Sunday, March 4, 2018

Apology Nation

When, exactly, did we Americans become so wimpy, pathetic, and flat-out obsessed with demanding and issuing “apologies”?  I first wrote about this phenomenon more than five years ago in a blog post titled Speaking Freely.  Since then, I’ve noticed that the apology problem has become even worse — particularly at schools where the adults of tomorrow are supposedly being educated and/or trained.  In fact, apologies have been multiplying like rats and are now everywhere we look. 

For example, apologies have been demanded and/or issued for things like displaying a Trump sign at a football game, providing a free taco bar for an end-of-semester party, wearing a Chicago Blackhawks jersey, listing “male” and “female” as the only gender options on a silly Valentines Day project, wearing the wrong Halloween costume (even with noble intentions) in your own home, and telling anti-capitalists to “stop whining.”  But by far the most bizarre example is an apology from a college student who was falsely accused of rape.

That’s right.  A college student was recently branded as a “rapist,” was ostracized on campus, suffered a great deal of stress, and even considered suicide.  The person who named him as a “rapist” on her “list of men to avoid” was actually disciplined by the college (despite student demands that she not be disciplined), as there was no evidence or even an identifiable complaining witness to support the claim.

The falsely accused student then wrote an article about how he habitually followed his college’s procedure on obtaining verbal consent before doing the deed.  “I’ve . . . always asked consent questions such as ‘Are you comfortable?’ and ‘Is this okay?’ during sex. All of [the sex partners] willingly came to my room and gave me verbal affirmation that they wanted to have sex.”  More to the point, he wrote: “I strongly believe that my sexual encounters followed [the college’s] clear definition of consent.”

But the falsely accused student just couldn’t suppress his urge to apologize.  He further wrote: “It’s possible someone could have been uncomfortable at some point, but did not voice that to me in the moment. If that is the case, I am truly sorry and I’ll be even more communicative going forward.” 

First, how much “more communicative” can a person be before and during sex?  The college should just move to the written consent form instead of the spoken word. 

Second, after this fiasco that caused him to consider suicide, I can’t imagine how he could ever consider having sex with a fellow student again—particularly not of the casual variety described in his article.  He’d be wise, “going forward,” to find his relationships elsewhere and forget about the often-glorified, so-called college experience.

Third, and more to the point of this post, when you have been falsely branded a “rapist”—whether by one of your sex partners, by the person who allegedly overheard the accusation and then put you on a “list of men to avoid,” or both—do not freaking apologize! 

Will this apology madness ever reverse itself?  I’m afraid not.  This is the culture of today’s campuses where the professors and bureaucrats are drilling such hypersensitivity into the impressionable young minds placed in their charge.  Critical thinking, discussion, and debate are not encouraged; instead, such activities are often frowned upon.  Emotions and hysteria rule.  

Don’t believe me?  Just look at how these students circled the wagon and berated a professor at Yale, demanding apologies and calling him all sorts of repugnant names.  What did the professor do?  Well, nothing.  But his wife, also a professor, wrote an email that the university should not dictate what Halloween costumes are “offensive” and therefore banned from campus parties; instead, she argued, this should be left up to the students to decide and debate among themselves.  And her professor-husband paid the price for her offensive email.  Take a look at this compilation of clips: 

These college students are tomorrow’s professionals and “leaders.”  The future looks bleak.  Who’s going to apologize for that?

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