Frances Widdowson is a tenured professor at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. As it happens, I know the woman. And truth be told, I quite like her. Were I confined to a one word description of her it would be “no-nonsense”. But allow me description by ostension and I’d point to Lilith on Cheers. Charmless? Yes. But charmingly charmless.
Frances specializes in the Canadian government’s evolving aboriginal policies. And her take on these policies, both those of the past and of the present, is – how shall I put this? – a tad at odds with the current ‘woke’ view on these matters.
Frances has been under attack for her unwokeness for over a decade now. But more recently there’s a petition being circulated among MRU’s more woke students and faculty to have her removed. Or, failing that, to have her tarred and feathered.
I’d come to her defence were it not that she’s more than capable of defending herself. Not that there’s any need. As I’ve pointed out elsewhere, one cannot refute an accusation of racism, because, in this new Spanish Inquisition, to deny it is to confirm it. So the only defence is to refuse to give uptake to this reverse onus ploy. In my own case I’ve simply announced that, “I’m accountable for what I’ve said, not for what you’ve heard.” Nor, I could add, for what your retarded reasoning skills infer from what I’ve said. To protest those jejune inferences invites a “Me thinks thou doth protest too much.” So, ’tis better to remain silent and be thought a racist than open your mouth and remove all doubt.
Truth be told, I’m jealous. Three thousand people want me fired for what I’ve written? Great! And here I thought less than a dozen people had read my work. Surely no one would “consign to the flames” a book she’d never read. Or am I woefully behind the times on how the academic world now works? By rigorous research is now meant “I hear tell that …”
Well, I hear tell that six out of ten of the people who’ve signed the petition against Frances Widdowson are thrice-convicted pedophiles. Now try to prove me wrong.
Categories: Everything You Wanted to Know About What's Going On in the World But Were Afraid to Ask
If you admit that you are a witch that proves that you are a witch. If you deny that you are a witch, well, that only proves that you are a witch because you are trying to hide the fact. To test this we need to throw you into the ocean to see if you float or drown, as only witches drown. But we need to run the test long enough to be sure of the result, say a day or two.
The world is round, so if you go too far to the left…you end up on the right.
The problem with saying that the emperor has no clothes is that his regime is dependent on the collective silence in the face of deliberate fictionalizing, which is what postmodernist narratives are; i.e., an ideological form of narcissistic solipsism that favors egoistic subjectivity and denies objective notions of reality. Thus anyone who does speak up is an intolerable existential threat.
The story of The Emperor’s New Clothes generally ends with a child saying the screamingly obvious, and until recent times we have been able to laugh at the silliness of the Emperor and the absurd collusion of the adults around that child; not any more, because we now know that it is the child who has been silly. Once the child has spoken, there is a very uncomfortable silence…..and with good reason.
What the story does not tell is what happens after the Emperor has passed the little loudmouth. Once he is out of sight and hearing distance, several of his lictors return and give the child a merciless beating.
Frances Widdowson is a ‘loudmouth’ but not a child, so she knows the risks she is taking. She has the courage that all the adults around her in the crowd don’t have, to be a fearless truth teller to power. And when I say ‘fearless’, I mean putting herself, her reputation, her career…..everything on the line.
When we speak of telling truth to power, we traditionally have regarded this within the context of an open society where this sort of thing is tolerated. It once was, but is no longer. The libertarian but now awokened Humanist Ascendancy that controls the means of social administration and reproduction, has become a much more sinister and inquisitorial secular church. It comes armed with all the heresy sniffing, dogma intensive, paranoia level threat sensitivity, hyper inflated language hysteria, oracular authoritarianism and blind funk that its sacred site status is no longer safe….that you would expect in a fortress under siege.
It is an almost identical fortress to the Medieval church when confronted by the forces of the Reformation that had tired of its corrupt and corrosive misgovernance and spiritual/existential bankruptcy. And its furious aggression is a marker of its vulnerability and the extent to which its moral legitimacy and intellectual integrity is in question.
Like that obscure academic Martin Luther, when he posted his theses against Church Indulgences in 1517, Frances knows she is taking a huge risk. Martin could so easily have ended up being burnt at the stake for his trouble, as many of his rebellious and discontented predecessors had been. He didn’t know at the time how good his timing was and how fortuitous his circumstances. He just stood up for what he believed and took his chances, just like our Frances is.
Frances Widdowson is not just an honest agent of the truth, but a brave warrior who has the moral courage to face down an angry mob and may end up not like Father Martin, but that great late classical period scholar, Hypatia who was murdered by a Christian mob.
Our most fervent prayers go with her
Frances and I are both tenured professors at our respective universities. So unlike the child in your extended version of the Andersen story, we’re not likely to suffer any penalties to our careers. And if Frances is anything like me, she’s ostracized her woke colleagues long before they had a chance to ostracize her. My worry – and hers, I suspect – is for faculty members who do NOT enjoy the privileges we do, and are currently being cowered by the Torquemadas running our universities. This is exacting a price that’s going to be paid for decades, until some young scholar, like Martin Luther, posts his theses at just the right moment. In the meantime, I like the Muslim assurance that “This too shall pass!”
Paul,(if that is your correct name) I stand corrected in the immediate instance and yes, the nontenured are in no position at all to speak up if they want their academic careers to go anywhere at all. And I would further suggest that they would never have become even junior academics at all if they had not first adequately ‘felt the indigenous pain’, condemned ‘racism’ at every opportunity with the requisite piety, ‘included’ their transgenderd peers as the real deal.and sufficiently ‘warmly’ welcomed ‘marriage equality’.
But in the not so immediate instance, I suspect that tenure will not long be the defense you think it is. I do hope I am wrong, but I can hear to the dogs of war barking, unless my overwrought imagination is playing me false…