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Reed College Dean “ashamed” after leftists shout down Gay Director of Pro-Trans film

Reed College Dean “ashamed” after leftists shout down Gay Director of Pro-Trans film

“some students were deeply rude and uncivil”

Kimberly Peirce, who made the 1999 film “Boys Don’t Cry” about the transgender man Brandon Teena was recently invited to screen the film and give a talk at Reed College in Portland, Oregon.

Things went downhill quickly as students arrived and shouted obscenities at Peirce, preventing her ability to speak. The students were angry that Peirce had cast Hillary Swank, a non-trans actor in the main role and accused Peirce of profiting off of violence against a transgender person.

We covered this in a recent Quick Take, based on a report by Robby Soave of Reason:

Leftist Students Shouted ‘F*ck You B*itch’ at the Gay Director of a Pro-Trans Movie, Boys Don’t Cry

There was a time not so long ago when the people shouting “fuck you bitch” at a gender-fluid gay filmmaker would have been bigoted right-wing conservatives. But because we currently live in the year 2016, the people who heckled Kimberly Peirce—director of Boys Don’t Cry, a groundbreaking film about a transgender man—during her recent appearance at Reed College were far-left students.

The students hurled a litany of insults at Peirce, putting up posters that read “fuck your transphobia” and “you don’t fucking get it” among other things. Worse, when Peirce ascended to her podium, students had placed a sign there. It read “fuck this cis white bitch.” That Peirce is actually gender-fluid is quite beside the point.

The students’ unbelievable rudeness crossed the line into a kind of censorship when Peirce tried to speak: the students simply shouted over her. Eventually they let her talk, but some students continued to yell things like “fuck your respectability politics” and “fuck you scared bitch.”…

Kevin Myers, the Director of Strategic Communications at Reed College, left a comment on our post, which directed us to a statement by Reed College Dean of Faculty, Nigel Nicholson

Here is a portion of his statement:

How Do We Want to Treat Our Guests?
By Nigel Nicholson

Dear Reed Community,

I write today to try to prompt some serious reflection about the standards we should observe in our treatment of (all) our visiting speakers.

Last Friday, November 11, we hosted one such speaker. Many students find her work inspirational, but others find fault with it, and that of course is their prerogative. I disagree with that position, but, of course, have no problem with such disagreements; they are a central part of what it means to be an intellectual community. We would hardly expect (or even want) unanimity over a speaker’s work.

What was deeply disappointing to me, however, was how some of the students who found fault with the work chose to express their disagreements, and that is what I want to focus on here.

First, and most simply, some students were deeply rude and uncivil. One called the speaker a bitch. Others carried deeply offensive and accusatory posters. The atmosphere was intensely hostile. The principle that a speaker, any speaker, should be treated with respect was explicitly rejected.

Second, the actions that I saw were not animated by the spirit of inquiry or the desire to learn that usually animates Reed audiences. The students had already decided what they thought, and came to the Question-and-Answer session to make their judgments known, not to listen and engage. Some brought posters bearing judgments and accusations. Others asked questions, that, while grammatically questions (that is, they ended with question marks), were not animated by a genuine desire to explore a question, but rather sought to indict the speaker. It felt like a courtroom, not a college.

Third, some students sought to dominate the space, and to take control of the space away from the speaker. This was done by hanging posters, carrying posters, dominating the questions, coordinating questions, and rejecting the codes of conduct that usually govern such spaces. A visitor to the campus was insulted and all visitors thus made to feel unwelcome.

I was deeply embarrassed and ashamed of our conduct, and I hope that as a community we can reflect on what happened and make a determination not to repeat it.

The story has been picked up by other publications such as Inside Higher Ed, where Scott Jaschik writes:

Whatever one thinks of the film and its portrayal of violence against a trans man, the reception Peirce received has become what Reed students and faculty members, and others, are talking about. Reed students are politically active, generally supportive of transgender rights and quick to protest — so the activism was not surprising or controversial. But the form of activism has caused controversy.

The shouting down of speakers on college campuses is unfortunately not uncommon but is usually reserved for conservative speakers, not lesbian filmmakers.

The statement from Dean Nicholson is a good one. Let’s hope it gets remembered if anyone like Ann Coulter is ever invited to speak at Reed.


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“I was deeply embarrassed and ashamed of our conduct, and I hope that as a community we can reflect on what happened and make a determination not to repeat it.”

NO! How about if anyone of you f**king snowflakes ever does anything like this again on this campus you are out of here in 5 minutes for good!

Question: Would this red-faced dean be as embarrassed if the speaker was pro-Israel? Pro-Trump? Offered a dissent on climate change?

Yeah, I agree.

    great unknown in reply to (((Boogs))). | December 13, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    Wouldn’t happen. They would never be invited, and if they were, they would then be discretely disinvited in the interests of security.

      Or, a day before the non-Progressive talk, the university would demand hundreds or thousands of dollars in security fees before the talk can go ahead. This has happened to the very non politically correct Milo Yiannopoulos in his tour of campuses this year.

“some students were deeply rude and uncivil”

We generally called that ‘School’ in my day.

We are slowly inching into that period of schadenfreudic delight where SJWs, having long since run out of legitimate targets, begin to eat one another.

“the actions that I saw were not animated by the spirit of inquiry or the desire to learn that usually animates Reed audiences.”

BUT if you already know all the answers then why would or should you ever be “animated by the spirit of inquiry or the desire to learn”?

There’s a problem here that’s far deeper than some bad manners (however bad they may be) toward invited guests. And one that Reed, or any other college in the USA, is unlikely to be well equipped to deal with. Assuming it had any real interest in doing so, of course.

How does one achieve such great certainty on such a limited base of knowledge (even while retaining an ability to shift 180 degrees as received dogma changes)?

The totally logical, inevitable outcome of leftist thought processes.

Isn’t this just a quaint reminder as to why all Leftist revolutions generally descends into bloodshed?

He worked hard to raise a nest of vipers, and now he’s surprised that he’s been bitten.

That awkward moment when the Dean realizes he won’t survive the 2nd Purge.

The Dean’s statement was OK, as far as it went. But, there should be a punishment for the offending students.

    They don’t punish students who attack non-polically correct speaker, why should they punish these students.

    They are probably sick of having polical.correctness rammed down their throats. Trans-people meet the definition of mentally ill because they deny the reality that it is impossible to change a person’s sex. Any attempt to do so is pandering to the mentally ill. The sane approach is to fix the trans-people’s mental illness by curing their delusions.

HAHAhaHA…I threw the lowercase h and a in there just to be inclusive!

thalesofmiletus | December 14, 2016 at 8:58 am

The Left always eats its own.

Wait, they’re upset about a 17 year old movie? Isn’t that a bit ridiculous?

Oh, Reed College home of the ludicrous and venal. Next up: campus wide protests on the small number of marshmallows in their coco.

I just hate it when the perverts fight among themselves.

At Reason, the commenters correctly called out that the first line with “bigoted right-wing conservatives” was nothing more than a fantasy – i.e. that would only happen in some liberal story or screenplay. Liberals are the only people that act this way, and only for their pet causes. My liberal uncle, to his credit, was one of four people protesting at the Soviet embassy when they invaded Czechoslovakia. But I’m sure more than four people were here yelling insults at the director who failed to adhere to the new party line.

I think the football team should go on a hunger strike until the dean is replaced and all copies of the film thrown in the deep atlantic.

Ofcourse that is assuming that 47,5% of the team are what is referred to as w-o-m-a-n and 3,274% are mixed gender with a spritz of native american and some form of physical defect inherited from birth or from the actions of christian extremists (ofcourse 0,4% ofcourse should always be papua new guinean just to remove the great spite we feel for that nation).