George Will on Victimhood

Colleges and universities are being educated by Washington and are finding the experience excruciating. They are learning that when they say campus victimizations are ubiquitous (micro-aggressions, often not discernible to the untutored eye, are everywhere), and that when they make victimhood a coveted status that confers privileges, victims proliferate. And academias progressivism has rendered it intellectually defenseless now that progressivisms achievement, the regulatory state, has decided it is academias turn to be broken to governments saddle.

Consider the supposed campus epidemic of rape, a.k.a. sexual assault. Herewith, a Philadelphia magazine report about Swarthmore College, where in 2013 a student was in her room with a guy with whom shed been hooking up for three months.

Theyd now decided mutually, she thought just to be friends. When he ended up falling asleep on her bed, she changed into pajamas and climbed in next to him. Soon, he was putting his arm around her and taking off her clothes. I basically said, No, I dont want to have sex with you. And then he said, OK, thats fine and stopped.And then he started again a few minutes later, taking off my panties, taking off his boxers. I just kind of laid there and didnt do anything. I had already said no. I was just tired and wanted to go to bed. I let him finish. I pulled my panties back on and went to sleep.

Six weeks later, the woman reported that she had been raped. Now the Obama administration is riding to the rescue of sexual assault victims. It vows to excavate equities from the ambiguities of the hookup culture, this cocktail of hormones, alcohol and the faux sophistication of todays prolonged adolescence of especially privileged young adults.

The administrations crucial and contradictory statistics are validated the usual way, by official repetition; Joe Biden has been heard from. The statistics are: One in five women is sexually assaulted while in college, and only 12 percent of assaults are reported. Simple arithmetic demonstrates that if the 12 percent reporting rate is correct, the 20 percent assault rate is preposterous. Mark Perry of the American Enterprise Institute notes, for example, that in the four years 2009 to 2012 there were 98 reported sexual assaults at Ohio State. That would be 12 percent of 817 total out of a female student population of approximately 28,000, for a sexual assault rate of approximately 2.9 percent too high but nowhere near 20 percent.

Education Department lawyers disregard pesky arithmetic and elementary due process. Threatening to withdraw federal funding, the department mandates adoption of a minimal preponderance of the evidence standard when adjudicating sexual assault charges between males and the female survivors, note the language of prejudgment. Combine this with capacious definitions of sexual assault that can include not only forcible sexual penetration but also nonconsensual touching. Then add the doctrine that the consent of a female who has been drinking might not protect a male from being found guilty of rape. Then comes costly litigation against institutions that have denied due process to males they accuse of what society considers serious felonies.

Now academia is unhappy about the Education Departments plan for government to rate every institutions educational product. But the professors need not worry. A department official says this assessment will be easy: Its like rating a blender. Education, gadgets whats the difference?

Meanwhile, the newest campus idea for preventing victimizations an idea certain to multiply claims of them is trigger warnings. They would be placed on assigned readings or announced before lectures. Otherwise, traumas could be triggered in students whose tender sensibilities would be lacerated by unexpected encounters with racism, sexism, violence (dammit, Hamlet, put down that sword!) or any other facet of reality that might violate a students entitlement to serenity. This entitlement has already bred campus speech codes that punish unpopular speech. Now the codes are begetting the soft censorship of trigger warnings to swaddle students in a safe, supportive, unthreatening environment, intellectual comfort for the intellectually dormant.

It is salutary that academia, with its adversarial stance toward limited government and cultural common sense, is making itself ludicrous. Academia is learning that its attempts to create victim-free campuses by making everyone hypersensitive, even delusional, about victimizations brings increasing supervision by the regulatory state that progressivism celebrates.

What government is inflicting on colleges and universities, and what they are inflicting on themselves, diminishes their autonomy, resources, prestige and comity. Which serves them right. They have asked for this by asking for progressivism.

It was only a matter of time before someone (probably a MAN!) figured out how to violently assault entire groups of people using words. After all, the pen is mightier than the sword.

I like the intention… If it will work to stop some incidents of aggression towards women then great…

But the trigger warning stuff is kinda strange. I get that it will be implemented a certain way, so that as an end people will be warned before they are subject to things that may trigger some shit.

If you know me I’m analyzing this thing a few ways and trying to entertain some different ideas…

The thing that strikes me is the possibility that these trigger warnings turn into something that informs people what to be triggered about.

We know in psychology, say when we ring a bell for animals before we feed them what the bell becomes. It ends up becoming the thing that informs the animals that they will eat, and they respond to sound as if it were food itself.

Isn’t this like, the perfect way to brainwash someone over time? I mean you could sort of program someone as to the rights and wrongs… And if those rights and wrongs are influenced by politics then it’s bordering on some big brother shit, isn’t it? I’m just thinking about the consequent…

I’m concerned with who is in charge, and by what criteria are triggers determined? If it’s supposed to be about womens safety, I don’t see that womens safety is necessarily improved by trigger warnings unless I’m missing something totally.

This is so true. Looks the pen cuts both ways indeed.

This reminded me of Charlton Heston’s commencement speech to Harvard Law School Forum.

http://www.isocracytx.net/hp-org/hestonlaw.html

.

lol ^

[quote]Severiano wrote:
I like the intention… If it will work to stop some incidents of aggression towards women then great…

But the trigger warning stuff is kinda strange. I get that it will be implemented a certain way, so that as an end people will be warned before they are subject to things that may trigger some shit.

If you know me I’m analyzing this thing a few ways and trying to entertain some different ideas…

The thing that strikes me is the possibility that these trigger warnings turn into something that informs people what to be triggered about.

We know in psychology, say when we ring a bell for animals before we feed them what the bell becomes. It ends up becoming the thing that informs the animals that they will eat, and they respond to sound as if it were food itself.

Isn’t this like, the perfect way to brainwash someone over time? I mean you could sort of program someone as to the rights and wrongs… And if those rights and wrongs are influenced by politics then it’s bordering on some big brother shit, isn’t it? I’m just thinking about the consequent…

I’m concerned with who is in charge, and by what criteria are triggers determined? If it’s supposed to be about womens safety, I don’t see that womens safety is necessarily improved by trigger warnings unless I’m missing something totally. [/quote]

What really concerns me is that by calling something a trigger with a strong implication that the subject matter will create a disturbance it mitigates responsibility for the reaction.

The way people react to something is on them. Until you call something a trigger. Then it’s on the author, the university, the government and yadda yadda yadda…

Everybody except the person who responds inapropriately- and that is bullshit.

I don’t think this issue really has its roots in any sort of liberal agenda or any sort of feminist agenda at all. The root cause of this issue probably goes back much further than the idea of liberalism or feminism. I think it has its roots in what Nietszche referred to as slave morality.

Essentially, and this is his argument and not necessarily mine, Christianity has led to a transvaluation of morality in which weakness, humility, loss, victimization, etc. are glorified. I’m not sure if I’d assign blame to the rise of Christianity for the rise of slave morality, mostly because I haven’t read a whole lot about the subject and haven’t heard much of an argument against Nietszche’s thesis. But if his premises are true, then he makes a compelling case and I think this latest development is a natural extension of this embrace of slave morality.

[quote]DBCooper wrote:
I don’t think this issue really has its roots in any sort of liberal agenda or any sort of feminist agenda at all. The root cause of this issue probably goes back much further than the idea of liberalism or feminism. I think it has its roots in what Nietszche referred to as slave morality.

Essentially, and this is his argument and not necessarily mine, Christianity has led to a transvaluation of morality in which weakness, humility, loss, victimization, etc. are glorified. I’m not sure if I’d assign blame to the rise of Christianity for the rise of slave morality, mostly because I haven’t read a whole lot about the subject and haven’t heard much of an argument against Nietszche’s thesis. But if his premises are true, then he makes a compelling case and I think this latest development is a natural extension of this embrace of slave morality.[/quote]

Uh, no. You are attempting to analyze this like a sociology student. Would you say the same things about movies with their MPAA ratings? No. This is about liberal professors not bringing in an aborted fetus to prove a point in one of their lectures. lol

[quote]NorCal916 wrote:

[quote]DBCooper wrote:
I don’t think this issue really has its roots in any sort of liberal agenda or any sort of feminist agenda at all. The root cause of this issue probably goes back much further than the idea of liberalism or feminism. I think it has its roots in what Nietszche referred to as slave morality.

Essentially, and this is his argument and not necessarily mine, Christianity has led to a transvaluation of morality in which weakness, humility, loss, victimization, etc. are glorified. I’m not sure if I’d assign blame to the rise of Christianity for the rise of slave morality, mostly because I haven’t read a whole lot about the subject and haven’t heard much of an argument against Nietszche’s thesis. But if his premises are true, then he makes a compelling case and I think this latest development is a natural extension of this embrace of slave morality.[/quote]

Uh, no. You are attempting to analyze this like a sociology student. Would you say the same things about movies with their MPAA ratings? No. This is about liberal professors not bringing in an aborted fetus to prove a point in one of their lectures. lol[/quote]

What the fuck are you talking about? This is about rape on college campuses. And what the fuck do movies have to do with any of this?

If you think that the embrace of victimhood has its roots in liberalism on college campuses, you would be wrong. The embrace of victimhood goes much further back than that. Nietzsche argued that it has its roots in the spread of Christianity, where essentially whatever morality that those who persecuted Christians subscribed to was deemed immoral. Since Christians, and also Jews, were continually getting the shit kicked out of them, getting the shit kicked out of you basically turned into a virtue. Turn the other cheek, the meek shall inherit the Earth, and all that.

The sense that there is some sort of virtue in being victimized is much older than liberalism on college campuses. I know that a lot of people want to turn it into that sort of an issue, but the reality is that the issue is bigger than simply blaming liberals again. I have news for you: liberals aren’t responsible for ALL problems in this country, and those who try to continually make that case end up looking like a complete fucking fool about half the time.