The growing intolerance shown on campuses continues this week with a new controversy at Warwick University in Coventry, England where second-year George Lawlor, 19, has been publicly harassed and denounced for questioning rape awareness sessions. While universities have embraced the ill-defined concept of “microaggressions” and pursued speech deemed insulting or harassing against different groups, there appears to be little protection for those who espouse opposing views. The Warwick case raises an interesting example of legitimate and less legitimate responses to controversial views. I happen to disagree with Lawlor on critical points, but I am disturbed by reports of his being effectively prevented from going to class.
Lawlor challenged a student union drive to hold rape awareness sessions by arguing that the majority of people “don’t have to be taught to not be a rapist” – and that men inclined to commit the crime would be unlikely to attend such a workshop. He said that organizers where “pointing out the obvious.” He said that his invitation to attend such a session was “incredibly hurtful.” One can clearly disagree with Lawlor’s position, but he was espousing a good-faith point of view on a matter of great public debate. However, he was immediately denounced and branded a “rapist’ and “misogynist.”
Lawlor who studies politics and sociology says that he has been unable to go to classes due to the harassment and verbal attacks. To be sure, Lawlor’s posted picture saying “This is not what a rapist looks like” was provocative and I can understand the objections to that message. I agree with critics that the picture suggests that there are readily identifiable rapists or “typical” rapes — notions that can raise racist elements.
In my view, a voluntary program is hardly something that should be viewed as “hurtful” and the picture as ill-conceived and counterproductive. However, Lawlor’s article raises what he views as a politically correct program that is unlikely to affect the targeted group of offenders. His article titled Why I don’t need consent lessons was in response to invitations sent for I Heart Consent workshop via Facebook.
As we see increasingly efforts to protect the “voices” of certain groups including the creation of minority only columns in school newspapers, it would seem axiomatic that free speech should be protected regardless of content. There is no problem in my view of people calling out Lawlor on social media and forums in disagreement with his views. I do disagree with the response in calling Lawlor a rapist and a “classist” for raising these questions. There is a growing tendency to attack the speaker rather the point in out debates on campus. Lawlor could hold these views and still be, as he claims, anti-rape and opposed to those who engage in such abuse or assaults.
For the university itself, there is something seriously wrong when a student who espouses controversial views does not feel safe going to class. I do believe that we need to consider the complaints of conservative students who believe that they are no longer able to speak freely on campuses in a growing environment of intolerance. There is a big difference between a passionate debate and a pattern of harassment.
What do you think?
Source: Daily Mail
41 thoughts on “English Student Complains That He Cannot Go To Classes After Questioning Rape Awareness Sessions”
The only time there is such a thing as freedom of speech is if you agree with those who have authority positions above your status.
Jokes, another good demonstration of our differing sensibilities. Also, on how it is much harder to gauge a person’s tone and character through a block of text than in person talking.
So I’m reading this book – How The Body Knows Its Mind – a book about how human brains learn by interacting with the environment around them. It is fascinating and well written. I bet all you thinking reading folks could consume it in a day.
The phrase ‘see things eye to eye’ means both parties agreeing to the specified terms. It has been studied, that we interact so much better with each other when we are physically in each others presence. When a human watches someone perform an action which one is familiar with, the brain lights up as if one were doing the action themselves.
The saying , ‘smile, you will brighten someone’s day’ has literal truth to it. IF you know how to smile. Our brains and our bodies are so deeply bound, it almost seems like ‘duh’ common sense when you think about it.
So I am not surprised some folks don’t get my sense of humor, if we were in person, that would add to my amusement. Like Karen said – sometimes irreverent humor is the appropriate kind. I get nervous and tense with some things, my most comfortable way of dealing is with humor. How do we know it’s humor? Because it is so patently absurd that to consider it serious, well, that’s one f*cked up pup. Then again, I’m sure necrophiliacs sensibilities are less inclined to judge that in a harsh light.
OH crap! We’ve stumbled on another aspect of freedom where I’m not hardcore!!! Dang it. I don’t believe people should be free to sex up corpses. Although, maybe there could be an exception to the husband-wife-childless partnership that expressly puts in their will that, “I consent, prior to my passing, that my significant other is allowed to and heretofore encouraged to make love to my lifeless body. I would add that hurry up while it’s warm before the rigor mortise sets in. Although you can wait if you like, different strokes for different folks, ya know?”
Don’t know where you’re from Paul, but every state I’ve ever lived in you had to take drivers ed. You missed the mark. Again.
phillyT – your experience is not ALL experience. I never had to take driver’s ed and they don’t offer it in the schools now.
At a certain age, or after a certain number of violations, drivers ed classes ARE required in many places, and insurance companies support that because it helps. And I haven’t seen anywhere they mandate don’t rape classes every year, so stop exaggerating. CRWDBs always exaggerate.
phillyT – so you want perfectly innocent people to take anti-rape courses, but you want to wait until someone is a bad driver before they take a driver’s ed course. Shouldn’t the rapists be taking the anti-rape courses? We only want alcoholics in AA or drug addicts in NA.
If a required class keeps one young man from doing something so stupid, thoughtless, and criminal then it’s worth it.
Think of all the accidental toddler shootings that have happened this year and how they might have been prevented if their stupid parents had been required to take a class. Or listen to the family doctor.
phillyT – If I said that you had to take a driver’s ed course every year to keep your licence would you go along with that? And if that is yes, how about every month? Too many people are killed by cars.
The idea that male students can’t be trusted not to rape unless they take a class is repugnant. If there is a problem in communication, it is equally the responsibility of both parties. If the problem is the small percentage of people who will commit a violent crime, having a required class for male students because they are potential rapists will not improve anything.
Richard, you obviously did not read my first comment. I support free speech in very large measure, and while I think men should be compelled to attend such classes, they should not be punished for saying what they think or feel about it. If you don’t want to attend the rape awareness class, go to college elsewhere, and feel free to speak your mind.
My business school had “optional” classes on ethics, and I thought it was a terrible mistake, especially for the I-bankers.
It wasn’t a bad joke. It was a horrible ‘snuff’ rape joke.
Great testament to the character of Steg and all others laughing their a$$ off.
PhillyT, but a bad joke is not the equivalent of rape and by far most men, on or off campus, do not and would not commit rape. Making a student unwelcome in a university class because he questions to value of “rape awareness sessions” is ludicrous and will not increase the safety of women on campus or anywhere else in any way. Refusing to accept the value of vigorous debate in universities, however, will harm both women and men.
Haha. It’s been so long since I heard a good rape joke. Women who’ve been raped, beaten and otherwise battered just have no sense of humor about it. And they get so much attention and sympathy for it, it’s no wonder they so over-report it. They’ve managed to fool the FBI, the CDCP, and so many hundreds of colleges and local police departments. Tricky they are, and they just want to get the boys in trouble, faking those bruises and torn tissue and that entitled sense of trauma and shame they parade around.
Conservatives are such narcissistic cowardly liars. Downright pathological.
I have to laugh when a movement that is pro-woman, pro-tolerance, pro-inclusiveness, anti-sterotypes/profiling, and anti-bullying inevitably turns savage on anyone who disagrees with them, or even wants to discuss opposing points of view. Even if they are a woman or a minority. And they seem to be completely oblivious to the fact that they do exactly what they criticize others for doing . They are intolerant bullies who stereotype.
There has been a rise in a Liberal version of Fascism. There is no allowed deviation from the Party Line Approved Opinions. Any discussion about opposing ideas is racist, and the speaker is a Bad Person. And probably white.
Steg – that’s hilarious! Sometimes irreverent humor is the only appropriate kind.
No God worth his salt would let anyone miss Heaven.
How dare you question His character.
Thanks, Nick! If you miss heaven by an inch, might as well miss it by a mile!
Steg, LOL! But, you’re going to hell for that thought!! You have to be one of the youngest commenters here. Encourage your roomie and other people your age to comment.
Nerds joining chess clubs or computer science clubs need to be monitored. If they have GPA 4.0, then water board them.
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