> Free speech isn't just about saying anything you want, it's also about maximizing the number of voices at the table
Would you agree to having blatantly, but shall we say genteel Nazi or white supremacist academics on campus? You would likely answer in the negative based on what you've written because you would, I infer, see their works as violent and threatening speech, speech that might also reduce the number of voices at the table. But that would make what is acceptable speech depend on what people find violent and threatening. But which people? Which table? In the case of gender theory, you acknowledge this concerns a minority. Are you suggesting that a minority of people who find criticism "violent" is enough to shutdown criticism? If not, are you suggesting that a majority of people who find criticism "violent" is enough to shutdown criticism? Is either of those acceptable? What exactly are you proposing here because it certainly seems like you are manipulatively trying to force your own speech norms on everyone else through the use of grievance. Should your sense of grievance become the basis of law or social norms? Imagine what would happen if we treated that kind of norm consistently. We couldn't, could we, and not just for practical reasons, but in principle.
I would go further. Liberalism as the philosophical and even theological position that informs the constitution and the very founding of the United States is truly very fatally flawed. The very notion of liberal neutrality is extremely problematic. There is no such thing as a neutral position. And so what liberalism effectively does, in an intellectually dishonest way, is it presents its own position as neutral and therefore beyond criticism. "Oh, yes, well, liberalism can accommodate everything, it can tolerate all positions, and allows the brotherhood of man to live together in harmony". Yes, all positions...that subordinate themselves to liberal norms and conform to its rather fleshy expectations. Liberalism is a definite position and its tyranny rests to a great degree on the pretense of this public neutrality, that all else is a private footnote added to the purity of this accommodating 'neutrality'. At least the mullahs are more honest.
(Btw, D. C. Schindler talks more about this in his book "The Politics of the Real" . The arguments require some philosophical sophistication, but that's the point. Liberalism isn't the obvious truth. It's just the water we western fish have been swimming in and have formed habituated biases toward and favorable but vague associations with. There is much that is untenable with the liberal project, and as with many intellectual errors, it can take time for the abstract consequences to manifest in all their concrete and ugly glory.)
Fresh book recommendations delivered straight to your inbox every Thursday.