Inside the collective snowflake tantrum that tried to get scholar Camille Paglia fired
Shall the lunatics always be in the right to take over the asylum? With the rise of the academic snowflake, this seems to be the mentality these days.
It's what it's come to as one reads about the disgusting efforts of student snowflakes at Philadelphia's University of the Arts to take over the university's hiring decisions and force it to fire distinguished scholar Camille Paglia, a woman whose intellectual heft is probably why the place is called 'university' instead of 'college' now.
“Camille Paglia should be removed from UArts faculty and replaced by a queer person of color,” an online petition declares. “If, due to tenure, it is absolutely illegal to remove her, then the University must at least offer alternate sections of the classes she teaches, instead taught by professors who respect transgender students and survivors of sexual assault.” Regardless, the students behind the petition want her banned from holding speaking events or selling books on campus. In their telling, her ideas “are not merely ‘controversial,’ they are dangerous.”
After reading that piece, all I could think was: Since when do little punks who are supposedly there to be 'educated' and willingly choose the University of the Arts as their educational place, get to say who teaches them - or rather, the kids who sign up for her, I am sure, very full, classes? Kids are there to learn, not dictate the lesson before it's given
Paglia is a powerful thinker whose independent-minded scholarship and willingness to say things that scare snowflakes, (such as: Knock it off on the fake victim act, as the Atlantic piece describes) is precisely why many arts students actually go to the University of the Arts in the first place. People with authentic arts orientation tend to prefer someone who can teach them how to think independently if not credibly present the shock of the new. Since I've been an art student, I can insist that that's what it's all about.
And as the Atlantic piece notes, Paglia didn't turn controversial yesterday, she's always been controversial - just the story of how her first book came to be published tells a lot about that. The snowflakes' claim that she has 'gotten worse' is complete baloney, the product of kids growing up in the arrogance of the present, the ego of 'my experience' being the ony point of reference and failing to look up any of the things that came before them. Which is precisely what Paglia, with her deep wellspring of knowledge about cultural mores and contexts could actually teach them, assuming they had any brains and willingness to learn.
Their rebellion is pure childishness, wanting the world to revolve around their own worldview, and trying to sweep out anyone who says anything that challenges it. It raises questions as to why are these people at the college at all - their protests suggest they aren't open to learning anything new. Since they don't want to learn anything, I have a better idea for these snowflakes' future: The university ought to expel them.