Antonia Okafor, a black, female conservative and gun rights activist is scheduled to speak at Mount Holyoke College this week on the importance of women arming themselves. Her talk is titled, "Female Empowerment and the Second Amendment," but some of the school's leftists say they can't bear the thought of connecting women's rights with campus carry, so they're holding their own competing event.
The Mount Holyoke Climate Justice Coalition says they're stepping in on behalf of campus feminists (how's that for "intersectionality?") and hosting an "alternative space" that will be used to shelter those who wish to avoid Okafor's talk.
Not to be confused with a "safe space," an alternative space is supposed to be a "productive" response to a speaker who doesn't fall in line with the predominant, leftist ideology on a campus. Instead of providing crayons and therapy dogs, the "alternative" space is supposed to provide an honest and frank discussion of precisely why the attendees are unable to handle a speaker of differing ideology.
Think of it as a sort of "evolution" of safe space culture. Instead of self-soothing, they're self-reinforcing.
The strangest part of the Mount Holyoke "alternative space" is that it could easily integrate into the large discussion, hosted by Okafor. In fact, the topics listed for the "alternative space" and for Okafor's speech are nearly identical:
- The concept of empowerment and “female empowerment”
– The second amendment and gun laws/culture
– Campus rape/sexual harassment culture
– Violence, particularly against people who are not white cis-men
Okafor is a young minority with plenty of outside experience who speaks frequently on these exact topics. Her speech is about female empowerment because she is, in fact, female. She supports campus carry because it's a real deterrent to on-campus violence against women, and she happens to be someone who isn't a "white cis-man," which makes her opinion very relevant to the Climate Justice Coalition's event.
The only explanation seems to be that the CJC is unable to handle an opposing viewpoint that undermines their core ideological assumptions.
Okafor will speak later this week.