First they issued "trigger warnings." And now they're demanding to be edited out of a video showing them issuing "trigger warnings."

That's the latest development in the feminist flap at Georgetown University over an April 16 speech on campus by author Christina Hoff Sommers. Sommers, whose best-known book is titled Who Stole Feminism? (1995), says she's a feminist herself, and she titled her Georgetown speech "What's Right (and Badly Wrong) With Feminism?" So she must have had something good to say about feminism.

But that wasn't enough for a cadre of student activists at Georgetown. They plastered the outside of the lecture room where Sommers delivered her speech with signs reading "Trigger Warning" and "Safe Space." Inside the hall, while Sommers delivered her speech to a packed-in audience (the lecture was open to the public), more student activists stood in the back of the room holding up more protest signs: "This event may be triggering." "Feminists Against Rape Apology." The signs appeared positioned so that Sommers could read them as she lectured. and perhaps be intimidated.

According to the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, which arranged for Sommers's speech in conjunction with Georgetown's College Republicans:

One student organizer sent out the following email to the campus group Sexual Assault Peer Educators (SAPE):


Tonight, Republicans are hosting an extremist anti-feminist speaker that dismisses and denies survivors of sexual assault and the real harm of rape culture. Current College Republicans leadership has not been willing to do simple things like add a trigger/ content warning, or clarify why they felt it was appropriate to bring this speaker into our community.

If you’re available and up for it, I’d strongly encourage you to attend. Students that are educated on the real facts of sexual assault and able to provide information on resources should be in the room.



As might be expected given the controversy, someone made a now-widely circulated video of the lecture, including the protestors, who were not identified. And that outraged the campus feminists even more. The latest, from the Washington Examiner:

Lauren Gagliardi, the school's assistant director for the center for student engagement, emailed two members of the College Republicans to request they edit the video to remove students who did not agree to be videotaped.

In the email, provided to the Washington Examiner, Gagliardi tells the students that the "edited version needs to be released without students who did not give permission to be taped." She also says that if the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, which sponsored the event, is "unwilling or unresponsive to the request, Georgetown will need to step in."

The video that has Gagliardi so upset features feminist activists holding up signs accusing Hoff Sommers of being an anti-feminist or deny rape.

Laurel Conrad of Clare Boothe Luce says the institute is holding firm:

But it stretches credulity that Georgetown and its students would not understand that the lecture was a public event. The video camera was in plain view, and audience members themselves appear to be taking video and photos. It could not shock any student that he or she was on camera.

In addition, the mission of the protestors at the event was clearly to gain attention. Perhaps we are receiving this request because the students were too successful at gaining attention, and are now embarrassed at the reaction to signs like “Trigger Warning – antifeminist.”

I can certainly understand why Georgetown would want us to edit the video. Clearly, it is a public relations nightmare for the University.

The feminist students’ childish behavior toward Dr. Sommers is receiving deserved criticism beyond the Georgetown bubble.

But logic is not the feminists' strong suit.