Over the last two weeks, I have used this forum and a column with the Emory Wheel to discuss an event that occurred at the University of St. Andrews in the context of a larger framework of feminism and critical engagement with controversial issues. While the discussion itself is a pertinent one, individuals who participated in the event felt and continue to feel that theirs was not a pertinent example. I did not realize that my arguments and comments would be taken as either inflammatory or unfair – my columnist personality is generally focused on making criticisms with a bit of wit, and never with the intention to harm individuals. My sincere hope is that to those who have been frustrated and possibly upset, this shorter post might serve as a clarification.
As events go, the nights previously discussed were not of the naughtiest sort. Rather, they represented to me a cultural pattern among a younger generation that is grappling and coming to terms with traditional roles, radical beliefs, and the changing aspects of modern life. Within a university setting, we should and do challenge cultural norms, both intellectually and in action.
Part of being a student is considering our actions and our thoughts critically. Sometimes, in the context of an editorial piece, providing a specific example can be misleading because it may be interpreted as an indictment of particular people rather than more general actions. Sometimes the argument is lost in the details.
In this case, the purpose and nature of the argument has been lost and seems seriously damaged for being, in itself, damaging.
So it is time to move right along. I hope this statement will be considered alongside the previous posts on this blog, as an explanation of my goals and to assuage concerns about the significance or meaning of the example discussed.