Friday, 28 February 2014


Sally Mason, President of the University of Iowa

Now, it's happened again, on a different campus, albeit in a far more bizarre form:
"The University of Iowa president has apologized for a remark she made to the student newspaper about sex assaults on campus. 
In an interview published Feb. 18 in The Daily Iowan, President Sally Mason said she was dismayed by the reports of sexual assaults. She said "the goal would be to end that, to never have another sexual assault. That's probably not a realistic goal just given human nature, and that's unfortunate...." 
Criticism erupted over the phrase that includes "human nature." 
The Iowa City Press-Citizen says Mason apologized during a President's Forum on Tuesday. 
Mason said she's been told by several people in the campus community that her remark was hurtful. She said she was "very, very sorry for any pain that my words might have caused."
Just exactly how her words were "hurtful," and to whom, is unclear from this story, although one initially suspects that maybe it's the "trans"-activist types who want to assert the infinite plasticity of identity, and thus might have their he-she hackles raised over the very notion of "human nature."

As it turns out, however, the whingers are those who think that sexual assaults can indeed be brought to a total stop, and that talk of the limits of "human nature" are no excuse, and moreover, show deep insensitivity to assault victims!
"Some interpreted her comment to mean that sexual assault is human nature, which led to the creation of a website called The group rallied virtually has collected hundreds of signatures on an online petition asking UI to adopt a zero-tolerance policy on sexual assault, reform its assault communication, provide funding for educational prevention measures that address what they call a rape culture on campus, and for Mason to publicly apologize for the statements in the newspaper article. 
Mason’s comments also sparked a rally by more than two dozen students Monday on the Pentacrest. Among the students’ four demands was a request for an apology from Mason. Elizabeth Rook, a UI graduate student in the College of Public Health who helped organize the protest, said she was pleased Mason apologized [and] had acknowledged their request. “I appreciate her bravery,” Rook said.
“I hope it is followed by public action, and I hope we can keep the conversation going. I really want to see the university be creative, innovative and to be a leader in educating our campus on this issue.”Mason said she will host a listening session Thursday afternoon during which students, staff and faculty can share with her directly their views and suggestions for dealing with the issue of sexual assault."
As ridiculously outrageous as this entire spectacle may be, it is in so many ways par for the course: An essentially innocuous statement, followed by a widespread orgy of oversensitivity and outraged protests, followed by a groveling apology, etc. What makes this case particularly egregious (and also hilarious) is that it gives full-throated voice to the the hysterical shriek of the spoiled, deluded, reality-denying set, for whom the very invocation of "human nature," i.e. mortal fallibility, is offensive and must never be acknowledged.

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