When a college feminist decided, one cold night in 2014, to burn her personal copy of pseudofeminist Christina Hoff Sommers’ book The War Against Boys, the internet’s antifeminists responded as if Hitler himself had risen from the grave.
“Universities bring book-burning back, one page at a time,” declared a blogger at TheRebelMedia. After an extended comparison with the infamous book burning campaigns of the literal Nazis, he declared that “[t]he burning of Hoff Sommers’ book is a striking visual synecdoche for the malaise afflicting free expression across not only North American college campuses.” In a featured article, A Voice for Men described the burning as a “disturbing” example of “misandry in academia.”
On the Men’s Rights subreddit, meanwhile, one angry dude declared that
If you’re burning a book, you’re basically admitting to being not just a bigot, but one who doesn’t even have enough confidence in the strength of their own views to believe that they can stand up for themselves without needing to silence and censor those that oppose them.
If we set aside the fact that, unlike the Nazis, who confiscated the books they burned, a person burning their own copy of a book that is readily available to others is not actually censoring anything, he’s got a point.
So it’s interesting to see how many of the Internet’s antifeminsts and Anti-Social-Justice-Warrior-Warriors are embracing a proposal from one of their own to literally censor all academics who teach stuff they don’t like.
On Change.org, professional feminism-hater Carl Benjamin, known on YouTube as Sargon of Akkad, has started a petition demanding that “UNIVERSITIES” — presumably, every single one of them — immediately “Suspend Social Justice Courses” because he thinks that “social justice” professors are up to no good.
In vague but melodramatic language Benjamin proclaims that
Social justice has become scientifically illiterate, logically unsound, deeply bigoted and openly supremacist.
He doesn’t specify exactly what kind of supremacism he’s complaining about here; presumably not white.
Nor does he ever define exactly what courses count as “social justice courses.” There aren’t any departments of Social Justice that I’m aware of. [EDIT: Oops! Turns out there are.] Does Benjamin mean a tiny handful of, say, women’s studies courses taught by radical feminists? Or does he hope (at least in his wildest dreams) to take down the humanities and social sciences as a whole?
Social justice professors are indoctrinating young people into a pseudoscientific cult behind closed doors that is doing damage to their health, education and future.
Well, technically, I guess, virtually all college courses are taught “behind closed doors,” since the doors of lecture halls generally do get closed before class begins. Technically, I’m writing this post behind closed doors, because I don’t leave the doors of my apartment wide open. (People might wander in; the cats might wander out.) I suspect that Benjamin himself wrote up his petition behind closed doors!
Benjamin goes on to declare that
[s]ocial justice … has become another ideology fit only to pave the road to Hell, so it is time to turn around and choose another path that is concerned with reason, science and improving the lives of every human.
If only some evil Social Justice English professor has indoctrinated Benjamin in the devilish art of writing without resorting to hackneyed cliches.
But that’s pretty much all there is to Benjamin’s petition. Somehow, thought, the vagueness of Benjamin’s plan hasn’t stopped 9,878 people — so far — from signing the petition.
It is, however, possible that some of the signers are a little bit confused as to what exactly they’re signing.
Indeed, the top two most-liked comments on the petition, for example, were written by people who seem to think that Benjamin’s proposal to peremptorily censor all college courses that he thinks are excessively social-justicey is, somehow, a defense of free speech?
Benjamin has posted a video in which he explains his crusade in a little more detail. It’s possible that somewhere in it he answers the question of how exactly his plan to drive all professors he doesn’t like from all the college campuses in the world is actually a crusade for free speech.
Here’s the video in question:
Oops! Wrong video. Let me try again:
Huh. I don’t think that was it either.
No, that’s clearly not it.
Ok, ok. I found the real one here.
But it’s 40 minutes long. I sampled the first 2 seconds, and that was about all I could bring myself to watch. So I guess I’ll just have to resign myself to a life of servitude under the jackboots of the Social Justice warlords. Still, that’s a far better option than actually watching a Sargon of Akkad video all the way through.