For the past two months, I’ve been preparing a speech for my upcoming visit to Williams College in Massachusetts. I was invited to speak at the university on behalf of its ‘Uncomfortable Learning’ Speaker Series. The purpose of this program, or “club,” is to provide intellectual diversity in an atmosphere in which debate is heavily influenced by left-leaning scholars.
“There is no learning without being uncomfortable,” says Williams College student David Gaines. “One cannot learn and grow without being challenged and made to think.”
Funny, ‘uncomfortable’ is the exact word I used in the opening remarks of the speech I’d prepared—before I even knew the title of the speaking series. Here’s the exact paragraph:
My goal for you all, my purpose in being here today, is to inspire you to think for yourselves. Do not be swayed by groupthink no matter what your friends, your family or the culture believe. Do not be afraid to ask yourself questions that may make you uncomfortable. And do not be afraid of the answers.
From there I had planned to talk about feminism, but from a different perspective than the one students are used to hearing. I was going to tell them why feminism fails. (Hint: because it denies the existence of biology and teaches that equality means sameness, which is a losing proposition when it comes to planning a life—particularly if that life includes marriage and family.)
Though my contact didn’t give a reason, the day before he’d sent me this email: “Dear Ms. Venker, A quick heads up…We’ve been advertising the event, and it’s already stirring a lot of angry reactions among students on campus. We just wanted to make you aware of the current state of students before your presentation…”
Despite the fortuitous match between my message and the ‘Uncomfortable Learning Speakers Series,’ my talk was cancelled several days prior to the event. “Thank you for agreeing to speak,” read the email, “but we’re not going to be able to host this event.”
And so, the school caved.
If I were a modern young woman, I would be ashamed of my peers, and furious at what they are doing to the notion of equality between sexes.