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First, it was her views. Now, her gender?

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms has just hired Lindsay Shepherd as its first-ever campus free speech fellow—a role whose importance we’re reminded of every time a professor opens his, her or, erm, xir mouth.

Case in point: MacEwan University professor Kristopher Wells said in response to the JCCF’s announcement that Shepherd was only hired because of her “young white female face.”

Wells, when searched on Google reveals a middle-aged, white, male face, seems to imply Shepherd somehow manages to be both incompetent—just a pretty face—and fiercely dangerous.

“A young white female face—that draws a lot of attention, has a lot of privilege that many other people don’t have, to continue to spout particularly this anti-trans ideology that does great harm and damage to some of the most vulnerable members of our society,” Wells said in a Star Edmonton interview.

I don’t buy into the idea of defining people based on their superficial identity groups, but people like Wells do. Yet he’s oblivious to the absurdity of he, a white male with a doctorate, calling out anyone else for “privilege.” According to the progressive playbook, he’s at the top of the privilege pyramid.

In an interview last year with Mark Steyn, Shepherd, who writes for the Post Millennial, said she’s aware her telegenic air may have contributed to her case garnering as much as exposure as it did.

Even if that’s true, it doesn’t take away from her deservingness of a role allowing her to be a continuing advocate for free speech.

Shepherd has a master’s degree in communications. She’s proven herself to be immensely bright and tenacious navigating the public sphere. And she’s seen firsthand the issues caused by academic institutions not supporting freedom of speech.

To say she is qualified only by her sex or skin tone is as insulting as it is laughable.

Though we shouldn’t expect feminists to take a stand against misogyny here. Her womanhood only matters insofar as her willingness to stick to the party line.

As a young woman thriving in an industry dominated by older males, Shepherd is the portrait of what progressives should be celebrating. But such encouragement only applies to people who think like them.

Men are told they can’t have opinions on abortion because it’s a women’s issue. But pro-life women are still told to shut up.

Muslim voices are lauded as pillars of diversity until progressive Muslims take a firm stance against Islamist influences. Then they’re bizarrely called Islamophobic.

Let’s not forget how quickly progressives turn on what they call trans-exclusionary radical feminists—otherwise left-wing feminist advocates who happen to think that being a woman and having a penis are at odds with one another.

Shepherd agrees with liberals on most social issues. Free speech is the point of divergence. Being able to openly exchange ideas is what exposes the lunacy of people in the anti-free speech camp, like Prof. Wells, who said in the same Star Metro interview that free speech is at odds with human rights laws.

That singular disagreement is enough to get Shepherd lumped into the “white feminist” category, a trope applied to women who aren’t sufficiently intersectional for the modern campus mindset.

Intersectionality, the belief that all identity groups’ grievances are equally legitimate, has made enemies of people who are part of the groups for which social justice activists claim to advocate.

“Why are these people’s minds so infected?” Shepherd asked on Twitter. “Why can’t I be seen as someone who has writing and analytical abilities and a strong work ethic….”

Why indeed.