasidas44

    There are two issues here, one legitimate. There is a temptation on the part of the powerful to choose spokesmen for particular views, without regard to proper representation of the people most affected. This showed up in the claim of the English government that the American colonies were adequately represented in parliament by Englishmen with American investments, It is also a favourite action of many other governments. So young women have a reasonable complaint if they feel that the abortion debate is restricted to men. The appropriate reply is to ask the women concerned to provide a female spokesperson for each side of the debate, and have four speakers.

  • Unconvinced

    As a member of the Christ Church JCR, there was so much more to it than that. For most students, we didn’t take exception to the nature of the debate so much as we didn’t want to host a society who are known for misogyny and harassing students. One highlight from their facebook page: ‘if a woman doesn’t want to outsource her body, let her keep her clothes on and her feet on the floor’

    • Gwangi

      ‘a society who are known for misogyny and harassing students’

      Do you mean the Muslim society? Of course not – they’re brown and minority status, so the SU adores them even when they incite murder…

      If you are going to suppress freedom of speech, then be consistent – ban people from ALL dictatorships (ALL Muslim countries, China) and not democratic Israel; ban feminist extremists spewing hate; ban wimmin’s groups who want to kill ‘pro-life’ people for stating an opinion…

    • DaveAtherton20

      You said “‘if a woman doesn’t want to outsource her body, let her keep her clothes on and her feet on the floor’

      Seems a reasonable, practical point, what is wrong there?

  • OzProf

    Neoliberal clones fed by News Corp to accept the orthodoxy of greed and to bleet when told to piss off

    • DaveAtherton20

      No fed by Magna Carta, 1668/9 Bill of Rights and Common Law. Images of Nazi Germany, North Korea, Communist Russia and Islamofascism.

  • Gwangi

    How to justify and excuse fascism, totalitarian might and, probably, death camps – all by a dizzy femi-nut:
    ‘The idea that in a free society absolutely everything should be open to debate has a detrimental effect on marginalised groups.’
    Errr…listen love, if it’s a FREE society then freedom to debate anything is a given. What you and the many femi-nuts who dominate the BBC, education system etc is a totalitarian repressive state run by bigots you personally agree with. That is NOT a ‘free society’ by definition.

    • mohdanga

      To them women are ‘marginalised groups’ even though they make up the majority of students. Haven’t quite figured that one out yet.

    • Trofim

      I’m marginalised – an older white man with a scruffy beard. I’m near the bottom of the pecking order.

  • deaap

    As a recent graduate from an N8 university this article rings horribly true. A combination of cliquish (paid!) student’s union members with support from left-leaning members of faculty (‘sociology’ anybody?) silencing dissenting voices amongst both students and faculty. ‘Ban page 3’ was their hot-button issue in my final year, with no response provided to the simple question of ‘how many copies are actually sold from the two small newsagents on-campus?’ was (although irrelevant in the grand scheme of things). It went completely ignored, despite the only time I ever saw them being bought was by persons external to the university.

    There is a reason gen. Y is increasingly libertarian and our student’s show ever-decreasing support for their parasitic union ‘representatives’ – they do not represent us, our interests or anything close to the opinion of the majority unless that majority happens to be a combination of the unfortunate few who’re paid-up members of the campus Labour or Green party. The majority of students have seen the light and want to be left well alone by the bureaucratic nightmare of unions and government, leaving a vacuum that the two are all too eager to fill.

  • Gwangi

    Feminists always claim it is THEIR body (but the developing child inside is not, and is genetically half the father’s too). False argument, much parroted.

    Moreover, they always complain when men comment on the abortion issue and say no-one but a woman should decide what to do with her body.
    And YET they defend the mutilation of boys by their mothers who choose Male Genital Mutilation (otherwise known as circumcision). Hypocrisy or what!

  • Mozzarellacheese

    The biggest problem with articles like these is the idea that because of the over-the-top reactions of these “Stepford Students”, suddenly all their concerns are null and void.

    Rapes being covered up and rape victims being punished at universities, and this person asks what the point of consent talks are? Most people haven’t been taught what constitutes rape, and suddenly talking about it is a violation of “freedom of speech?”

    I get the premise and the point of the article, but it reads like a “let’s point at these people and laugh” spiel rather than an article about reasonable behavior and freedom of speech.

    • DaveAtherton20

      As I commented below this is a complete fabrication by the left that 1 in 5 university students are raped, and I quote.

      “The one-in-five figure is based on the Campus Sexual Assault Study, commissioned by the National Institute of Justice and conducted from 2005 to 2007. Two prominent criminologists, Northeastern University’s James Alan Fox and Mount Holyoke College’s Richard Moran, have noted its weaknesses:

      “The estimated 19% sexual assault rate among college women is based on a survey at two large four-year universities, which might not accurately reflect our nation’s colleges overall. In addition, the survey had a large non-response rate, with the clear possibility that those who had been victimized were more apt to have completed the questionnaire, resulting in an inflated prevalence figure.”

      Fox and Moran also point out that the study used an overly broad definition of sexual assault. Respondents were counted as sexual assault victims if they had been subject to “attempted forced kissing” or engaged in intimate encounters while intoxicated.”

      http://time.com/3222543/5-femi

      • Mozzarellacheese

        Hey dude, I never said anything about statistics or numbers. I just said “students are being raped”. And they are. I also said it’s being covered up. And it is.

        The fact that people are being raped at all shouldn’t be reduced to a percent statistic. When a baby is shot in the head, it’s not “less than 0.0000001% incidence of babies being shot in the head”, it’s “a baby was shot in the head, and that is a problem.”

        We’re not talking about statistics here, we’re talking about people, who have, in the past, been raped, and who have, in the past, have not received support from their colleges or universities when they reported it. And we’re talking about colleges and unis trying to prevent that by holding talks clarifying consent and what constitutes as rape.

        Why is it a problem to have talks about something that’s happened in real life?

        • DaveAtherton20

          Surely the police is better than the college. Rape is a heinous crime and being expelled from uni is nothing, they should be banged up.

          • Mozzarellacheese

            True, police response is always important with something that grievous, but again, there is no issue with having in-college talks about consent and what constitutes as rape. Kind of the same as how schools hold talks about, say, illegal drugs. Just for informative purposes. Of the issues the writer seems to have with these ‘stepford students’, rape talks ought to never have even come up.

    • mohdanga

      “Most people haven’t been taught what constitutes rape, and suddenly talking about it is a violation of “freedom of speech?”” Say what? If an adult male attending university doesn’t know what rape is they shouldn’t be there. It is a denial of free speech to prevent the speech of those who dispute/criticize the implementation of these dopey ‘sensitivity policies’.

      • Mozzarellacheese

        Having talks about rape and consent is not a denial of freedom of speech. It’s an informative talk, just like any talk about illegal drugs, which are often conducted in schools. Rape isn’t exactly extensively covered in general education, so what’s the harm in informative talks about them?

        • mohdanga

          Who said it was? People should not be forced to attend ‘informative talks’ which are a guise for more social engineering mumbo jumbo.

          • Mozzarellacheese

            I find that people who don’t want to learn about the law and human rights are often the ones who need to learn about them the most. And having a mandatory talk about rape and consent is just one of many mandatory things colleges and unis do for “values formation”.

            When you go to a university or college to learn, why be surprised when they want to teach you something? Especially when it’s something important? Unless you don’t consider rape to be an important issue, in which case you’re the reason these talks are mandatory.

          • mohdanga

            Absolutely astounding response. I entered university at 19 and can assure you that, immature as I was in certain ways, I certainly knew that rape/murder/assault/robbery and all sorts of criminal behaviour were wrong. My parents instilled this in me (as did my church…I know that’s a no-no in today’s world but that’s the way it was). I didn’t need some social engineering PC plonk to tell me otherwise. The politically correct, male bashing, free speech denying universities are the last place I would want my children to go to for ‘values formation’.
            And because I have never attended a mandatory rape talk that means i) I think that rape is not important and 2) I am too dense to figure it out for myself and need the PC brigade to hold my hand. Good luck to you in the real world.

          • Mozzarellacheese

            So “my parents and church taught me so therefore everyone must have the exact same education about rape as me”? You’re really pulling that card? Most people, for no malicious reason, don’t even know you can be raped by friends and family. They don’t know the FULL extent of what rape can be, or that it can be enacted (in fact, it’s even more likely enacted) by trusted loved ones.

            As for universities… so you don’t want your kids to be educated by Institutions of Higher Education. Sure, dude, that’s fine. They’re your kids. You talk about free speech but fear what listening to these people speaking freely might do to your children? I’m just sayin’, you’re the picture of irony here.

          • Penny

            What on earth is an apparantly mandatory “values formation”?

            It sounds rather sinister.

          • Mozzarellacheese

            You’ve never been to a university or college, have you? Discussing the handbook of rules falls under “values formation”, and I’m pretty sure discussing drugs, alcohol, and rape is just another part of making sure your students don’t get arrested for doing something. If a school doesn’t discuss these things, then they’re more liable to take responsibility for their students’ actions–and if a student rapes another student, how easy do you think it’ll be for a school to shrug that off?

            Mandatory “values formation” is just another word for “going over the rules and laws applicable to the school”, and if they want to talk about rape extensively for the sake and safety of their students, that’s the school’s prerogative.

          • Penny

            Oh, do get over yourself!

            I have been to university, but I suspect it was some time before you. And certainly before frilly terms were employed in place of plain English.

            I’ve nothing against discussion but why is this ridiculously named “values formation” mandatory? It used to be assumed that a) when you went to university you were a young, responsible adult – the university was not your mum and dad and b) that by the age of 18 you would have acquired the intellect to work out the dangers of drugs and alcohol and would recognise the vileness of rape.

          • Mozzarellacheese

            And yet students still get drunk and high in college and rapes still happen in college. You know what they say about assuming. If you were in uni long before me, then I suppose it’s a good thing universities undergo improvement in certain policies over time.

          • Penny

            I honestly think you’re missing the point time and again here.

            Read a little Solzhenitsyn, or, if you prefer something more modern, try Tom Rob Smith.

          • Mozzarellacheese

            You haven’t made a point. I’ve answered every one of your questions and supposed arguments, each one of them different from the last. You haven’t repeated anything, so I didn’t miss a point ‘time and again’ like you claim. You simply have nothing left to say, and no argument to match mine, so you’re giving up. Which you’re free to do, as long as you’re honest about it.

          • Penny

            Oh, but I have. You can’t see it because it’s wider than you seem capable of recognising. Which is why I made the reading suggestions.

            And why the rudeness? Are you incapable of normal discussion? You are playing up to the stereotype mentioned here, employing invective in the mistaken belief that it is an argument.

          • Mozzarellacheese

            I’m not being rude, I’m just stating a fact. And that you keep skirting around your supposed point tells me that you don’t have one. As for stereotypes, I believe beating around the bush with condescension and the refusal to continue a discussion is one you’re employing. For an article which values freedom and open discussion, you seem to be avoiding it. Usually when somebody gives you a point, you continue with a counterpoint. If you want to end the discussion, just say so.

            Back to the topic at hand: informative talks are just that. Informative. You don’t assume everyone has the same experiences or knowledge as you, and many will likely have misinformation or lack of it. Talks about important issues necessitate discussion. Which is what this article supports. To act as though it’s unnecessary is to belittle the importance of discussion. You learn through discussion. You’re educated through discussion. And closing discussion because it annoys you is just what this article criticizes. That’s why the presence of these talks is, at least by the writer’s premise, a good thing–despite his ironic inclusion of it in his list of negative ‘stepford student’ activities.

          • Penny

            You’re still doing it – because you don’t compute a point, your intelocutor doesn’t have one. Rather than ask for clarification you became quite rude – and presumptious. It is I who couldn’t have been to university, or who doesn’t have a point, or who is skirting around it. This is unnessaryily rude and counter-productive to discourse. You are also accusing me of things I’ve not even said! If you want to learn through discussion then now would be a good time to demonstrate that.

            I have not, at any time, belittled “discussion”. I am completely in favour of the idea. What I am not in favour of is “mandatory values formation” – because as a stand-alone term it is sinister. Values are arrived at by experience, knowledge and discernment – not by a state mandatory diktat.

            I am …..surprised that in today’s society, when alchol and drugs are almost ubiquitous that young people could have escaped any prior knowledge and discussion and must now be mandatorily educated at university level. The prevalence of both is such that it seems as odd as giving you an education in the Highway code. It leads one to think that our standards have indeed dropped.

          • Mozzarellacheese

            I didn’t say they escaped any prior knowledge. You could know what alcohol is but not know about what percent would lead you to drunkenness. You could know about certain drugs but not about their specific consequences. You could know about rape, but not that trusted loved ones are just as likely to commit rape as strangers.

            You don’t go to college knowing everything. That’s why you’re going to college–to further your education. You have the pieces, but they’re either incomplete or you haven’t pieced them all together.

            Rape is an issue that is less likely to be taught to children in elementary schools. Maybe to youths in high schools, but to assume that people learn it in every institution is just that–an assumption. Many households and institutions may be too conservative to even have that discussion. Certainly everything I learned about rape and consent didn’t come from my parents or my school. I had to seek that knowledge out myself.

            As I said–talks about rape leads to discussion. Discussion leads to education. And education in a college or university shouldn’t be an issue.

          • Penny

            OK – but I want to re-wind this a little, difficult as it is with Disqus slowing me down to snail pace.

            I accept your premise that some people may not know all the ins and outs of alcohol and drug consumption, and I accept that discussion abour rape – and indeed, discussion about anything is a good idea. However, drink/drugs/rape were not part of my original and main point.

            You used the term “values formation” along with the word “mandatory”. If you refer back to my first comment you will see that I merely posed a question. along with an observation that was open to a follow-up. At that point I was not asking about drink, drugs or rape. Surely a “discussion” would entail curiosity? For example – why did I find the term sinister? If you don’t explore the other person’s perspective then you’re not having a discussion – you’re engaging in a contest. If you immediately leap to rather aggressive assumptions then you are not learning. For a perfect example of this listen to the podcast and Ms Harriet Brown.

            Discussion is brilliant, but for it to have any sensible meaning it has to be in the spirit of open enquiry and learning. Listening to understand is key, exploring the opinion of others simply expands your understanding – Ms Brown failed spectacularly to do that and it’s a real life skill.

            Anyhow, I still find the term quite chilling, especially when it’s in the same sentence as “mandatory” – even if it is utterly innocent in context, language matters. Young people slipping with ease into the use of these terms troubles me.

    • EricHobsbawmtwit

      “Rapes being covered up and rape victims being punished at universities”

      Evidence?

  • Michael Clark

    This
    is spot on. Notwithstanding that I would disagree with many of
    O’Neill’s views, as he outlined them in the article (on religious
    schools, gay marriage, industrial development, Israeli boycotts),
    although not with others (abortion or the culture-behaviour link), I do
    find that there is almost a dogma to the so-called ‘thought’ prevalent
    nowadays. Not only that, but the internal logic of this dogma is
    inconsistent – it’s part liberal, part Marxist, part post-modern etc.
    etc. A mishmash of competing ideas, with priority given to the ones that
    sound ‘nicest’. Moreover, the idea that one can hold some views in
    common with the dogma and some that are contradictory to it boggles the mind of the dogmatic student . This actually makes sense, as the dogma is itself
    inconsistent, so maybe perhaps being confronted by an internally
    consistent worldview based on something like ‘freedom’ or ‘greatest
    good/minimum harm for the majority’ is quite a spectacle to behold.

  • alessandro

    Simple: just challange these people by not paying much attention. And if tyey phisically try to stop you from saying what you want to say, kick them in the ass.

    • Trofim

      No, not necessarily ass. Bollocks is best for males.

  • Roger James Michael Sutherland

    Funny that this anti-intellectual fascist is calling Oxford a prestigious institution on the podcast. It’s precisely the behaviour of these anti-intellectuals that will corrode the prestige of this university.

  • hannah

    Women should have the rights to their own body, Gay people should be allowed to marry, and rape is a subject that should be taken seriously to protect both men and women. I fail to see what is up for deabate on any of these subjects. By all means feel free to debate on a subject that does have ‘Blurred Lines’. Its a shame that people shutting down your bigoted views makes you feel uncomfortable.

    • mohdanga

      “Gay people should be allowed to marry…I fail to see what is up for deabate on any of these subjects.” In your opinion!! Why should you be the final arbiter of this and no other opinion allowed? Sounds like the typical tolerance of the lefty, ‘diversity is our strength’ mob, anything you disagree with is ‘bigotry’ or ‘racism’, ‘sexism’, ‘Islamophobia’, blah, blah, blah.

    • FrankS2

      Second sentence, first three words – the rest is padding.

      • Greg Lawlor

        I couldn’t agree with you more, FrankS2.

    • Trofim

      You can’t determine whether a view is bigoted without hearing it. But some people have a special gift of detecting what people are going to say before they say it. Besides, a bigot is simply a person who has a strong commitment to a belief that the speaker does not share.

    • Greg Lawlor

      Everyone should have the right to life! The interests of the few, cannot, and should not, be allowed to usurp the interets of wider society. Minorities must be protected, but the interests of wider society are more important. Rape is a serious subject, which should be taken seriously. But none of this gives anyone the right to limit free speech. If you disagree with an idea, then you should have the decency to meet those who espouse it, on the battlefield of civilised debate. Your failure to do so, only shows your cowardice! Freedom of speech is like a pressure valve… to repress it is to effectively incite violence… People died so that we might have the right to speak freely, and we will not have it stolen from us, by the concieted Left! I do not mean to incite violence of any sort, but the fact is that society will fall apart without the right to civilised debate.

  • Lucius

    “We seem to have nurtured a new generation that believes its self-esteem is more important than everyone else’s liberty.”

    But of course, This is the natural consequence of the ‘values clarification’ and ‘self esteem’ movements that infected schools more than 20 years ago. The ‘everybody is special’ canard spawned “the right never to be challenged by disturbing ideas or mind-battered by offensiveness.”

    In the US, students at Berkeley have protested an upcoming commencement speech by commedian Bill Maher [http://goo.gl/WCZVsu], and activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali had to cancel a speech at Brandeis University and was protested by Muslims at Yale. And these are just two examples of a widespread ‘we don’t want to hear what we don’t want to hear’ ultra PC dipshittery.

    • Trevor Trust

      If it were just ‘we don’t want to hear what we don’t want to hear’ and they just stayed home and out of the conversation, it wouldn’t be so bad.

      But no, it’s ‘we don’t want to hear what we don’t want to hear and we don’t want YOU to be ABLE to hear it either’ which is far, far worse.

  • David

    I can’t see any creativity in the arts or innovation in science and technology flowing from this brain dead cohort. Indeed it is a disaster to demand “comfort”, a lack of intellectual challenge, at that young age. I suspect it represents a distinct decay of the culture. The question is, what can be done to reverse it ?

  • Kiran Buenafe

    Feminism is nothing more than a cancer now, a bunch of whiny, privileged girls forcing themselves to be offended by anything that might have a man involved. Just look at the reaction to one scientists shirt. Disgraceful. It makes me ashamed to be American.

  • Balthazar

    It is the marxist and left-postmodernistic dominance of academia and media that has led to this. The left has never understood what freedom of speech is and never will.

    • EricHobsbawmtwit

      It’s post-modernism in a nutshell. It’s a kind-of solipsism isn’t it.

  • OzProf

    The Stepford students echo the 1936 Battle of Cable Street when Sir Oswald Mosely and his Black Shirts were told to piss off from the East End.

    • EricHobsbawmtwit

      By the communists.

      Thankfully neither of them survived the 20th century.

      • WFC

        Not in name, anyway.

  • ex_turpi_causa

    I like how the Oxford student in the radio broadcast doesn’t seem to realise that this is about debating current questions leading into the future, not necessarily reopening up issues that have to an extent been settled already. Ironically the student comes across as the least forward-thinking, partially from refusing to hear any thought out and partially from the nature of her own ‘rebuttals.’

  • Yale Cohn

    Never trust anyone under 30.

  • lorriman

    Wasn’t it Thatcher’s short-sighted anti-hooligan laws that started this culture of anti-offensiveness? the Tories also gave us the horrific self-assesment taxation system that freed the taxman from an inherent restraint on rule-making. Thanks for that. National Curriculum anyone? If anyone is to blame for the UK loss of its liberal democracy it’s them.

  • Delta Singh

    Sir

    The modern student has progressed to a higher stage in learning: she can only slip into bed with good feelings not sound critical thinking.

  • WFC

    “One day, these Stepford students, with their lust to ban, their war on offensive lingo, and their terrifying talk of pre-crime, will be running the country.”

    Sorry to point this out Brendan, but Stepford students have been running the country for years.

    (What do you think control orders, and asbos, and the proposed edos are about, if not pre-crime? Or pre-giving-offence, which seems in their eyes, to be even worse.)

    • EricHobsbawmtwit

      I don’t think asbos are about giving offence. They’re about your neighbour playing thrash metal at 3am on a week night.

  • Hywel Thomas

    You should’ve asked if they’d seen minority report……

  • Elliot

    I think they probably have debated these things and found them odious enough to reject

    • MrsDBliss

      Then they don’t go to the lecture do they?

  • WFC

    Which does the picture accompanying the article depict them looking more like the Midwich Cuckoos, than the Stepford Wives?

  • Osbers

    Has Western society now reached the stage the USSR did decades ago? Close-mindedness alongside small-mindedness & a person dare not challenge the status quo. University was once upon a time a place for discussion & challenge in attempting to transform society into a better place. For as long as students continue with their heads inflated with their own ego there is no hope of progression.

  • Jon

    i dunno. if there was a klan rally at oxford the nay-sayers who wrote this article would be all too happy for the authorities to close it down. they wouldnt cry “free speech”. The spectators idea of free speech is it should be free within their parameters (i.e. the opinions of the privileged), and then legal action when it crosses some line (i.e. religious clerics preaching jihad). i think saying these students hate free speech is like saying that picketing miners hate coal.

  • 70sgirly

    Tim Stanley blogged about this over at the DT saying how you’d think that a university campus was one place where you’d be allowed to agree to disagree, and hilariously DT didn’t allow comments!

    I grew up in the 70s and was taught that in China and the USSR people were denied free speech and we in the democratic west were free to say what we liked, and I believe it was true, back then. But in my lifetime Britain has changed, little could I imagine the Britain of today where “activists” and pressure groups, like The Stepford Students (excellent name, btw) dictate the new rules.

    The law might still say we have “free speech” but it’s not the law running the show anymore, is it? Truly frightening.

  • JT AG

    I believe all this PC stuff is going to eventually fade away simply because the world economy is in the crapper for most people, i.e. the working class and poor. And those economic issues (the ones that the PC left ignores) are coming to the forefront whether they like it or not.

  • Polly Radial

    Last night I dreamed about Nick Clegg.
    Am I a pre-liberal?

    • FrankS2

      Post menopausal perhaps?

    • MrsDBliss

      Where you beating him with a big stick in a none sexy way?

  • Gareth Mailer

    I think a lot of people really struggle to put their finger on what really disturbs them about UK politics. This, the gradual erosion of free speech through the exploitation of negative social attitudes, ranks very high on the list of legitimate concerns.

    I could write a 10,000 words post on feminism; in fact, I have done. But for the sake of brevity, understand this – it all correlates. “The personal is political.”

  • Kira Des

    I bet those university students are fuming that this article doesn’t come with a trigger warning. So triggered, OMG!!

  • mikCND

    Great article, voice of sanity

  • Jon Allen

    “never been easier to whip up a false sense of mass outrage”

    There is a new term for this: ‘fauxtrage’

  • kingfish

    “trigger warnings” as I know them aren’t meant to prevent “offense”, they are meant to protect survivors of trauma who may have PTSD from potentially triggering material. A small point in the article but an important one I think.

    • EricHobsbawmtwit

      It’s a more general term these days that means “something that might cause you to experience a vaguely negative emotion”.

    • Julibarn

      People suffer from PTSD from a range of causes. What’s the solution? Put trigger warnings on 7 out of 10 articles?

  • disqus_zXLbNfw1Yi

    See Jonathan Haidt’s lecture on the sacrelization of victims by the left. Here’s a clip:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBNtOCCSSRc
    And here’s the full lecture:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b86dzTFJbkc
    ..

  • Julibarn

    The “right to be comfortable”. Really? As a Norwegian I prefere the the right to listen to my opponents, the right to be provoked, the right to debate, and the right to disagree.

  • developertest03

    Every action has an opposing reaction. Its already begun here in the states, very evident from the elections. People are sick of victim culture. Time Magazine has an annual poll about the most annoying words, that should be banned. Feminist topped the list by an order of magnitude. UNTIL…. The crybabies started to cry and have Time, remove the word from their own poll. They love to talk, hate to listen. The problem is, they have a false sense of reality. When people went to the polls in early November, they got served a real dose of reality as to what all the people who they try to snuff out, REALLY THINK.

    • MrsDBliss

      Why did they remove it? I hate feminism and I’m a woman. I voted in that poll and now they’ve wiped out my vote!
      I know it’s not an election or anything but still….

  • Jankers

    If you told them nazi gas chambers were probably post war propaganda and 6 million bodies can’t be hidden in frozen earth they would no doubt suffer a stroke and die.

  • developertest03

    I think, just getting to the point. They are sissies.

  • Snakes on a Car

    White progressives are a cancer destroying western civilization.

  • carpetburn

    Probably the first time in history where people in their 30’s and 40’s are doing more drugs drinking more booze and being more offensive than people in their teens and twenties.

  • https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsSDUkLeNaazD35J73ZtSDQ Jorge Cervera

    this is madness but I think this people will fail or simply they will have to learn that live in the university is diferent from real life, this generation is a waste of time and money.

  • http://www.CaerphillyPreserves.co.uk/ No Good Boyo

    “two human beings ‘who do not have uteruses’ should get to hold forth on abortion”

    They’re men’s children too.

  • Schuyler Heuser

    Is this satire?

    • Trevor Trust

      Sadly, no.

  • EricHobsbawmtwit
    • WFC

      That was an excellent read.

      Thanks for the link.

      Lewis Carrol (a man who would not have survived today’s moral climate) gave this warning:

      “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its
      victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under
      robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s
      cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be
      satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us
      without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience”

      • EricHobsbawmtwit

        It’s such a good piece I think it deserves to be read more widely. At the Spectator for example.

      • bod

        C.S. Lewis. Excellent quote, very relevant nowadays.

  • Grace Ironwood

    “Comfortable” = uncontested.

  • D_Smith2020

    They are liberal fascists brainwashed by Marxist professors to be totalitarian about liberalism as their 20th century Stalinist predecessors once were. Nothing good will come from it… ever.

  • Jigsy

    Stop the planet. I want to get off.

  • Joe Schmoe

    Doesn’t anyone on college campuses have any guts any longer? Or is that too masculine and rape culture like? Some one needs to hit these peabrained censors over theirs heads with hard ideas, or paving stones

  • Harryagain

    Students have always been barking mad.
    When they get into the real world they quieten down.
    Except the ones that become politicians and journalists of course who never make contact with the real world and live forever in Lala Land.
    As for the writer of this piece, the answer is simple, don’t bother with Twitter. It is inhabited by twits =cretins and retards.

    • Joe Schmoe

      Journalists and politicians should be meeting real people all the time. It is these worthless feminist lecturers and professors of no subject anyone with a brain would take who are the cloud cuckoo types

      • Harryagain

        Should but don’t.
        The recent “white van” incident is a perfect illustration of a half wit bimbo who holds up to ridicule the very sort of person she is supposedly representing.

        As for journos, you only have to read their thoughts to realise that 90% of them are totally clueless about the topics they write about.

        They form into closed groups that circulate half baked theories that are totally unrelated to reality.
        As there is no outside input, the fantasy they dream up becomes fact in their minds

  • flaming sky garbage

    This “no platform” ruse IS a platform … of leftwing political ideology, masquerading as social responsibility. It’s no different than Islamists pushing their political agendas in the name of religion, or socialists pushing wealth redistribution in the name of the environment. At the end of the day the only thing they truly stand “for” is to silence and obstruct those with a different world view from theirs; in effect, to dominate politically without the hassle of running for office or even articulating, let alone admitting, their own “platforms.”

  • Jalil Middleton

    Oh no. These dumb motherfuckers say that we can’t question Zionists? Or have the right to free speech? Jeez, these “Stepford Students” are just about as crazy as the Social Justice Warriors.

  • cartimandua

    There is nothing to “debate” about abortion O Neil. The “debate” was whether women should become slaves to Priests and men or not.
    The answer is no so there is nothing at all to debate. Lets have a debate called
    “can we castrate men who rape”? Are men fully human? Obviously not although chemical castration of repeat sexual offenders has some merit.
    There is more and later abortion where it is not legal because that enables domestic abusers and rapists. The rate of abortion does not change only the level of harm.
    So even in their own terms (that only the foetus counts) the anti abortion “schtick” is stupid and fact free.
    All the students did was refuse to permit egregious misogyny to be given legitimacy by the debate forum.
    The “Personhood” crapola does very quickly diminish women’s access to evidence based medical care.
    In the end (and it is already happened) not pregnant women are found to be guilty of murder. The miscarriage is deemed to be murder on no evidence which would find a man guilty.
    So no no spurious legitimacy for “viewpoints” which would make the Inquisition blush.
    The students were quite right to tell you and Tim Stanley not to bother.

    • EricHobsbawmtwit

      This article has actually got absolutely nothing to do with abortion. The fact that you think it has implies you either haven’t read it or don’t understand it.

      • cartimandua

        Timbo and O Neil were going to “debate” abortion. That is what he is complaining about that he wasn’t “allowed to” .

        • EricHobsbawmtwit

          Why did you put “allowed to” in quotes. The debate was cancelled. There is no ambiguity here. The article is about the fact is was cancelled and the increasing censoriousness that represents, not about abortion itself.

    • WFC

      Who appointed you as “debate” determiner?

      • cartimandua

        Whoever gave me a brain. Abortion is just a fact of life. Since no good comes of restricting it (no fewer abortions but greater harm) debating it only means “can we find a way to treat women the way the Taliban do”.
        Pro lifers want to restrict women’s access to evidence based medical care and law just as IS and the Taliban do.
        Would you “debate” beheading? I doubt you would.

  • Jonny Ironic

    Maybe the uni staff are full of “Common purpose” infiltrators?

  • Jackie Cornwall

    Reading your list of views and attitudes, you’re clearly a bit of a Tory. Maybe these guys just didn’t want to hear it…I don’t object in theory to you and your mates chatting about abortion, but it’s not really your issue…

    • Julibarn

      To speak, to listen, to debate, to disagree, is the cornerstone of our democracy. Do people really want to remove this cornerstone for the sake of comfort?
      Btw: Why is abortion not a male issue too?

    • zoid

      so it’s ok to disbar males from speaking about particular issues on account of their gender, but to bar women from talking about any subject they wish is ‘sexist’?…..cogitate awhile on the concepts of ‘freedom of speech’, ‘equality’ and just how fuggin ridiculous your premise is.

      have a nice day…..if that’s possible for a lefty (i guess ‘a nice day’ for a lefty is one where you find more things to be ‘outwaaaaged’ about)

      • Jackie Cornwall

        Thank you, I will try. Your comment is a bit muddled and doesn’t seem to relate to mine, but as I said, I don’t have any objection to people discussing anything they like. I might talk to my girlfriends about male pattern baldness or prostate cancer, for example, but I wouldn’t delude myself that I was directly concerned.

        • Julibarn

          Funny you should mention prostate cancer. I’m a female, but my friend got prostate cancer last year, hence I was directly concerned.
          And why do you compare this with abortion? It takes one man to get prostate cancer, it takes a man and a woman to make a baby.

          • Jackie Cornwall

            But no man has to carry a child for nine months, give birth in pain and suffering and nurture it with milk from his own body, nor does he have to accept the loss of dignity and status associated with taking a pregnancy to full term, or face the potential sacrifice of his freedom, reputation or career as the result of the brief act of insemination.

          • Julibarn

            Still not an argument for banning men from taking part in an open, ethic og political debate about abortion. There are issues where men are the most “directly concerned”. It would be quite disturbing if that meant women shouldn’t have an ethical or political saying about it.

          • Jackie Cornwall

            I quite agree, as I said above, but the power to make a decision about whether or not she wants to undertake pregnancy, birth or child-raising must rest with the woman herself. Because men have a lot of power in our society, their voices can sometimes overwhelm those of women and I think it’s this power imbalance which makes some women reluctant to open the debate to men. You know, when I watch a game of Rugby, I might have my ideas about how the game should be played, but I’m not the one out there on the pitch…

          • Julibarn

            If there is a power imbalance, the way to go is precisely to debate, not to ban it. I’m Norwegian, so perhaps I’m spoiled when it comes to equality between sexes. But guess how we reached that equality?

          • Jackie Cornwall

            Sure, that’s the other side of the argument, and equally valid. And I’ve been in open discussions about this with men who have listened as much as they’ve contributed, or more, but I’ve also been in situations where angry men have imposed themselves on the debate, shouted and finally bullied the women present into silence, and ultimately that’s not a helpful situation for anybody.

          • Julibarn

            Perhaps it’s my Norwegian glasses again, but I think bad behaviour is a little beside the point. When debating, one has to assume that everyone behaves in a civilized manner. Men and women alike.

        • zoid

          ‘it’s really not your issue’….so on what matter of daily life would you accept a man turning to a woman and saying ‘it’s not your issue’?

          • Jackie Cornwall

            It’s immaterial whether there is a male equivalent. if there is, it’s the business of men to determine them, not women.

          • zoid

            it isn’t immaterial….you know as well as i that if a male or group of males defined a particular topic as being ‘a male only issue’ that they’d be decried as being sexist or chauvinist for not permitting women access to the conversation.

          • Jackie Cornwall

            Well you see, there may not be an equivalent male-centred issue, and in that case, it would be gratuitous to look for one. You would have to find an issue which exclusively concerns men’s bodies and not women’s. Does such an issue exist?

          • zoid

            whether or not such an issue exists is immaterial, you appear to be parroting the ‘check your privilege’ line….asserting men should not be allowed to comment on a ‘women only’ issue because it ‘doesn’t concern us’.

            please define how excluding one gender from the discussion is not sexist.

          • Jackie Cornwall

            Yes, parroting that line is exactly what I’m doing.
            Would it be legitimate for me to insist on a share in the boardroom discussions of Smith-Kline-Glaxo? Or to demand input into the Wales Rugby team’s line-up against New Zealand this afternoon? It isn’t sexist to say that I’m not qualified to make decisions in these areas.

          • zoid

            my response would be ‘if you know enough about the worldwide pharma market, then i can’t see any impediment…’

            as for the taffs against the kiwis….then feel free, i have a feeling that they’ll need all the help they can get.

            neither of your examples require a male and both organisations would be in breach of the law in not affording you a position (if you were the best candidate) solely on the basis of your gender…

            …but excluding men from a discussion solely on the basis of their gender is exactly what you appear to want to do.

          • Julibarn

            One more thing about this argument: Is pregnancy really just a womans concern? Some people seem to forget that pregnancy concerns a third and vulnerable party. I’m pro-choice, but it would be outrageous if men shouldn’t have a voice in discussions about the ethics. We’re all humans, we’re all in this together.
            That’s why I find it so hard to understand that these students actually asked the university to drop the debate, and that the university gave in. Don’t want to listen? Fine, stay home. Don’t do things that makes me think of times and societies I’d rather forget.

    • WFC

      Who appointed you as “issue” co-ordinator?

    • MrsDBliss

      No, O’Neill is a libertarian and he’s actually pro choice.
      I find it amazing your calling someone a Tory, apparently as an insult, and then talk about things that aren’t other people’s issues.
      Unemployment isn’t my issue, can I get to not pay taxes for benefits then? That’s the point about societies, we recognise one persons actions affect the others around them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Marks/1266358046 Paul Marks

    The central mistake was indeed to oppose P.C. “gone mad”, the silly examples, because this mockery actually conceded the principle of P.C. (i.e. the Frankfurt School of Marxism – turned into “Political Correctness” and then “Critical Theory” by academics at first Columbia university then most universities, and teacher training collages, and so on), that only certain political opinions, “Progressive” ones, may be expressed. It is the principle that needs to be opposed. The whole project of telling certain groups of people, ethnic minorities, women (and on and on) that they are oppressed by “capitalist society” (“big business” and so on), and that the way to end this “oppression” is to ban the expression of “reactionary” opinions and “attitudes”.
    Sadly the education system, and the parts of the wider society that follow the doctrines of the education system, has become so dominated by “P.C”., “Critical Theory” (or whatever this stuff is to be called), that I do not believe it can be reformed. An end to taxpayer funding, and government demands for “official” qualifications, is the only way forward. If the left want to indoctrinate young people the left should fund the indoctrination themselves, not force taxpayers to do so. And as the left now control qualifications in the humanities and social sciences (including “Teacher Training” – not just “Media Studies” and so on) there should be no official government backing for such “qualifications”.
    After all there did not use to be such government demands that people had to have certain pieces of paper (controlled by a guild or other such) to practice a trade or profession. For example teacher “licensing” did not come in till 1974 (was the situation in 1973 unacceptable?). Indeed in the, once famous, case of “Dr Bonham” Chief Justice Sir Edward Coke declared that such compulsory government backed pieces of paper (“licenses” and so on) were against the fundamental principles of the Common Law. The left now control the “guilds” and they use their power to indoctrinate the young, and to make the young fanatically hostile to the expression of “reactionary” opinions, – this is why government backing (funding and regulation) for the “guilds” must end.

  • The Third Archon

    On the contrary Spectator, “pro-lifers” aren’t illegitimate because that’s what a group thinks–“pro-lifers” are illegitimate because they’re fascists who believe in a fascist ideology that IF ACCEPTED would REQUIRE allowing an INHERENT A PRIORI double standard of judgment and treatment between two classes of humans (in this case on the basis of sex, but there are other non-sex based examples of the same pernicious principle at work). All ideas are NOT created equal–not even close.

    And if you believe they are, not only does that reveal a profound and disturbing moral blindness, but it also means you are all but certain to meet with a calamitous fate–just as if you were blind and poisoned and had to decide which of two bottles you can feel contains the antidote and which contains more poison.

    • MrsDBliss

      You have made no actual point here, just rambled on. I hope you’re not a university student. I taught year nines who were better at creating an argument.

      • WFC

        Now you are being mischevous.

        You know full well that the author of this nonsense is a university student.

        Who else could come up (when sober) with such long-winded, post-something twaddle?

        • MrsDBliss

          Ha, ha! It’s a pity they don’t have a red pen option on disqus. He needs some constructive criticism 🙂

  • Terry Field

    In nature, there is a worm, that has a brain. It uses its brain to move to a pleasant and nutritious area of soil after its mummy gives birth to it.
    When it has found the ideal spot, since it no longer has a use for its brain, it consumes it, and remains there, unaware, but consuming the found nutrients.
    JUST like this unspeakable generation

    • EricHobsbawmtwit

      “A feat that arouses much admiration in university professors”, Steve Jones quips.

  • mollysdad

    If Harriet Brown objects to a debate on abortion on the grounds that Brendan O’Neill doesn’t have a uterus and she does, then let her get a hysterectomy. She thinks he’s an arsehole, I think she’s a slapper.

    • WFC

      She would presumably also have objected to William Wilberforce advocating the abolition of the slave trade, on the grounds that he was neither a slave, nor a slave owner and, therefore, was unqualified to discuss it.

      • cartimandua

        Well what they would have been debating is whether women are fully human or not that’s the trouble. Its not up for “debate”.

        • WFC

          A lot of people (mainly male), thoughout history have claimed the right to decide what is, and what isn’t, “up for debate”.

          Various rationales have been given for asserting this “right”: God, “the Proletariat”, the “Volk”, to name but three.

          What is your excuse?

        • MrsDBliss

          Erm, where was the humanity of women as a debatable issue proposed in this debate? You just make things up. You’re insane.

    • cartimandua

      One can judge whether Brendan is an A hole or not by reading his work.
      What evidence do you have that allows you to call Harriet B promiscuous?

      • mollysdad

        Harriet B is a militant advocate of abortion on demand. That, and the availability of contraception for which abortion is a backup, is the guarantee of unlimited sexual freedom. That’s good circumstantial evidence that she is liable to catch an embryo the way the rest of us catch a cold.

        • cartimandua

          Abortion on demand actually leads to fewer abortions and of course earlier abortions. Abortion restrictions enable rapists and domestic abusers. They sabotage contraception and coerce pregnancy. (and there is science behind that comment.)
          There are more abortions where women do not have every possible option.
          Contraception all has side effects and it all fails. Our high long term use of hormones has lead to our high levels of breast cancer. It raises the risk by a quarter.
          Men need to step up and have the snip rather than leaving women to carry all the risks of pregnancy and contraception.
          So you tell me why men are such irresponsible cowards they wont have the snip?

          • mollysdad

            There’s no need for the snip. All the men need is to keep it inside their trousers.

  • SexyIsntSexist

    Swayne O’Pie, author of “Exposing Feminism” does talking tours of UK unis. It would be interesting to hear his experience of this phenomena http://exposingfeminism.co.uk/about.php

    • MrsDBliss

      Try Conservative Woman – not the party, social attitude – blog. Lots of female centred, non feminist articles doing the same.

  • SexyIsntSexist

    Also, it isn’t just universities, it is everywhere. We are in a bitter cultural war with radical feminism for control of cultural discourse from #GamerGate to hysterical rhetoric about “rape culture” which is not supported by any data. http://porlawright.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/gamergate-the-players-and-the-played/

    • EricHobsbawmtwit

      You know the really dumb thing about Anita Sarkeesian is the fact she hasn’t actually played any of the video games she portrays as being sexist. She’s one of those media people who try to get ahead by being a loud radfem with sharp elbows.

      Here’s a marvellous take-down of her critique of Zelda by one of my favourite twitterers, Liz.

    • cartimandua

      Diddums. How many women actually post on this type of forum? Answer about 3. Its a very very male environment and women are not allowed to speak much in the media.

      • MrsDBliss

        I ostracised on it, never get shouted down. The only ones to try are predominantly feminists. You get shouted down because you speak rubbish, it’s nothing to do with your sex. It’s you.

        • WFC

          Indeed.

          This is one of the very few instances where it is, indeed, “all about them”.

          • MrsDBliss

            Yes. Really should read back what I write. I’m off to stand myself in the corner!

      • Angrytomato

        Oh noez, mah oppresshun. :(:(

  • Blah

    I’m seeing a lot about feminism here. Pretty much every day I see yet another piece of evidence that it’s about time feminism finally grows up and admits that it needs to sort itself out. It was shirtgate last time. And gamergate before that- I must admit some of the original accusations in gamergate were true and reasonable but then people who were doing nothing more than calling for peace and fairness like youtuber Boogie2988 started getting driven to breakdown by single minded feminists. It just got ridiculous. Feminists need to finally admit that their movement is, like all other, movements, capable of going in a dark extremist direction and that is what has happened and they need to sort it out if they want to maintain any credibility. And this won’t happen while feminists regard anyone who dares to suggest that it is possible for a feminist argument to be less than perfect as a misogynistic rape apologist.

    It must be frustrating being a real, traditional feminist these days, lobbying to tackle serious issues like the way law enforcement treats rape victims, only to be out screeched by the growing rampaging mob of “buzzfeed feminists” that seem to be after world domination.

    • Julibarn

      The funny thing is that a lot of so called feminists don’t seem to be overly concerned about women belonging to cultures where they really are opressed and discriminated.

      • cartimandua

        Well that’s a thigh slapper. The only feminists with a chance of being listened to on such a subject are men like the Muslim Chief Prosecutor.

        • EricHobsbawmtwit

          It’s hard, difficult and dangerous. Far easier to pontificate from the safety of a Western TV studio, especially as with the help of the patriarchy you secured all of the rights you wanted 30 years ago.

          • cartimandua

            And all of it is under constant attack as in “a debate” whose very question is framed by a particular and peculiar stockholmed bunch of Catholics.
            My daughter made a funny today. In her A level class they have been looking at hormones.
            Bloke said “when women have their periods their Testosterone rises and their temper is uncertain. They should never be in government”
            To which she answered “but that is how you are all the time”.

          • EricHobsbawmtwit

            In case you hadn’t noticed, what’s under attack today in the West is liberalism and the enlightenment ideals people like you might have campaigned for 50 years ago.

            They’re under attack by people like you who don’t or can’t distinguish between “attack” as in “to physically assault” and “attack” meaning “to offer criticism”.

          • cartimandua

            Any time womens access to evidence based medical care is questioned” that is an actual attack.
            In the USA some Catholic hospitals do not have to treat women dying of ectopics or transfer them.
            In Ireland they have forced a rape victim to stay pregnant force feeding her when she tried to starve herself to suicide and then
            giving her a C section.
            Those things are very real “attacks” and that is what pro lifers want in this country.
            They want Priests to decide about what medical care women may have and they want women to be less than under the law.
            Women in the US have been put in prison for having a fall while pregnant or trying to kill themselves while pregnant.
            “Personhood” for zygotes is a real attack on the most basic assumptions about the equality of women.

          • EricHobsbawmtwit

            Thank you. You make my point for me.

            Questioning something is an “actual attack”. But how do you know what they’re going to say in the debate? The debate is cancelled and you haven’t heard them.

            Oh dear.

          • cartimandua

            I have just pointed out to you where the pro lifery leads inevitably.
            You don’t get to “question” whether women should be equal to men under the law or have evidence based medical care.
            That’s not up for discussion unless you are a very disturbed person or a member of ISIS.

          • Julibarn

            “…where pro-lifery leads to inevitably”. The DEBATE between pro-lifers and pro-choise people have led to pro-choise, so what’s your problem? This is one of the benefits of living in a democratic society, where we have the right to speak up,and the right to disagree.

          • EricHobsbawmtwit

            Where does people shutting down debates on issues lead, do you think? It leads to nobody debating abortion, slavery, sexism, racism and so on and therefore you not having any of the rights you have today.

            I don’t believe you’re so irrational you cannot see the stupidity of the argument you’re promoting here.

          • cartimandua

            Its not a debate if it is a closed question “debated” by two famously misogynistic men.
            No one got anywhere “debating” with Hitler or Mosely or the grand dragon of the KKK.
            Ya just have to tell them no you don’t.

          • EricHobsbawmtwit

            Who decides what a “closed question” is? You? It’s clearly not a closed question if there are term limits that Parliament regularly debate.

      • MrsDBliss

        They are also not concerned with working class women or women who want to care for their own children.

  • cartimandua

    Blah
    Would you “debate” whether men should be forcibly castrated? Or whether blackfolk should be branded? Sometimes the terms of the “debate” are unacceptable.

    • Julibarn

      From what you are saying, it’s actually a little hard to figure out wether you are pro-life or pro-choice.

      • EricHobsbawmtwit

        She’s not pro-choice when it comes to attending debates. She doesn’t want other people to be able to choose.

      • cartimandua

        There is nothing to “debate” because what they are actually debating is whether women should have access to evidence based medical care and equality under the law.
        “Personhood laws” ( or illegal abortion) denies women both of these things.
        Is that plain enough?

        • Julibarn

          There’s a third part involved in pregnancies, you know: The evolving human, who doesn’t have the ability to speak for itself. That is why we – religious or not – keep having debates about the ethics. I’m pro-choise as defined by the law (at least here in Norway). That doesn’t mean I don’t welcome debates on the issue. Debates are essential for our ability to reach a personal choice, based on our free will.

    • EricHobsbawmtwit

      Yes, debate it. Why not?

      • cartimandua

        I don’t recall suggesting forcible castration although they do do chemical castration in some Scandinavian countries I think which means repeat offenders are not locked up for life.

        • EricHobsbawmtwit

          I don’t want to debate the issue. My mind is made up on it (it’s wrong). But I don’t want to prevent other people from discussing it in a public space.

    • GraveDave

      Blah, would you debate whether men should be forcibly castrated – or whether blackfolk should be branded- if they were rapists.
      Nah. Some of you would just do it.

  • cartimandua

    Actually Brendan “worrying” about your free speech is pretty rich. Both the Telegraph and the Graun ban feminists.

    • GraveDave

      The Guardian seems to write about nothing but feminism lately.

    • MrsDBliss

      You mean they ban you. You’ve taken your ‘I speak for all women’ stance to the extreme now haven’t you.

  • http://proteinwisdom.com darleenclick

    Leftism is the most dynamic religion of the late 20th and current century. This is the result. And it helps explain why Leftists find common cause with Islamists. The totalitarian impulse is intoxicating for both.

  • Nathan

    I lived in Brighton for 25 years. One day I woke up and it dawned on me that I had never heard more than one opinion. Ironically they drove me to Christian faith, the very people they accuse of the above flaw.

    • Nathan

      In addition, watch out for the inevitable clash of civilisations, Islam versus leftist, ‘liberal, humanism. Coming soon to a town near you and I know who my money is on.

  • Politically_Incorrect

    These events will be the tipping point. We will drive them out. We shall defeat those fascists. They have asked for a war. Blood will be spilt.

  • cartimandua

    The” debate” was framed as “do you still beat your wife”. In other words the very framing of the question was abhorrent. The underlying question really is
    “should women have a full access to evidence based medical care. Pro lifers think they shouldn’t. Recently one person posting who had been “standing outside clinics” said that “women should die in pregnancy if it is Gods will”. (even though it never means a surviving foetus because the foetus always dies first).
    What they wanted was dead women so they could be emotionally comfy.
    Not only are they suggesting women should die to please them they want women to be less than zygotes under the law.
    So well spotted Oxford students. Debating whether women are fully human is not something up for debate.

    • Julibarn

      Since you keep repeating your point, I weel repeat mine. It doesn’t seem to have reached you yet:
      There’s a third part involved in pregnancies, you know: The evolving human, who doesn’t have the ability to speak for itself. That is why we – religious and nonreligious alike – keep having debates about the ethics. I’m pro-choice as defined by the law (at least defined by the law here in Norway). That doesn’t mean I don’t welcome debates on the issue. Debates are essential for our ability to reach personal choices, based on our free will.

      • cartimandua

        Its not evolved that’s the point. It isn’t pain capable. It isn’t conscious nor can it be and it is usually the size of a large period clot when there is an abortion around or before 10 weeks which is most of them.
        There is no “debate” because restricting abortion takes you to the infanticide common in India and Pakistan (when the newborn is conscious and pain capable). And it takes you to infants who cannot survive having to die after birth when they might feel it.
        About 3% of all pregnancies have lethal anomalies.
        Its why Ireland and Malta have the highest stillbirth, neonatal, and under 5s deaths in the EU.
        So apart from the 80% of zygotes, another third of embryos dying quite naturally, and thousands of unexplained stillbirths there are 3% of pregnancies which will never lead to “life”. But the infant with half a brain may live briefly in great distress . Carrying a foetus which could die at any time risks the Mothers life for no possible gain.
        God squad thinks suffering is noble but of course its not their suffering.
        They are free to choose it themselves but they really must not impose it on other people.

        • Julibarn

          First of all, “evolved” is not the same as “evolving”.
          Secondly, “debate” is not the same as “impose”. That’s what you and these students have a hard time understanding. In a democracy, we create platforms where views are being exchanged. In nondemocratic societies, they don’t. They impose and opress.

          By your standard, there’s a lot of issues we can stop debating once and for all. That’s a kind of society I don’t want to be a part of.

          • cartimandua

            I can see its very inconvenient to you to grasp my point which is that the question asked is a question which already questions whether women are fully as human as men.
            It was not an open question because it “asked about abortion”.
            Illegal abortion doesn’t threaten the delivery of healthcare for men nor does it threaten equality under the law.
            They have imprisoned women in the US for having a miscarriage claiming it was manslaughter. The burden of proof was far less that that afforded men accused of manslaughter.
            Yes we have long “got over” asking if people of colour should be bought and sold or whether all men and women should be able to vote even if they are not landowners.
            Would you “debate” these things again because of the maunderings of a special interest group?
            Shall we invite the grand dragon of the KKK and “debate” negroes?
            They invited 2 dyed in the wool misogynists to debate whether the girlies can be trusted to decide about their own bodies.
            They didn’t invite a doctor or a feminist.
            The whole thing was a bunch of BS. Mind you it might have been amusing to have the hall invaded by a femen protest.

          • Julibarn

            “Would you “debate” these things again because of the maunderings of a special interest group?”

            Absolutely! In hope that my confrontive arguements would make them change their minds. In hope of keeping the number of their supporters down. And so on.

          • cartimandua

            sooo you think it is OK to invite two famous misogynists to “debate” womens rights righteo.

            http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2011/11/brendan-oneill-wins-the-sneering-prize/

          • Julibarn

            Misogynists is your lable. I don’t know these men, but reading this article, it’s not my impression that the author is a misogynist. Anyway: If, they are, would I invite them ? Yes, I would. For all the reasons I gave you above and below.

    • GraveDave

      Anything is up for debate.Just because you’re a woman and a feminist, you still don’t have any special rights over its philosophies.

  • Mack

    So do any of you ever vote?

  • Adam

    absolutely spot on. but maybe that’s the problem – the internet allows me to read only what I agree with without being diverted by pesky alternative viewpoints.

  • GraveDave

    f your go-to image of a student is someone who’s free-spirited and open-minded, who loves having a pop at orthodoxies, then you urgently need to update your mind’s picture bank. Students are now pretty much the opposite of that. It’s hard to think of any other section of society that has undergone as epic a transformation as students have. From freewheelin’ to ban-happy, from askers of awkward questions to suppressors of offensive speech, in the space of a generation.

    One day these people will be in charge of my grandchildren – shudder.

    • Julibarn

      The cause, I think, is that they take liberty for granted. People who grew up during WW2 or the cold war, don’t.

  • Scheveningen

    Probably these Stepford students and banners are a small minority of the student population. The vast majority of students couldn’t care less either way. Unfortunately it is the PC militants who are organised and able to take over student unions and other societies. It is indeed sad for British university life.

    • Julibarn

      It’s certanly a problem when the vast majority becomes irrelevant.

    • cartimandua

      It was a sad day when they even tried to host a debate that was going to present 2 different kinds of anti woman tripe.

      • MrsDBliss

        Well as Brendan O’Neill was going to argue for abortion and Stanley was against your viewpoint is utter rubbish. You don’t engage do you? Just rage.

      • Adam Peak

        What I don’t understand is: why didn’t you allow the debate to happen, and then get stuck into asking these guys some really tricky questions?
        By cancelling the “battle”, you denied yourselves the chance to convincingly prove the so-called anti-woman stuff wrong. You’ve only made it look like poor, defenceless little girls need protecting from the beastly howwible men. It’s not very empowering, is it?
        Maggie (a real woman!) would have welcomed the debate and wiped the floor with the guys.
        And I’m not even a Tory or a Thatcherite. I just respect strong women, and I don’t think banning debates to preserve one’s “comfort” is the hallmark of strength; far from it, it’s an admission of weakness.

      • Adam Peak

        Also, how do you know they were going to present 2 different kinds of anti woman tripe? Are feminists now psychic?
        You need education mate, you really do. What you’re supposed to do is GO IN WITH AN OPEN MIND. Listen to what the contestants actually say, not what you think they’re going to say. Ask them questions, challenge them to justify their points. Only then, when you’ve heard both sides plus the questions from the floor, should you decide whether what you’ve just heard is tripe or not. And even if it is, you should respect the contestants for even taking part, for having the honesty, integrity and courage to submit their views for public judgment.
        Seriously – just because you’re a woman doesn’t mean the principles of courtesy, good manners and being a fair sport don’t apply to you!

  • Scheveningen

    Has anyone listened to the extraordinary diatribe by this person called Harriet Brown? Each time Brendan speak she shuts him down by continual non-stop chattering.

    • cartimandua

      Well that’s no loss . He is famously anti woman.

      • MrsDBliss

        No, he’s not. Just because you say something doesn’t mean to say it’s true. Can you provide us with evidence of his fame regarding this stance?

        • WFC

          You are asking for “evidence”?

          From somebody who clearly believes that that word means “assertion and/or belief”?

          Now you’re just being nasty!

          • MrsDBliss

            I know. I’m so judgemental!

      • WFC

        He’s not anti-woman, he’s anti-imbecile.

        I’m surprised you don’t know the difference!

  • Sarah_London

    Sorry, but you just seem peeved that today young women are not the dupes they were 30 years ago. Thanks to the internet, young people today have access to radical ideas far beyond those they once passively absorbed in the sheltered cloisture of their family unit and peer group. You defend anti-feminism under the rubric of free speech. The truth is though, you just seem aggrieved that you’re being challenged by young women who don’t accept pop songs that degrade them or ideologies which control them like they did when you were a student. Now go ahead, call me a Stepford Femi-nazi.

    • Julibarn

      Your value compass is having a breakdown, I’m afraid.

      • Sarah_London

        Unless you’d like to elaborate on why exactly you think my values are wrong, that’s an hominem response, and thus meaningless.

        • Julibarn

          Ask yourself this one single and simple question: Do you value democracy?

          • Sarah_London

            Do you value equal pay? Do you value equal marriage rights? The problem is, what’s called democracy is perfectly compatible with oppression of minorities, because in democracy those who have the power can speak the loudest. This is why “free speech” isn’t enough, and this is why we have to have political activism, which of course, those with privilege resent.

          • Julibarn

            So you don’t value democracy, I gather. I do. Because it’s the very thing that has brought us to equal pay and equal marriage rights, at least where I come from.

          • cartimandua

            No, feminism fought for those rights. Our Mothers and Grandmothers did helped by decent men.
            My Mother couldn’t get a mortgage although she was a working full time teacher. Her mortgage had to be guaranteed by her ex husband.
            When she had a prolapse repair they “left her uterus” saying that she might want another child, but if she had one it would kill her.
            She went to the LSE and her tutor had never had a woman in his class before and didn’t know how to treat her.
            You think that women’s rights are a steady state and cannot be
            unwound, but that is not at all the case.
            Abortion is not just about abortion. It is about everything. It is about evidence based medical care for women throughout life (or they won’t treat a crisis in pregnancy). A pro lifer said on a comment strand recently “women should die in pregnancy if it is Gods wills it”(even though no live birth could result.)
            If abortion is illegal women are prosecuted for miscarriage . They convict for manslaughter on far weaker evidence than they would convict a man. They have done so in the US where the bat sh** pro life rubbish is coming from.
            Since we don’t know why miscarriage happens (and its 80% of zygotes) women are “guilty” any time they are not pregnant. They might have had a bad thought or lifted a toddler.
            They are that crazy and women are not safe.
            Anti woman propaganda must not be allowed because
            someone decides to label it “free speech”.
            Its like the “clinic vigils” they do no good at all, but there is real evidence they do actual harm.

          • Julibarn

            You don’t get it, do you? The very reason that bad things, like you decribe, has changed – is because of democracy.

          • cartimandua

            Free speech is not absolute. We no longer debate whether people of colour are “really people” but that is what you want to do about women, have a debate about whether they are really people you know, like men.

          • Julibarn

            I strongly disagree. In several countries and cultures, the question whether people of colour are “really people” is highly real. The problem is that you prefere to live in your own little world where these questions are nonexistent.

          • cartimandua

            If you have that debate you permit propaganda. No doubt you think everyone should be able to see the ISIS snuff movies .

          • Julibarn

            Permit propaganda? Mon Dieu. I permit information, and we (you, me, journalists, police, etc, ) have i duty to investigate to get the truth out.

          • WFC

            Would you prefer to pretend that they don’t exist?

    • EricHobsbawmtwit

      Why do you say he’s being challenged by young women? As far as I know only 14% of women identify as “feminist” in the sense you use the term. Why is that I wonder?

      Actually I don’t wonder. The reason is because people like you scare them away with your extremist stupidity and blatant misandry. Most women quite like men, believe it or not.

      • cartimandua

        Well lets have a “debate” then about whether wives should be able to decide whether their husbands should have the snip and only “feminazis” should be allowed to debate it. And then lets assume the idea goes viral and becomes policy.
        Up for that?

        • EricHobsbawmtwit

          Oh, break out the smelling salts. I think I’m going to faint at the thought of someone having a debate about something.

          • cartimandua

            A debate needs a balance of panellists (not two misogynists) and it needs an open question not one that agrees with one side before you begin.

          • EricHobsbawmtwit

            A debate doesn’t need anything except for you to decide whether to attend it or not. If you don’t personally like the panellists, don’t go. How hard is that?

            What you want to do is prevent any other free thinking individuals from seeing it. That is censorship.

        • WFC

          You seem to believe that stupid ideas have a life of their own – going “viral” indeed!

          You’ve spent too long at university.

        • MrsDBliss

          Erm, having this snip is purely the mans body. Abortion involves the body of someone else.

    • WFC

      In what way is closing down a debate “challenging”?

      Anyone can do that with sufficient numbers and threatening behaviour. Takes neither intelligence nor the ability to formulate a rational thought.

      Islamists do it all the time.

  • cartimandua

    A closed question “debated” by two men famous for their misogyny is not “free speech”. Free speech is not free speech when it is propaganda.
    That “debate” was going to be misogynistic propaganda whoever “won it”.

    • Julibarn

      “Famous for their misogyny”, yes, you made them famous for their “misogyny”. Propaganda? Do you even know what propaganda means? How old are you?

      • cartimandua

        Soo you would like to see ISIS snuff videos would you? In an age of mass media what used to be free speech has had to change.
        Free speech that may become viral or a meme is no longer an argument thrashed out and finite.
        Such things are no longer finite. People can no longer spout dangerous trash because it persists.
        And there is nothing Brendan or Timbo could have said about an issue which is to do with women owning their own bodies which wouldn’t be dangerous trash.

        • Julibarn

          Norwegian main stream media shows ISIS snuff videos at a regular basis. What’s the effect, do you think?

          • cartimandua

            Utoya?
            Did you think the Internet and global media had no “downside”? Aaw bless!
            Its lack of finite has changed what free speech may mean in any public space.
            The Oxford Union is public space and that debate would have legitimized “discussing” whether women are fully human or not.
            A bit more polite that the old Imams who earnestly discussed how much of a girls bits should be cut off but on the same spectrum.

          • Julibarn

            Utøya? You certanly prove your lack of knowledge. Please start reading.

          • WFC

            Even if we accept your grossly hyperbolic assessment of what that debate was about – “whether women are human or not” – what answer to that question do you believe your, personal, debating skills (as demonstrated here) are likely to prompt?

          • mohdanga

            “The Oxford Union is public space and that debate would have legitimized “discussing” whether women are fully human or not.” Parliament is a public space, have there ever been abortion debates there?

          • Trofim

            Why do you indulge this most obvious and intransigent of trolls? No evidence, explanation at all ever influences the closed minds of this sort of creature. They are best ignored.

        • WFC

          So you don’t want a debate because you think you might lose?

          Can’t have much confidence in your arguments!

          • cartimandua

            I wasn’t in the debate. Both Brendan and Timmy were going to argue against women from their particular perspective.
            It would have been like the old Imams “debating” how much of a girls bits should be chopped off.
            There shouldn’t have been a debate because the answer of course is none.
            We in the UK have one of the lowest number of abortions in the world and we get that by damaging all womens health all their 40 years of fertility.
            That’s why we have such high levels of breast cancer and obesity.
            Now if those men had been “debating” when (not if when) men should have a vasectomy that might have been interesting and had something useful to say.
            Only 16% of men are ever adult enough. They let their wives carry the risks of contraception and pregnancy and then whine at women too.

        • MrsDBliss

          Yes, women own their own bodies. But what is done is to the body of a child. You can repeat my body my right as much as you want, but those are the facts. That means other people get to debate it.

          • cartimandua

            See right there you nose dive into your cult beliefs.
            There is no “child” until viability and birth.
            Life from conception is a modern Catholic heresy which began in a period of waning church power and has been talked up
            by “Priests for life”.
            They are heretics.
            The “facts” are that human development is a process.
            a zygote embryos or foetus is NOT the same as the Mother.
            Its human days have not yet come.
            The pro life cults insistence that cells equal a sentient adult demean what it is to be human.
            Life from conception goes against the Bible, the churches greatest theologians, and its longest held traditions.
            What matters these days is the pro life cultists should not be able to makes things worse.
            Where abortion is not legal there are more unintended pregnancies more abortions and later abortions and of course frank infanticide.
            Pro lifers seem to be concrete thinkers and cannot get their brains around something which seems paradoxical.
            Not only do they make things worse in their own terms but
            the gooey sentimentality over zygotes is meant to tip the 1 in 3 women who have miscarriages into perennial grief.
            Perhaps that’s why they do it.
            Standing outside clinics changes no minds but it does harm some women later on.
            So a rape victim who does not want to give birth to a rapists child is harmed or a woman whose wanted foetus
            is found to have half a brain.
            She is harmed by smug stupid pro lifers ladling on extra pain.
            There is real evidence these people cause harm.

          • MrsDBliss

            No, those are your beliefs Cartimandua and as you make things up as you go along I’m afraid I take your ability to determine facts with a huge pinch of salt.
            As for the rest of your rumblings please excuse me if I don’t engage. I shouldn’t have done last night. I know reality challenges you and should have just left you raving.

          • Barzini

            Would you have a problem with a woman deciding to have an abortion 8 months into a pregnancy for purely lifestyle reasons?

            The vast majority of people on planet earth perceive such an action as a crime.

            Where the line is drawn by the law is and always will be somewhat arbitrary….

            Also, it is entirely possible to be pro-choice but to find the the fact that we have 200,000 abortions a year in the UK to be troubling.

            I would be on your side on any debate in this area, but I would welcome having my ideas and beliefs challenged, anyone who doesn’t see the importance of this point has no right being at a university.

    • EricHobsbawmtwit

      So what you’re suggesting is that if you could stop me from commenting here, you would? You would get me banned or blocked or otherwise get the Spectator to stop offering disqus as a means for people to comment or give their opinions?

      That is the logical conclusion of your point here.

      • cartimandua

        You are not speaking in a prestigious public forum like Oxford.

        • DaveAtherton20

          Sorry do we need 3 A* at A Levels to have an opinion?

        • mohdanga

          But you said that all the students at Oxford (with the exception of the pro-life cultists) were smart enough to see beyond this misogyny so why not let the debate continue? These 2 men would have their reputations besmirched and future speaking engagements would be hard to come by, thus meeting your goal of shutting down these mysogynists, no?

    • WFC

      Who gets to decide when something is “free speech”, and when it is “propaganda”?

      Me?

      • cartimandua

        What is there to debate about whether women should be less under law and have evidence based medical care denied them? There is nothing to debate.
        2 egotistical men were invited to have a self satisfied intellectual wa** at the expense of women.
        The only thing which does surprise me is that there are any students at Oxford stupid enough to be “prolife”. There is no pro life argument
        that has any traction at all except one that lies entirely in the mind and sentimentality of the pro lifer.
        But like any cult it has an internal logic to the brainwashed cultist.

        • Julibarn

          It’s getting harder and harder to take you seriously.

          • WFC

            I did wonder whether (s)he was a troll – in the older, proper sense – but if so (s)he isn’t very good at it.

            The art of the troll was to stir up argument between the regulars of a forum, so that he could then sit back and watch the fun. Our cartman character, however, seems to have united them.

            Perhaps (s)he’s a llort?

          • Julibarn

            A llort! Thanks for the laugh!

        • Trevor Trust

          Hey, I don’t know… how about a debate on whether men should be able to abdicate paternal rights if he doesn’t want a child born, but the mother refuses to abort?

          A child born affects both their lives profoundly, why does only she have options/say?

          • cartimandua

            What about men who don’t pay a penny for the child’s keep (or a derisory amount) and yet demand frequent access ?
            There really aren’t many women who carry on with a pregnancy over the Fathers wishes.
            But you should talk to the pro lifers about that. They advocate pregnancy no matter what the circumstances.
            They don’t care about health or wealth or relationship.
            They worship the foetus.

    • MrsDBliss

      Tim Stanley and Brendan O’Neill are famous for their misogyny? Wow, where did you get that from?

      • WFC

        His or her imagination?

      • cartimandua

        Not just my reading of their work and media appearances but many many others. I can link to articles about it.

        • MrsDBliss

          Please do so. However you have to substantiate your claim with other people saying their misogynists – not your subjective opinion.

        • DaveAtherton20

          So anyone with the temerity to disagree with you is a misogynist. Blimey.

  • rob232

    I think this is somewhat exaggerated. There is nothing new in academics denying free speech to those with whom they disagree.
    I seem to remember an NUS resolution in the spring of 1973 to deny platforms to ‘fascist’ speakers. This included high profile conservatives such as Sir Keith Joseph. If my memory serves me correctly many debates were interrupted and cancelled because of students who opposed free speech being allowed to politically incorrect speakers.

    • Julibarn

      You’re right. Compare the times, and the time between.

    • WFC

      Indeed.

      Hence the raft of quasi-“no platform” legislation which has been enacted since then (by both legacy parties).

  • John Smith

    Failing state education & failing families have a lot to answer for ..

    • cartimandua

      What that students fall into cults like the “pro life” lot?

      • mohdanga

        So not agreeing with abortion is the equivalent of being controlled by a cult? Well, that settles it then.

  • http://theunrecordedman.wordpress.com/ TheUnrecordedMan

    “My Oxford experience suggests pro-life societies could be next.”

    Surely your experience suggests that pro-choice rather than pro-life might soon be subject to no-platform policies.

    • cartimandua

      Well it is astonishing that any students clever enough to be at Oxford should be so ignorant and sentimental they have formed a “pro life” society.
      Perhaps they were raised by Priests somewhere.

      • http://theunrecordedman.wordpress.com/ TheUnrecordedMan

        This may be a surprise to you but there are people with no religion who think that abortion is not a great thing. I personally have no strong opinion on the matter but it would never occur to me to say that someone who had a different opinion to me was ‘ignorant’ and that only advocacy of one point of view (my own) is compatible with being ‘clever’.

        • EricHobsbawmtwit

          Precisely. I am not religious and I am not sure whether it’s a great thing or not. I’m less in favour of it when I read about how abortions, particularly late-term abortions (“late” being relative to the 22 weeks or whatever it is these days) are actually performed.

          It’s very hard for me to imagine being a surgeon and carrying out this procedure, going home at night and sleeping soundly.

  • Philippa Martyr

    We have been suffering from this appalling phenomenon in Australia for over 20 years now. Has the UK really only just developed this problem, or has Brendan O’Neill only just noticed it?

    • cartimandua

      Its called the Internet and it has created a new paradigm which Dinosaurs like Brendan cannot grasp.
      These days spouting rubbish for ones own intellectual fun which is against particular groups doesn’t end and it doesn’t stay put.

      • EricHobsbawmtwit

        Yes, you have been and your ilk are all over Twitter with their ridiculous nonsense. Most will grow out of it. Those that don’t use it for financial gain.

        • Falconfly

          Oh, so you’re an “edgy” nihilist who thinks not being a sociopath is something people grow out of. How cute your delusion is.

          • EricHobsbawmtwit

            Who’s the sociopath here? The one who wants to prevent a free and open debate on an issue involving the life or death of a child, or those who do?

          • Falconfly

            The one who shields himself behind “murder of a child” when it doesn’t concern itself with actual children, the one who wants to deny women the control of their own bodies, the one who lacks so much empathy and only cares for abstract concepts and not actual people.

            On other words, you, hypocrite.

          • EricHobsbawmtwit

            I didn’t use the word “murder”, I said “death”. I am not judging the issue, I am judging whether or not the issue should be subject to public debate. Clearly it should and often is given the increasing life expectancy of premature babies.

          • Barzini

            You do realize that the writer of this article is pro-choice?

            He is entirely on your side, what he is bemoaning is the shutting down of a debate in the name of ‘mental safety’.

            I too would be on your side, however I would welcome the chance to have my ideas and beliefs challenged – anyone who does not see the importance of this point has no right being at a university…………….

    • WFC

      He’s noticed it before – Spiked has been discussing this sort of thing for ages – but this is perhaps the first time he has experienced it against himself.

      Fortunately, these culture warriors have no concept of choosing their targets. They just fire indiscriminately at anybody, and everybody, who attracts their attentions. With the result that for every one recruit they get, they turn a hundred people off them.

  • PreacherPrinterPoet

    Harriet Brown … I believe it was a wise woman who said that civility costs nothing, but buys everything. Perhaps you have no civility because your ideas are bankrupt?

    • cartimandua

      You don’t seem to be replying to anyone.

  • Julibarn

    Just listened to the interview. Shudder. Harriet Brown reminds me of an ultra-feminist here in Norway who showed up on screen to defend the use of niqab, claiming niqab was liberating. What a twisted view of reality.

  • Dr. Heath

    Which party is it that’s noticed the transformation of the tenets of political correctness into a new variant of trendy, fascist ideology? Fascism Lite, perhaps, but fascism. Which of them, Labour, Liberal Democrat or Conservative, has managed to notice the ascendancy of islamo-fascists in our universities? Which journalists and pundits, those people who have for years [as Julie Burchill reminded us] lectured everyone about not being racist, misogynist homophobes, have noticed the strident misogyny, anti-semitic racism and homophobia of our one and only cosseted faith community?

    Which party is not in fact represented in parliament by a fair old sprinkling of appeasers and Fascism Lite enthusiasts who differ from the universities’ crop of New Variant Fascism sufferers only by virtue of the fact that they’re older and have metamorphosed from undergraduate f*ckwit to Member of Parliament without ever having been in contact with the real world?

  • Falconfly

    So basically you’re ironically an edgy manchild, who whines about “freedom” left and right when you’re pretty much advocating for “tolerance for intolerance” fallacies.

    Some of your justifications only showcase how idiotic this whole thing is. Of course men don’t have a say in abortions, it’s not their bodily autonomy that’s at risk.

    And then whining that your free speech was condemned for being shut down from criticising same-sex marriage? You do know that you’re attacking people’s basic freedoms, right?

    Such hypocrisy, but not unexpected.

    • EricHobsbawmtwit

      How far shall we extend this principle? Should Parliament only allow women to vote on issues involving the uterus? Which body parts should we make this decision based upon? Should female-only barristers and judges sit on cases involving abortion? Are female journalists the only people allowed to voice an opinion on this issue?

      Should men keep their opinions to themselves at the dinner table when this is discussed in front of daughters – after all, it’s not as if fathers are considered important by radfems today is it? All of those single mums bringing up male children who don’t end up in prison is evidence is it Falconfly?

      Tell us what your final decree is Emperor, thanks.

      • Falconfly

        Do conservative christians get to decide how LGBT individuals should live their lives? Do terrorists get to decide whereas murder is okay? Do white people get to debate about whereas tretaing other human beings as slaves is okay?

        It’s the same principle: the tyrant does not speak for the peasant.

        But please go on about your ad hominem dystopia. Your despair, and inability to do anything but sliding the slippery slope, is amusing, sociopath.

        • EricHobsbawmtwit

          What a load of arm-waving and straw man nonsense. Are you studying philosophy? Surely not Classics.

          • Falconfly

            Because valid analogies is “strawmanning” now. Dear, this is exactly what you’re proposing, to have tyrants speak for peasants.

          • EricHobsbawmtwit

            They’re invalid analogies. You’re basically saying that O’Neill and Stanley having an opinion about some issue or other is the same as being a terrorist, murderer or slaver. You’re so lacking in self-awareness you can’t even see it.

            It’s totally amazing to me.

          • WFC

            I thought that (s)he was saying that only tyrants are allowed to have opinions. Or, perhaps, that anybody with an opinion thereby becomes a tyrant?

            Something like that, anyway.

          • Falconfly

            Love it how you’re so utterly incapable of basic human cognition.

            I’m said, again and again, that the oppressors do not speak for their victims. That a concept like that is so difficult for a sociopath like you to understand only proves my point.

          • Julibarn

            Sociopath? Haha! Ok, you have convinced me. You’re a troll.

          • Falconfly

            And you’re a sockpuppet.

          • Abu Faris

            Shoo, child.

          • Falconfly

            Because it is. They’re denying other people something as basic as bodily autonomy. Murder, denying control over one’s body, both ar ehuman rights violations.

          • Abu Faris

            “body autonomy” – can you explain to me what this actually means?

          • Falconfly

            One’s right over one’s body. I have no right to castrate you, you have no right to force women to go through pregnancy.

          • Hzle

            But you do want to have complete control over a man’s reproductive life…

            ..because “equality”!

            (we’re getting awfully close to the bit you haven’t thought through properly…If you’re a feminist you’ll probably stop thinking about it precisely now)

          • Falconfly

            Are you suggesting not having sex with men is “control over their reproductive life”? Because that’s demented even for your normal standards.

          • Hzle

            Well thanks. All you need to ask yourself are these questions:

            Do men ultimately decide when they become a father (the way you want women to have total control over)?
            Do they ultimately decide whether their offspring has a chance of surviving to term?

            Obviously not. So who makes these decisions (so central to a man’s life) for them?

            (also, do they have a right to parental leave after birth? Or equal rights in practice to access and custody?
            Alas