Yesterday morning, Simon Fraser University took down a video that promoted campus wide “National Sweater Day,” all for the sake of political correctness.
It was a fun, goodnatured skit: A professor puts on a sweater and a student compliments her on it, leaving her giggling at the flirtatious experience.
The video has been used in previous years to encourage students to turn down the heat and put on a sweater to help conserve energy.
Unfortunately, this time around the message got into the hands of the professionally offended, and the video was taken down a few hours after it was sent out.
Luckily, a student managed to save a copy of the video before its removal.
Here it is below; I've added commentary to avoid a copyright claim, so skip to 2:03 for the skit.
So why was this video taken down?
Because the flirting in the video rubbed the campus’ feminist militia the wrong way.
Here’s the message the university sent out in response to complaints they received:
"This message is being sent on behalf of Joanne Curry, VP External Relations. A number of concerns have been received about the content of the National Sweater Day video distributed this morning by email. Thank you for your input and we apologize to anyone who was offended. After review, the video has been removed from our YouTube channel and will no longer be used."
The video was removed because it displayed the deeply offensive act of a man flirting with a woman for all to see. The horror! I guess the benign act of complimenting the opposite sex on the way they look in our brave new world nears sexual assault. On progressive campuses it may as well be equivalent to rape.
That wasn't all the perpetually offended found wrong with this 40-second skit.
Elise Chenier, a professor at SFU, published a response to the video pointing out how heteronormative and "white" it was. Honestly, I don't think her complaint went far enough; I don't recall seeing any wheelchairs or seeing eye dogs in the sketch, either. Ableism, how very problematic.
The student who emailed me about these happenings wants to remain anonymous for obvious reasons. Speaking out against this kind of nonsense is enough to get persecuted on campus; just look at what happened to George Lawlor.
It’s my hope that after more students hear about how far the feminist militia have taken their crusade against perceived sexism, there will be some sort of push back, a push for a more reasonable, academic and free speech oriented culture on campus.
This sort of stupidity has occurred at the university before. To name one instance, there were threats of protests when anti-feminist Karen Straughan came to speak at the campus. The Communication Graduate Caucus and the Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies Student Union have also written an open letter regarding the SFU Advocacy for Men and Boys club. They stated in their letter that “SFU AMB’s insistence that we should allow this ‘activism’ to go unchallenged in the name of liberty and equity is perhaps the most intolerable of all.”
Like many universities, Simon Fraser is in the midst of a free speech crisis. In the case of National Sweater Day, it's even censoring left wing advocates for environmentalism. There is no harm in flirtation, especially when it is fully consensual, enjoyed by both parties and is for a good cause. (Or at least a cause that feels good but has no real world impact)
I hope students on campus speak out, share the video, and actually do participate in National Sweater Day.
I also hope they flirt to their hearts’ content, because -- along with learning -- that’s what you’re supposed to be doing in university, not sitting in a safe space all day while ruining everyone else's fun.
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