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But rhetorically-gifted Yale professors who get thinkpieces published in The Atlantic are exactly the sort of people who would take over the wider SJ-critical movement, become its most important voice, and define what it means both to the rest of the world and to its own members. Any general knows that you want to hold the high ground, and it really really shouldn’t be hard to hold the high ground against the sorts of people who continue to defend bullying someone to suicide because they drew a cartoon character differently than other people.But the mass media seems determined to find a way to yield the high ground and insist against all evidence that it’s punching down.If I were a news editor, I’d consider the first study a much bigger deal.Instead, the second has gone viral in the national media, and the first remains stuck among the same few second-tier sites and SJ-critical nobody bloggers whom these kinds of things are always stuck among. I worry that the media, especially the online thinkpiece media, overrepresents an insular demographic of Ivy League academics and their friends who spend most of their time on college campuses and don’t notice things that don’t affect them personally.When people on Tumblr are being bullied to suicide or told that they’re garbage or outed or getting death threats, that’s the commoners. Or to be even more cynical: social justice was supposed to be Yale’s weapon against Caltech and Podunk.
And if people must focus on trigger warnings and safe spaces, I wish they would use one of about a zillion good arguments that don’t involve the pseudo-Nietzschean “You’re all babies! Finally, I think this might be a wake-up call to worry about the role of academia in media more generally.It’s a huge thing for me to have an initial connection like this.