Shapiro At ‘Weekly Standard’: The Purge: Scott Yenor and The Witch Hunt At Boise State


Meet Scott Yenor.

Yenor is a mild-mannered, bald, bespectacled professor of political science at Boise State University, a college known more for its blue football field and run-and-gun offense than for its history of philosophical debate. Yenor’s intellectual credentials are spotless: He has never received complaints from students or faculty about his classes or his papers. He’s a teacher and a thinker by trade, fully tenured.

But Yenor, you see, is also the devil.

At least, that’s the new public perception of Yenor at Boise State. That’s because Yenor published a report in 2016 with the Heritage Foundation titled, “Sex, Gender, and the Origins of the Culture War.” The central thesis of the piece was simple and rather uncontroversial in conservative circles: that radical feminism’s central argument decrying gender boundaries between the sexes as entirely socially constructed has led directly to transgenderism’s attacks on gender itself as a social construct. As a philosophical matter, this progression is self-evident. Yenor’s report was academically worded and rather abstruse at times, filled with paragraphs such as this one:

For Beauvoir, the common traits of “immanent” women result from pervasive social indoctrination or socialization. Beauvoir identifies how immanence is taught and reinforced in a thousand different ways. Society, for instance, prepares women to be passive and tender and men to take the initiative in sexual relations. Male initiative in sex is “an essential element” in patriarchy’s “general frame.”

Yenor later translated his extensive report into a shorter, less jargon-y article for Heritage’s Daily Signal, titled, “Transgender Activists Are Seeking to Undermine Parental Rights.

Again, his contentions were not merely consistent with mainstream conservative thought — they were self-evident to those human beings with eyes and the capacity to read. (Ontario, to take just one example, has recently passed a bill that could plausibly be read to identify parental dissent from small children seeking transgender treatment as “child abuse.”) Yenor’s rather uncontroversial article was then posted at the Boise State Facebook page.

That’s when the trouble began.

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