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In Response to Sommers’ Talk: A Love Letter to Ourselves

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Content Warning: This letter contains discussion of rape culture, online harassment, victim blaming and rape apologism/denialism.

Dear community members:

The Oberlin College Republicans and Libertarians are bringing Christina Hoff Sommers to speak on Monday, April 20. This Monday happens to be a part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, which makes the timing of this talk particularly objectionable. Though OCRL advertised Christina Hoff Sommers as a feminist with a “perspective that differs from the general Oberlin population,” they failed to mention that she is a rape denialist. A rape denialist is someone who denies the prevalence of rape and denies known causes of it. Christina Hoff Sommers believes that rape occurs less often than statistics (those which actually leave out a plethora of unreported rapes) suggest. She also believes that false rape accusations are a rampant issue and that intoxication and coercion cannot rightly be considered barriers to consent. OCRL additionally failed to mention that she participates in violent movements such as GamerGate, a campaign that threatened feminists advocating against sexism in video games via threats of death and rape. If you need proof, examples or explanation of that, just Google her. Better yet, look at her Twitter. Here are some examples:

On April 13, Sommers tweeted: “The wage gap is a myth. So is ‘rape culture’ & claims of gender bias in science. But women’s grievance industry goes on.”

On April 15, Sommers retweeted Adrian Chmielarz’s tweet: “Thanks for showing how trolls exploit #GamerGate. This account has NEVER used the tag before.” Chmielarz was referring to a tweet by Feminist Frequency, in which Anita Sarkeesian publicized an offensive tweet from @ cox4vox. The tweet contained a misogynistic, anti-Semitic rape threat that used the hashtag #GamerGate. “Reminder: I’ve been bombarded with messages like this one on a daily basis since GamerGate began,” Sarkeesian wrote.

On April 15, Sommers also tweeted: “Looking forward to visiting Oberlin next week. I see my talk is already the focus of a lively campus discussion.” She shared OCRL’s event page with all of her followers on Twitter, after which many of them flocked to the page to defend her viewpoint.

By denying rape culture, she’s creating exactly the cycle of victim/survivor blame, where victims are responsible for the violence that was forced upon them and the subsequent shame that occurs when survivors share their stories, whose existence she denies. This is how rape culture flourishes. By bringing her to a college campus laden with trauma and sexualized violence and full of victims/survivors, OCRL is choosing to reinforce this climate of denial/blame/shame that ultimately has real life consequences on the well-being of people who have experienced sexualized violence. We could spend all of our time and energy explaining all of the ways she’s harmful. But why should we?

Anger is productive, and critiques are necessary. At this point, though, why don’t we stop spinning our wheels and burning ourselves out on conversations with Christina Hoff Sommers’ Twitter followers? We need to let survivors lead the conversation: to let them define their experience for themselves and to let them tell us what they need. We’re never going to get what we need from Christina Hoff Sommers or her Twitter followers, so let’s pull together and take care of each other. She can prioritize debunking statistics on sexualized violence; let’s prioritize each other healing from and refusing to tolerate violence. Her talk is happening, so let’s pull together in the face of this violence and make our own space to support each other. She exists, but so do we.

From centering survivors, their needs and community support, there are so many ways to engage. It is valid and necessary to both create alternative spaces for healing and to directly challenge the violence that is happening.

A few concrete examples of ways to engage:

  1. Listening to your friends who’ve been harmed
  2. Using your social and financial capital
  3. Challenging violence and harm
  4. Participating in actions and conversations in response to the event
  5. Recognizing and prioritizing intersectional feminism and survivor support
  6. Genuinely caring for one another
  7. Educating yourself on the impacts of trauma and symptoms of post-traumatic stress/reactions
  8. Silence

While navigating these many forms of support, it is important to underscore both that safety is a priority and that it’s not possible to be neutral about rape culture. A decision not to support survivors/victims is a decision to permit the actions of the perpetrators.

So let’s engage in some radical, beautiful community care, support and love. Let’s make space for everyone to engage at whichever level they want/need. Let’s come through for each other, both now and in the future. Trauma is an experience that threatens a person’s bodily, spiritual and emotional integrity. The psychological, emotional and somatic impacts extend beyond the experience of trauma. Healing is a process that looks different for each person. Let’s make space to care for all experiences of trauma and to respect those we care for. Let’s focus our energy on taking care of each other and ourselves. Let’s make her talk irrelevant in the face of our love, passion and power.

Alternate Event: We’re Still Here Monday, April 20, 7:30–9:00 p.m. Shiperd Lounge, Asia House

Direct Action (occurring prior to and at the event)

Monday, April 20, 7:00–9:30 p.m. Hallock Auditorium, AJLC

Love,

Sarah MacFadden, College senior

Sophie Meade, College senior

Tanya Stickles, College sophomore

Akane Little, College sophomore

Juliana Ruoff, College senior

Anna Field, College senior

Lydia Smith

Oberlin Students United for Reproductive Freedom (SURF)

Gabriella Hakim

Sasha Solov, College sophomore

Elliot Ezcurra, College senior

Kye Campbell-Fox, College senior

Jolie De Feis, College senior

HIV Peer Testers Oberlin

Emily D’Angelo, junior

Sreyashi Bhattacharyya

Zoe Braunstein, College junior

Felicia Heiney, College

Kelsey Weber

Talia Nadel, College sophomore

Clara Lincoln, College sophomore

Frances Casey, College sophomore

Emanne Saleh, College senior

Elizabeth Gobbo, College sophomore

Augie Blackman

Maya Gillett, College sophomore

Kepler Mears, College sophomore

Olivia Harris

Bryn Whitney-Blum, College sophomore

Preventing and Responding to Sexual Misconduct (PRSM)

Rebecca Newman, College first-year

Anna Menta, College senior

Stevie Kelly, senior

Maya Wergeles, College junior

Jasmine Eshkar, College

Annie Peskoe

Kaïa Austin, College junior

Dana Kurzer-Yashin

Ellie Tremayne, College sophomore

Anya Katz, College sophomore

Zachariah Claypole White, College sophomore

Gracie Freeman Lifschutz, College sophomore

Sarah Johnson, senior

EMB

Alison Cameron, College first-year

Tori Willbanks-Roos, College sophomore

Isabel Boratav

Edmund Metzold, senior

– Rose Murphree Gamble, College sophomore

Megs Gisela Bautista, College

Sage Mitchell-Sparke

Amethyst Carey

Jason Freedman

Oberlin Men’s Ultimate team

OC Club Sports Council

Oberlin Nu Rho Psi – Neuroscience Honors Society

Chelsea de Souza

Chris Gould, senior

Nothing But Treble, all-female a cappella group

Margaret Miller, senior

Bryn Weiler, first-year

Haley Jones, College sophomore

Sky Kalfus, College senior

Matt Simon, College sophomore

– Maggie Ritten, sophomore

Sarah Snider, double-degree sophomore

Emma Nash, first-year

Arturo Octavio, College sophomore

Hannah Grandine

Mavis Corrigan

Leah Awkward-Rich, sophomore

Louisa Liles, first-year

Tory Sparks, College sophomore

Sujoy Bhattacharyya

Patrick Ellsworth, sophomore

Elka Lee-Shapiro

David Lawrence, College senior

Kristine Chiu, College junior

Olivia Menzer, College sophomore

Maddie Bishop

Megan Orticelli, Conservatory

Della Kurzer-Zlotnick, first-year

Cole Blouin, College sophomore

Jenny Kneebone, College sophomore

Gabi Bembry

Shining Hope for Communities- Oberlin Chapter

Emma Keeshin, senior

Ellie Lindberg, first-year

Emily Kuhn 

Madeline Peltz

Ronni Getz, senior

Benjamin Biffis, College sophomore

Maya Martin, College sophomore

Rory O’Donoghue, double-degree first-year

Jordan Ecker

Abby Cali

Olivia Fountain, College sophomore

Dylan McDonnell, senior

The Oberlin Sexual Information Center (SIC)

Carmen Wolcott, College first-year

Sage Jenson 

Abby Singer, College junior

Diana Dover, College

Gabriel Smith, College

Mia Russell

Galen Landsberg, sophomore

Kai Shinbrough, College sophomore

Olivia Roak

Kevin G. Gilfether, OC ’13

Camille Sacristan

Preying Manti (Women’s Ultimate Team)

Athena Pult, sophomore

Rachel Maclean 

Eliza Edwards, College first-year

Han Taub, College

Katie Leader, College sophomore

Sabrina Paskewitz, senior

Emily Wilkerson, senior

Rob Jamnerb, sophomore

Emma Lehmann, College

Odette Chalandon

Julia Sheppard, senior

Judith Jackson, double-degree sophomore

Claire Kotarski, first-year

Tali Levy-Bernstein, College sophomore

Kathryn Spurgin, College senior

Carolyn Holt, College senior

Sarah Minion, College sophomore

Lisa Minkoff, College sophomore

Caroline Philo, College junior

Charlotte Ahlin

Rachel Webberman, senior

Serena Creary, double-degree sophomore

Sophie Weinstein, College junior

Franklin Sussman

Tyler Sloan, College sophomore

Emily Edelstein, Conservatory first-year

Emily Rizzo, junior

Keenan DuBois, double-degree

Peter Schalch

Dorothy Klement

Isabella McKnight

Molly Copeland, College

Oberlin Bike Co-op

Julianne Hussman, first-year

Delia Scoville, junior

Sela Miller, College senior

Daniel Miller-Medzon, College senior

Kaeli C. Mogg

Sarah Lewinger

Henrietta Key

Kyle Neal

Sophie Kemp, College first-year

Victoria Velasco

Sophia Yapalater, OC ’13

Dana Fang

Anika Burg

J Street U Oberlin

The complete list of signees as on Friday, April 17 at noon.

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39 Comments

39 Responses to “In Response to Sommers’ Talk: A Love Letter to Ourselves”

  1. A. on April 18th, 2015 8:57 PM

    Doesn’t “Preying Manti” seem a bit triggering?

  2. Lopes on April 18th, 2015 9:36 PM

    “OCRL additionally failed to mention that she participates in violent movements such as GamerGate, a campaign that threatened feminists advocating against sexism in video games via threats of death and rape. If you need proof, examples or explanation of that, just Google her. Better yet, look at her Twitter. Here are some examples:”

    Citation needed, you don’t have a single death threat by someone affiliated with gamergate that is not a sockpuppet account made by people to either instigate these types on biased opinion pieces or third party trolls.

    “On April 13, Sommers tweeted: “The wage gap is a myth. So is ‘rape culture’ & claims of gender bias in science. But women’s grievance industry goes on.””

    So, this is an example of what exactly? The wage gap is a myth, period, you cannot rebut this claim, it is a fact.

    “On April 15, Sommers retweeted Adrian Chmielarz’s tweet: “Thanks for showing how trolls exploit #GamerGate. This account has NEVER used the tag before.” Chmielarz was referring to a tweet by Feminist Frequency, in which Anita Sarkeesian publicized an offensive tweet from @ cox4vox. The tweet contained a misogynistic, anti-Semitic rape threat that used the hashtag #GamerGate. “Reminder: I’ve been bombarded with messages like this one on a daily basis since GamerGate began,” Sarkeesian wrote.”

    What are you exactly trying to prove? You’re looking desperate at this point, her screenshots were accounts that had never mentioned or had any followers from Gamergate, they were accounts made to send her those threats, nothing else, anonymous threats that could’ve been send by anyone. This proves nothing.

    “On April 15, Sommers also tweeted: “Looking forward to visiting Oberlin next week. I see my talk is already the focus of a lively campus discussion.” She shared OCRL’s event page with all of her followers on Twitter, after which many of them flocked to the page to defend her viewpoint.”

    So, having people agreeing with your points or showing respect for your works is harassment now? Another failed attempt. I can’t believe you are

    “Though OCRL advertised Christina Hoff Sommers as a feminist with a “perspective that differs from the general Oberlin population,” they failed to mention that she is a rape denialist. A rape denialist is someone who denies the prevalence of rape and denies known causes of it.”

    More confounded claims and circular logic, how is she a rape denialist? Because she shows irrefutable proof that the 1 in 5 rape statistic on campus is bullocks? Exactly, you dn’t have facts, that’s why you language shame and label her as X, Y and Z, because you have nothing else.

  3. Heywood Y. on April 18th, 2015 9:41 PM

    Dear Oberlin Students,

    Don’t you think that it might be better to go listen to Sommers’ presentation for yourselves, rather than metaphorically sticking your fingers in your ears and screaming “la la la la la” to drown out a viewpoint that differs from your own?

    The purposes of a college education are to learn how to learn, and to seek the truth. Achieving these goals requires you to develop mental discipline, intellectual curiosity, and emotional resilience, all of which are hallmarks of well-adjusted adulthood. College should not be a glorified (and expensive) therapeutic day care facility for fragile 18-22 year old children in adult bodies, where the currently fashionable opinions are memorized by rote and regurgitated on demand. The people who wrote this appeal are turning themselves — and you — into hothouse flowers incapable of surviving in the real world.

    Muster up the tiniest shred of the courage your grandparents exerted daily, and go listen for an hour to someone with whom you disagree. Sit quietly, bite your tongue, and ponder the merits of your opponent’s views. You might learn something that will come in handy after you leave the smothering cocoon of groupthink that is Oberlin College.

    Cheerfully,
    An Adult

  4. Nicolas on April 18th, 2015 10:02 PM

    Two sorts of people will read this outpouring of “love.” The more unlikely sort will google Christina Hoff Sommers, watch her videos, and think for themselves.

  5. karl on April 19th, 2015 2:13 AM

    I am a survivor too. I was falsely accused of sexual improprieties by vindictive female students. My career was ended. Despite my earlier position as a sexuality educator at planned parenthood and attempts to advocate for a more respectful, nurturing dialogue between the genders, a cabal of accusers and innuendo was enough to burn any good will I might receive as an instructor.You do realize at some level that characterizing chs’ position with such a broad brush is disingenuous and smacks of a sort of infantile solipsism. Why is it so difficult to reconcile the idea that women’s and men’s common humanity binds us together, and that because some women are victimized, not all of them are? Cruelty to men and women is what should be fought. This means attempting to open and wrap one’s mind around the idea that injustice against anyone is the real enemy.

  6. anonymous on April 19th, 2015 2:43 AM

    Yes! This is a fabulous response to the ridiculous Facebook comments. I now understand where all those random “defenders of free speech” came from. Some of them are saying that we don’t understand trauma as privileged college students. I didn’t want to comment this on Facebook because my rapist was actually on the threads (defending survivors-irrelevant). i was raped at oberlin. not by some random person who followed me, but by someone whom i thought was my friend. they wouldn’t let me say no and made me feel obligated to have sex with them, so i couldn’t report it because i knew no one would believe me. not even some of my best friends believed me. and i tried to keep it to myself because we had a lot of mutual friends and no one wanted things to be awkward in the little oberlin bubble. Point is, college assault seems to happen much more frequently and subtly than people think. It may not seem like an overt “rape culture” to some people, but that’s because they are not impacted by it on a regular basis. Anyway, let’s all try to heal and fight for survivors together the best we can.

    -OC graduate ’14

  7. ertdfg on April 19th, 2015 4:36 AM

    “By bringing her to a college campus laden with trauma and sexualized violence and full of victims/survivors”

    So Oberlin is a hotbed of rapists, sexual assault, and sexualized violence around every turn…
    And rather than working to solve that problem you’re going to protest a single speaker at an event?
    Well sure, that makes sense.

    Good job, well done.

  8. Annabelle Jarvis on April 19th, 2015 8:58 AM

    Perhaps it is possible to bring “Jackie,” in from Charlottesville, VA to address the alternative gathering. Or if she wishes to preserve her anonymity, bring out Sabrina Rubin Erdely, who’s TRUTHFUL chronicling of the rape culture at UVA was so unfairly trashed by Columbia Journalism Review.

  9. Jeffrey Deutsch on April 19th, 2015 12:54 PM

    So…Christina Hoff Sommers’ views on sexual assault are inappropriate…for Sexual Assault Awareness Month? Because she disagrees with your views on the respective prevalence of rape and false/wrongful accusations of same, whether or not intoxication (as opposed to incapacitation) invalidates consent and what counts as coercion?

    As for GamerGate, she has indeed supported it, mainly because its opponents are the particular kind of feminists she disagrees with. To the best of my knowledge, she has not supported any violent threats or other illegal behavior. Do you, as feminists, support, say, deliberately falsely pulling fire alarms to disrupt an opponent’s event?

    You cite participating in conversations and educating yourself as ways to engage. Last time I checked, a conversation is between people who don’t always agree, and being educated means listening to things (not to mention people) you don’t already know and agree with.

    Going to a place like Oberlin and shutting your eyes and ears to perspectives and knowledge that aren’t already yours is like going to a four-star restaurant, ordering a fine meal and then only eating the bag lunch you brought with you.

    PS: Oh by the way, what kinds of “direct action” do you plan before and during Dr. Sommers’ talk?

  10. Christopher Allman on April 19th, 2015 1:08 PM

    I was raised as a Mormon (fortunately I left the church over a decade ago) and this reminds me of my Mormon youth.
    Where any and all opinions that do not exactly toe the party line are ‘anti-mormon’ and ‘sinful’ and thus, must be opposed.
    You make the audacious claim that if someone is sympathetic to the facts and statistics presented by Christina Hoff Sommers that they are in favor of rape and abuse?
    That is bonkers!
    That is a level of dogmatic, black and white thinking I expect from cult like religions, not institutions of higher education.
    Did you know that feminist critics of Gamer Gate openly endorse doxxing (posting others personal contact information for the purpose of cyber harassment? http://skepchick.org/2014/12/why-im-okay-with-doxing/
    Or consider this female games journalist, Liana Kerzner who was almost harassed offline, with death threats and all. From who? Angry male gamers? No, fans of Feminist Frequencty (by Jonathon Mcintosh and Anita Sarkeesian) http://metaleater.com/video-games/feature/why-feminist-frequency-almost-made-me-quit-writing-about-video-games-part-1
    What was her crime? She had the audacity to criticize the points made by feminist frequency.

    When people become so certain of their rightness, it leads to the sort of self righteousness seen in this post. You are so confident you are right and Hoff Sommers is wrong that you refuse to allow her to speak, despite only being vaguely familiar with what she actually says.
    However, in the end, all you do is bring more attention to the works of Christina Hoff Sommers, who provides a voice of reason in this age when we are drowning in untruths about gender.

  11. Robert Riversong on April 19th, 2015 2:59 PM

    It’s no surprise that the “victim advocacy” community would be so blatantly intolerant of the rare reasonable voices such as that of Christina Hoff Sommers, and confuse “safety” with being safe from rational argument which would undermine the ideologically-nurtured false certainties of the most radical faction (which makes a pretense of love while promulgating hate).

    Sommers has never been a “rape denialist” (a demeaning and dishonest term tossed about with abandon by those who cannot tolerate dispassionate science-based analysis).

    Sommers has never said that “victims are responsible for the violence that was forced upon them”, but that women – like men – are responsible for the choices and behaviors which sometimes result in unwanted or uncomfortable consequences.

    “But why should we?” have to listen to a perspective that contradicts their closed-minded absolutism, these people ask. Perhaps because that’s the core function of a liberal education.

    “We’re never going to get what we need from Christina Hoff Sommers” – that’s true if what you think you need is coddling, an echo chamber, and “safety” from discomforting ideas.

    “Let’s make her talk irrelevant” is the rallying cry of those who cannot stand honest debate and venues for rational discussion of complex issues which cannot be reduced to activist bumper sticker slogans, such as the signers of this letter demand.

  12. Greg on April 19th, 2015 3:03 PM

    Pro-tip for the future: if anyone ever becomes interested in a series of scandals that may threaten your job security, call any discussion of it misogyny. It’s a good tactic to silence your detractors, and to get thousands of other people to do the same. It feels weird when you’re the one being duped, so most people don’t bother considering that they may have been lied to. If you’re the one doing the duping, it all makes sense.

    Just some future advice for whoever reads this.

  13. Annette Durnling-Ng on April 19th, 2015 7:35 PM

    U GO GURLS!

  14. A gamerGater on April 20th, 2015 4:07 AM

    didn’t even have to read in more than 1 minute before factual inaccuracies started showing up

  15. Jeffrey Pritchard on April 20th, 2015 9:24 AM

    You children are going to have a very difficult time in the real world.

  16. Sean on April 20th, 2015 9:32 AM

    The number of blatant lies in this piece is disturbing.

  17. John C. Randolph on April 20th, 2015 9:35 AM

    Sometimes, people are going to say things with which you disagree. Go cope.

    -jcr

  18. Chuck Vipperman on April 20th, 2015 10:16 AM

    Why don’t you simply not attend the speech?

  19. Bill Trelane on April 20th, 2015 10:39 AM

    Kids, all I can say is that real life is coming your way at top speed. Enjoy your time in the highly politicized, binary-view bubble. Things are really, really different on the outside. You are not going to like it, not one little bit. Perhaps you can figure a way to stay inside forever.

  20. Jim on April 20th, 2015 12:42 PM

    I wonder how many of the people who signed this drivel were rape victims?

  21. rabbit on April 20th, 2015 3:41 PM

    “Christina Hoff Sommers believes that rape occurs less often than statistics (those which actually leave out a plethora of unreported rapes) suggest.”

    Incorrect. Sommers bases her criticism of the well-known “one in five college women will get sexually assaulted sometime during their education” on Department of Justice statistics and other studies, which show that the rate of sexual assault is roughly an order of magnitude less than what is claimed.

    “She also believes that false rape accusations are a rampant issue and that intoxication and coercion cannot rightly be considered barriers to consent.”

    Incorrect. Sommers believes that false rape accusations occur — although to what degree is anybody’s guess — and so one must extend full due process to anyone accused of sexual assault. She also believes that MODERATE intoxication cannot rightly be considered a barrier to consent.

    This letter is a superb example of one of Sommer’s main contentions; namely that modern feminists do not pay enough attention to the facts.

  22. Larry on April 20th, 2015 3:45 PM

    As a hiring manager for a firm that recruits from Oberlin, I will keep this list handy as a reference for those I should not hire.

    The world is a harsh place. Some people won’t like you not matter what you do and some will be pretty mean about it. Our company, while endeavoring to create a friendly, fair, and free from harassment workplace, does not have a “safe space”. If you cannot tolerate opposing viewpoints, we have no use for you.

    In some ways I feel Oberlin has done you a disservice by enabling the behavior displayed in this piece. I believe you are all in for a very rude shock when you start your first day of real life in the work place.

  23. Cheryl on April 20th, 2015 4:41 PM

    Oberlin sounds like a AWFUL place! Your campus is “laden with trauma and sexualized violence”? Clearly you were out of your minds to apply there, and surely you’re out of your minds to stay! Try transferring to a place like Smith, or perhaps someplace in Canada.

    Somebody ought to report to the college guides that Oberlin is a dangerous place, laden with violence. Perhaps it should close.

  24. CEOUNICOM on April 20th, 2015 6:32 PM

    Technically, it’s not a “response” to anyone’s talk if a) it hasn’t happened yet, and b) you have no intention of listening to what other people say and then trying to have a rational discussion.

  25. Dantes on April 20th, 2015 7:36 PM

    Take Oberlin off the list of colleges whose graduates we will interview for a job.

  26. Jason Baker on April 21st, 2015 10:14 AM

    Students: you realize this trigger warning nonsense is non-existent after college, right? And that your inability to handle difficult subjects is not what employers are looking for, right? Good luck in the future, fragile flowers. You will need it.

  27. Anthony on April 21st, 2015 12:36 PM

    Please let me know where I can send all of you a quarter. This is so you can call your parents and have them pick you up. You are obviously to immature to be attending university.

  28. Wendell Ashe on April 21st, 2015 12:52 PM

    This is absolutely ridiculous. Learn that other people can have opinion, and stop trying to silence them, you hypocrites.

  29. Cheryl Bartize on April 21st, 2015 2:53 PM

    Just checking in. Everything ok? Did everyone make it through the crisis? Any assaults, injuries, hospitalizations? Campus still in one piece?

  30. Roger Cotton on April 21st, 2015 4:51 PM

    My daughters are strong, confident young women. My oldest has started university, and my youngest is three years away.

    I pray that as they work on their studies, that they don’t become indoctrinated by Feminism and begin to think and act like victims. Or like intellectually intolerant Progressives.

  31. Jim Patterson on April 21st, 2015 5:20 PM

    Thank you for this letter! We know there is only one perspective allowed here!

    Sommers thinks this College is a place for the exchange of dissenting viewpoints. Let’s show her how wrong she is!

  32. wr on April 21st, 2015 6:04 PM

    “let them define their experience for themselves”

    Actually, THE LAW defines what is rape. It is not subjective.

    oh, and warning: this comment contains common sense and fact that might offend those living in a fantasy world.

  33. Evil Man on April 22nd, 2015 1:31 AM

    It says “speak your mind” here but I doubt this comment will even be accepted.

    You Oberlin students by and large are ideologically intolerant. You make everyone laugh.

  34. Suzanne D Reed on April 22nd, 2015 4:29 AM

    Wow, and your parents are spending so much $$$, or you’re getting into serious student debt, so you can go to this school. Do 1st Amendment rights only apply to people with whom you agree? If you don’t like the speaker just don’t go to the event. Have fun hiding in your little “safe” places.

  35. cspringer on April 22nd, 2015 4:49 AM

    I find it really sad that the youth of the country seem to be so intolerant of opposing views. I look forward to the day, that you no longer live off your parents, and try to make your own living. I suspect, that when you grow up, you will realize how silly you are. At least one can hope…..

  36. Hans on April 22nd, 2015 2:49 PM

    Is this some sort of a joke? College students writing a love letter TO THEMSELVES?

    What could possibly be more infantile?

    And the fact that you disagree with someone’s viewpoint, or even view it as making light of violence (which is not the case of Hoff-Sommers, who is not a violent person and is not an apologist for violence), doesn’t make the speech itself violent, or unprotected by the First Amendment, as federal courts have made clear, see Bauer v. Sampson (Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, 2001).

    The very notion that a speech on campus is “violence that is happening” is absurd. The purpose of a campus is to host speeches with a diverse array of viewpoints.

  37. Derek Maddox on April 22nd, 2015 7:39 PM

    I think it’s adorable how the young ladies avoid using the traditional, and obviously demeaning, term “freshman” by substituting “first year”. Maybe it would have been more effective if they’d continued with “second year” and “third year” rather than reverting to tradition for “sophomore” and “junior”. Such silly games we play with words.

  38. Lachlan Still on April 22nd, 2015 7:59 PM

    The mentality expressed here is alarmingly close-minded. Christina Sommers’ viewpoints were presented and condemned, but no actual rebuttal to them was offered. Instead, the reader was encouraged to ignore them entirely, with a simple and vague criticism of their invalidity being all that was offered. The reader was told to listen to the victims, and that is certainly a worthwhile sentiment, but not when it is accompanied by a command to simultaneously ignore any opposition viewpoint. Perhaps the most glaring example of this was the labeling of Sommers as a “rape denialist.” It is stated that she, “believes that rape occurs less often than statistics suggest.” No further defense of this statement as a criticism is given. What if the statistics are wrong? Should this entire line of questioning be ignored because it marginalizes rape victims? It does not lessen any individual’s personal tragedies if the suffering that they unfortunately faced is not as prevalent as it is widely believed to be. All it does is possibly lessen the validity of an organized movement seeking sweeping changes, since the issue they have tasked themselves with rooting out is not one deserving of a response of the intensity of that which currently exists. Sommers’ beliefs don’t marginalize victims; they marginalize those who want to advance personal agendas via disproportionate reactionary movements utilizing victims as their justification.

  39. Alex O on May 16th, 2016 3:36 PM

    I cannot believe what I just read. I’ve taught at universities in the UK and im glad I don’t any more if this is the state of academia. The Western academic tradition is all about exchanging ideas and using evidence. This is, frankly, shameful. You are at university to learn, not to shrink your perspective.

Established 1874.
In Response to Sommers’ Talk: A Love Letter to Ourselves