Thursday, September 1, 2016

Despite Univ Chicago Move, College PC Will Get Worse

Everybody is encouraged by the statement on freedom of expression sent out to entering freshmen at the University of Chicago this fall.
Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so-called ‘trigger warnings,’ we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual ‘safe spaces’ where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own.
But I do not think that this will make a difference. The reason is that colleges are transforming from institutions that were primarily male to places that are predominantly female. According to the Washington Post in 2014,
Federal data show that female students became the majority in 1979 and for the past decade have accounted for about 57 percent of enrollment at degree-granting institutions. 
And that says nothing about the administrative staff at universities that appears to be predominantly female.

Conservatives like to complain that the culture of trigger warnings, safe spaces, and microaggressions is all a leftist plot, yet another attempt to bury the bourgeoisie. And I am sure that it is all of that.

But I believe that the PC university is also a reflection of its femaleness.

The fact is that men are fighters; women are lovers. Men meet each other at the drinking den, and relate to each other in what I call an insult culture. The normal way of interacting with other men is to banter and verbally spar with them. An acquaintance that grew up in Worcester, Mass., implied to me that the normal man-to-man form of address back there was "yer bastard," said with the proper Boston accent.

Women relate to each other in the kaffee klatsch, where never is heard a discouraging word, except about women not present. Women have a niceness culture, even though they are as socially ruthless as men. There is no "yer bastard" between women in the kaffee klatsch.

This means that the idea of a rough-and-tumble of ideas makes complete sense to men, but not to women. To a woman safe spaces, trigger warnings, and the avoidance of controversy are just the way that things ought to be done. So it is no surprise that three women teaching a course in "Medical Humanities in the Digital Age" at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs would announce "We will not, at any time, debate the science of climate change." Of course not. Good little girls do not debate; they share.

Men go to college to get credentialed, so that they can earn good money and win a high-status woman as a mate. If university becomes a kaffee klatsch, a safe space for sharing, then it won't be much use for men.

What will replace university? I suspect we already know. It is the startup culture. I know a bright young man that dropped out of college to join a Bitcoin startup. Now he's working with his buddy as a contract software developer in a "co-working space" in New York City. Startups, with their promise of fabulous loot and the fear of catastrophic failure, appeal to the warrior mind. They do not appeal to the feminine mind, and that is why women, well represented in corporate software in the days of COBOL and mainframe IBM, were not too interested when the software startup culture started in the 1980s.

The university started out as a seminary preparing second sons for the priesthood in the established church. Then the Germans turned it into a vehicle for national greatness. Then the left turned universities into secular seminaries, turning out well-born political activists.

I wonder what comes next. 

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