Monday, June 29, 2009

The Latest Example of Censorship of Politically Incorrect Thought

When even Kiwanis starts censoring politically incorrect thought, you know that today's McCarthyism from the Left has become woven into America's fabric.

I was invited to give a talk to the Kiwanis Club of San Francisco and asked what I wanted to talk about. I replied, "I'd like to talk about how, today, boys and men are treated unfairly relative to their merit."

The response from its program chair, who also is active in the feminist organization, Girls, Inc.: That will be acceptable only if the presentation is "positive," objective," and "non-incendiary."

I was expected to be "positive, objective, and non-incendiary" about, for example, that men die 5 1/2 years earlier than woman, and earlier of all ten of the top ten killers yet, over the last 50 years, 98% of the gender-specific medical research has been done on women? I was expected to be "positive, objective, and non-incendiary" about the fact that boys fail, drop out, and commit suicide at two to four times the rate of girls, yet most gender-specific programs are aimed at helping girls--unless you count as helping boys putting huge numbers of active boys on a Ritalin leash?

If women had been restricted to only being "positive," "objective," and "non-incendiary," the feminist movement might never have taken off. What moved women were not just academic tomes but passionate calls to action. And indeed, women were and are still allowed even praised for excesses in their calls for fair treatment for women. For example, I recall Andrea Dworkin's proclamation in her writings and speeches that all sexual intercourse is coercive and degrading to women. She wrote, for example, in her book, Intercourse, "Intercourse is the pure, sterile, formal expression of men's contempt for women."

Not only was Dworkin not excoriated, she was given platforms for her work that 99.99% of writers can only dream of: ten books published by prestigious publishers, at least some of which were reviewed in such publications as the New York Times, plus live appearances everywhere from Duke University to The Donahue Show.

Lest you think Dworkin is an isolated example of feminist excess, consider these quotes from icons of the women's movement:

Germaine Greer: "As far as I'm concerned, men are the product of a damaged gene."

Marilyn French (author of the iconic feminist book, The Women's Room): "All men are rapists and that's all they are."

Barbara Jordan (esteemed congressperson): "I believe that women have a capacity for understanding and compassion which (sic) a man structurally does not have, does not have it because he cannot have it. He's just incapable of it."

And of course there are the book titles, for example, such bestsellers as, Are Men Necessary?, by New York Times columnist, Maureen Dowd and Why Women Should Rule the World by former Bill Clinton press secretary and now sought-after TV talking head, Dee Dee Myers.

Of course, Kiwanis' muzzling me is, in itself, trivial. But that is just the latest in a generation of censorship that even moderate, female-friendly men's/boys advocates like me suffer whenever we dare raise a question about the current orthodoxy that women and minorities are mere victims of a racist and sexist white male hegemony.

For example, readers of this blog may recall that less than two weeks ago, in my sadness at education leaders' failure to close the black/white-Asian achievement gap and their unwillingness to state more than vague platitudes, I reposted a teacher's report of his experience in teaching a largely African-American high school.

I immediately received an inquiry from a fellow journalist who after quickly saying, "I don't want to do gotcha journalism but..." implied I was being racist in reposting it, asking me endless questions to prove I wasn't a racist. I believe I was able to assure him that my motives were benevolent and, to date, he has not published an article about me but such an interrogation--from a fellow journalist no less--certainly has a chilling effect on my willingness to post politically incorrect thoughts no matter how benevolently derived.

Among my most deeply held beliefs is that society is best when the free and open exchange of benevolently derived ideas is not only tolerated but encouraged. Today, society's major educators--the schools, colleges, and media--too often discourage that. When even Kiwanis censors politically incorrect thought, we're in trouble.


Anonymous said...

'That will be acceptable only if the presentation is "positive," objective," and "non-incendiary."'

Wow. Saying "no" would have been less insulting.

Every now and then I see a bumper sticker: "Well-behaved women rarely make history." That probably applies to well-behaved men, too.

You mention in this post about a journalist's attempt at what he called 'gotcha journalism.' (Real journalists don't have to stoop to that. My opinion.) Notice how you got his attention? By stepping out of the politically correct box. Who gets noticed when you stay in that box like a good boy?

If you really want this message out there, keep going until somebody gives you a forum. If you need others to help, get help. Do what activists do to get their voices heard. They don't do it quietly, and if this is what you care about more than anything else, neither can you.

guytoe said...

Having spent several decades teaching in Afro American schools I’m not unfamiliar with many of the experiences and impressions cited in this high school teacher’s report. Knowing it would be controversial, but hoping to generate some serious conversation among those working in this kind of "education" environment I re-posted it (without citing its source) on a prominent inner city education blog I've participated on for several years. The re-posting was promptly removed and I was banned from further participation on this site, concurrent with this journalist blog host comment:
"Though loath to censor comments, I have deleted one about black students that in my opinion crossed the line (and then some) into hate speech.”
I suspect that sooner than later an honest recitation of such dominant population African American teaching experiences might get one placed on an official ‘watch list’ that could morph into an eligibility list for shiny black jackboots kicking down ones door round about midnight.

While a long time personal friend hails our new chief executive as a president “of the people” who is “dialogue and consensus oriented,” I see him endorsing a vengeful form “social justice” inspiring an instinct for segregation preservation among those at the low end of a slanted ethnic playing field. Quiet “tolerance” is expected of those of one color for other colors increasingly embolden to sing, “Let freedom ring that we might ring their necks and prosecute their speech!”

With all due respect, it’s not as simple as one might think for some to “keep going until somebody gives (them) a forum” when they’re told (legislated?) to be seen and not heard while others of another color and/or gender orientation mount their “social justice” high horse in ever growing numbers with ever expanding trampling rights. The Selma fire hoses of racial hatred are being re-directed and this time the national conscience won’t be pricked.

Shawn Plep said...

In today's society, the few people who decide to alert their fellow passengers of the fact that the boat is sinking are pawed at by the masses, while being told "be quiet!" and "stop it" and "sit back down!".

Then, once the trouble-maker is safely seated, a few of the passengers can chuckle at the silly fool who tried to rock the boat.

The truth is, someone simply must alert everyone to the danger. The "boat" of the society we're in is fast sinking and no matter how loud the protestations of the media or the other leaders of our culture, it's absolutely necessary for people such as yourself - people with an urgent, relevant call to action - to move stand up and shout the alert.

I've seen you do this many times on your blog (I've heard the voice of reason through your own posts and often by readers' comments). If the Kiwanis or a journalist or anyone else attempts to silence you, just remember: the mass of passengers just don't want to hear that they're sinking.

So do all you can to disseminate your message.

Anonymous said...

once again, political correctness, race hyperawareness, race spoils, multiculti, affirmative action, etc etc, are NOT leftist. They are RIGHTIST.

Rightism is policy that favors the interests of the rich and powerful.

Leftism is policy that favors the majority.

Multiculturalism and its allies are all part of the same raft of policies that have an effect of increasing the supply of labor faster than the demand for labor increases. This lowers wages. That favors the rich, Capital, etc and hurts the working majority. You DO see that, don't you?

Multiculti, racial integration, et al., also has the effect of dividing the populace and lowering social capital, community solidarity, etc, making it easier for those at the top to do as they please.
Any community divided by race has trouble uniting and discovering its common interest. This is the entire basis of the united state system of govt--the presidential-check and balances system of federalist govt. This is why Americans do not have single payer healthcare, worker benefits, like the other western nations. This is why they cannot control the war machine, why we cannot get our leaders to control immigration, why we cannot control our own govt.

And the so called "leftist" multiculti, political correct propaganda regime is just another way to divide the populace into factions. If the USA were strictly racially segregated and immigration was minimized, solidarity and trust among the majority would be much higher, leading to more trueleftist economic policies such as progressive taxation, a stronger social safety net etc.

These so called leftist policies are Rightist because they favor the interests of Capital, of the rich, and DISfavor the interests of the workers.

For more on these "looney" ideas, read Dr Putnam's BOWLING ALONE research, read Dr Woody Holton's essays essays and books dealing with the ratification of the constitution, and read Jerry Fresia's book TOWARD AN AMERICAN REVOLUTION.


Low Frost said...

Nemko, they "censored" you simply because your rhetoric did not serve their goal.
You see it all the time, look at politics of any sort.
And Mr. Guytoe, I'm not surprised. That piece, as honest as it may of been, devolved into the thoughtless ranting of someone either unwilling or unable to cope with a society and culture alien to his own. If he had gone to another country that was not mostly Causcasion, he would of had the same experience had he gone to a low income school.

Anonymous said...

I'm still interested though, how exactly did you find that article on teaching black students?

Marty Nemko said...

I have explained that, I believe, twice, on the blog. It contained in a letter with no return address received by U.S. mail. The article was clearly professionally published (3 column format, heavy paper, etc, but no source was listed. Handwritten near the top was handwritten, "From a KALW listener."


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