In Chronicles Magazine, Lipton Matthews explains that confrontation is inherent to academic debate, but cancel culture seeks to “avert the hostility inherent in direct confrontation.” Matthews writes (abridged):
The general feminization of Western society has had many negative effects, not least of which is the poisoning of intellectual discourse. Research shows that men tend to act as warriors, who emphasize winning and proving points; women tend to be empathetic, and place far greater value on people’s feelings.
But feelings have no business in academia. Intellectuals should be primarily interested in the acquisition of truth, and truth is usually offensive. For ages universities allowed the sharpest minds to debate controversial ideas to uncover truth. Today, however, the quest for truth has been replaced by wanton conformity. And unlike the medieval Inquisition, modern gatekeepers are uninterested in committing murder in the name of ideology. Instead, they merely seek to expel victims from polite society.
If masculine values were still dominant in academia, the personal views of eccentric professors would be irrelevant, only the quality of their research would matter. For example, hunting down and exposing some professor for holding wrong views, or engaging in controversial research, or simply making a student “feel” uncomfortable or “triggering them” during a lecture, would not be done in the masculine academic culture of the past, as it is done routinely in the feminine academic culture of today.
A masculine academic culture expects students to be able to handle difficult ideas. Disinformation and contentious research do not pose as much of a problem in this environment, since the flaws of these ideas are exposed in open debates that do not spare anyone’s feelings. Although our present culture is aware that debates help to undermine bad ideas, our femininized society is now critical of fiery discourse—merely having the wrong “tone” during debate can get one canceled.
At its core, cancel culture is essentially a feminine strategy to avert the hostility inherent in direct confrontation—but direct confrontation is inherent to academic debate.
By Lipton Matthews
If you’re willing to fight for Main Street America, click here to sign up for my free weekly email.