Culture, Feminism & Sexuality

“Safe Spaces” Are Unsafe for Free Exchange of Ideas

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This article was originally posted at Legal Insurrection.

By Laurel Conrad

College campuses are meant to be a place where students engage in new perspectives and critical reasoning. Or so they say.

But by labeling conservative points of view as “extremist,” “anti-feminist,” and “racist,” feminists are shutting down the dialogue on their college campuses before it even begins.

To the leftist student activists, it seemingly doesn’t matter whether or not these labels are deserved. They’ve realized that all they need to do is to stigmatize a talk by a conservative speaker to condemn the speaker as an oppressing force.

For instance, last Thursday, I facilitated a lecture at the Georgetown University on behalf of the conservative organization I work for, the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, and the Georgetown CRs.

As soon as the campus feminists caught wind of the event, they immediately began protesting and demanding trigger warnings in order to silence the talk.

The lecture, given by author and Luce Institute speaker Dr. Christina Hoff Sommers, was entitled ‘What’s Right (and Badly Wrong) with Feminism?’ It was set to take a critical look at the failures and good points of feminism.

But from listening to the campus feminists, you would inaccurately think Dr. Sommers was gearing up to give a lecture on ‘Rape Apology’.

One student organizer sent out the following email to the campus group Sexual Assault Peer Educators (SAPE):

Hi SAPE,

Tonight, Republicans are hosting an extremist anti-feminist speaker that dismisses and denies survivors of sexual assault and the real harm of rape culture. Current College Republicans leadership has not been willing to do simple things like add a trigger/ content warning, or clarify whey they felt is was appropriate to bring this speaker into our community.

If you’re available and up for it, I’d strongly encourage you to attend. Students that are educated on the real facts of sexual assault and able to provide information on resources should be in the room.

https://www.facebook.com/events/41153625687428/41811495029296/

Thanks,

Sarah

Protestors showed up to the event with signs like “Trigger Warning: anti-feminism” and “Feminists against RAPE Apology!”

These students also advertised safe spaces in another building – as if to suggest that Dr. Sommers’ lecture was somehow unsafe.

The activists believed that because the talk might make them feel uncomfortable, it shouldn’t be allowed at all. Posters on the Facebook event even brought the Georgetown “Code of Conduct” into play.

Fortunately, the activists were unsuccessful in deterring attendance. In face, turn-out was even higher than expected, likely due to the campus buzz.

But this is a real problem on college campuses: liberal attempts at stigmatizing speakers such as Dr. Sommers.

Why should the leftist students control the conversation, and keep out other perspectives?

Conservative students can’t give in to this liberal pressure, and must stay strong, unabashedly attending and hosting conservative events.

CRs with Dr. Sommers after controversial lecture

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Laurel Conrad is the lecture director at the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, an organization that prepares and promotes conservative women. She is a recent graduate of Cornell University and a former Legal Insurrection student intern/contributor.

[WAJ note: I’m so proud that Laurel is still facilitating the legal insurrection!]