In the ultimate exhibition of campus intersectionality, student communists at Princeton University connected their protest of an author they view as “transphobic” to their fight to end capitalism.
“LGBT oppression has a central role in maintaining the capitalism means of production,” Princeton’s Revolutionary Student Action group wrote in a letter plastered around campus ahead of a speech by Abigail Shrier, author of Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters. “The liberation of the working class IS liberation from gender oppression!”
The student flier argues that combating Shrier’s book, billed as a deep dive into what she calls a “trans epidemic” in young girls, was part of their “fight for a socialist future.”
Revolutionary Student Action is a student branch of Workers’ Voice, an openly Marxist organization that believes “capitalism can only be overcome through a socialist revolution.” Its website, which is linked on the Princeton flier, says the group’s mission is to “pave the road to communism” and a “classless society free of exploitation and oppression.”
Shrier’s Wednesday event was co-hosted by the Princeton Open Campus Coalition and the Princeton Tory, the school’s conservative newspaper. The event was held at an off-campus location disclosed only to attendees, organizers told the Free Beacon, to protect students from harassment from groups like Revolutionary Student Action, which isn’t recognized by the university.
“We are thrilled that the event itself took place without disruption, but the visceral reaction of certain Princeton community members is indicative of an ailing culture surrounding open discourse and robust dialogue,” said Myles McKnight, president of the Open Campus Coalition. “We feel that students should be excited to engage with differing points of view on controversial issues about which reasonable people disagree.”
Opposition to Shrier’s event was not limited to the communist group. McKnight said several students reported being verbally harassed by peers who knew they were attending the event. Several students turned to social media to slam the university for allowing the event to proceed.
“This woman has openly demonstrated in her twt [sic] feed that she’s arriving on campus with the mission of engaging in transphobic discourse with princeton [sic] students,” one Instagram post shared with the Free Beacon reads.
Princeton’s Gender and Sexuality Resource Center hosted a counter-event, a “teach-in” on transgender issues, Wednesday night in collaboration with the Princeton Pride Alliance.
Several prominent figures in recent years have faced backlash for deviating from the progressive line on transgender issues, both on college campuses and off. Kathleen Stock, a sex and gender researcher, resigned from the University of Sussex in October after mobs of students protested against her belief in the existence of biological sex. Internationally acclaimed author J.K. Rowling has been shunned for suggesting that the elimination of sex erases women—it is widely believed she was left out of the 20th anniversary celebration of her Harry Potter series because of her comments on transgenderism.
Shrier posted her full remarks at Princeton shortly after her appearance, in which she addressed the pushback she’s gotten from many on the left.
“I’m not a provocateur. I don’t get a rush from making people angry,” Shrier said. “You don’t have to be a troll to find yourself in the center of controversy. You need only be two things: effective, and unwilling to back down.”
The communist letter said Shrier’s appearance “put people’s lives at risk by further marginalizing them.”
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