Boise Professor Criticizes “Radical Feminism” As Undermining Family Values. . . Students Demand His Termination For “Hate Speech”

We have been discussing the increasing pressures on academics in what is an increasingly hostile atmosphere for academic freedom and free speech.  The latest example is out of Boise State University where students are calling for the termination of Professor Scott Yenor for “hate speech” because of his published criticism of radical feminism.  While there are obviously good-faith reasons to criticism Yenor’s views, his article explores how some feminists have in his view undermined parental rights in transgender cases. Instead of simply responding to his arguments, liberal students are seeking his firing by the university in an all-too-familiar pattern.

In an article in the Daily Signal entitled“Transgender Activists Are Seeking to Undermine Parental Rights,” Yenor criticizes the same-sex marriage ruling as part of a trend that “undermined sex roles within marriage. It put children ever more outside the purpose of marriage. It reinforced the idea that all means of sexual satisfaction are equal.”   He accuses “radical feminists” and  “transgender rights activists”  of undermining the traditional family through pushing transgender rights for “ever-younger children.”  The effort, he argues, is “seeking to abridge parental rights by elevating the independent choices of young children.” 
I have long supported same-sex marriage, so I strongly disagree with Yenor’s argument but that does not mean that it constitutes “hate speech” or a cause for termination.  
Yet, a petition with a couple thousand signatures calls for Yenor’s termination and accused Yenor of promoting “an ideology of violence.” Joe Goode, president of Boise State’s Young Democrats, told KTVB news  that “In our belief, this is hate speech, and it’s alienating a lot of folks in this Boise State community.”  So arguing against expanded transgender rights and same-sex marriage is now hate speech?  Would academics criticizing conservative groups or the alt-right agenda and Christian orthodoxy also be hate speech?
While the university have reaffirmed Yenor’s free speech rights, a university diversity official reportedly compared Yenor to a Neo-Nazi.


It seems unlikely that these students will succeed in their effort to fire this academic but what concerns me is the trend to try to block or fire those with opposing views on campuses.  Yenor brings a different view and values to the debate. The difference of such views enhances a university as a forum for free thought. The inclination to destroy rather than debate people with opposing views is becoming the norm.  Critics now simply label opposing views as hate speech and demand the removal academics.  It is an attack not just on academic freedom but free speech itself.

85 thoughts on “Boise Professor Criticizes “Radical Feminism” As Undermining Family Values. . . Students Demand His Termination For “Hate Speech””

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and this article. I wanted to take some time and explain to you my thoughts and reasonings given the fact I believed KTVB did a terrible job explaining my stance.
    This goes further than what freedoms Dr. Yenor has protected under the U.S constitution, and has more to do with what the school says it stands for, and how this article contradicts that.
    I am not calling for the school to fire him either. That is wrong. I do understand though that a lot of people feel hurt and isolated by this article, and the school should do something to address that like they typically do when that’s an issue.
    No to mention, the article uses dog whistle terms that have a major effect on how those fueled by hate interpret this article, especially given the fact this was shared on the same day as Charlottesville. LGBTQ are the most likely group to be victim of hate, twice as likely as African Americans who are the second most likely. Hate speech is protected, but not under our schools values.
    I respect your opinions and know you won’t agree with me, but wanted to share my thoughts. Here is a link to a statement Bob Kustra, our school president signed. This was written by the General Excellence council at Boise state and approved and accepted as the values and beliefs of Boise State by the President.

    1. Meanwhile, other young people are receiving intensive training.

      Your institution and faculty might benefit from exposure to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.

      You may be able to employ some of their principles of endeavor and discipline.

      It’s fairly atypical for “students” on this campus to “demand” much of anything.

      It appears the Drill Instructors speak and the recruits listen.

      Perhaps you could recruit some “instructors” for your school from the Regiment below.

      Recruit Training Regiment – San Diego

      MISSION: The mission of Drill Instructor School is to develop the knowledge, command presence, leadership and instructional ability of selected Officers, Staff Non-Commissioned and Non-Commissioned duties of a Series Officer and Drill Instructor.

  2. I feel compelled to register my extreme disappointment in the lack of even fundamental understanding of the First Amendment right of freedom of speech exhibited by Joe Goode, president of Boise State’s Young Democrats, who told KTVB news that Professor Yenor should be fired, because “In our belief, this is hate speech, and it’s alienating a lot of folks in this Boise State community.” As a “university student,” Mr. Goode is an embarrassment to that class and to BSU as an institution. Rudimentary knowledge of the U,S. Constitution taught at least by high school explains that the First Amendment Right of freedom of speech focuses on free expression of ideas whether they alienate folks or not. Especially protected by a long line of U.S. supreme Court decisions is political speech – even so called “hate speech.” Above and beyond that, a university is precisely the cauldron where new, bold, and often inconvenient, uncomfortable, disrespectful ideas should be uttered and discussed.

    As a libertarian thinker, Dr. Scott Yenor, possesses a first rate mind, is widely published, and is truly a leading intellect at BSU, His ideas may be controversial to some, and it is quite probable that I might find myself in disagreement with him on some issues. But for Mr. Goode to demonstrably compound his ignorance by using labels such as “hate speech” in attempting to suffocate the free flow of ideas at the BSU serves only to render him unfit to represent the Democratic Party and its long tradition of supporting free speech. He should step down from from his position as president of the Young Democrats at BSU, and be quite free to proceed to exercise his right of free speech on his own. In a broad sense, it is quite accurate to state that the United States is virtually the last bastion of free speech in the world. Everywhere else in the world there are subjects and / or expressions that are prohibited. Here, at least, person has the absolute, constitutional right to speak on any subject, and, inter alia, even to make a fool of himself.

    I anticipate some may find my declamation on the subject of free speech incompatible with their ideas, perhaps even risible, but then, that is free speech, isn’t it?

    1. It is just Congress which will pass no law. States can and do regulate speech.

      What is at issue is academic freedom. The student in question needs to be assigned a 12 page essay on the origin and development of academic freedom.

      1. The Bill of Rights provides rights and freedoms to Americans

        but individual states may nullify the Bill of Rights

        and the rights and freedoms of Americans.

        You’re a genius!

      2. The Constitution and Bill of Rights, as written for the nation by the American Founders, hold dominion in the United States of America but individual states may randomly, arbitrarily and at their pleasure, amend any part or all of the Constitution conducting internal state ratification, entirely bypassing the proper Constitutional amendment process.

        You’re a genius!

  3. This is the Young Democrats, not some collection of Women’s Center sectaries bringing this complaint. When I was in college, the Young Democrats were run by organization kids (some oily, some earnest) who wanted jobs as congressional aides. The campus feminists were a separate collection (and fairly quiet in meatworld).

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