Wolves and poodles

What college could be like if professors weren't expected to walk on eggshells for fear that their students might curl up into the fetal position:
[W]hen an undergraduate announces to the class that women only earn 57% of what men earn due to the patriarchy, one need only respond with, “Well Ms. Bernstein, let me ask that if you are the CEO of GM, would your fiduciary responsibility to investors, many of whom are women, require you to fire all men (or least as many as possible) and replace them with equally competent cheaper female employees and thus boost the quarterly dividend? And, for good measure, tell us how you would address the many government regulations designed to prevent sexual discrimination in employment? Surely the fired men would sue and how would you instruct the GM legal department to respond? Is social justice a legal defense?”
To take the reverse of this technique, I can remember three arguments that reduced my constitutional law professor to sputtering incoherence.  One classmate was not considered a bright student, too simple-minded.  I wish I could remember this fellow's name, because I'd like to look him up now.  He once asked, very innocently and in good humor, why we couldn't settle some hot-button social-justice issue by letting different states resolve it differently.  The professor snapped that we'd fought a war over that--as if she felt she'd elucidated a legal argument to stun him into silence.

Later, my classmate wondered whether a peremptory juror strike was really unlimited, something that could be used to oust any potential juror for literally any unexplained subjective reason.  Could the prosecutor strike all black jurors, for instance?  Well, obviously yes, you idiot, the professor replied.  Peremptory means peremptory, weren't you listening?  Only a few years later that tactic became a hot topic in the appellate courts.

Finally, he asked whether charging someone with murder for kicking a pregnant woman and inducing a miscarriage were not in some way inconsistent with an absolute right to abortion.  I mean, weren't we sort of implying that the fetus is a human being?  Again, of course not, you Neanderthal.  The professor wouldn't even argue that one.  It was beyond the pale.


David Foster said...

Great link. I note that the author is a professor EMERITUS....a retired wolf?

Grim said...

There's a parallel between firearms education and sex education they don't like, too. "So this dangerous thing that can ruin lives by accident -- shouldn't we stop simply trying to ban it, recognize that adults can control the thing in a way to produce results that are beneficial, and begin teaching students what they need to know to be such adults?"

E Hines said...

students might curl up into the fetal position

Wait, wait--that's the genesis of a new sport: tossing rolled up students instead of midgets.

Separately, I wonder if that "classmate" might have been our correspondent, who's not at all un-bright, nor is she in the least way simple-minded. Quite the opposite.

Eric Hines

Texan99 said...

All I can remember is that his name was Andrew, and one day when the class was snarled up over some issue of municipal powers, he commented that in his small Texas hometown, when a pothole needed to be fixed, someone just went over and borrowed the town's machine for that purpose.

ymarsakar said...

People had a nice concept for those like me: ornery.

It's about time AMerican students learned to become that if the ywant to survive.

Flat Earth Theory has now become popular amongst the young, for good or ill.