The dark punchline? The nixed talk was to be part of the school’s “uncomfortable learning” speaker series, wherein Williams undergrads are “challenged and made to think,” according to student organizers. Well, it seems as though certain subjects are just too uncomfortable to even be discussed. Well and truly pathetic:
This is hysterical, insane nonsense. Having the option of listening to a dissenting voice against the Left’s prevailing orthodoxy on gender roles in no way represents an imposition of harm, let alone “physical harm.” Such intolerant, sub-moronic delirium must be aggressively defied and mocked, not coddled and indulged. Event planners warned Venker that her upcoming address was “stirring a lot of angry reactions among students on campus,” prior to its eventual cancellation. Williams had “never experienced this kind of resistance” to a speaker, she was informed. On America’s college campuses, the heckler’s veto is a distressingly effective method of stamping out opposing viewpoints and muzzling “wrong-thinking” opinions. Bruce noted earlier that many college students evidently view this as a positive development, endorsing their institutions’ stifling culture of speech codes and trigger warnings. As Mary Katharine and I argue in End of Discussion, elements of the ostensibly open-minded Left have no interest whatsoever in the open exchange of ideas. They seek to “win” debates by preventing them from happening. They seek to “defeat” ideas by ensuring they’re denied any hearing. Tragically, this trend is being exported from the ivy-dotted edifices of academia to all corners of American life. It’s toxic and unbefitting of a free society. In an op-ed on Fox News’ website, Venker reveals the opening paragraph the prepared remarks she never had the opportunity to deliver:
My goal for you all, my purpose in being here today, is to inspire you to think for yourselves. Do not be swayed by groupthink no matter what your friends, your family or the culture believe. Do not be afraid to ask yourself questions that may make you uncomfortable. And do not be afraid of the answers.
To its shame, the Williams community has shown itself to be utterly intolerant of intellectual discomfort, and throughly terrified of critical thought. This — this! — is the sort of “verbal violence,” or whatever, that the school’s Very Special Snowflakes simply couldn’t abide: