When you hear the quite horrific stories of censorship and dangerous restrictions on expression at universities in the US, the UK and Europe, your first reaction might be to laugh at how infantile the nature of political discourse in the student world has become.
Cardiff Metropolitan University banned the use of the word “man” and related phrases, to encourage the adoption of “gender neutral” language. It is the equivalent of the “newspeak” about which Orwell warned: “Ambiguous euphemistic language used chiefly in political propaganda”.
Currently, longstanding expressions carrying no prejudice are now used as the trappings of often fictitious “oppressions.”
City University in London, renowned for its journalism school, is apparently banning newspapers that do not conform to the current student body’s various political biases. If the Sun, Daily Mail and Express are such bad publications, why not allow students to read them and make up their own minds? Perhaps students do not trust their peers to make up their own minds? What if they make up their minds the “wrong” way? To suggest that the brightest and best at our universities cannot contend with a dissenting argument should probably be at least slightly concerning.
There seems to be a growing consensus among student populations that certain views should not be challenged, heard or — if one does not hear them — even known.
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