Wimps at Williams and Wellesley

Williams College has an “Uncomfortable Learning Speakers’ Series” on tap this year, a student-generated effort to bring some genuine intellectual diversity to the elite campus. Initial speakers in the series included K.C. Johnson, one of the debunkers of the Duke rape hoax; economist Richard Vedder, the scourge of tuition inflation in higher education; Greg Lukianoff of FIRE; and our pal Jonah Goldberg.

Lately, however, the limits of unorthodox opinion was discovered when the Williams sponsors disinvited Susanne Venker, a critic of conventional feminism. She gives her account here:

I had planned to talk about feminism, but from a different perspective than the one students are used to hearing. I was going to tell them why feminism fails. (Hint: because it denies the existence of biology and teaches that equality means sameness, which is a losing proposition when it comes to planning a life—particularly if that life includes marriage and family.)

Despite the fortuitous match between my message and the ‘Uncomfortable Learning Speakers Series,’ my talk was cancelled by the group several days prior to the event.

“Thank you for agreeing to speak,” read the email, “but we’re not going to be able to host this event.”

Though my contact didn’t give a reason, the day before he’d sent me this email: “Dear Ms. Venker, A quick heads up…We’ve been advertising the event, and it’s already stirring a lot of angry reactions among students on campus. We just wanted to make you aware of the current state of students before your presentation…”

When I pressed further as to why the event was being cancelled (though of course I knew why), he conceded that Williams College “has never experienced this kind of resistance” to a campus speaker.

Meanwhile, Wellesley College, which somehow is still purportedly a women’s college despite the fact that they apparently can no longer distinguish between women and men, has nixed the application from a self-identifying trans-gender male who wanted to run for the office of class diversity officer. Katherine Timpf of National Review reports the story:

A student who was born female felt perfectly comfortable identifying as a man at Wellesley College — until people said he shouldn’t be class diversity officer because he is now a white male. Timothy Boatwright was born a girl, and checked off the “female” box when applying to the Massachusetts all-women’s school, according to an article in the New York Times. But when he got there, he introduced himself as a “masculine-of-center genderqueer” person named “Timothy” (the name he picked for himself) and asked them to use male pronouns when referring to him.

And, by all accounts, Boatwright felt welcome on campus — until the day he announced that he wanted to run for the school’s office of multicultural affairs coordinator, whose job is to promote a “culture of diversity” on campus.

But some students thought that allowing Boatwright to have the position would just perpetuate patriarchy. They were so opposed, in fact, that when the other three candidates (all women of color) dropped out, they started an anonymous Facebook campaign encouraging people not to vote at all to keep him from winning the position.

Tip for parents with college bound children: Best just to stay safe and skip all colleges beginning with W.