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Will U. Chicago trans-speech policing be a trans-formative event?

Will U. Chicago trans-speech policing be a trans-formative event?

“Policing language is something no gay person should ever countenance”

We covered the “tranny” controversy at the University of Chicago in the Saturday Night Card Game, When everyone shuts up, we will have reached the “safe space”.

The short story is that the student speech police attacked liberal gay activist Dan Savage for using the word “tranny” in discussing at a forum why he no longer uses the word “tranny.”  More than that, they demanded that the word be banned from use at U. Chicago’s Institute of Politics, where the event took place.

Savage responded to the controversy (h/t Instapundit), by noting that the activists who attacked him refer to “trans” people as “it” — a characterization Savage says is particularly offensive to the “trans” community.  I don’t know if that’s right or wrong, but it’s a point.

Andrew Sullivan writes, surveying this all this:

Yes, this occurred at the University of Chicago! Now, I’m not interested in defending Dan, because he can defend himself. And John Aravosis is right that there’s a potent and destructive strain in the LGBT world that aims more hate at someone like Dan Savage than at Rick Santorum (tell me about it). What I am interested is condemning this pathetic excuse for a student. This plea in a university to be free of hearing things that might hurt, offend, traumatize or upset you is an attack on the very idea of education itself. And don’t get me started about “trigger warnings.” So many things worth thinking about, grappling with, and chewing over can be offensive at first or second blush. That’s what a real education is about: offending your pre-existing feelings and prejudices with reason and argument and sometimes provocation. Education is not and never should be about making you more comfortable and more safe within your current worldview. It should not be about accusing someone with whom you might disagree of a hate crime.

And the idea that trans people or gay people are those signing up for this mindless crap is particularly distressing.

Policing language is something no gay person should ever countenance – if only because our language and our speech, as tiny minorities, could be the first to be policed in that brave new world. And what does it say about someone’s self-esteem that they run crying out of a seminar because they cannot handle a simple fricking word (and that they do that, while preferring to be referred to as “it”!)….

I think there’s another point here.

We’ve reached the point where speech police are lurking everywhere on campuses.  Accusations of “-phobia” and being “-phobic” curtail and suppress speech daily.  Including accusations of homophobia used for political purposes on issues such as religious freedom and marriage.

As I wrote in April 2013, “Bigot!” is the new “let me convince you of the wisdom of my argument”):

The number of topics in which an attempt to have a discussion of opposing viewpoints is shut down by a fusillade of taunts of “bigot” seems to be multiplying.

On the gay marriage issue, the Most important legacy of Obama’s gay marriage switch was freeing Dems to play the “bigot card”.  Once a viewpoint, held by Obama less than a year ago, is redefined as bigotry, the discussion is over, as John Fund pointed out last fall, The New Blacklist.  It has been a very effective tactic.

We see the same thing on immigration, where the term “illegal alien” or “illegal immigrant” was declared racist even though the term describes a legal status which is race neutral.  Nonetheless, AP has caved in to the pressure and no longer will use the terms.

David Sirota of, who we previously wrote about because of his obsession with “white privilege,” engaged in a Twitter rant this week accusing people of being a “bigot” — it was so crazed that even liberal Twitterers shook their figurative heads in disbelief.

This brings into play the ancient legal and political maxim:  What goes around comes around.


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I will surely get a lot of grief here for saying that I think that Dan Savage is awesome. When I lived in Seattle the only time I would every pick the local weekly “The Stranger” was to read advice in his column. He is smart truthful and witty, and he is not really shy about pointing out someone’s delusions. The total irony for me on this controversy was that Dan Savage was the firs that I know in the gay community to try to own the word faggot. It was a pretty courageous statement to insist that people that were asking you for advice address you as “Hey Faggot”, and call them out if you they addressed you by the more milquetoast Dear Dan.

That said I think that this controversy says everything about what is happening on campus’ and that what I have been calling colleges for years (meal ticket U) is sadly becoming a reality.

    I used to like Dan Savage. It’s one thing when he addresses somebody “Hey Faggot” when that person is on record liking it, but it’s quite another thing to harass families who don’t appreciate this style of his and who don’t deserve it. So I don’t like him anymore.
    Having said that, gay culture is/was interesting precisely because it was not genteel. I don’t think I’m going to like the PC gay culture.

      What are you talking about when you say that Dan Savage goes around harassing families? There is nothing like that mentioned in this article, at least. I seriously doubt that he goes around harassing families, and an accusation like that needs to be explained.

The way I see it, these morons are not victims, and they do not consider themselves victims. The are just pretending so that they can BULLY the rest of us via PC bull. (pun intended)

They are the PC bullies.

No matter what you say, no matter what you do, they’ll find a way to call you a bigot.

Sullivan connects some of the dots … and promptly misses how he and his fellow travelers directly contributed to the emergence of this new, fascist wave.

Keep looking, Sullivan. You’re under one of those rocks.

Sully will only go so far, only wade so deep into the fever swamps.

But once you are in the fever swamps, you’ve already gone too far.

Should the Republic survive, a century from now Americans will look back on this era with disbelief. All the PC and “diversity” nonsense, the feminists who say all hetero contact is rape, gay “marriage,” global warming scare, and electing Obama will be regarded as compelling evidence of mass hysteria.

And yet neither Savage nor those students care if Christian students are offended by anything. Because F- THEM!

Homosexuals like Savage and Sullivan are both enemies of freedom and of the Constitution. Homosexual marriage, and homosexuality itself, were illegal at the Founding and when the 14th Amendment were passed. There is no Constitutional argument for homosexual marriage, nor is there any other argument other than perversity.

200 years ago both Sullivan and Savage would have been in jail, or more likely tarred and feathered, which was an defacto death sentence.

The fact that homosexuals are leading attacks on freedom of speech should be no surprise, and heterosexuals who like Savage for his writing should be ashamed that they are part of the homosexual campaign against freedom of speech.

Toleration of homosexuality has directly led to homosexual surpemicism expressed by both Savage and Sullivan, all in the name of anal intercourse with other men.

    Shane in reply to Federale. | June 9, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    The sad thing here is that you are the same problem that the other side has with their speech codes and hate. Would it be OK for there to not be any laws that kill someone for what you believe to be a life style choice? You belong in Iran with all of the others that believe that just because you don’t like someone then they deserve to somehow die.

    There are rocks on the left and the right and I would hope that you crawl back under your right rock because spewing hate is something we can ALL live without.

    It’s remarkable how the Gaystapo AND the witch burning theocrats (like you) have manged to build an identical diversionary political platform that’s centered around…the humble human anus.

stevewhitemd | June 9, 2014 at 4:29 pm

I teach medicine at the University of Chicago. I stay safely on the west side of Ellis Avenue and therefore don’t have to put up with this nonsense.

I’m not sure I’d agree with Mr. Savage on much of anything, but were I to be heckled by a student like this, my response would have been to tell said student to sit down, be quiet, and then get her/his/its hind-end back to their carrel at the Regenstein library — exams are coming up, after all.

As a faculty person, I’ve been engaged in making the university (and my patients) better for the last 30 years. I’ll be damned if I let some young, wet-nosed, aggrieved “student” tell me what to say or think. That’s my damned job.

This is so funny. No one predicted this, really?

PC is progressive corruption. It is also progressive confusion. Progressive processes are monotonic. The conclusion will be a dysfunctional convergence, a new “stable” state.