The Oberlin Review

Students Reject Dissenting Opinions

Melissa Harris, Production Editor

November 11, 2016

Obies and their family members congregated in the Carnegie Building’s Root Room to hear NPR Radiolab host Robert Krulwich, OC ’69, give a talk titled “Oberlin Itches, So I Scratch: A Private 50 Year Fight With My College” at The Friends of the Library’s annual dinner Saturday night. While Krulwich may have graduated nearly 50 years ago, his speech made me recognize a timeless quality about Oberlin: the love-hate relationship that so many Obies foster with this college. I’ve experienced wave after wave of immense admiration and disdain for this institution, and Krulwich’s speech finally articulated those feelings for me. He stressed how, when he was at Oberlin, he was conflicted because his views — n...

Violence Requires Multiple Definitions

Jade Schiff, Assistant Professor of Politics

May 1, 2015

To the Editors: Violence, sexual and otherwise, afflicts Oberlin as it does colleges and universities around the world, and our community needs to address it vigorously. But we won’t be able to do so effectively unless we know what we are talking about when we talk about violence. I’m not always sure that we do. My colleague, Professor Copeland, responded forcefully last week to a previous letter objecting to Christina Hoff Sommers’ campus visit (“Free Speech Not Equivalent to Violence,” The Oberlin Review, April 24, 2015). In particular, he took issue with this line: “Her talk is happening, so let’s pull together in the face of this violence and make our own space to support each other” (“In Respon...

Silencing Survivors Results in Violence

Anonymous, College junior

May 1, 2015

Dear Professor Copeland: Do you think there are not survivors on this campus? Survivors who were offended and hurt by the words and actions of Christina Hoff Sommers? You said that nothing Sommers said could have offended a survivor ... Are you a survivor? Do you speak on behalf of all survivors? Have you listened to the survivors who have been bravely saying, “As a survivor, Sommers’ words and actions hurt me?” Dear Professor Copeland, do you know what sexualized violence is? Have you ever considered that violence may be more nuanced than you believe? That everyone experiences violence differently? Have you ever considered that reliving trauma, being told that your experience didn’t happen or doesn’t...

Students Protest Sommers’ Lecture

Students Protest Sommers’ Lecture

April 24, 2015

From her podium in Dye Lecture Hall, Christina Hoff Sommers, an author, former philosophy professor and self-proclaimed “freedom feminist,” attempted, amid protesters and dissenting audience members, to persuade Oberlin students that feminism has become too radicalized. She was invited to campus on Monday night by the Oberlin College Republicans and Libertarians and is the most recent speaker in the Ronald Reagan Lectureship series, which is devoted to bringing views that members of OCRL “believe...

Liberal Professors Promote Anti-Right Propaganda

Wayne Lela, Concerned citizen

April 24, 2015

To the Editors: The controversy surrounding the appearance by speaker Christina Hoff Sommers brought to mind a relatively old (1991) quote from a well-known liberal attorney, author and professor named Alan Dershowitz, who back then was so disturbed by the lack of respect for free speech in certain liberal circles he’s on record as saying: “Political correctness is the most serious issue on college campuses. We are tolerating, and teaching, intolerance and hypocrisy” ( James Warren, “Drawing Laughs,” Chicago Tribune, April 14, 1991). Things didn’t change much from 1991 by 2005. Indeed, the intolerance of the ever-so-trendy “politically correct” crowd just seemed to have gotten worse (power may ha...

Free Speech Not Equivalent to Violence

Roger Copeland, Professor of Theater and Dance

April 24, 2015

To the Editors: I was appalled by last week’s letter to the editor, titled “In Response to Sommers’ Talk: A Love Letter to Ourselves” (The Oberlin Review, April 17, 2015). Published three days in advance of Christina Hoff Sommers’ public lecture at Oberlin, it read in part: “By bringing her to a college campus laden with trauma and sexualized violence and full of victims/survivors, the Oberlin College Republicans and Libertarians 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.” Presumably, the signatories to this letter would have preferred that OCRL rescind their invitation to...

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

Oberlin community members

April 18, 2015

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 r...

OCRL Lecture Series Fosters Diverse Opinions

OCRL Presidents

April 18, 2015

To the Editor: The Oberlin College Republicans and Libertarians are proud to host Christina Hoff Sommers as part of the Ronald Reagan Political Lectureship Series. Since its beginnings in 2006, the Reagan Series has brought many distinguished scholars and commentators to our campus. As the Series’ organizers, we have endeavored to bring speakers who articulate the value of political and economic liberty, freedom of speech and thought, respect for individuals, national defense or voluntary association. We have aimed to offer views that we believe are underrepresented at Oberlin. We have also worked to promote the exchange of reasons, rather than recourse to rhetoric, on controversial topics. We look forward...

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