Telling the truth on trans issues got me cancelled: one psychologist’s story
Issues connected to sex and sexuality have played a prominent role in my life—going back to 1972, when my mother and her business partner opened what I believe to be Canada’s first sex shop, Lovecraft, in Toronto. Thirty years later, I began teaching the Psychology of Human Sexuality at Brock University, and I have continued to teach a similar course each term at Ryerson University to this day. I have also taught Psychology of Gender and almost 20 other courses related to psychology, research methods and statistics nearly 200 times.
In my clinical practice as a psychologist, I have helped countless individuals dealing with LGBTQ-related matters. As a teacher, I always encourage students who identify as LGBTQ to participate actively in discussions they felt were relevant to them. This has helped create an environment in which students can challenge one another’s premises in a spirit of civility, open-mindedness and critical thinking.
Students can now get paid to snitch on their peers at the University of Sheffield. The students will earn £9.34/hour to be “race equality champions,” and their training for the work will include teaching them how to “lead healthy conversations” on racism, microaggressions, and how to deal with those peers who commit infractions. Hours range from two to nine hours per week, like any part-time work-study job. But Sheffield University’s foray into “snitch culture” sounds alarm bells.
Following a report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission that cautioned about the “common occurrence” of racism for some students on campus, the University decided to combat the problem by weaponizing other students. Twenty, lucky kids will get this job, and it’s probable that plenty more would have done it for free, as have their authoritarian forebears.
This new job, such as it is, is rightfully being hailed as completely authoritarian and crazy. Anyone who has studied 20th-century history knows that the worst dictators and totalitarians of that era counted on citizens to report on one another, under threat of punishment if they did not.
Citizens in the Soviet Union, Germany, China, Spain, and other nations with brutal, paranoid leaders impressed upon their citizens how important it was that they rat out their friends, family, and co-workers.
Now that trend has some to the ultimate allied nation, the U.K. The students who take these jobs will undoubtedly think they are doing the right thing in carrying out their duties. But in trying to overcome racism, they are dividing them further.
Part of the job description is for students to call out their peers for microaggressions.
If a fellow student says to another “Stop making everything a race issue,” that’s considered a microaggression and is a reason for reporting under this new plan. If a student says “Why are you searching for things to be offended about?” That’s considered “not okay,” and that peer must be punished. The question “Where are you really from?” is apparently out of bounds, and other geographical infractions like “I don’t want to hear about your holiday to South Africa. It’s nowhere near where I’m from” is a reason to call out a kid for being racist.
Students complained about the microaggression of “Being compared to black celebrities that I look nothing like,” which would be pretty annoying for the kid who got that wrong, but is it a reason to be reported?
The University of Sheffield claims that they are just “opening up a conversation” by paying students “to help their peers understand racism and its impact.” In 2018, the University suffered some racially motivated incidents, with racial slurs found written on a whiteboard, and slurs yelled at games.
Of course, there’s no place for racism on campuses, but the way to root it out is through education and conversation, not monetized McCarthyism. Call-out culture, snitch culture, and the reframing of the conversation around how to control our thoughts does not alleviate racism; it buries it where it can fester.
Fighting racism is a positive project, but it’s not done through dividing us, through pitting peers against each other, but through a culture of egalitarianism and equality. Knowing that we are different is not as important as recognizing all the ways in which we are the same.
Progressives affected by Trump Derangement Syndrome will say that Vince Vaughn’s career died several years ago, which prompts me to wonder why his appearance last night with President Trump is making such a stir. Clearly, Vaughn’s still relevant, and no amount of fraternizing with the Don is going to change that.
The actor, best known for his roles in Wedding Crashers, Swingers, and Dodgeball, is facing a round of outrage after video of him meeting with President Trump emerged last night on social media in a post by former Deadspin writer Timothy Burke.
“I’m very sorry to have to share this video with you. All of it, every part of it,” wrote Burke, seemingly gleeful at the thought of cancelling the actor.
Vaughn’s crime, apparently, was to speak to and shake hands with the President. How dare he? The outrage he now faces is similar to the anger Ellen DeGeneres sparked after she was spotted mingling with former President George W. Bush at a football game last year. Does anyone even remember when that happened? Clearly not, because the outrage brigade moved past her—just as they’ll move past Vaughn—well within a week before moving on to some other target.
When that happened, DeGeneres acknowledged the outrage mob (even though she didn’t need to) and shared what remains perhaps some of the wisest words to come out of this election cycle: “We’re all different. And I think that we’ve forgotten that that’s OK that we’re all different.”
Nevertheless, all eyes are on Vaughn now, and multiple outlets have published articles to cover the outrage—many of which are chiding the actor for audaciously treating the President of the United States of America with dignity instead of yelling in his face as many of these people wish to, if they could get within 50 feet of him.
Never one to fall in line with the rest of the Hollywood flock, Vaughn has been out and open about his divergent political beliefs. From as far back as 2012, Vaughn, among several other celebrities—including Snoop Dogg—openly endorsed libertarian and Republican congressman Ron Paul. Unlike Snoop Dogg, whose politics have in recent years move farther towards the left, Vaughn has remained a staunch and steadfast libertarian, even doing an interview with the Ron Paul Institute late last year. Vaughn is also a good friend of Rand Paul, having introduced him at a libertarian event in 2011.
It’s impossible to say who Vaughn voted for in 2016 given that he still keeps some things about himself private—not that it matters—but it probably wasn’t Hillary.
For all the talk of “cancellation” and unpersoning of Vaughn among cultural and entertainment commentators on mainstream publications, his career in Hollywood hasn’t taken much of a dent as he continues to build film credits as both an actor and a producer with seven new projects in the works.
Unlike DeGeneres, Vaughn is unlikely to respond to the outrage brigade. These people don’t watch his movies anyway, and those who’ve already had him on their personal blacklists decided he was a verboten subject given his continued friendship with Mel Gibson, who’s persona non grata to liberal keyboard warriors on social media.
Naturally, some leftist commentators have been quick to downplay the burgeoning outrage against Vince Vaughn. Posting on Twitter, Vox reporter Aaron Rupar wrote: “Democrats aren’t mad about Vince Vaughn chatting with Trump. Nobody cares. Fox & Friends and Hogan Gidley are making stuff up.”
If that were truly the case, one might wonder why so many media outlets are eager to write about his oh-so-unacceptable interaction with President Trump. Is it all just a bunch of fake news, then? Or does the liberal media just make things up as they go along? After all, they can’t issue stern condemnations of Vince Vaughn well after every conservative commentator predicted it—at least, not without looking like the easily manipulated schmucks that they are.
Conservative MP Marilyn Gladu has attempted to clarify her stance on social issues to CTV’s Question Period.
During an interview in the program, Gladu stated that “she would stand up for the rights of all Canadians. The LGBT community has made clear that they want leaders and the prime minister to march and indicate that they support their rights, and I’m going to support the rights of every Canadian.”
Gladu then went on to express her support, once more, for same sex marriage and gay pride parades—saying that she would be marching in one on June 27. “It’s important that every part of the community feels loved and accepted, and I think as Canadians that we should stop dividing ourselves and pitting one group against another, we have to stand up for everyone’s rights and freedoms.”
When Gladu was asked about the abortion debate, she said that she was pro-life, “although, at this stage in my life the chances of me getting pregnant is basically zero.” Despite this, Gladu made it clear that abortion services should be available to all Canadians.
Gladu’s position on abortion and LGBT rights will starkly differentiate herself from Andrew Scheer, who often faced scrutiny for his less-than-clear position on these issues. Scheer, for instance, refused to participate in gay pride marches. Like Gladu, Scheer was also a pro-lifer, which due to poor management, sky-rocketed into a hot campaign topic.
Gladu announced her bid to become the leader of the Conservative Party on Jan. 9. She is, so far, the only female candidate in the leadership contest.
Austin Joyner claims that he was publicly humiliated at a rap concert for refusing to denounce Donald Trump. The young man, who says he just celebrated his eighteenth birthday after these events, claims he was singled out at a rap concert by YG, otherwise known as Keenon Jackson, for staying silent while the crowd was asked to chant “F*ck Trump”
The event was captured on video and went viral with TMZ reporting on the event. Joyner says “all I did was stand there.” He didn’t participate in the chant because he didn’t feel comfortable and as a result he says he was hauled on stage and publicly humiliated.
Joyner says he didn’t want to make any political statement and, as a result, his silence was presented as a form of political speech against his will. Joyner respects freedom of speech but feels that YG “crossed a line” by trying to force him to say words on demand that he didn’t agree with. Joyner stated that “every person is entitled to their own beliefs, unfortunately not everyone respects that.”
Joyner says that when he was forced on stage, he reached his hands out to the crowd in an attempt to gain confidence to handle the situation. Joyner posted that he is a “proud Christian” and was not comfortable engaging in the type of speech the rapper was demanding from his audience. Joyner clarifies that he would not have publicly cursed any president, regardless of who they were or which party they belonged to.
Joyner is devastated that he was painted as a racist for his refusal to curse President Trump, feeling the need to point out that he attended with friends who were Hispanic and Nigerian. He says that he, himself, is of mixed race though he was smeared as a Caucasian with privilege.
Joyner was unable to remain at the concert after being “kicked offstage” by YG and security allegedly told him that he should leave as they felt his safety was in jeopardy after the public humiliation.
Joyner finishes his post by wishing YG well, hoping the rapper can learn from the experience and become a better person.
Joyner says he finds it a “strange ‘coincidence’ [YG] picked on a supposedly ‘racist white boy’ like [him] out of all the people in the crowd that night.” He hopes that this mistake will make the rapper a better person if he chooses to learn from that mistake.