Apparently George Will, the genius behind that "survivor privilege" essay that ran this summer, is still around, and now he wants to talk to students. In fact, George Will is all set to speak at Miami University of Ohio, and to get paid $48,000 for it to boot. Because that seems incredibly fair.
Predictably, students and faculty on campus are not pleased. After all, Will is best known for writing a breathtakingly offensive column that got just about everything wrong about sexual assault on college campuses. So the idea that he would be paid a huge sum of money to then go and lecture on a campus is fairly objectionable. Plus, I personally don't think that George Will or his outdated, irrelevant worldview should be inflicting his opinions on anyone.
Following the news of George Will's visit, which is scheduled for Wednesday night, students and faculty have openly criticized the administration's decision to book Will. More than 1,100 members of the university community have signed an open letter which states that Will's visit "is disrespectful to the university community, especially sexual assault victims and those who have worked hard to make campus a safer place." It also announces a teach-in and peaceful protest that will be held in response.
The director of the university's department of women and gender studies also stated on the department's Facebook page that
The Miami I believe in is committed to creating a welcoming and safe environment for all of our students. 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.
Another statement on the Facebook page by another Miami professor added, that although they were aware the speech would most likely not be cancelled, she "noticed that [the event description states that] 'seating is limited.' I think that's the only good news in this case."
Seriously, though, the fact that we live in a world where George Will is able to continue to be seen as remotely culturally relevant is frustrating, and the fact that he's able to carry on what seems to be a successful career without so much as an apology is immensely discouraging.
And the idea that, after publicly opposing and ridiculing efforts to make college campuses safer, he would be invited to a college campus is just mind-boggling.
In other words, it's about time we shut out the regressive dinosaurs like Will and their obnoxious and unsolicited opinions about things they know nothing about. Instead of paying tens of thousands of dollars for showing up where they are clearly not wanted, it would be nice if instead our culture could just not give them or their ideas any footholds in the cultural conversation.
Don't feed the dinosaurs, guys. Just don't do it.