I think what set Dawkins off on his University Probably Is Not For You hashtag spree was Christina Hoff Sommers on her own Twitter spree on the subject of her talk at Oberlin on Monday.
@CHSommers What language are they speaking? Is it English? English is my native language and I couldn’t understand a single word they said.
Kids today eh. Students eh well I never. Young people talk a strange lingo get offa my lawn wot wot.
So what about Sommers’s talk at Oberlin? You probably know without looking. There was hostility, there were protests, there was talk of safe spaces and trigger warnings. There was probably a good deal of silliness, because people can be silly, yes even feminist undergraduates. Sommers gave a predictable little interview to Reason on the subject.
But the thing is…Sommers spends quite a lot of her time and energy deliberately provoking such responses. She’s very like Dawkins that way only more so. She does not act like an academic philosopher now, she acts like a Fox “News” personality or a shock jock. Her videos are snide and sarcastic, and her tweets are the same only more so. She’s obnoxious on purpose, then she gives a talk at a liberal college and gets the expected responses, then she gets more mileage out of complaining about the responses. It’s her shtick.
The students at the liberal college are pretty foolish to take her bait, but she’s pretty malicious to dangle it in front of them. And Dawkins is wrong to take her seriously.