Thursday, May 29, 2008


One of my favorite proposed slogans for our Free Mark Steyn rally on Monday comes from billyhw who suggests: "Someone please tell me what to think. I went to a Canadian university."

When I first went to university, in the late 80s, tutorial or seminar classes were still often dominated by fierce debate, often because competitive young men were having it out with each other. It seems times have changed. Here's further proof, not that we need any more, that our education system is now creating people who fervently believe that free speech means what we say it means, i.e. having the right to say the right thing, according to a code of political correctness. Joseph Brean reports:
In response to a series of controversies over abortion debates on Canadian campuses, the student government of York University has tabled an outright ban on student clubs that are opposed to abortion.

Gilary Massa, vice-president external of the York Federation of Students, said student clubs will be free to discuss abortion in student space, as long as they do it "within a pro-choice realm," and that all clubs will be investigated to ensure compliance.

"You have to recognize that a woman has a choice over her own body," Ms. Massa said. "We think that these pro-life, these anti-choice groups, they're sexist in nature.... The way that they speak about women who decide to have abortions is demoralizing. They call them murderers, all of them do.... Is this an issue of free speech? No, this is an issue of women's rights."

The school's administration condemned the decision as contrary to its academic mission.

Robert J. Tiffin, York's vice-president of students, said he was "disappointed" the policy was being enacted when virtually all of the student body has left campus for the summer.

"Student governments need to be aware that these are fairly significant decisions that are being made, and it would be useful to engage the much broader community," he said. "It's important to have some of these discussions at a time when the vast majority of students are here to participate."

He said denying students access to the various aspects of the abortion debate was not in keeping with the school's mandate, and that the administration would try to compensate by providing its own venues and resources to legitimate debates.

"It's part of the texture of Canadian society, this debate," he said. "We're committed to ensuring there are the opportunities for these debates."
Sounds to me that that is what you would call a semi-dhimmified male academic, fearful that if he speaks too clearly for what is right (i.e. creates the impression that he might consider free speech a somewhat higher value than abortion rights) a gaggle of youthful harridans with big teeth will descend from the student centre to make his life hell. So, he is, as they say, "disappointed".
Gilary Massa, the vice-president, external, of the York Federation of Students and the driving force behind the proposed ban on anti-abortion groups, earlier this year defended free speech as she called for the lifting of a ban on the phrase "Israeli Apartheid."

In a letter to McMaster's provost and the Students Union Executive, Ms. Massa said she was shocked and dismayed to hear that the administration and McMaster Students Union had banned the use of the phrase "Israeli Apartheid" on campus.

The letter called for the ban on the phrase to be rescinded "in accordance with a basic commitment to freedom of expression and organization in the democratic context of the public university."

The letter added, "This strange and unprecedented ban is a blatant violation of democratic freedoms of speech and dissent, and an attack on students' right to organize. It is the position of the YFS and GSA [Graduate Students] that universities are sites where discussions and debates about difficult geopolitical questions should be promoted, not stifled. International controversy about use of the phrase 'Israeli Apartheid' cannot be resolved through repression, but through ongoing intellectual exchange."


Seraphic Single said...

Coincidentally, Massa wears a hijab.

Blazing Cat Fur said...

Yes she does hmmmmmmm.

truepeers said...

Sounds like another confused youngster trying to be all things to all people...

noel said...

Dorks at York...

I'm beginning to think we are living in an actual terrorist state.

In Canada, we murder about 100,000 unborn, viable, beautiful, children every year. Not just with a quick bullet to the head but with relatively slow suction and/or mutilation. Imagine, before breathing your first second of air, you are shredded in minutes, still writhing after many more minutes. Then into the bio-garbage zip-loc.

We slice and dice certain body parts in order to make them into the opposite sex, in our own image.

Are we a nation whose main business is to cut off noses to spite faces?

Will cutting out the tongues of those who offend us be next?