The general feminization of Western society has had many negative effects, not least of which is the poisoning of intellectual discourse. Research shows that men tend to act as warriors, who emphasize winning and proving points; women tend to be empathetic, and place far greater value on people’s feelings.
But feelings have no business in academia. Intellectuals should be primarily interested in the acquisition of truth, and truth is usually offensive. For ages universities allowed the sharpest minds to debate controversial ideas to uncover truth. Today, however, the quest for truth has been replaced by wanton conformity. And unlike the medieval Inquisition, modern gatekeepers are uninterested in committing murder in the name of ideology. Instead, they merely seek to expel victims from polite society.
If masculine values were still dominant in academia, the personal views of eccentric professors would be irrelevant, only the quality of their research would matter. For example, hunting down and exposing some professor for holding wrong views, or engaging in controversial research, or simply making a student “feel” uncomfortable or “triggering them” during a lecture, would not be done in the masculine academic culture of the past, as it is done routinely in the feminine academic culture of today.
A masculine academic culture expects students to be able to handle difficult ideas. Disinformation and contentious research do not pose as much of a problem in this environment, since the flaws of these ideas are exposed in open debates that do not spare anyone’s feelings. Although our present culture is aware that debates help to undermine bad ideas, our femininized society is now critical of fiery discourse—merely having the wrong “tone” during debate can get one canceled.
At its core, cancel culture is essentially a feminine strategy to avert the hostility inherent in direct confrontation—but direct confrontation is inherent to academic debate. Cancel culture expresses its own hostility not in debate, but in an emotional outburst of mass hostility toward those who transgress its rules. For instance, consider Mark Crispin Miller, a New York University professor who was hounded by the mob for instructing students to critically assess literature on the effectiveness of masks. Miller posits that academics must encourage students to think critically, instead of mindlessly genuflecting to prevailing orthodoxy.
“That’s my intellectual and civic obligation, as a teacher, whatever NYU’s official policy, or New York State’s. It’s one thing to expect the students to obey their institution’s rules, but quite another thing to urge them not to think about it,” he notes in a recent blog post.
Nonconformism is a trait oft associated with academics, yet due to the ascent of a feminine outlook conformity is now a defining feature of academia. This portends negative effects not just for an increasingly mediocre or useless academy, but for our entire society.
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