No one will deny that a professor has the same quality as a male and that it is strange that only a quarter of Dutch professors are women. Most academics will be pleased that students are becoming more culturally and ethnically diverse and that some students demand a broader curriculum. To also include an Egyptian feminist thinker or philosopher.
Because why should all matter be determined by white men and be about the scientific perceptions and visions of whites? It is time for universities to become more inclusive.
But as a student he angrily turns away from teachers who use the word “woman” as he described the Sabbath in Norwegian Refugee Councilor sending emails to a university magazine threatening “we will rally our society against you” because the magazine used the word “woman”—which is an exaggeration.
Verbal aggression from “awakened” students who came from the US and UK to Dutch education is not only annoying, but counterproductive as well. As a university lecturer from Nijmegen put it, a small group of student activists “take every opportunity to address teachers or fellow students about what they consider a violation. They seem to fight for moral purity. The threshold for feeling hurt as a student seems to be getting lower and lower.”
The swearing, hissing, and running away are also not convincing. This behavior only causes teachers and students to apply self-censorship. They will avoid thorny issues or even dare to use very common terms like “woman” and “man”. And while self-censorship might be the desired outcome, it would go against the nature of what every person – student or teacher – comes to the university to do: investigate facts through a respectful and rational exchange of argument.
safe spaces Furnishing – an exclusive room for students with immigrant backgrounds or transgender people or maybe both – as some students like, there is something communal about it. Everyone should be able to get hit and not get closed off to other groups. Moreover: if the university starts with one safe space, soon another group will also need its own room, and in the long run, different students will not meet each other, based only on personal characteristics. Then the university was no longer a forum, but a group of clubs.
Of course, change for the better never happens fast enough, especially when you’re in your twenties. But change cannot simply be condoned or reprimanded. It can be a slow process, taking longer than four or five years of college, and you may have to be at the top of your academic priority list for a long time to come.
At the same time, everything relevant should be amenable to saying and studying at the university. “It stands or falls with the controversy,” said Utrecht University President Henk Kummling, and rightly so. “The problem I have with parts of the Mindfulness movement is that they have a hard-line side, where they are ‘for’ or ‘against’ and quickly become very personal.”
It is up to the universities themselves, with all their willing participants, to organize and conduct this important debate in an academic manner.
A version of this article also appeared on NRC on the morning of February 16, 2022
Devoted music ninja. Zombie practitioner. Pop culture aficionado. Webaholic. Communicator. Internet nerd. Certified alcohol maven. Tv buff.