Feminists remove flyers advertising an “offensive” talk by Christina Hoff Sommers, claim that their vandalism is “freedom of speech”

October 1, 2016 • 2:15 pm

The Young America’s Foundation (YAF) is a conservative organization that runs a conservative website. And it’s on those websites where you’ll find documentation of Regressive Leftism. Don’t look for videos like the following on PuffHo or even the Daily Beast. If you want to see Regression in action, you have to get into bed, at least temporarily, with conservatives. But, you know, sometimes they don’t lie.

So, the story is this. Christina Hoff Sommers, who considers herself an equity feminist but is despised by Third-Wave feminists and regressives, was sponsored by the YAF to speak this coming Tuesday at Cal State University at Los Angeles (CSULA). Here’s the poster advertising her talk


“Where feminism went wrong.” Well, that’s just damned offensive, and so two feminists were filmed by the YAFers going around campus tearing down the posters. Here’s a video:

As the YAF website notes:


After being confronted by a CSULA YAF student, the vandal repeatedly insisted the fliers were “offensive.”

One of the feminists claimed removing the fliers was her First Amendment right.

“This is my freedom of speech,” she said.

“So it’s freedom of speech to infringe on our freedom of speech?” the YAF student responded.

He didn’t get an answer.

This is what it’s come to on some campuses: students deem that they have the right to remove any posters deemed “offensive” as part of their “freedom of speech.” But only an extremist could deem Sommers or her message as “offensive.” Challenging, yes. A rebuke to Third Wave feminism, certainly. What these mushbrain vandals need to learn is the obvious lesson that if you’re “offended” by someone challenging your ideas without attacking your personally, well, too damn bad. That doesn’t give you the right to engage in censorship; and censorship is certainly what’s going on in the video above, for these vandals are denying other students the possibility of even hearing that Sommers will be lecturing. 

h/t: Amy Alkon

62 thoughts on “Feminists remove flyers advertising an “offensive” talk by Christina Hoff Sommers, claim that their vandalism is “freedom of speech”

  1. I really hope the democrats don’t adopt these regressive policies. Like mansplaining, gender pronoun stuff, etc. But then again, the university setting has always had far leftism and the democrats are still moderately left. Hopefully it stays like that.

  2. ‘But only an extremist could deem Sommers or her message as “offensive.” ‘

    That`s not the point. Even if she were offensive, short of advocating violence, students must surely have a first Amendment right to invite to speak, if they want to, and to inform other students of the event.

    In fact, this is so ridiculous that I almost wonder if it`s a publicity stunt

    1. Yes. It’s irrelevant whether or not it’s offensive. If you disagree with a pov, you come up with a better argument.

      We need to take these people back to pre-school where we tell them to, “Use their words,” when something is wrong, don’t lash out. Even if the opinion of those taking down the posters about the speaker is correct, they lose credibility with this kind of action.

  3. If the offended parties really want to exercise free speech, then they can put their own posters, protesting, denouncing, and/or [attempting] debunking of Sommers.

  4. My goodness.

    Christina Sommers is in fact a registered Democrat and defender of gay marriage. Much of her rhetoric consists in fairly solid debunking of phony statistics about domestic violence escalating during the superbowl, and the number of women who die from anorexia each year.

    Now it’s very possible that the conservative student organization has endorsed some legit ideas/speakers and some other material that really IS offensive- they may have some really way out right wingers in their ranks, but suilt by association is never a good way to go.

    1. Now it’s very possible that the conservative student organization has endorsed some legit ideas/speakers and some other material that really IS offensive

      For example? And what difference does it make?

      – they may have some really way out right wingers in their ranks, but [g]uilt by association is never a good way to go.

      Are you saying you’d endorse pulling down the posters if you were offended, because that would make them guilty of something?

      1. I am making the exact opposite inference but apologize for my lack of clarity!!!

        Some liberals stereotype all conservatives as being of the most offensive type. For example, if you want to demonize gun rights supporters, it is easier to trot out Ted Nugent than Charlton Heston.

        The conservative student group that was at Kent State in the early 1990s both brought in some interesting provocative conservative speakers but also ran some editorials in their paper which were truly offensive!!!

        Thankfully, offense culture hadn’t taken rein yet, but if it had, the genuinely offensive editorials in their newspaper would NOT justify disruption of any of the speakers they had on campus or vandalism of flyers.

        I am guessing that maybe the YAC on this campus has done some more outrageous things than invite CHS to campus, but now this woman is engaging in a false guilt by association.

        I really really like your Billy Mumy logo. “It’s A Good Life” is one of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes.


        A friend of mine said nearly 15 years ago that the word “oppression” is as overused on the Left as “treason” is on the right. Now the word is “offensive”.

    2. It does bug me that Jerry feels the need to point out that he doesn’t like the right every single time he agrees with something someone on the right says.

      “But, you know, sometimes [conservatives] don’t lie.”

      Now how polite would it be if every time I talked about Jerry, I felt the need to preface it with “But, you know, sometimes liberals don’t lie.”

      Yes, it’s a technically true statement. Some people on the left lie, and some don’t. But it bespeaks of an excess of mistrust when he says that, and things like it, so often.

      1. Well, I’m sorry I bug you, but you should see the private emails I get accusing me of being a conservative.

        Seriously, if you’re that bugged, why don’t you go read another site? Telling me what I should or should not say is a Roolz violation, and it’s uncivil to the host.

        1. Hi Jerry, how would I send you emails? I have some nice articles that I’ve always wanted to share with you, but I could never find a way to contact you.

        2. Well, you did show us a few of those mails. Obiously Geoffry did not read them…his homewrk for tonight 🙂

      2. Jerry frequently comments on the general credibility and political orientation of the sources for items he links to. Why shouldn’t he do so when the source is associated with the rightwing?

        Indeed, there would seem to be all the more reason to do so under those circumstances since the American rightwing has long been a seething caldron of the paranoid style, more so now than at anytime since the heyday of the John Birch Society (and since the far right has now captured what passes for the mainstream in one of our two major political parties). The YAF provides an odious example of this unfortunate trend.

  5. I don’t know much about Christina Hoff Summers, but here is an interview of her on the Rubin Report. That video extends to other interviews of her on the Rubin Report. Very interesting, and one sees how she would be seen as dangerous: She is an academic who requires data to back up claims about the rates of rape, the salary gap, etc.

  6. Along the same lines and mentality, Trump supporters have recorded people stealing signs from their yards, tossing them in the street, and so forth. I may find the man and his ideas vile and repugnant, but I don’t see how that would give me or anyone else the right to vandalize or steal his signs. The sad fact is that the regressive lefto-fascists never stop to think about how they would react if the same were done to their political signs or their speaker’s posters. Their offense, it seems, trumps all common decency, not to mention the constitution. well done, jackasses. (slow clap)

  7. I really hope that woman thought about what she was doing later and realized the massive hypocrisy of it.

    I can sympathize. I remember my first or second year of grad school, there was a place that anyone on campus could put posters up in my department’s building. One day, I noticed a poster advertising an upcoming talk by some slimy creationist organized by one of the student clubs on campus. It irritated the hell out of me – especially being posted in a math department! – and after I read it, I removed it from the board and threw it in the recycling.

    The action nagged me all day, for all the reasons one would expect. Before I left campus that day, I went back, retrieved the flyer from the bin and reposted it.

    So I can sympathize with the gut reaction. But you also have to get over yourself and realize that censorship never convinced anyone of the truth.

    1. I remember my university had some conservative speaker who I couldn’t stand (Charlton Heston perhaps?-I can’t recall). I wandered around campus one night drawing Hitler mustaches on all the posters. I didn’t destroy them, just vandalized them. I probably wouldn’t do it today.

      I have to hand it to this YAF student. I probably would have physically stopped her from ripping down my posters, but perhaps videoing it and putting on the internet is more effective. It makes him look like the mature, sane one certainly.

      1. Although it was vandalism, you kept the information about the event intact. Although I wouldn’t do or condone your acts, I would call them a lesser evil in comparison to the CSULA “feminists”, who deny others the decision if they want to hear the speaker or not.

  8. Everyone and her uncle claims in principle to be in favor of free speech.

    But the only meaningful measure of one’s commitment to free expression is how much freedom one is willing to afford expression one vehemently disagrees with. Period/full stop. Everything else is cheap talk.

    1. A prime example of this is when Trump came to San Jose, CA for a rally. The protesters got out of hand and physically attacked attendees. Which is bad enough, but the next day the Mayor, Sam Liccardo expressed that it was Trump’s fault for campaigning in a liberal city and for being a bigot. This came from the chief law enforcement official in town, someone I expect to uphold the Constitution. I was appalled and told him so. Even though I voted for him, he will never get my vote again.

  9. I find that hat of hers offensive to my aesthetic tastes. Someone, please gently remove it while repeating, “This is offensive” over and over. She’ll have to yield.

      1. Sure, by the old definition. By that definition, I am too. But today, the word means a lot more than equal rights. It means a belief in things like “The Patriarchy”, rape culture, that women get paid less for the same work, and that sex is a social construct. She gets around this by using the terms “gender feminism” and “equity feminism”. But I doubt the average person has even heard those terms.

        Someone asked her why she still insists on calling herself a feminist. She said, (paraphrasing) “If you think its irritating to you that I call myself a feminist, imagine how they feel about it at Jezebel.”

        1. And she’s right! I hope we don’t lose the unmodified term just because the gender feminists are so repulsive. There are a ton of us old-school feminists out here who don’t want to lose a term under which we fought & won so many battles to euphemism creep.

        2. Anecdote here: my wife *does* get paid less for the same…wait…no…more work than other male employees at her company. It is an unabashed boy’s club.

          And rape culture? Well, I don’t have any scientific data but when I was in undergrad I saw plenty of big, burly sports guys taking advantage of drunk girls.

          1. But of course, having sex with a drunk person isnt rape.

            If it was, it would get a lot of guys off the hook as far as paying child support. Not only were they not responsible for their their decision to have sex that night, they’re a victim of rape!

            And if people arent responsible for the decisions they make when they’re drunk, we’d have to do away with the laws against drunk driving. It wouldnt make sense to prosecute someone for driving drunk if being drunk means they aren’t responsible for their decision to drive a car.

            Of course the feminists who think drunken sex equals rape wouldnt see things this way. Somehow, the idea that drunk people aren’t responsible for the decisions they make only applies to sex, and only applies to women.

          2. Sometimes, the female is intoxicated so heavily that it is not about making unreasonable choices but simply about being unable to resist. A male in the same condition would not be able to make sex at all.

          3. It is against the law here, to pay women less for the same work.

            Not just women either.

            You may live somewhere a lot different, or maybe you could chase it up with whatever passes for a labor bureau.

          4. “Work” is a vague and ill-defined metric.

            Pay scales are the shally commensurate with job titles, so, yes, it would be illegal for a male VP to make more than a female VP, but it *is* legal for an underling to make less than a supervisor while actually doing more work.

  10. This is nothing less than fascism; it’s obvious that these “social justice warriors” have not the slightest idea about the “rights” they claim to defend.

  11. There may well be excellent, cogent criticisms of Christina Hoff Sommers, and many good reasons to say she is not a feminist. Too bad that those who can make that case can’t make that case by handing out flyers to those attending her talk, by writing opinion pieces in local media both prior to and in rebuttal to what she has and did say, and by asking pertinent and devastating questions during the Q & A at the event.

    Instead, it looks like her critics are afraid because her ideas threaten them philosophically. I just can’t buy that her presence literally threatens them physically.

      1. Sastra is not making a “no true feminist” argument. She’s agreeing that it was wrong to pull down the posters. If, *if*, there was something wrong with Sommers’ views, then that could’ve been better addressed by doing the things Sastra mentioned.

        1. “There may well be excellent, cogent criticisms of Christina Hoff Sommers, and many good reasons to say she is not a feminist”.

          Sounds like she’s making that argument to me.

          1. Not necessarily.
            Saying “there may be” is not making an argument.
            It is just raising the possibility that there may be one.

      2. I’m not taking a stance one way or the other here. Just pointing out that even if her critics are correct in claiming that she’s a feminist version of an ‘Uncle Tom,” this tactic will give the impression that they have no case. The average person doesn’t have the advantage of having enough background to see what they think is so obvious.

  12. Dr. Coyne, I think you have discovered that when it comes to reporting the entire identity galaxy of issues, the right-wing press more reliable than the left.

    I discovered this to my chagrin a few years ago. So, yes, Fox and Breitbart are more often , clearer and more straightforward in reporting on these issues than the New York Times, as example. Sigh.

    It was Breitbart, by the way, that was among the first to report on the New Year’s Eve mass molestation of women in Cologne. Way before big American media.

    1. You’re kidding right? Different media covers different things. Breitbart didn’t report Trump supporters killing a Hillary supporting family’s dog and totaling their car.

  13. Confession: in my late teenage/early twenties I ripped and defaced election posters of right-wing parties (and not even always extreme right-wing at that). I find my actions reprehensible now. I’m very ashamed of my behaviour.
    I’m still not enarmored by right wing rethoric, but I realize that ripping up posters is indefensible in a pluralist society (unless they *directly* incite to violence and murder, of course).
    So, I guess there is still hope for these poster-rippers.

  14. Weird, I wasn’t associating feminism with safe spaces and trigger warnings. Thought they were more off shoots into the general world of social justice than anything. I’m probably one of the younger readers here at 33 and have only really been following feminist issues for perhaps a couple of years now. It’s very difficult for a relative newcomer to figure out where all these threads originate. It baffles me to see atheists and feminists backing away from their own labels because one or the other is too extreme (read: doesn’t agree 100% on some sensitive topic) in some way.

    Anyway, content warnings have existed for a long time now, though. Why do trigger warnings seem to antagonize people so much?

  15. > If you want to see Regression in action, you have to get into bed, at least temporarily, with conservatives. But, you know, sometimes they don’t lie.

    I don’t know if it was intentional or not, but there’s a great little “lying in bed” pun in that sentence.

  16. I didn’t watch the video but the opening screen shot of it shows what looks like “cupping” bruises on the woman’s arm and shoulder.

    I wonder how she would feel about someone telling her it does no good.

  17. Also, if the poster violated (though I don’t see how) campus guidelines for advertising, *report it*. As necessary as vigilantism may be under extreme circumstances, this isn’t one …

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