Syndicated columnist George F. Will is scheduled to speak this week at Miami University and professors in the public school’s women’s, gender and sexuality studies program are pitching a huge fit.
The faculty meltdown over Will’s speech is a response to his June column in the Washington Post about sexual assault on college campuses. The professors are calling the column “hate speech” and “vitriol that potentially encourages violence toward women in particular,” according to Media Matters.
“The Miami I believe in is committed to creating a welcoming and safe environment for all of our students,” said Anita Mannur, the director of the women’s studies program on the idyllic, taxpayer-funded campus in Oxford, Ohio.
“I am disappointed that a speaker who clearly does not respect women, or take the issue of sexual assault seriously, is being given a platform to speak, particularly because such inflammatory rhetoric has the potential to re-victimize and re-traumatize some of our students,” Mannur added.
Will’s column lambasted misinformation and hyperbole over rape on college campuses. The conservative columnist explained how the White House and other advocacy groups are — based on their own numbers — demonstrably inflating campus rape statistics. (RELATED: George Will Defiant Over Sexual Assault Column Controversy: ‘This Is My Job’)
Lisa McLaughlin, a professor of media and culture, who is associated with the women’s studies program, characterized Will’s controversial column as akin to saying “She asked for it.”
“The invitation for him to hold forth for the endowed Anderson Speaker Series, overseen by the Farmer School of Business, inflicts on Miami University a misogyny that ‘diminishes the autonomy, resources, prestige and comity’ of this university, to borrow some words from Will’s opinion piece,” McLaughlin opined, according to Media Matters.
“Perhaps he would be more invisible and have less to say if he had ever been raped, but, instead, he draws more attention than anyone who has ever had to endure sexual assault,” the professor raged. “I do think that he is engaging in hate speech as opposed to free speech.”
At the mtvU-owned website Rate My Professors, students describe McLaughlin as “easy” but “very boring” and “absolutely AWFUL” as a public speaker. “She has ‘um’ or ‘ya know’ every other word.”
Another Miami professor, Darcy Donohue, who specializes in Spanish women writers, admitted that it’s unlikely that administrators at the school will revoke Will’s invitation to speak.
Will is scheduled to speak at the school on Oct. 22. He will receive $48,000 for his services.
Earlier this month, Scripps College, the all-female branch of the Claremont Consortium, angrily disinvited Will from a campus speaking engagement. He had been scheduled to speak as part of a program designed to allow students to hear conservative points-of-view. (RELATED: George Will Uninvited From Speaking At Scripps College)
In recent years, several luminaries who are not sufficiently leftist have faced cancelled speaking engagements or bizarre amounts of protest. People on this list include Chief Justice John Roberts, conservative commentator Ann Coulter, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, neurosurgeon Ben Carson and International Monetary Fund Managing director Christine Lagarde.