Some might have fondly thought that the nuttiness of the universities would stay on campus. It hasn’t happened. We all live on campus now, writes Andrew Sullivan.
Concern for microaggressions has spread from campus to country: “How else do you explain how the glorious defenestration of horrific perpetrators of sexual abuse and harassment so quickly turned into a focus on an unwanted hug or an off-color remark? The whole cultural Marxist idea of a microaggression, after all, is that it’s on a spectrum with macro-aggression. Patriarchy and white supremacy — which define our world — come in micro, mini and macro forms — but it’s all connected. A bad date is just one end of a patriarchal curve that ends with rape. And that’s why left-feminists are not just interested in exposing workplace abuse or punishing sex crimes, but in policing even consensual sex for any hint of patriarchy’s omnipresent threat.”
Due process has been abandoned in the process: “Real life is beginning to mimic college tribunals. When the perpetrator of an anonymous list accusing dozens of men of a whole range of sexual misdeeds is actually celebrated by much of mainstream media . . . , you realize that we are living in another age of the Scarlet Letter. Moira Donegan has yet to express misgivings about possibly smearing the innocent — because the cause is far more important than individual fairness. Besides, if they’re innocent, they’ll be fine! Ezra Klein has openly endorsed campus rules that could frame some innocent men. One of the tweets in response to some of my recent writing on this has stuck in my mind ever since: ‘can anyone justify why the POSSIBLE innocence of men is so much more important than the DEFINITE safety and comfort of women?’ And yet this principle of preferring ten guilty people to go free rather than one innocent person to be found guilty was not so long ago a definition of Western civilization.”
As Sullivan says, ideas matter, and bad ideas promoted in our elite universities aren’t going to leave the rest of us alone.