When Enlightened Professors Attack!

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Professor Mireille Miller-Young is charged with theft, battery, and vandalism, all misdemeanors.

Now I am not from around here, but I was led to believe that the position of professor of the liberal arts meant that the free exchange of ideas was, at the very least, an occupational hazard, much less part of the job description.  Shouldn’t a professor, whose area of studies include Pornography; Sex Work; Black Film, Popular Culture and Art; Feminist & Queer Theory; African American & African Diaspora Studies; Visual Archives; New Media; Ethnography; Oral History be able to “CoExist” with 2 conscientious objectors who think that life begins at conception?

Lets us walk through the article together:

Thrin and her 21-year-old sister, Joan, were distributing pamphlets for the Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust, a nonprofit pro-life group, when Miller-Young began to confront them. The girls were in a designated “free speech zone.” 

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*** Now, if you would, hover over the phrase, “free speech zone” an let that marinate in your mind’s eye.  Now rehearse these words in your head, “The United States, ‘Murica, University, Free Speech.”  If the United States of America is a nation built upon the notion of free expression, then what greater responsibility does a professor have?  A college campus should be a haven free the freedom of expression.  But in contemporary ‘Murica, we have free speech zones on university campuses.  Again, let that sink into your mind.  You there yet? Good, lets continue.

“Before she grabbed the sign, she was mocking me and talking over me in front of the students, saying that she was twice as old as me and had three degrees, so they should listen to her and not me,” the teen girl informed FoxNews.com. “Then she started the chant with the students about ‘tear down the sign.’ When that died out, she grabbed the sign.”

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*** Now, unroll your eyes from reading across the name FOXNEWS and put down your claws.  You are not Dracula reacting to a cross.  Here are the sources in case you are wondering:

https://www.countyofsb.org/da/msm_county/documents/MireilleMillerYoung.pdf

http://www.femst.ucsb.edu/people/academic/mireille-miller-young

http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=1047530

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/03/21/Video-Pornography-Professor-Assaults-Pro-Life-Activist

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLemX9QtUa4

http://www.independent.com/news/2014/mar/21/ucsb-professor-charged-theft-and-battery-after-con/

But who is Professor Miller-Young that we should listen?  Because she is older? Because she has 3 degrees?  I cannot argue that someone with those academic credentials is not worth at least a sit down, but if this is how highly educated people behave, then I’m comfortable with the Jerry Springer Show modeling for me what appropriate dialogue looks like.  The silver lining in all this is that the professor’s advanced degrees in American History and History of the African Diaspora make my psychology degree look like an advanced degree in physics.

In the article on www.independent.com,  “In her interview with police, Miller-Young suggested the activists had violated her rights by displaying upsetting imagery at her place of work and that she believed she had a “moral right” to remove the material from sight. Miller-Young told authorities she is pregnant and was “triggered” by the violent photographs. The police report — parts of which were redacted upon release, including the reporting officer’s name …

trigger_warning***  Hone in on the word “triggered.”  As someone in the social services profession, this word gets used a lot.  But as I inform my clients who suffer from mental illness and/or addiction, one must learn to cope with “triggers.”  For the professor to say that these girls triggered her to react this way is to display either a severe handicap in impulse control based on a major cognitive distortion or, the more likely cause, an excuse to slip out of the charges being levied against here.  For those of you who may not know, in essence, no one can make you do anything.  Follow me if you will:

PositiveAtitudeProfessor Miller-Young is clearly stating that she has no control over her behavior when she is triggered.  Again, reread that statement and keep in ming that she is a professor in the areas of study that touch on (No pun intended): Pornography; Sex Work; Black Film, Popular Culture and Art; Feminist & Queer Theory; African American & African Diaspora Studies; Visual Archives; New Media; Ethnography; Oral History.  Having 3 degrees should correlate with a modicum of self-control.

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Miller-Young told authorities she is pregnant and was “triggered” by the violent photographs.  I think we can now put the debate on whether violent video games and movies cause violent behavior to rest because if a multi-disciplined professor can’t suppress her urge to push and stead in the presence of disturbing pictures, then who can?  I wonder how she is able to cope with the pictures that might be on display during one of her courses on pornography, sex work, or queer theory.  If these girls’ were sexually turned on by aborted fetuses, and were simply protesting for equality, would Miller-Young then accept their sexual preference?  

*** Leave it to a radical feminist professor to blame her behavior on hormones!

In essence, Miller-Young told me she felt “triggered” by the images on the posters… Miller-Young said that she found this material offensive because she teaches about women’s “reproductive rights” and is pregnant. She said an argument ensued about the graphic nature of these images. Miller-Young said that she [sic] situation became “passionate” and that other students in the area were “triggered” in a negative way by the imagery. Miller-Young said that she and others began demanding that the images be taken down. Miller-Young said that the demonstrators refused. At which point, Miller-Young said that she “just grabbed it [the sign] from this girl’s hands.” Asked if there had been a struggle, Miller-Young stated, “I’m stronger so I was able to take the poster.”

*** Leave it(#OverUsedPhrase) to a radical feminist professor to decry the evils of force, by using force.  Believe it or not, this is where I sympathize with Professor Miller-Young because when I am walking to some destination, I do not want to be approached by anyone.  You could be a passionate protestor championing for a cause that I am in total agreement with, but that is not enough to make me want to speak with anyone.  I am naturally suspicious of people that I don’t know in general, so do not invade my personal space with reading material unless you are offering free no-strings-attached restaurant coupons #Foodie.

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But just because envisioning violent scenarios in my mind when someone I don’t know approaches me, doesn’t mean that I am actually to punch that person with a brick.  I either say “No Thank You… I already am: a disciple of Jesus; …Pro-Life… against unjust wars… ending the Fed… ending the income tax… etc.”

I asked if Miller-Young had carried the poster into her office or if she had students carried [sic] it. Miller-Young said that she had carried the poster but that there were students with her. Miller-Young went on to say that because the poster was upsetting to her and other students, she felt that the activists did not have the right to be there.

*** Let it be known that a professor is stating, for the record, that in order to be on his campus, you have to pay.  Karl Marx must be spinning in his grave.

I asked Miller-Young if she felt anything wrong had happened this afternoon. Miller-Young said that she did not know enough about the limits of free speech… 

* Need I remind you this is a professor whose very job is built upon free speech.

… to answer my question. Miller-Young went on to say that she was not sure what an acceptable and legal response to hate speech would be. Miller-Young said that she was willing to pay for the cost of the sign but would “hate it.”

*** As a professor with 3 degrees and whose areas of study include pornography; Sex Work; Black Film, Popular Culture and Art; Feminist & Queer Theory; African American & African Diaspora Studies; Visual Archives; New Media; Ethnography; Oral History I am shocked about her lack of intellectual curiosity as to what the acceptable and legal response to hate speech.

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I explained to Miller-Young that the victims in this case felt that a crime had occurred. I told Miller-Young that I appreciated the fact that she felt traumatized by the imagery but that her response constituted a violation of law. Furthermore, I told Miller-Young that I was worried about the example she had set for her undergraduate students.

Miller-Young said that her students “were wanting her to take” the sign away. Miller-Young argued that she set a good example for her students. Miller-Young likened her behavior to that of a “conscientious objector.” 

*** conscientious objector noun

: a person who refuses to serve in the military because of moral or religious beliefs

Only in the world of academia can the term conscientious objector to be used to justify assault, theft and suppressing freedom of speech.

Miller-Young said that she did not feel that what she had done was criminal. However, she acknowledged that the sign did not belong to her.

JustPlainNuts*** Putting on my social worker hat, I would say, “Now Ms. Miller-Young, what I am hearing you say is that you do not think that your actions were criminal yet you agree that the sign did not belong to you.  Do you know what cognitive dissonance means?  Based on my social work handbook, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online, cognitive dissonance is a psychological conflict resulting from incongruous beliefs and attitudes held simultaneously.  You cannot be not guilty and admit that you didn’t own the sign you destroyed.  Is what I’m saying making sense?  Yes I know that being a professor of gender studies means you object to me using ‘Ms, Miss and Mrs’ but that is what we call deflection.  Again, turning to my social work handbook, deflection is a defense mechanism and you are attempting to “AIR QUOTES” deflect from the issue of your behavior.”

I asked Miller-Young what crimes she felt the pro-life group had violated. Miller-Young replied that their coming to campus and showing graphic imagery was insensitive to the community. I clarified the difference between University policy and law to Miller-Young and asked her again what law had been violated. Miller-Young said that she believed the pro-life group may have violated University policy. Miller-Young said that her actions today were in defense of her students and her own safety.

*** I’m sorry, but what’s the point of paying thousands upon thousands of dollars to a university if one 9780205955336can’t look at graphic imagery?  Again, are we led to believe that graphic imagery is not used in her classes in: Pornography; Sex Work; Black Film, Popular Culture and Art; Feminist & Queer Theory; African American & African Diaspora Studies; Visual Archives; New Media; Ethnography; Oral History.  Is not one of the perks of college to attend class where older people in tweed sports coats show you naughty pictures under the guise of intellectual curiosity?  Why would anyone attend a class on Pornography if not for the pictures?

Miller-Young said she felt that this issue was not criminal and expressed a desire to find a resolution outside of the legal system. Miller-Young continued and stated that she had the “moral” right to act the way she did.

*** If we are going to enact the law of “moral right” to excuse any behavior we want, then what’s to stop her pro-population control radical professor/co-worker from pointing his or her finger at her impregnated womb and yelling, “Boo!”

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I asked Miller-Young if she could have behaved differently in this instance. There was a long pause, “I’ve said that I think I did the right thing. But I acknowledge that I probably should not have taken their poster.” Miller-Young also said that she wished the anti-abortion group had taken down the images when they demanded them to. Miller-Young also suggested that the group had violated her rights. I asked Miller-Young what right the group had violated. Miller-Young responded, “My personal right to go to work and not be in harm.” Miller-Young elaborated that one of the reasons she had felt so alarmed by this imagery is because she is about to have the test for Down Syndrome. Miller-Young said, “I work here, why do they get to intervene in that?”

 *** “Ms…, err… sorry, Professor Miller-Young, it seems that you are having challenges with the term cognitive dissonance, so I am going to recommend that you write a 3-page essay on cognitive dissonance and a couple journal entries on what cognitive dissonance means to you and how you can avoid it in the future.  Yes you may double-space.  And please be mindful that you are under a probationary period in order for you to learn how to cope with uncomfortable feelings.  Remember to take your medications on time.  Thank you.”

Oh academia… you entertain me so.

2 thoughts on “When Enlightened Professors Attack!

  1. Very entertaining commentary. It’s amazing to see the thinking of an academic. Good example of why paradigm shifts are so traumatic for ppl who are intellectually invested in a philosophy dressed up as a science.

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