Extreme left-wing feminist activist Jessica Valenti is slated to speak at North Dakota State University later this week. That Valenti is a disgusting sort of misandrist seems obvious to me. But even so, I’m not interested in seeing her event blocked even though that seems to be the fashionable thing to do of late.
That’s because I believe in free speech. Unlike Grand Forks City Councilman (and University of North Dakota professor) Bret Weber who tried to convene what was supposed to be a secret meeting to talk about ways to inhibit an anti-Islam activists from speaking in that community. Or the alumni, faculty, and students who protested a Christian event about homosexuality which was to have taken place on the Jamestown University campus but was moved off campus after complaints were lodged with the university administration.
Valenti should be allowed to speak about NDSU to say every ugly, ignorant thing she wants to say, and it there is no evidence so far that anyone on the political right in this state has any plans to try and stop or disrupt the event.
To give you a taste of what I mean when I say extreme, Valenti suggests that men – even “decent guys” – think rape is ok.
[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]Valenti should be allowed to speak about NDSU to say every ugly, extremist thing she wants to say.[/mks_pullquote]
“Rape is part of our culture; it’s normalized to the point where men who are otherwise decent guys will rape and not even think that it’s wrong. And that’s what terrifies me,” she wrote in a 2006 blog posting.
More recently Valenti has derided attempts to protect due process rights in campus proceedings against men accused of sexual assault. A thoroughly compromised system of “justice” on campus has resulted in many instances around the country of men who are completely exonerated of accusations of sexual assault still facing repercussions from their universities. One example is the Caleb Warner case at the University of North Dakota which had that institution refusing to overturn Warner’s expulsion even as law enforcement pursued his accuser for filing a false police report.
But according to Valenti, concern over cases like Warner’s are “odd.”
“It seems odd that, at a moment when we’re finally making headway on campus assault…the response from some quarters is to worry for men’s futures rather than celebrate women’s potential safety,” Valenti wrote earlier this year.
“Maybe it’s that we’re not used to seeing gender justice in action, so it feels strange and new … and therefore off,” Valenti continued.
It takes a special kind of monster to see putting the accused in a situation where they are deprived the trappings of a just process – like the right to legal counsel, the right to confront their accuser, and the opportunity to have their case adjudicated by trained professionals – as “justice.” As if the only way to make a campus safe for women is to make it a perilous place for men.
Apparently, to Valenti, justice means putting a thumb on the scales of justice in favor of accusers. Because the accused are mostly just men who are all potential rapists or something.
But, again, Valenti should be allowed to speak. In fact, I’d be very surprised if any conservative activists or other groups had even thought of trying to prevent Valenti’s speech. But that’s because people on the right, generally, seem to have a greater degree of respect for free speech – even controversial and provocative speech they disagree with – than people on the left.