Alec Mouhibian’s column (“Private Dancer: Clearing the Angry Air,” Daily Nexus, May 5) brought up a key problem in the college community: our inability to tolerate ideas and conclusions that don’t fit into the politically correct version of reality.
I expected Mouhibian’s earlier column to be met with strong opposition. What I didn’t expect were calls for the Nexus to fire him or silence his views because he criticized feminism. I didn’t expect a boycott of the Nexus because it chose to stick to its commitment to free and balanced discussion by printing a controversial piece. In a country where we value the First Amendment so much, such suggestions are alarmingly Orwellian.
This is not the first time members of the feminist movement have pulled such anti-intellectual moves. Just a few months ago, Harvard president Lawrence Summers was forced to publicly apologize for a statement he made in a speech where he explored the idea that physiological differences between men and women might be one of the reasons for disproportionate numbers of men and women in the sciences. As if a humiliating apology wasn’t good enough, the Feminist Majority Foundation and a host of other groups pressured Summers into assembling a task force that aimed to get more women into science and engineering. It is a sad reflection on academia when an unpopular idea is so violently crushed for the sole reason that it is inconsistent with a few professors’ ideological assumptions. Facts should dictate ideology, not the other way around.
The failure to tolerate ideas that challenge feminist dogma also manifests itself in feminists’ humorless approach to gender relations. I experienced this firsthand when I made a Facebook group that claimed its mission was to repeal the 19th Amendment granting suffrage to women. The group was obviously a joke, as one of the “facts” I cited was that suffrage was “responsible for the extinction of nearly 10,000 endangered species, in addition to single-handedly causing the starvation of Third World children.” I continue to receive tons of Facebook messages from angry feminists.
One of the messages I received suggested that ignorant people like me shouldn’t be able to enjoy free speech.
Another girl who talked to me brought up a good point when she said that humor might sometimes work against a cause by making it look silly and pointless. Well, anyone who changes his worldview after watching “South Park” is an idiot to begin with. The notion that we shouldn’t poke fun at something because we might upset a few people is absurd. I’d rather just be an equal opportunity offender.
Eva Kilamyan is a freshman political science major.