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Thoughtcrime and Punishment: A Year Of Shunning and Law Suits at a Canadian University

In late 2017, I found myself at the centre of a controversy at Wilfrid Laurier University, where I was an M.A. student and teaching assistant (TA) in the Communication Studies department. In the class for which I was serving as TA, I played part of a panel discussion that had aired on Ontario public television. As many readers will know, this material featured University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson making the argument against alternative gender pronoun usage, as well as Sexual Diversity educator Nicholas Matte’s arguments encouraging their use.

Because I chose not to disavow Peterson’s views before airing the clip, I was brought into a subsequent disciplinary meeting. The supervisor for the course in question, Nathan Rambukkana, as well as the coordinator for my M.A. program, Herbert Pimlott (also known, at times, as “Hillary X Plimsoll”), and Gendered Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention manager Adria Joel accused me of breaking the law by airing a clip of Peterson in a classroom, as well as threatening and targeting trans people, thereby creating a toxic environment. All of this is well-known because I taped the whole meeting.

Apparently, “one or more” students had complained about the class in question—though that claim later turned out to be false. Both Rambukkana and Wilfrid Laurier University President Deborah MacLatchy apologized to me, and I was cleared of any wrongdoing after a neutral third-party fact-finding investigation concluded I hadn’t done anything wrong. The investigator also determined that “basic guidelines and best practices on how to appropriately execute the roles and responsibilities of staff and faculty were ignored or not understood.”

Professors Rambukkana and Pimlott disappeared from public view after the semester ended in December, 2017. Rambukkana deleted his personal social media accounts, and Pimlott locked his Twitter account. The posters and décor they had on their office doors were stripped away and the doors were locked for the entirety of 2018. Pimlott was the instructor for my graduate colloquium course, but all of our colloquium meetings for the remainder of that term were cancelled. For the January-April, 2018 semester, he was replaced by another professor, with no explanation offered to students. I also noticed that Pimlott’s name had been removed from the website listing our M.A. program coordinator. I emailed an administrative assistant to ask why Pimlott was no longer the program coordinator, and she told me there had been “departmental changes.” Our graduate class year-end get-together was cancelled.

This was a common pattern from thereon out: No one at Wilfrid Laurier University would give me a straight answer about anything. It was a climate of evasiveness and secrecy.

It wasn’t any different in my classes. In late 2017, right around the time I was first in the news, a professor began the day by acknowledging that it was a “difficult time” on campus, but that she “had a job to do” and was going to carry on with class. Never any mention of my name or any of the other professors involved, nor any discussion of the issues at hand. My colleagues avoided eye contact with me. When the aforementioned professor and I walked by each other in a hallway later that week, I asked (in a cordial manner) why she had begun her class with a vague statement that had effectively chilled our classroom. She replied that some people in my graduate class were very upset about the news story I had sparked, and she asked how I would feel if I were one of them.

In another class, students were told that, effective immediately, we no longer had to write up our weekly reading responses. All of our past posts on the course website were deleted, presumably because the posts were shared amongst the class, and one or more classmates were worried that I might send their weekly responses to a reporter. One classmate emailed me, asking me not to talk about her in the media. (I hadn’t done so, and didn’t know why she thought she was interesting enough to merit mention.)

The following semester, in another one of my courses, our last three classes (which were to consist of graduate student presentations) were nominally “cancelled.” In fact, they went on behind closed doors: The professor changed the program structure, so that students could invite whoever they wanted to attend their own class presentations—which effectively meant that every other student in the class attended everyone else’s presentations, with me being excluded from all of them. This was a way of shunning me—singling me out so that I would miss the opportunity to learn from and discuss the presentations of my colleagues.

After I graduated in October, 2018, I remained curious as to whether Professors Rambukkana and Pimlott would be returning to teach at Laurier once I left. I checked the Communication Studies course offerings for the January-April, 2019 semester. These course listings typically display the days and times of each class, as well as the name of the professor or instructor. Almost all of the Communication Studies courses had an instructor listed. But, curiously, a fourth-year seminar called “Robotic Intimacies” had only a “TBA” listed in the space for the professor’s name.

I knew that this is a course that Rambukkana had taught in the past. And I subsequently found the Robotic Intimacies course blog he set up for the Winter, 2019 semester. Immediately after I posted about this new development on my Twitter page, however, the Robotic Intimacies course blog was closed and deleted. Rambukkana’s own website also had a new post: He was editing a new book about the intersections between robotics and social justice, and was calling for abstracts.

It had been unclear in 2018 whether Rambukkana (an untenured professor) would be returning to his professorship. But now it looked like he was back, and ready to advance his career. Indeed, the Robotic Intimacies course is currently at full capacity, with 20 of 20 spots taken, and even has a waiting list. (As for Pimlott, he has tenure, so I was quite sure all along he’d be back after whatever lengthy—paid or unpaid—leave they’d both been granted.)

Upon graduating from Laurier, I lamented that once I left, there would be no one inside the school keeping an eye on new developments. If universities want to defend professors such as Nathan Rambukkana and Herbert Pimlott, and gender diversity bureaucrats such as Adria Joel, then we need people in the system who are willing to tell the public what’s going on in our classrooms.

Then again, why would any other student do what I did now that they know the repercussions? They would be risking their degrees, their employment prospects, and their graduate-school futures. They could be left with no academic reference letters, which would undermine their opportunity to study abroad or win a scholarship. If their case gains as much publicity as mine did, they’ll be labelled opportunistic attention-seekers and alt-right provocateurs.

And then there’s the legal aspect: It was recently announced that Rambukkana and Pimlott are filing a third-party claim against me as part of the litigation that began when Peterson sued Rambukkana, Pimlott, Joel and the university for defamation. (I also have filed my own lawsuit against these same parties.) How many students have access to effective legal representation?

Gad Saad of Concordia University in Montreal, a Lebanese-born advocate of free speech and open inquiry, has always made a point of telling his audiences to never sit idly by, but to get engaged and defend the freedoms we have long taken for granted in the Western world. He laments that our schools are full of timid souls who won’t give voice to their personal convictions for fear of professional consequences—even though in the Middle East, where he’s from, activists will risk death or torture. “Academics need to be warriors and stand up for freedom of expression,” he says. “The pursuit of truth is greater than careeris[m].”

I am always appreciative when students send me private messages, detailing how the climate at their own schools stifles them ideologically, and asking for advice. Despite everything I have experienced, my message never varies: Sticking to your personal convictions always will be more rewarding than censoring yourself to get a higher grade or a better job.

 

Lindsay Shepherd is an advocate for open inquiry and a columnist at The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial). Follow her on Twitter at @NewWorldHominin.

Featured image by Andy Ngo

190 Comments

    • It was quite a ‘canary in the coal mine’ moment though. Not too many people have exposed such a blatant culture of wrongthink bullying in mainstream academia. Furthermore, she didn’t go out of her way to sensationalise or self-promote on the back of it. It was an eye opener to me and many others.

      • A. D. White says

        It was an important free speech case for which the speaker was exonerated but the perps left largely unpunished. It was largely ignored by the mainstream press, supposedly defenders of free speech

      • Big Ramifications says

        Hey good call on your last point. This drama had an gravitas for me, never really thought about why. Ms Sheperd presents her case with no bumph or bluster, and her claims have stood up to scrutiny so far. Since there’s no ‘book deal’ type sideshow, discussion tends to stay on point….

        And because there’s no sideshow, this case isn’t attracting the idiots who are attracted to sideshows. It’s a hot button topic, involving some pretty scandalous behaviour, yet “comments threads” on the matter have stayed remarkably

        • Big Ramifications says

          > “comments threads” on the matter have stayed remarkably SANE.” Not sure how that last word went missing. But it gives my comment extra gravitas.

    • Angela says

      More precisely this young woman found herself in a Kafkaesque nigntmare over absolutely nothing.

    • scribblerg says

      And? Or is your unclear inference good enough for what passes for communication in your mind? Does Shephard’s story not merit note? Or are you beyond such things, while the rest of us troglodytes labor in the muck while you soar above us?

    • You mean like the “controversy” you’re trying to create around yourself, now, with your rather backhanded question?

      This is how your question came across…

      “Why did she publish this stuff in Quillette (along with many others), and why doesn’t Quillette publish anything else?”

      Guess what dirk, you’re not the only person on the planet, and the planet doesn’t revolve around you (or me, or anyone else). Quillette is publishing articles like Lindsay’s because they are important. Plus, people like her, who are involved in life-changing circumstances like her, need an outlet to make their case to the public. Quillette is that outlet, and you are not their editor.

      But you know what you CAN do, go ahead and write an article about “How all of these articles in Quillette are all about people at the centre of a controversy” with lots of support for your argument … and see if that will get published, and of course, discussed. Then participate in that discussion.

      • You have a point there, Joseph, the planet doesn’t revolve around you or me, and, sure, Lindsay deserves an outlet, again, like me. Of course, one of the 180+ comments has much less weight and impact than 1 short comment of mine, so, never mind.

    • dirk says

      My mother taught me not to play the querulant, unless it was a serious matter. And I wonder whether this is the case here!

      • Stoic Realist says

        @Dirk
        So then you are saying that this article is a serious enough matter to meet your standards? I take it as an interesting viewpoint and a window on the aftermath of an event. But I tend to think that if someone wants to be suspicious of something they can always cobble together enough reasons to rationalize it to themselves.

        • What I meant was: to complain if serious, and to keep quiet if not; in that latter case, still complain would be querulous.

      • Jeff says

        time to start asking yourself if trans activists are playing the ‘querulant’. listen to their claims, listen to their demands.

      • Are you aware of what happened beyond this article? If so, maybe you should reserve your comments until you’ve learned.

        Also, nice use of the word, “querulant.” I’ve not heard it before!

        • dirk says

          Complainant would do also Chris, but is less dramatic, maybe! I like drama!

          • stevengregg says

            A complainant has a legitimate complaint which requires legal action to judge. A querulant does not.

        • Aldousk says

          It’s an American English word. Probably useful. Should be in the OED.

      • Angela says

        Do some googling and read more about this case. It’s absolute insanity.

      • scribblerg says

        “Querulant” – clearly identifies you as an arrogant pedant interested in establishing some kind superior position in the dialog here. Lol. Truly. Wow. So many people so stuck on themselves in our society, it’s kind of sickening to watch.

        • stevengregg says

          Actually, it was a positive addition to the dialogue here. Querulant is also very relevant to the current culture of outrage over nonsense. We are confronted with a generation of querulants.

          • scribblerg says

            Giggling. So many pedants in the comment section. Sophomoric types abound too.

          • About that outrage: read in my newspaper this week: in twitter and blogs, it’s all about the “outrage machine”, how and where to arouse most rumour and discrepancy, with a chance to be picked up by other media, and thereby likes, this means then more advertising space or sale of books or T-shirts. I must admit, this goes beyond my interest and sympathy, this is not how I was raised to go for.

      • Barney Doran says

        Dirk – If you mother taught you that using that word, I am impressed.

        • peanut gallery says

          Funny, my mother only told me that “opinions are like assholes, everyone has one.”

        • dirk says

          @Barney: my mother was dutch, she only told me not to “zeuren”, if something not worth the further discussion and efforts came on my way, she certainly would not have understood the current question and upheaval. She also taught me, not to look for confrontation where the eventual gains, even if arrived at, could not possibly lead to anything positive in the personal or social field.
          In fact, I fear, I don’t know enough of the situation right now in the US and Canada, I was in University long time ago, and can’t imagine that at any occasion or invitation to talk on some subject, I had to weigh my words before expressing my opinion ,and to keep a low profile.
          Maybe because our university was mainly the hard sciences, and not the humanities?? Or/and the times, they had not yet changed??

          • @dirk:
            if you have an hour and what to get an idea of the ongoing madness in Canada, watch the entire show from which Lindsay is accused of showing a clip.
            Go to youtube and look for:
            “Genders, Rights and Freedom of Speech”
            The Agenda with Steve Paikin
            Published on Oct 26, 2016

          • Thanks Jeff, I saw the beginning, but could not see it out, why??, I think, why does Jordan (in a nice, eggjoke yellow T-shirt) have the mood and patience and willingness to answer and discuss with complete morones, stupids, uninformed and unhistorical , unacademic opponents? And, funny, the reactions indeed, -I am also a person of color!!!- (he was scarcely black, and, by the real blacks, probably seen as another white oppressor ), really, you are right, too ridiculous, Kindergarten and not more than that, these things are unknown here in my own country, and never have been, it’ s complete nonsense. But, it’s only small part of the world, and in a corner of the globe where opinions do not really matter, so, there still is hope for humanity!

          • @dirk:
            call it ridiculous. But it is being taken very seriously in Canada, and it is Peterson that is considered to be in the wrong by the media class- there have lots of hit pieces written on him since 2016.

            Another video to watch is:
            “Heated debate on gender pronouns and free speech in Toronto”
            CBC News
            Published on Oct 29, 2016

            It’s short – 16m. Listen to the transgender guest’s suggestion on how easy it is to remember and use trans pronouns (program them in your cell phone). And keep in mind that Peterson is considered a hate-monger in this debate – ie. ‘transphobic’. He has been called far-right for taking a sane position on compelling use of non-english grammar pronouns. This is the free-speech/compelled speech dabate, and those in favour of free speech are equated with neo-nazi / far right/ white supremacists blah blah blah …. very crazy, but not being shot down by the chattering classes, but being supported and pushed

            And isn’t just a Canada thing – there are people in the UK who have lost their job for so-called “misgendering”. .

      • blackfay says

        Just listen to the tape and make up your own opinion.
        No need to flame.

      • janby says

        By definition, one cannot be a querulant if it is a serious matter; then it simply becomes a case of someone describing a serious wrong.

        A reasonable person would surely conclude that Lindsay’s experience has been serious. It has affected her job prospects. She’s being sued which causes enormous anxiety and stress. She has been subject to condemnation from her colleagues and peers. Her class structure has been reshaped. She has been unjustly accused of malignant motives and worse. The fact that she has maintained a superb sense of equanimity and poise simply testifies to her maturity and character.

        The left now employs terms like conservative whining, white fragility, male fragility, etc. to diminish the legitimate pain of folks’ objective experiences. To suggest that only victim-group-approved story-tellers experience REAL pain makes a mockery of empathy. Skin color, gender, political orientation, etc., do not make one immune from suffering.

  1. Bill says

    When I read this two things pop up in my mind:
    – “The Trial” by Kafka
    – The ridiculous amount of office sitters mentioned. When I studied Chemistry in the 80s/90s we had none of those. Nevertheless we guys didn’t run round harassing all girls in sight, even there was lots of alcohol consumed. And the girls were tough enough on their own to hold their ground if one of us made unappropriate remarks.
    What has happened?

    • John says

      I think you need to add giant “In my opinion” on those claims. I doubt any of the “girls” that had to deal with your inappropriate remarks wore that as a badge of honor.

      • Angela says

        Where did be say anything about girls wearing it as a badge of honor? He didn’t say that and he didn’t defend anyone who makes inappropriate comments. All he said and implied is that back when we were in school we didn’t need an army of PC Police administrators to deal with a guy at a party who says something over the top.

  2. What a Sad Time says

    “Because I chose not to disavow Peterson’s views before airing the clip…”

    Is this the world we live in now, where the inmates (students in the world of collegiate happenings, employees in the corporate world) run the asylum, and their greatest wish is not to be present for an argument or debate and hear everything out before deciding, but picking sides ahead of time and then punishing or shaming anyone who works for “the institution” that doesn’t explicitly approve of the SJW-correct position ahead of time and/or denounce the SJW-incorrect position ahead of time?

    And people wonder where the term “snow flake” came from. So easily hurt / unhinged / victimized. I have a better phrase for to describe these people though: emotionally retarded. That’s not a put-down, that’s literally a retardation of a person’s emotional growth, to the point that they can quickly be put in an angry, depresive, or emotionally unstable state simply by subjecting them to things they disagree with or not coddling them by constantly saying the things they do agree with. Their emotional state requires constant explicit validation of their ideas by those around them. Thanks Facebook.

    “No one at __________ University would give me a straight answer about anything. It was a climate of evasiveness and secrecy.”

    I am certain this environment exists at many universities based on the few clips of student mobs and Berkeley and elsewhere that I’ve seen, and articles like this one written here and elsewhere. While certainly fear of the SJW mob (and they ARE a mob, in every sense of the defintion, no matter what your political beliefs), there’s another group of people who deserve a tough look in scenarios like this. Lawyers. See also: blood-sucking tort lawyers who will gladly sue the shit out of anyone for nearly anything that can be deamed “offensive” or hurtful, if they think there’s money it for them. I’m sure many of the staff who would not give you a straight answer, ultimately were taking their directives from people who were afraid of legal action being taken against them or the university.

    Maybe one day we can reverse the cultural trends perpetuated by worthless platforms like Facebook, and the legal trends set by opportunistic dirtbag lawyers who take on cases that have very questionable or no legal merit / precedent.

    • DCvoyeur says

      I disagree with your assertion that lawyers will take advantage and sue for being offensive. Oh a few will sue and be laughed out of court once the “offense” has been detailed. They themselves may be sued for bringing frivolous charges. Being tried in a SJW court is not the same as a real court system.
      I do agree these people are damaged. Future managers will run into this behavior and quickly realize that the new generation has lost they anchor to reality. I strongly encourage any potential employer obtain transcripts to find those who major in lunacy like gender studies etc. They should also give short quizzes with trigger phrases to see which potential employee begins to twitch and starts yelling Fascist/racists/sexists etc while foaming at the mouth. Eventually it will filter back to future students that taking these SJW courses will end their careers before they start and the lack of attendance for these courses will force them to close. Hopefully the professors are not tenured since they are incapable of teaching other serious due to lack or critical thinking skills.

      • TarsTarkas says

        The point of any lawsuits isn’t to collect damages, it is to intimidate and silence. And don’t count on judges throwing the lawsuit out, many are complicit in the racket. The process is the punishment.

      • What a Sad Time says

        What I meant was the political and legal climate is such that now, if a group of students (your young employees) were to join forces to suggest some faculty or staff member at a university (or some emplyer) was either promoting the usage of language, or not dencouncing certain kids of language, that is to their liking, they could easily bring suit and plenty of lawyers would pounce. Whether they ultimately won a damages award or just got someone fired is less salient than the fact than these SJW idiots can abuse the court now, to the point that adminsitrations / corporations would be sufficiently afraid of same… that when someone like the author asks for a simple answer or stance on these issues, they won’t get one.

  3. What a Sad Time says

    And just in case there are any SJW (see also: victims-in-waiting) reading this piece, I would like to make a simple, kind statement to the author that I’m nearly certain will be deemed completely inappropriate and borderline harrassment in 2019: you are a very beautiful young woman.

    I can say that without shame or concern because I grew up in an era where context mattered and people we’re made of marshmallow fluff. And because I believe the author is made of sturdier stuff than all SJW put together.

    (Thank you for sharing your experience here.)

    • But her looks don’t matter. It’s unnecessary. Don’t prop up a strawman just to hide behind it and lob unrelated comments.

      • Adjunct-Filth says

        She’s very pretty, and it’s a good thing that the world has such a pretty woman in it, so it matters and is necessary.

      • Charlie says

        Perhaps women were envious of her looks and men felt inadequate in her presence? I can imagine Michelangelo or Leonardo using her as a model for the Madonna; she has a serene quality which is rare and many would find it unsettling.

        What is noticeable about so many SJW types at university is that they appear lacking in fitness and vitality; they are either overweight or skinny and rarely does one see a young Greek god or goddess. Feminists once said the personal is the political : they may be correct. If someone cannot achieve fitness and vitality at university, when are they going to achieve it ?

      • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

        @Christopher

        However incorrect you may view it, I can agree with the above that it gives one hope for the future that a young lady can be both attractive and a person of character. It gives young men something to live for.

    • xyz and such says

      It’s unnecessary, takes away from the actual discussion and, frankly, kind of creepy.

      I’m a woman who thinks the ‘metoo’ movement has overreached, I don’t agree with the broad sweeping misuse of the allegations of ‘patriarchy’; but I’ll tell you that most women aren’t going to take that as a compliment or feel it is ‘kind’; it’s just not the appropriate context for that comment since you seemed to be concerned with context. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it harrassment, but it just comes across as creepy to women.

      • xyz and such says

        … although I’d agree that a ‘sturdy’ person like Shepherd isn’t going to be offended or distressed by that creepiness or give it much consideration.

        • Stephanie says

          I agree with XYZ. Beautiful women know they are beautiful, and the highest compliment you could pay them is to judge them on their substance, not their face.

          Worse, couching your attempt at a compliment in qualifiers meant to frame anyone offended as a SJW type is just gross. It’s as manipulative as men who pull out their feminist cards to cover for the red flags they give off. It’s an attempt to force the reaction you want, which is quite rude and patronizing.

          • Asenath Waite says

            @Stephanie

            Beautiful women are never insecure about their physical appearances? Is it OK to compliment the physical appearance of an unattractive woman, then? I guess the safe move is just to never mention a woman’s appearance under any circumstances.

          • Stephanie says

            @Asenath, even if they were, compliments from old men embedded within an insult in case the complimented party finds it distasteful is unlikely to help anyone’s self-esteem. She probably gets kinder comments on her appearance from guys shouting from moving vehicles.

          • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

            @Stephanie

            I have never met a girl or woman who did not want to be complemented on her appearance. Some harpies force themselves to take offense as a matter of Victim-correctness, but any normal female enjoys it.

          • Dan Love says

            Far more than “offensive” or “creepy”, the comment that a writer is beautiful is irrelevant and side-tracks the topic. My eyebrows curl in vexation, leaving me to wonder “What?”

            I couldn’t give a rat’s left butt cheek if the comment isn’t PC.

            Nonetheless, there’s some passive fishing here. I highly doubt the author’s choice to post a large picture of herself, and that picture of herself, of only herself, right at the top of her article was ego-independent. I think the women who thought the commemter creepy have an intuition that I’m right about this, but don’t want to admit it.

            The fact the man is the only one pointed-out with this kind of fishing is, well, depressingly typical. Just some food for thought.

      • Chiilax says

        Nah. Im pretty sure that beautiful comment was simply to drive home this point: political correctness has run so far amok and so ingrained now (even for those who detest it), that we can no longer conceive of a scenario where the starement “you are beautiful” means only a simple comment with no evil or selfish intent, that the worst we could say is it’s attempted flattery. Which only makes sense for two people interacting in the real world. Person on web gets nada for flattery.

        See also your gut reaction: “creepy”

        That in itself is indicative of a societal dsyfunction. That person says beautiful and all you can see is creepy not kind. You made his / her point.

        • Chiilax,

          Yup.

          Although we must disentangle Political Correctness from the nature of the Internet medium itself, in which an anonymous commentor calling someone a “beautiful young woman” instantly evokes images of a masturbating pedophile, etc. In person the “creepiness” or lack thereof of such a compliment depends on the manner of delivery and appearance of the person delivering it.

          That said, you are quite right. I’m reminded of a blog post I read recently by a young woman intoxicated on social justice, who took offense to compliments by men because they invariably reduced her to her “body”. But she’s right; if I call you “beautiful”, I AM in a sense reducing you to your body. The S.J. religionist, however, wishes to be treated not as a body but as a pure spirit.

          The P.C. society of the future will be a society in which the body has been officially declared not to exist. We are already half way there.

          • Asenath Waite says

            @breathnumber

            Complimenting someone’s physical beauty is not reducing them to their body any more than complimenting someone’s shoes indicates that you see them as just a pair of shoes.

          • Asenath Waite says

            @breathnumber

            Couldn’t reply to your reply to me, so I’ll reply here. I do get what you are saying with regard how certain people think about this. I just think that reasoning is invalid. Maybe the shoes weren’t the proper analogy, but a person being beautiful does not preclude them being intelligent, creative, funny, etc. So I fail to see how telling someone that they are beautiful somehow negates the possibility that I might also find them to have other positive attributes. If I tell someone that they are funny, I’m not reducing them to their sense of humor. That is simply the aspect of their being that I am currently choosing to comment on.

          • stevengregg says

            Why would you take anything an SJW said seriously?

        • It’s just unnecessary. This person wrote about their struggle, which had nothing to do with her looks, in the context she shared, and this fella says, “Yer pertty.”

          Dali just shared a heartfelt surrealist masterpiece and you complimented the frame.

          • Asenath Waite, I agree, but I think you misunderstand me. It’s a language thing. These people are very concerned about using the correct language. And there’s a clear difference between saying “You are beautiful” and “Your shoes are nice.”

            Perhaps a new P.C.ism can be introduced. Instead of saying “You are beautiful,” (offensive) one would say, “Your body is beautiful”. Or you would add in a little disclaimer at the end: “You are beautiful (but I know you’re more than a body).”

            I know you’re more than a body, baby / But your body – your body!!! – is a sexy space / in your arms – oh! – I feel so safe…

          • dirk says

            A frame, Chris? Since when is beauty just only a frame? Are you going back to the scholastic division of soul and stuff?

          • Charlie says

            Actually it says a great deal for any person to go through an ordeal and to remain serene( meaning unruffled ) and not be haggard. As Orwell points out in road to Wigan Pier , poverty made a women in her young twenties look fourty. Stress, be it physical, mental or spiritual tends to age people. People who endure several traumas such bereavement, illness, injury, divorce, unemployment, etc, etc over a short period often age dramatically or appear haggard.

            The attempt to alienate people or ” Send them to Coventry ” was used as a punishment in Prisoner of War Camps. Where a prisoner had broken some rule , the punishment was to ignore them entirely; no one was allowed to speak to them. The punishment was so stressful that some committed suicide.

        • Stephanie says

          Chillax, if he had said she was beautiful in some relevant context, or even offhandedly, I don’t think anyone would have bothered commenting about it. The reason it sounds creepy is because he framed it in such a way that if you don’t like the comment you’re a SJW or a victim-in-waiting. Women who are old enough to have some experience with men recognise that tactic for getting a positive response, and don’t appreciate the attempt at manipulation.

          The only point he proved is that creepy men (yes, they exist) do latch onto the anti-SJW bandwagon as an excuse for being creepy.

          • xyz and such says

            @ Stephanie – so appreciating your comments

          • D.B. Cooper says

            @Stephanie

            So, I read your comment here and it kind of got my wheels turning a bit (in a good, non-creepy, non-sexual way). But, before I get into the specifics of why, I should first mention that I’ve come across half-a-dozen or so of your comments and as best I can tell, you are generally as level-headed an individual as what traffics this site; which is one of the reasons why I enjoy Quillette – the fine accompaniment.

            Anyway, with respect to your comment, a couple of your statements caught my eye and since you seem to be not only a reasonable actor, but someone who’s capable of digesting ideas with thought-provoking discourse; I thought I might press you (in good faith) on one or two things.

            The reason it sounds creepy is because he framed it in such a way that if you don’t like the comment, you’re a SJW or a victim-in-waiting.

            My first thought upon reading this sentence was an unadulterated, silent, “So?”

            If you couldn’t tell, I’m a deep thinker. Bear with me, if you will, it might get better. While it’s true my initial response to your statement was something assuredly less provocative and/or possibly interesting than what Freud or those of a similar ilk would’ve cooked up; I nevertheless think that my reaction – though lacking the intricate vulgarities of an Oedipus Complex – is exactly, or at least might be, what the doctor (I’m not a doctor) ordered.

            Have you considered why it is you seem so bothered by the following:

            (1) @What a Sad Time making a comment, ostensibly out of context, about the way a girl looks.

            The most obvious question is, what prompted you to take exception to something as banal, and utterly inconsequential as some random guy making, what I would describe as a “marginally” inappropriate comment (although the appropriateness of such things are always subjective, and therefore, are by definition, less important than almost anything else related to the subject at hand).

            Let’s grant for a moment that his comment wasn’t marginally inappropriate but was universally considered inappropriate in the extreme. I’m talking, “It puts the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again,” inappropriate – like white van with no windows, turnt to 11, creepy. What does that change, I mean, other than I hope to God we would uniformly agree to call the cops on that human skin-wearing transvestite? But after that, seriously, what difference would it make to the subject matter being discussed (in the article)?

            Clearly, you can see that these questions are rhetorical. Similarly, you should see (and understand) that nothing about @What a Sad Time’s off-topic, mostly unrelated, and possibly somewhat inappropriate comment makes the least bit of difference to the subject matter being discussed. So, what if someone makes a comment about Ms. Shepard’s looks. A creepy dude (for the record I’m not stating that @What a Sad Time is creepy, b/c I don’t know him, nor do I care) commenting on Shepard’s looks adds just as much to the conversation as would him commenting that he prefers dragons to unicorns when riding to work. Or, even that he has a collection of exotic moths and sometimes puts the lotion on the skin.

            In short, such comments are largely beside the point. They are of no consequence b/c when viewed appropriately – that is, with indifference – these comments neither add value to the discussion, nor diminish value from it, except to the extent that one allows them too; which is exactly what has occurred here. And this last point is what I find so shocking. Even putting aside the issue of free speech, it’s worrisome that something as silly as a comment on Ms. Shepard’s appearance would evoke this level of indignation from people who otherwise give every appearance of not being… well, idiots.

            (2) @What a Sad Time framing his comment (ostensibly – I’m not a mind reader) in such a manner as to force those who respond into a sort of false dilemma/dichotomy, e.g., agree (good) vs. SJW victim-in-waiting (bad).

            Just to be clear, I’m not at all convinced that his comment forces you, necessarily, into one of two options. I hate to go all Eastern philosophy in a comment section, but desperate times being what they are, I feel I’m going to have to summon my best Sun Tzu impersonation and remind you that not responding – YES, NOT RESPONDING – is always a choice, and I would argue, in this case, it is possibly the most prudent of all choices, since emotions appear to be winning the day.

          • D.B. Cooper says

            Women who are old enough to have some experience with men recognize that tactic for getting a positive response, and don’t appreciate the attempt at manipulation.

            I wasn’t going to get to bother responding to this, not b/c I didn’t find it interesting, but b/c my comment is already some order of magnitude longer than I intended; but I guess it’s going to be a tad longer.

            Honestly, I’m not entirely sure what you’re trying to say here, and therefore, I’m a little hesitant to draw strong conclusions one way or the other. That said, it seems as if you’re suggesting that men (which I assume you to mean the majority) regularly compliment women’s appearance, not out of sincerity or b/c they necessarily mean it, but b/c they are attempting to elicit a positive response, and further, that women (of adequate experience) understand this full well.

            If that is, in fact, what you’re suggesting, then it follows that you believe some portion of men (and likely not a minority) use compliments as a means of manipulation. A means to their ends. I think we’d all agree on what these ends would be, but nonetheless, is it true?

            On balance, I would probably say this is more true than not; but then, again, I don’t think the veracity of your statement is as damning as you likely believe it to be. The problem here is that you are defining a level of manipulation, in demeaning terms, that is frankly much too broad to be considered as such. If the level of manipulation described in your comment is considered a malignant/demeaning level of manipulation, then you’re going to need to come up with a description that is significantly worse for the manipulation that commercial advertisements regularly attempt on women. Also, what would you describe women who wear cosmetic makeup as? Surely, you wouldn’t disagree that they’re often trying to elicit a certain response from men. Just a thought.

            The second problem with your statement here is that it’s not obvious why you or any other woman would have to respond to a man or anyone else you didn’t want to. What prevents a woman from not responding to these manipulative compliments? It seems to me, by choosing to respond, one is voluntarily entering into an interaction, and one could hardly claim to be manipulated if they knowingly and voluntarily choose to enter this interaction.

            Furthermore, consider how you would describe these dynamics if the roles were reversed. Say a woman compliments a man’s appearance, is she then potentially manipulating him? If not, why? If so, why couldn’t the man simply choose not to respond to the woman? And if he can, why wouldn’t a woman in the same position be able to do the same thing?

            Anyway, I’ve said enough for now. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the matter.

          • What a Sad Time says

            Stephanie, let me clear the air. I get that you mean well, but note two things:

            1) my first comments were strictly about the content and ideas she put forth, which in turn dealt with the problem of the SJW attitudes about other people’s ideas and speech, and what the SJW are entitled to (in their own minds) and what makes them a victim (in their own minds).

            2) my comments about beauty were meant simply to drive home a point. They were made out of left field for a reason. Someone earlier caught this. I knew without a doubt as soon as I said something as simple as that (which is self-evident from her photo – which BTW is not sexualized in any way, not the kind of photo a “creeper” would enjoy), someone would take issue with that speech as “creepy” or “inappropriate” or “sexist” or “reducing a woman to an object” or some similarly negative assumption.

            And that WAS my point. There was a time where if someone commented on teh substance of an issue, and then afterword in a polite way complimented a person on their appearance or their clothes or whatever, and then left it at that… then a compliment was all it was. There was no bad intent assumed, no psychological malfunction assumed (like “this guy is some creep trying to get in her pants… he might even work with her or something, alert the group / police / authorities!”).

            I even telegraphed that this was my intent by mentioning SJW, but still some people were unable to say “OK this is a thought exercise; this person is clearly not trying to get anything sexually or otherwise from this author, they’re just daring us not to comment on a harmless compliment.” It’s less your fault than “such is the nature of the world we inhabit” right now, that it’s normal or even expected to always be suspicious of someone who compliments a woman in this way, and then explicitly call them out on it so others can join in. Of course true SJW would’ve commented much more harshly than you did, it’s not my intent to suggest your comments make you a SJW.

            I’m not sure if these tendancies stem from the fact that the internet itself (the SJW’s reality of choice) has hyper-sexualized our culture with free p*rn, sexting, racy selfies and all that stuff, and SJW simply assume everyone is constantly trying to get sex pics of their love interest and/or get in someone’s pants, but yeah. The way we perceive even the simplest compliments about a person’s appearance now, is screwed up. We went from a world pre-me-too where many bosses (and faculty) were abusing women with constant sexualized compliments, groping or worse, to now, “hey, compliments about beauty are off limits online or in person — compliments about beauty are always about objectification so you must have sexual intent behind that comment!”

            The simple truth many people of younger generations can’t see: she IS a beautiful young woman and saying so in an unsexualized (even random) way without any further commentary or expectation, didn’t always used to be a “speech / thought crime,” but these days many consider it sexual harrassment in all contexts other than the woman directly asking (which she never would) “do you think I’m beautiful?” All other contexts are verboten.

            A Sad Time, indeed.

        • xyz and such says

          so funny to see the reactions to my comment. To be clear, I don’t think that complimenting a woman is necessarily creepy, sometimes it is very appreciated and kind. Just not that comment, and the guy offering it knew it based on all his ‘qualifications’ etc…

          What was offered here was creepy because of the context (it was totally irrelevant to the discussion, as well as the way it was offered) So sorry guys, take notes: It just dripped creepiness and made me physically cringe. To say ‘offensive’ isn’t the point. It was just gross.

          And yes, here’s the takeaway; when in doubt refrain from ‘complimenting’ a woman that you don’t have a close relationship with on her physical appearance if you don’t want to be creepy- it’s just inappropriate and has nothing to do with ‘political correctness’ .

          Consider checking next time you feel the need – to see if you feel more like you are trying to ‘get’ something out of it (appreciation? you want them to like you back?) – because if you are caught up in what response you want from them, then you are more focused on your own needs and not those of the person you claim to want to compliment – and that’s not a ‘gift’, it’s a manipulation.

          • What a Sad Time says

            xyz, see my comments to Stephanie above. You totally missed (and made) my point.

            “And yes, here’s the takeaway; when in doubt refrain from ‘complimenting’ a woman that you don’t have a close relationship with on her physical appearance if you don’t want to be creepy- it’s just inappropriate and has nothing to do with ‘political correctness’ .”

            THIS ^^ for anyone who intends to live in free thinking, free speaking society, should scare people if you think about its larger implications. Obviously in the non-internet world, there are scenarios where you are right, but there are plenty of others where you are wrong.

            Quesiton your own assumptions starting with but not limited to: who decides what’s “appropriate” in what circumstance, and is it even remotely possible that all women will agree on that “answer” for each given circumstance, and if some women don’t agree, should anyone be making claims and advice like what you just gave, to a group of strangers?

            For the record, it is possible and intellectually valid to look at the complment of “she is a beautiful woman” as being on the same level as “her eyes are open,” or “she is awake in this photo,” or “her hair is brushed in this photo,” or “there is something purple in the background that is out of focus.” Sometimes a simple statement is just a simple statement, even if your knee-jerk reaction is to believe that’s not possible (again due to the social climate in the world we currently inhabit).

            Did you really think that my comment was intended to have some hidden sexual meaning, that I was some guy on the internet hoping to get something from my comment, that by making it I was going to get (anything at all) from the author? Even when I telegraphed what my real intent was?

          • Cassandra says

            You’re right. It’s really sad, seeing them all queueing up to say it’s fine to try to reduce an intelligent and courageous woman to a ‘babe’. This sort of comment drives women into the feminist camp.

      • Call me a creep if you want, none the less I think the young lady is quite striking. I find it hard to understand why complimenting or commenting positively, about any person’s looks, intellect, demeanour, etc., could be considered creepy.

        • stevengregg says

          Jiminalaska,

          You don’t understand why complimenting or commenting positively, about any person’s looks, intellect, demeanour, etc., could be considered creepy because you are sane.

      • stevengregg says

        Women love compliments, particularly on their looks, no matter how much they may protest otherwise.

    • John says

      Wow, another man who assumes a the way a woman chooses to present themselves to the world is solely to turn men on.

      • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

        @John

        Wow, another man who assumes the way a woman chooses to present herself to the world might not be to attract attention from men when it so obviously usually is.

        • xyz and such says

          @ Ray… what about Lindsay Shepherd suggests she’s ‘presenting herself’ to be attractive? She’s naturally beautiful.. there’s no put-on in her appearance that suggests that she is ‘obviously’ trying to attract attention.

          • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

            @xyz and such

            Neither I nor the posters above suggested that she was. This exchange started when someone merely complimented her on her appearance, which generated the predictable response that this was a sort of ‘male gaze’ offense, leading to my comment that few attractive young women do not enjoy such compliments and in fact seek them. I don’t suggest that Miss Shepherd is ‘trying to attract’ attention any more than any other young lady naturally tries to make herself attractive. It would be rather strange if this were not the case. The same applies to young men of course tho not to the same degree. It is instructive that this is even an issue. Virtually all young women attend to their appearance, and virtually all of them are pleased when it is noticed, and virtually all young men will notice it as is natural for them to do. How did this ever get to be a problem?

          • xyz and such says

            @ Ray (re your comment below -since I can’t reply to it)

            as well as @ ‘sad time’:

            it’s not a problem if you don’t mind coming across as creepy. You are completely free to make whatever comment you would like to, and I would never suggest that you should be censored or condemned for doing so.

            And, it’s not the downfall of civilization to suggest it either. (In the past, when women were considered property or protected by men as part of the culture, if another man was to act that way toward someone’s wife or daughter would probably get them beaten up.. right? Because it would be considered a social transgression; so it’s not like suddenly this is considered rude… ) Just because we have more freedoms and women are considered independent of men doesn’t mean everything goes and it’s all ok.

            I’m just sharing with you the fact that a good amount of the time those ‘compliments’ are not being received in the way that you believe they are, or would like them to be, and often create a feeling of discomfort. If you don’t want to consider your impact or don’t mind having that effect on someone, then great. Whatever you would like to do with that information is your business. But you don’t get to dictate how something lands on others.. and if you don’t care, then continue along as you would like.

            Any woman with a sense of self-respect find comments like that in that context (a non flirting conversation or with someone they don’t have a close relationship with) to be unwanted and inappropriate. And I am telling you that to persist in doing it *most* women will have a little ‘red flag’ attached to their interactions with you.

            I’m just wondering if you were having a business conversation or discussion about philosophy with a woman and she inserted in that conversation that she thought you were really attractive, and likes the lines of your face and the cut of your jib or whatever, what that does to the conversation? If you are flirting that’s one thing, if you are trying to have a conversation about something it’s not appropriate and tends to derail the discussion or shift the .

            Making this into a sweeping suggestion that ‘any’ compliment in ‘any’ context is not ok is just – as someone else mentioned – putting up a straw-man.

            Asking people to consider their impact and act with respect is not ‘PC’ – PC is when you force that on others through policies or social engineering. Again, I would never wish to create laws or policies preventing you from saying whatever you want to… so please recognize the difference and stop conflating these things because it is just as disingenuous as a SJW claiming that being anti-PC means you are sexist or racist (although by your insistence on your argument, you are actually proving their point for them )

            PC police rationalize their belief in the need for their ‘services’ based on the idea that people won’t take responsibility for themselves. You are basically refusing to hear this information and refusing to take responsibility for how your actions impact others. And when we all refuse to take this responsibility, then there a reasonable argument for the need for some kind of societal intervention as they suggest.

          • xyz and such says

            oops.. my long reply was meant to respond to @ DB Cooper and @sad time, not a response to Ray’s reply…

    • Aleph from Paris (a place in France) says

      I find your post hilarious because I was about to say the same thing, pretending to be cautious and seemingly naively I wanted to ask: “why is such a great and interesting article advertised with the picture of such a gorgeous lady?”

      • Creepster says

        There should be a clear distinction between sexualized and/or vulgar remarks (e.g. ‘she’s a fine piece of ass’) and compliments (e.g. ‘she’s a very beautiful woman’). I have yet to encounter a woman, regardless of age, projected confidence or physical appearance, that does not enjoy compliments. Heck, I’m a guy and even I enjoy compliments regarding my appearance, most times more than compliments regarding my career progress or intellectual ability.

        Going further, calling someone that acknowledges beauty in a mature woman “creepy” really invalidates the term. All men and women are biologically programmed to respond to other attractive individuals and depending on context, we may think it, verbalize it, or even flirt. Lindsay is a beautiful woman and stating this does in no way undermine her other qualities in the same way that complimenting her intellect does not in any way undermine her physical appearance.

      • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

        @xyz and such

        To your ‘long reply’ above:

        That’s pretty reasonable. Note I myself made no such comments myself, and whereas I’d not go so far as ‘creepy’, I would say the comments above are perhaps inappropriate but no more than that.

        “doesn’t mean everything goes and it’s all ok”

        No, there have always been rules, but I do think that there is a sort of manufactured offense being taken too often these days for what is pretty normal behavior. Were Miss S a SJW, no doubt some of the comments above would have her running to the Human Rights Tribunal.

        “often create a feeling of discomfort”

        Sure. It has always been difficult to write down ‘the rules’, but in the past we knew what they were anyway and no doubt some comments that might even be carefully designed to look harmless do indeed have ‘creepy’ intent. I believe in good manners, but I don’t believe in the criminalizing of normal behavior. Every attractive girl has had hundreds of ‘unwanted’ advances, and she likes that because it proves her attractiveness and gives her a bigger field to chose from. And every girl does want to make herself attractive.

        “But you don’t get to dictate how something lands on others”

        Indeed not. But not every ‘mistake’ is a criminal matter.

        “to their interactions with you”

        I myself made no comment of that kind, nor would I. This is no place for such. But I did think that comments above were too quickly jumped on, that’s all. It seems to have made me appear to be on the other side of the issue — yes, the comments above and below are not appropriate.

        • xyz and such says

          Thanks. I know, I meant to say it was DB Cooper I was responding to, and had confused you with him. I wrote a correction right after, you must not have seen it.

          I agree that it’s not a criminal matter, and explicitly said so… and also, clarification – there is a difference between a creepy ‘intent’ and having something come off as creepy. I didn’t necessarily suggest creepy intent by the poster (although I would encourage anyone engaging in this kind of behavior take another look at what kinds of subtle intentions they are playing out.. as humans, we’re not always as straightforward as we think we are), but the way he made his comment does come off to many women as creepy.

      • Dan Love says

        This is, by a wide margin, the worst comment thread I have ever seen on Quillette.

        P.S. The author’s choice to put a large photo of herself, only of herself, and that particular photo of herself, at the top of her article is not an ego-independent choice.

        God, even the slightest breeze causes all the dominoes to fall.

        • Saw file says

          @ Dan Love
          What’s your point? You don’t like the author’s picture, w her article?
          What dominoes have fallen?
          Curious…

          • Dan Love says

            @Saw file

            Did you not read the avalanche of comments that pertained to her picture rather than the content of her article?

            Many people pointed out it is inappropriate to comment on it in the way commenters did, which I partially agree with. But no one mentioned the author’s responsibility. Look at the home page of Quillette – how many have a huge well-prepped self-portrait of only the writer with no connection to the content of the article?

            It’s egotistic, and she passively likes the attention. This reveals the controversial comments are one lane on a two-way street rather than just the remarks of pervs leering at an innocent angel.

          • xyz and such says

            @ Dan Love

            Are you aware that headlines and pictures that appear in the media are NOT selected by the author? As someone who has been published before, you don’t get to pick or have much to say about titles and images that appear with your words. Lindsay had nothing to do with her photo appearing the way it did – it’s not her ‘responsibility’.

            Usually a photo is requested and put up as a thumbnail along with info about the author; and to that end, why on earth would anyone submit a photo for public viewing that doesn’t portray them in the best possible light? But the fact that anyone would suggest that her photo is somehow capitalizing on her sexuality is ridiculous. It is a natural photo, little if any makeup is worn – she’s a naturally attractive woman and you are making her into some kind of harlot who is using her beauty to manipulate something.

          • Dan Love says

            @xyz and such

            Harlot? Never said anything of the sort, nor would I ever imply that. First of all, settle down. Second, your’re pissed because I haven’t prostrated to your self-righteous shame fest. Third, I’m skeptical. What you said seems to be highly dependent on the publishing platform.

  4. Constantine says

    Lindsay you are consistently one of the most thoughtful and articulate voices, on any subject, but particularly when it comes to campus issues from a student perspective.

    When it comes to personal experiences, a decade ago I was involved in writing for a student publication at Vassar College. We were a rag-tag group of independently-minded kids running a shoestring budget campus publication (I think our entire budget for a run was $100). The last issue I participated in, I wrote an article critical of a response published in our campus newspaper where a black student took issue with how a young child, the child of a professor, reacted to her. The term “microaggression” hadn’t been invented at that time, to my knowledge, but thin-skinned grievance mongering as performance art had.

    In response to the article I wrote an article about how inappropriate it was for an adult young woman to berate a child of under 5 years simply for her reaction, which amounted to nothing more than her facial expression, as the ~20 year old student walked through the student center.

    Ironically the publication didn’t go into print until after I had left college, but afterward I was shocked to learn that my article calling for simple decency & civility had become demonized on campus. I was in communication with several students who were on the publication staff, and many of them reported incidents of being intimidated or physically harassed, their dorm room doors vandalized or their vehicles keyed.

    The Vassar College administration at the time turned a blind eye to the harassment. In fact, they facilitated it. The administration called for a series of public meetings designed to drum up emotions, during which Leftist students took turns ritually denouncing our publication as racist and calling for our publication, which had only received nominal funding (the $100 I mentioned), to be banned from student life. Even a decade ago, the campus Left was no ally of free speech.

    Eventually our publication received some official sanctions. Every student paid, as part of their tuition, a sum that is put into a pool and divvied up among student life events. Events such as inviting porn stars to speak, showing Michael Moore films, or having public masturbation events with free condoms and sex toys to give away (yes, really). The administration disallowed our student publication from receiving any funding whatsoever, and banned any similar paper from being printed. I think even the parent organization, a group of non-Left-aligned students, was disbanded. Students involved in the publication were required to participate in public apologia for their sins.

    Looking back on this incident, we knew at the time that poking the identity-politics bear would be edgy, but even then we had no idea the vitriol that would be unleashed. Even a decade ago, campus Leftism was extremely powerful and well-entrenched into student life and the administration. I myself was often concerned that expressing any dissent from the identity-politics mantras would lead to poor marks from professors, or ostracization from social life. I can only imagine how bad things are for students today. On the other hand, how would these events have played out today if I, or someone else had, like you, been able to record the tribunals? How would the existence of social media on a large scale have permitted us to shift the spotlight, drawing attention to actions railroading & silencing students simply for exercising their rights and engaging in free enquiry?

    • Dark Matter says

      Your account reminds me of an incident that occurred when I was an undergrad at Syracuse University in the early 2000’s:

      The Daily Orange, the student-run campus newspaper, published a comic strip section in each issue which was quite popular. One day, one of the comics attempted to make some sort of point about materialism (I suppose). It depicted a man in his home surrounded by nice material possessions. In the next panel, a burglar wearing a ski mask was shown creeping in the window. In the final scene, the man’s possessions were all gone and he was sad. The strip was illustrated using stick figures – the faces of the men were dots for the eyes and a line for the mouth. The ski mask was rendered as flat black, with white circular openings around its wearer’s dot eyes and a white ovular opening around his line mouth. I remember reading the comic, thinking it wasn’t very funny or insightful, and moving on.

      I was surprised the next day when I learned that campus had erupted over it. The controversy arose because some people who saw the comic thought that the burglar was not wearing a ski mask, but was rather a blackface caricature. I worked at an on-campus student-run coffee shop at the time, and we all discussed the case. Most of us, myself included, felt it was obvious that the man was supposed to be wearing a ski mask.

      The unwitting artist of the strip confirmed this in a statement published in the paper soon after – he had intended it as a ski mask. He said he was not a very good artist, hence why he illustrated using stick figures, and apologized to anybody who may have misunderstood his intent.

      Of course, this was not good enough – the blood was in the water. Other pieces were published crucifying the artist for his “insensitivity”, flyers were put up cross-campus denouncing him as a lying racist, and the black student union began calling for his blood (in some cases literally, as he received death threats and calls to be removed from campus physically). The fact that HE thought he was just drawing a ski mask was irrelevant – the mob had spoken and determined that a) he was probably lying to try to obfuscate his obvious racism, or b) he was telling the truth but it didn’t matter what his intent was, because he should have known that his shitty ski mask drawing looked like blackface and was thus offensive.

      Whenever I read the stories of people like Shepherd, I think back about that oblivious comic strip artist. I think about what the rest of his college experience was like, and how it likely shaped his life for the worse, and my heart breaks. What goes on in these situations is absolutely inhuman.

  5. Smith says

    Hard to see how Shepard’s experiences are meant to prepare a student for life in the real world. It’s clear the program teaches people ideological conformance instead of free thinking. I’m not clear on why Canada tolerates this sort of behavior or why the University funds programs like this.

    But I’m absolutely inspired by Lindsay’s courage. Most of the people I know would have folded against such institutional pressure. The fact she’s still speaking out gives me hope this all will pass.

    • A. D. White says

      If businesses demand a degree from institutions like Laurier what choice do students have? The entire university stable badly needs a cleaning…

    • Stephanie says

      Smith, the Canadian government encourages this kind of behaviour. They have been using extra-judicial “human rights” tribunals to enforce conformity to leftist views for over a decade, at least. These tribunals have the authority to not just imprison, but to force people to renounce their beliefs publicly, in what amounts to public shaming.

    • ga gamba says

      I’m not clear on why Canada tolerates this sort of behavior or why the University funds programs like this.

      I’m not Canadian, but I know a lot of them. They take great pride in their reputation of being kind and polite. At their best there’s nothing wrong with kindness and politeness, though as with anything there is a Jungian shadow where this pride becomes jingoism for some. When taken to an extreme, as the social justice types are apt to do, at has people become pushovers for fear of being accused of being unkind and impolite… or worse: being like Americans.

      Canadians have really embraced the stereotype of America; they use it as a foil to differentiate themselves from their neighbours and to hold themselves out to others to be admired. Canadians are very conscious – I’d say unduly so – of what the international community thinks of it. Bang the importance of this measure into people’s heads for a few decades, add the hate speech laws that were crafted in (over)response to one crackpot’s Holocaust denial and have since been extended, and you’ve manoeuvred a lot of people into not merely tolerating social justice bullying, but embracing and celebrating it as deserved.

      There’s a very interesting contradiction here. If Canadians are so kind and polite, why would they require hate speech laws and other oppressive measures? Are Canadian insincerely performing kindness and politeness? I don’t think so. Generally, they are very kind and polite. If one reads the Canadian leftwing press, after they gush a bit about how the world ranks Canadians amongst the top in politeness and niceness, they then berate the public for failing to live up to the reputation by not being kind and polite enough to bend to further social justice demands.

      Good on Canadians such a Ms Shepard for finally standing up to this. But, know this. Had she not recorded her inquisitors and released it to the press, she would have been hung out to dry. Even with such compelling evidence of grotesque bullying and the deceit of a student “complaint”, what happened to her persecutors? Nothing really. Only one Laurier professor, Dave Haskell, stood up for her. The uni administrators chalk up revelations of its employees’ lies and intimidation as a minor setback, keep the professors out of the public eye for a while whilst still drawing their salaries, and upon Shepard’s departure it’s the return of the goose steppers.

      The lesson learnt by progressives? Check those you’re going to bully for recording devices first.

      I hope Shepard doesn’t settle her lawsuit and sign a non-disclosure agreement. The public needs a courtroom spectacle of the testimony to shed light on this despicable affair as well as an examination of the uni admins’ behaviour in response to Shepard’s revelation. I suspect the countersuit was filed in the hope it’ll pressure her to settle.

      Best wishes to her.

  6. Jack B. Nimble says

    Here’s an interesting article about graduate education, written many years before the internet and circulated among faculty as photocopies many generations removed from the original. Stephen Stearns finally posted it on his website:

    https://stearnslab.yale.edu/some-modest-advice-graduate-students

    Some excerpts:

    “Always Prepare for the Worst.

    Some of the greatest catastrophes in graduate education could have been avoided by a little intelligent foresight. Be cynical. Assume that your proposed research might not work, and that one of your faculty advisers might become unsupportive – or even hostile. Plan for alternatives.

    Nobody cares about you.

    In fact, some professors care about you and some don’t. Most probably do, but all are busy, which means in practice they cannot care about you because they don’t have the time. You are on your own, and you had better get used to it…………….

    Manage Your Advisors.

    Keep your advisors aware of what you are doing, but do not bother them. Be an interesting presence, not a pest…….Anticipate and work to avoid personality problems. If you do not get along with your professors, change advisors early on. Be very careful about choosing your advisors in the first place…..”

    One problem not covered in the article occurs when a graduate student is working as an assistant for a professor who is not their thesis advisor, and manages to alienate that supervisor. This is apparently what happened to Shepherd, and I have seen it happen multiple times over my academic career. Graduate students almost never ‘win’ these contests–unless their thesis advisor has the clout and the desire to intervene between the student and the supervisor, and is willing to appeal the case to the administration.

    Bottom line: when academics ‘ascend’ to the level of supervisor, advisor or administrator, they typically retain all their psychological, cultural and ideological baggage. They don’t magically become neutral and fair-minded persons interested only in the good of the institution and in mentoring those underneath them.

    • I think what you say in the final paragraph is true. I wish this incident had instigated more discussion about the lack of teacher training and mentorship in graduate programmes. I’d bet that it would be news to many supervisors that their role as supervisor was one of mentorship. Many faculty treat graduate employees as mere grunt labour, there only to serve their needs. I do think that supervisors of TAs don’t owe their students anything like “academic freedom” to say what they like in the classroom–professors still retain the mandate to set the intellectual paramaters of a course–but they should (in a lot of cases, and I realize I’m generalizing) nevertheless take their responsibility to mentor, train, and nurture their students a lot more seriously.

      • Jack B. Nimble says

        @Justin P.

        Mentorship has caught on big time in the last decade or so, at least in the US. For example, grant proposals are now required to include a plan for mentoring any postdoctoral scholars hired with grant funds. But the reality can obviously be very different from what is written down. So much depends on interpersonal relationships!!

        I sometimes wish that undergrads and graduate students would memorize the following advice for academic success:

        1. Find out what your professor wants
        2. Give it to them

        • Fran says

          Mentors are people you find. In my case, not my supervisor but several wonderful profs who owed me nothing. They provided support and actual help throughout my career. One does try to be a mentor to one’s own students. Sometime things work, other times they don’t. However, anyone in academia without mentors is very lonely.

          This modern thing about formalising mentorship, assigning mentorship and so on is bullshit.

          • That’s probably true, but what I’m suggesting is that the relationship between supervisor and TA should involve at least a certain degree of training about best practices in the classroom. Otherwise, where do graduate students get their training? I think in a lot of ways the Shepherd incident has as much to do with the willy nilly way that graduate students across Canada get thrown into classrooms as it has to do with the individual professor overstepping (which he did, but not in the ways a lot of people on this message board and elsewhere assume).

          • But, Justin, what is the significance of “mandate and parameters” in real, ordinary life??

        • 3. Then, go your own way. I think, this advice has been given in some former thread, of another querulant.

          • “The go your own way” does not make sense as the TA for a course, for which the professor has the responsibility to establish the intellectual mandate and parameters.

  7. Dr S says

    Lindsay, thank you for doing the right thing and being an inspiration to others. I listened to your recordings of the tribunal at the time. What you were experiencing then and in the aftermath can only be described with Kafkaesque. Keep up the good work!

    • But, Justin, there must come a moment that you can say, – good bye-? First play the disciple,do what you are told, then get your title, then, free to fly, that’s at least how it went with me.

  8. Lindsay, I hope you win your lawsuit and are given a large award as damages, payable in part by the University and in part by the professors responsible for such egregious bullying.

  9. @Constantine

    Salve!
    Several years ago there was an outcry among alumnae/i of Vassar after the college had hosted a speaker who promulgated outrageous conspiracy theories (e.g., that Israel harvests the organs of murdered Palestinians). To address this outcry, to her credit, the president of the college hosted a webinar in which, as an alumna, I participated. When one of the professors who defended the guest speaker was asked about his position, his response was that on the Vassar campus all non-progressive ideas are “shunned.” I have always been a left-leaning person, but never could have imagined that my beloved alma mater would descend into that very dangerous and dark place where the free exchange of ideas was no longer defended and encouraged. My heart is indeed heavy.

    @Lindsay, thank you for your brave efforts. Please do not despair. There are many old folks like me who appreciate and support you in the good fight.

    Vale!

    • It’s baffling that you would call floating the notion that Jews harvest the organs of Palestinians “an idea.” Universities don’t have a mandate to provide a platform for every crackpot on the street. Our job is to educate.

  10. E. Olson says

    Very sad story that is unfortunately all too common on Western campuses in recent times. Has anyone put together a list of schools that actually support free speech, and actually have some diversity of thought among their faculty, and that don’t condone or support “safe spaces” or “trigger warnings”, or “guilty until proven innocent”, and hire faculty and admit students on the basis of merit rather than quotas or social justice criteria, and don’t have any “diversity and inclusion” administration? I suspect Hillsdale would rank pretty high, perhaps the U. of Chicago and some engineering schools, but such a list would almost certainly be short and likely to attract a lot of students who actually want an education, many Right leaning faculty who want a place where they can work and not be attacked by colleagues and students, and financial support from people tired of all the Leftist drivel and wailing coming from most universities and colleges these days.

    • andrewilliamson says

      There’s an organization specifically dedicated to free speech on campuses: FIRE.

    • But wait…if I’m a professor, and I give my students what you might call a “trigger warning” before we discuss, say, Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, aren’t I exercising my right to free speech? And to academic freedom?

      • ccscientist says

        Justin: of course, but the problem is when trigger warnings are mandatory or when students get to skip classes that are too upsetting, such as law students getting to skip lectures on rape, which they need for criminal law training.

  11. Patrick L. says

    “I knew that this is a course that Rambukkana had taught in the past. And I subsequently found the Robotic Intimacies course blog he set up for the Winter, 2019 semester. Immediately after I posted about this new development on my Twitter page, however, the Robotic Intimacies course blog was closed and deleted.”

    Lindsay, I’m a big supporter but I don’t understand why you did this. Why did you feel the need to harass Rambukkana after graduating? Certainly you understand the power of a twitter mob as well as anyone else – was there a need to alert them to this man’s new course? It seems petty and vindictive.

    • Morgan Foster says

      @Patrick L.

      She’s involved in an ongoing lawsuit and counter-suit concerning Rambukkana and Pimlott, which, she claims, they initiated against her.

      What she’s doing is neither petty nor vindictive. It is war, and the economic stakes are large.

      • Patrick L. says

        I am unable to see how alerting the twitter mob to his new class is in anyway related to the lawsuits she is involved in.

        I don’t think it is in anyone’s best interest to frame this as a war… but if you choose to, then I think you should not be fighting a war against Rambukkana, but rather a war on Marxism (etc.). The idea is not to destroy the other side but to educate them.

        • D.B. Cooper says

          @Patrick

          The idea is not to destroy the other side but to educate them.

          Are you sure that’s the idea? You cannot reason with unreasonable people, anymore than you can educate a person who absolutely believes in the purity of their intentions. It is, in fact, the case that people can and do find themselves crossed at irreconcilable differences.

        • Aleph from Paris says

          I agree with you, Patrick. i made the same reflexion when reading about the vindictive post.

    • A. D. White says

      Alerting new students to the existence of a professor such as Rambukkanna does every student a favor

    • “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”

      ― C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology

      These tyrannical SJW’s are no different than the Puritans. They designate themselves as morally superior and sin sniff those around them. It’s about power and control. It’s no different than creating a state church worshiping the god of government.

  12. Interesting that the university and the bullying professors caved so quickly. They must have realized they were seriously out of line.

    I will add, though, that I thought it was unhelpful to your position, to include the information about Professor Pimlott’s nickname.

    • Stephanie says

      F, is it a nickname? I wondered if he was one of those gender fluid types who change names and pronouns every now and again. If so, Lindsay did the “inclusive” thing by mentioning both.

    • Disagree about Lindsay’s inclusion of Pimlott’s ‘nickname’. It adds some interesting context to the cast of characters involved in this situation. It’s also hilarious.

    • It’s to make sure it shows up in search.

      Remember, they can say whatever they want – but they have to pay the consequences when society is disgusted by it.

    • Big Ramifications says

      @F “Caved”?!!

      How the hell did you draw that conclusion from the article? The 2 professors did the exact opposite, and in the most gutless, sneaky way imaginable…. With full support from the university, one would imagine.

  13. As much as I support Lindsay in fighting the wrongs inflicted upon her it is disheartening to see even her confuse Petersen’s position. He has never argued against alternative pronoun use. His only assertion is that it not be government mandated.

    “this material featured University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson making the argument against alternative gender pronoun usage”

    • CarterZ says

      How about : “this material featured University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson making the argument against *forced* alternative gender pronoun usage”

      • Ship Ahoy says

        Peterson also says he won’t use the made up pronouns ‘zee’ / ‘Zir’ —

        • Big Ramifications says

          @Ship Ahoy. Wrong. Jordan Peterson says if a student wasn’t “grandstanding” and politely approached him after a lecture and asked that he used special pronoun, that he would 100% do it every time. He has correct opponents and interviewers on this matter so many times he must truly be getting sick of it.

          • Big Ramifications says

            “He has CORRECTED opponents and interviewers….” Apologies, I’m new to the caper of commenting on this site, gotta remember to proof read much more carefully than normal, there is no “edit” or “delete” button here, it’s brutal!

    • Quiddam says

      Not only he did, but it was the point of the clip. This is what she presented.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kasiov0ytEc

      Peterson flipped flopped quite a bit on that issue, as well as the subject of free speech, so there isn’t an actual position, but many.

      Besides, it was not even about that, it was about people being harassed by the left in saying lies and subscribing to politics they don’t agree with or be punished in some way. Basically what happened to Lindsay, but even then unfortunately, his own spin hides the true problem, which is not about schools or free speech, but how human resources departments are instrumentalized into bullying people through those “rights” policies. It’s not an ideological thing, people use it for advancement and discrimination, irrelevant of party politics. People should wake up that this isn’t an isolated case, and that it is not about politics or ideology. It is a destructive tool put into the hand of people that are not trained to use it properly, or simply aren’t interested in doing so. But being criminalized without the right to know your accuser or even the accusation proper is common practice in all big places who hire those people. So when Laurier says it did not follow protocol, it is false. On the contrary, they followed protocol to the letter.

  14. Bruno says

    I think Lindsay is saying: “careful kids, we are losing the war against insanity”

    • Morgan Foster says

      She’s also saying, perhaps inadvertently, that a degree in Communication Studies may not be worth the effort and the expense.

  15. William says

    Lindsay should have won a Free Thought Award. I’m in grad school and it makes me queasy just reading about this; I can’t even imagine how desolate this must have made her at times.

  16. Luke Dale says

    ” didn’t know why she thought she was interesting enough to merit mention.” Sounding like just another catty young woman here. Not goo.

  17. Sydney says

    The Canadian education system won’t be getting better anytime soon. The K-12 pipeline is feeding indoctrinated, far-left robots into the universities.

    Just yesterday, my Grade 10 son reported that the Socials teacher TOLD the students that they must watch CBC (far-left, 100% state-supported, government-propaganda media outlet); and that they must avoid FOX (independent American conservative media outlet). She then harangued a while on US President Trump, as Canadian teachers have a pathological habit of doing.

    There was no broader context to the propagandist media commands, or to the anti-Trump harangue. There never is. Year after year, teachers simply bark out the talking points of their union newsletters. Those talking points come from the far-left education ministries, which come from the far-left university teachers’ programs. Echo chambers as far as the eye can see. Canadians are being raised in a type of soft-Sovietism.

    Canada and the United States are entirely separate entities, but Canadian teachers make no distinction between them. I suspect that the union talking points make no distinctions (especially if the unions receive funding from outside Canada), and the teachers aren’t smart enough to figure anything out for themselves. The teachers haven’t been taught to think, and they possess no critical thinking skills. As such, they mistake indoctrination for teaching.

    The far-left, propagandist, union-led Canadian education system is priming students very early to think the correct thoughts that Shepherd is seeing throughout the university. I don’t know how or when this will turn around in Canada.

  18. mitchellporter says

    Everyone should take heart. As Nike Q. Unperson, Common Sense Memorial Chair at Mensonge University, so often says, we have nothing to fear but phobophobia itself.

  19. I knew most of this story, and find it disgusting, but the part that was new info and stuck out was the class you took where the professor changed the structure of the class so as to allow the students to gang up and exclude another student.

    That is just…terrible. It establishes that this wasn’t just a few bad professors – it was a department-wide effort to destroy you because you showed a video of a professor at another school. And if I’m piecing together the timing right, this exclusion was actually after you had been exonerated to some degree! In any case, it’s just straight bullying, no different than if a southern US school in the 60s had restructured a class to allow white students to exclude black students.

    Wilfrid Laurier University is forever tarnished due to the toxic environment they have created, and that school and everyone in it should be ashamed of themselves. What a pathetic excuse for “academics”.

    • Perhaps the other students who were in her class were worried about whether ideas they discussed would be more broadly disseminated than they wished. I am only speculating but, in the article above, she does note that one student specifically expressed that worry, and her lawyer also argues that “Everybody has recording devices at all times. That’s a realistic risk in 2018.” That might have chilled the environment for some. I do share your concern, though, about students being able to gang up on others and, if that had been the reason for allowing students to decide who would attend their presentations, think there should be a better solution.

    • Ironically, it is a very Puritanesque tactic. Shunning. You don’t even know you are going to be shunned. It’s set up. Everyone gets the message after the fact so they participated. Create the environment so they can’t operate as a citizen of the community.

      Would the instigators be appalled they are likened to Puritans? My guess is, yes, so that’s why I always point their sin sniffing tactics out. Lol.

  20. James Pelton says

    My son has just graduated with a degree in music. In the course of his studies he discovered that instruments from other countries, such as the Japanese shakuhachi, would not be studied or experimented with to avoid something called “cultural appropriation.” My highly literate daughter graduated from high school and is now working. There was a time when my wife and I would have been deeply worried about her decision (we have five degrees between the two of us) but we are not. We are relieved. She has avoided the idiots and is learning useful skills.

    • Sydney says

      @James Pelton

      Looks like we’ve run into a left-wing, zero-sum music game.

      The ‘educators’ (and I use the term loosely) have constructed a lose-lose for students. In November, my high-school son’s PhD-level [middle-aged, white male] music director told the music students that they needed to avoid ‘dead white male’ composers [in favour of nothing specific, but presumably something more politically correct and ‘woke’ than Mozart and Bach].

      • OleK says

        @James Pelton

        At the Cal St down the street from me, they have special Indian Music program (ie from India)…but not sure if one is required to be Indian to attend. I’m guessing not. I think the instructor is family or connected to Ravi Shankar.

        @Sydney

        Well I guess they won’t study any actual composers then!

  21. Brandyjack says

    I had a World History class, part I, in college. The Instructor was a retired Marine Colonel. He was very knowledgeable in history. His one demand was you state your opinion in your own words. The first day of class, he made a girl cry. She left the classroom and, later, withdrew from the course. She was upset because she challenged the Colonel about government, and quoted a communist text. The Colonel asked her to explain in her own words, what she was saying. She responded with more quotations. He kept asking her to stop quoting text and explain in her own words. Eventually, she began crying and stormed out. All right I am a bit prejudice, I got 4.0 in his history classes.

    • Nakatomi Plaza says

      I call bullshit. What, she was sitting there with an open copy of Das Kapital throwing out quotes she couldn’t explain?

      Nope. Bullshit story.

  22. Jezza says

    Lindsay looks a lot like the first girlfriend I ever had, fair of face, exuding good health, very attractive. Not only that, Caroline’s dad owned a pub, which made her very, VERY attractive. I was soon supplanted by someone with better social skills than mine. Sigh.

    • neoteny says

      I was soon supplanted by someone with better social skills than mine.

      My father told me that a young man can’t have better luck than when his girlfriend gets married — to someone else.

  23. Stephanie says

    It’s infuriating what they put you through, and how thoroughly your university failed you. Keep fighting the good fight, Lindsay! You have supporters around the world, probably many more than can voice their support in public.

  24. Dr George B Miller says

    For about a decade in the 1970s I worked as a physician in health services at WLU. It was a very relaxing place to work although looking after a student population has challenges that are very different from regular family practice. I was aware even at that time of the tendency of the University to “circle the wagons” when an issue arose that was critical of the institution.
    But this is different. It goes far beyond supporting the institution against outside criticism. WLU is supporting a dysfunctional ideological environment. Ideology should be the antithesis of University goals, yet people are being intimidated and censored in an attempt to make them think and act in ways that are abhorrent to many.
    My #1 grand-daughter goes to university next year. It would have been nice to have her in town, but I am very glad (sadly) that she decided not to come to WLU.

  25. Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

    Perhaps the tide is turning? As Churchill said after Alamein: “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” It is possible to roll back the Warriors!

    • Andrew says

      Love the optimism of the Churchill quote. I really hope you are right. The problem is to the professors and many in academia see the actions of Lindsey as just an example as to why they are right and what she did justified their response. Only when their bizzaro world is exposed to the outside general public were they forced to retreat, but not change.

      • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

        @Andrew

        I don’t think there is any hope of them changing. This is war. They must be defeated.

    • ga gamba says

      A caution about the battle analogy. In a genuine battle like Alamein the enemy’s troops have been killed and wounded, the tanks destroyed, the aircraft shot down, and the logistics channels disrupted.

      This battle is a legal one, and though the victor will be declared in the courtroom, it’s the outcome – the policies and behaviours changed – that really matter. In the US, public universities have consistently lost legal battles re their suppression of students’ speech rights. Have these loses changed policies and behaviours? Indeed not. Administrators continue suppressing speech. Why? It’s no cost to them. They personally don’t suffer casualties. (It’s when they don’t bend the knee to leftists that they find themselves harassed, harmed, and ousted.) The taxpayers’ foot the bill of both the legal defence and the payment of damages. In the event of a ruling against them, MacLatchy, Pimlott, and Rambukkana will likely continue on as before and the uni will probably introduce policies itself, or ask lawmakers at the provincial level to do so, to regulate the recording of inquisitions so it isn’t embarrassed again.

      Examining the battle space, I’d say the progressives hold the upper hand in many ways. They’ve forced not only uni administrators to do their bidding, they’ve done so too with mass media, entertainment, internet services, and payment providers. They so control the field of battle that they impair their enemy’s ability to sustain the force.

      Both Japan and Germany entered the war with a catastrophic handicap: oil. It was the lifeblood of their militaries and, having failed to secure a reliable supply to meet their needs, they were always in shortage. Those who endeavour to counter the progressives find themselves similarly hamstrung. Universities and mass media typically don’t hire them, Hollywood doesn’t produce films and TV series with their perspective, and, having found an alternate space in which to operate, now internet services and payment providers are yanking the carpets out from under them. The intent is to starve them of eyeballs and money. This is where the war is being fought, and I haven’t seen anyone devise an effective strategy to counter this yet.

  26. AlexP says

    “Robotic Intimacies”.

    I hope everyone can lay aside the main subject of Lindsay’s article for a minute to get a chuckle out of this. Could there be a more perfect example of the useless, meaningless subjects that are “studied” by “intellectuals” in so many humanities departments these days?

    • Nakatomi Plaza says

      Naturally, the guy who will likely be the first in line when somebody builds a fuckable robot makes fun of “intellectuals” “studying” this type of behavior.

    • Thanks for saying exactly what I was thinking. It would be funny if it wasn’t getting beyond a joke. Useless “academics” teaching (if that’s what it’s called) useless rubbish to a growing swathe of useless people that support rediculous ideologies. It’s no wonder the Chinese feel their time has come. And they are right.

  27. Bubblecar says

    I haven’t read previous pieces on this particular conflict (and I’m unlikely to, since in itself it doesn’t seem that important) but like a few other posters here, I’m not quite sure what the point of this postscript is.

    It seems there was an inquiry into this matter, the two staff members were found to be seriously at fault, and duly took extended leave. The university itself apparently learnt from the episode and reassuringly strengthened their guidelines and reaffirmed their commitment to freedom of speech.

    And as would be expected, most of the writers’ colleagues then just wanted to move on. She herself however kept the issue alive through social media and other online commentary, and it seems, legal action. It’s not surprising that the people around her declined to involve themselves in further divisive drama.

    • Morgan Foster says

      This articles centers around one of the most important issues of our age – not just for Canada, but for Western Civilization – and you dismiss it as “further divisive drama”?

      • Bubblecar says

        We only have her account of these goings on.

        She’s talking about being “shunned” by what is presumably a very large number and diverse variety of people. We’re expected to believe that this is purely because she was a lone heroine surrounded by these supposedly sinister people, who conspired to exclude her for nefarious reasons.

        I would suggest that if we were to hear their point of view, the story might be more prosaic and more realistic, and perhaps quite unrelated to these supposed “political” issues. Perhaps they just wanted their presentations to be all about their presentations, and not all about Ms Shepherd.

        • Morgan Foster says

          @Bubblecar

          Are you completely uninterested in the larger underlying story – that of left-wing political oppression on campus, in Canada and elsewhere in the Western World? You have nothing to say about that?

  28. soulstatic says

    This is truly insane. The social media and internet mob seem to be at the heart of all this lunacy.

  29. CAMERON MOONEY says

    One of my biggest regrets in life is that I sat idly by in college, never challenging what I knew to be false. I figured everyone else was laughing inside like I was. I figured the yoke of indoctrination they placed on us would be shrugged off by most of us as we grew older. Now I look around and realize how foolish I was. Now I look around and wonder if I could have saved even one person. All those once open minds now permanently sealed shut. It makes me ill. The modern college campus is a rotting deathscape.

    • Nakatomi Plaza says

      I would love to hear more about this regrettable “rotting deathscape” of your college experience. Did they teach you to behave like a victim, because you sound like a giant, quivering coward with an absurd flair for the melodramatic. Deathscape? Most descriptions of the Holocaust are less dramatic than your bullshit.

      Did you go to college in Auschwitz?

      • Justin says

        How strange. I knew exactly what Cameron was referencing as I read his words. You, on the other hand, seem primed to pounce like a shrew. From all evidence provided, Cameron and I are more introspective than most while you’re a shrew. Harridan, if you prefer.

    • ccscientist says

      Barney: The claim that mathematics is too white and is colonial is hilarious. Why do so many (brown) foreign students study subjects with lots of math in the US? Because they can prove they have the right answer even if there is prejudice or their English is not so good. In many graduate STEM programs, white students are in a minority. Because math doesn’t care who your daddy is, what your politics is, or what color you are.

  30. We are all (even people foolish enough to give away their freedoms) indebted to this young, brave, student for shining a light on this sad state of affairs.

  31. ccscientist says

    There is considerable irony in the profs and university making such a point of enforcing this particular moral purity (pronouns). First, the pronouns in question are novel and no one knows them. Second, it is claimed that the person can change them from day to day, which makes them unknowable to a third party. Third, most people around a university are strangers to us–we don’t know they are trans or what their preferred pronouns are. ie it is all impossible but they are defending it tooth and nail to be morally pure.

    But these are the same people who write books full of hate for men or whites, who want Israel destroyed (ie favor genocide for jews), promote communism/socialism (genocide again), write papers full of gibberish (ie have given up on standards), do studies that can’t be replicated (looking at you, social sciences), take advantage of their grad students, lie on grant proposals, fudge their research, etc. That is, in every other area they have given themselves a pass to ignore morality.

  32. I’m not surprised Wilfred Laurier is bringing back these fine academics. Who else but Nathan Rambukkake has the personal expertise to lecture on kink, perversions, and paraphilia?

  33. Truthseeker says

    All that is required for evil to succeed is for good people to do nothing.

    Here is a good person who did something. Well done Lindsay.

  34. Foyle says

    The marketplace is answering this sort of toxic ideological positioning by the academic left with strong rejection. Evergreen state university has seen its freshman enrolments halved since it’s appalling treatment of Bret Weinstein a couple of years back. Seems people (and perhaps students as well) are seriously dissuaded from attendance at institutions where freedom of thought and expression are no longer guiding principles.

    Wilfred Laurier has also seen a 15% drop this year. Be interesting to see if that continues.

    “When a creature has developed into one thing, he will choose death rather than change into his opposite” Frank Herbert.

  35. Felix says

    >”The professor changed the program structure, so that students could invite whoever they wanted to attend their own class presentations—which effectively meant that every other student in the class attended everyone else’s presentations, with me being excluded from all of them.”

    This is some ingenious “safe-space” engineering…

    I wonder if the author could shed some light on whether she held her own class presentation in this format, who she invited and if anyone attended.

  36. My compliments to the photog. A beautiful Madonna image which if you think of it, is appropriate on more than one level. Daring. Could so easily have gone wrong. Mr. Ngo should give up his day job.

    • Oops. Perils of having too many windows open at once: I was referring above to the pic in the National Post story about Lindsay’s experience. Have a look, it’s stunning, but not by Mr. Ngo, the most excellent Quillette reporter.

  37. Dominic Allaway says

    Well done to this young lady for her bravery.

    Really like the CS Lewis in the comments.

  38. Saw file says

    I’ve been following this debacle since day one
    Keep on keeping on, Ms. Shepherd.
    Hit these hypocrites in the pocket book.
    There is a army supporting you.

  39. Noodles Romanov says

    “And then there’s the legal aspect: It was recently announced that Rambukkana and Pimlott are filing a third-party claim against me as part of the litigation that began when Peterson sued Rambukkana, Pimlott, Joel and the university for defamation. (I also have filed my own lawsuit against these same parties.) How many students have access to effective legal representation?”

    Next time I get pulled over for speeding I’m going to shriek “Why are you pigs hassling me instead of going out and catching the real criminals like professors and adjuct sub-undertenure professors in applied genderist hermeneutics or whatever?!”

    This buried lede clearly illustrates the essential truth behind all of this: no matter what we do or don’t do, the lawyers win.

  40. Steve says

    PSU non-tenured assistant professor Peter Boghossian’s career is on the line for exposing the fraud and rot that is grievance/gender/queer/etc studies. True he violated some academic rules of conduct but if he hadn’t does anybody believe this important story would have come out? He is a classic whistle blower and is getting the fully Monty from administrators.

    Nathan Rambukkana, Herbert Pimlott, and Adria Joel, by the university’s own admission, lied to a student and threatened her with possible imprisonment by invoking the Canadian Human Rights Code. This seems a more serious crime and yet they received a wrist slap if that.

    Double standard? Of course. I guess it’s OK as long as it brings the promised utopia a little nearer.

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