I sent a version of the following to the DTH edit desk, but in case it doesn’t get printed, I am posting it here. It is in response to their letter to the editor today.
Apparently the leaders of Project Dinah have not learned a necessary lesson from their time on a university campus. Attempts at suppressing potentially offensive viewpoints only grant them more legitimacy than they deserve, and more importantly they demonstrate a tolerance for such suppression that reflects poorly on their attitude toward a marketplace of ideas. Their own arrogance prevents Project Dinah from realizing that the standard of offensiveness is relative, and that much of what their own organization promotes is offensive to many people. The Carolina Review, among others, has made this claim, but we have never called for their removal from campus, recognizing the inherent hypocrisy and violation of principle that would involve.
It is granted that Max’s movie promotes a detestable lack of moral conscious and respect for women, and even that it offers nothing to intellectual discourse of campus. Nonetheless there is value in a political culture that allows all views without exception to be expressed, and without exception means just that. Relative standards cannot be used to suppress expression or the principle is devoid of meaning. I hope that Project Dinah and others on this campus enamored with the culture of protest soon realize that their oppositional efforts to such unimportant figures as Max offer nothing to our discourse either, and they certainly do nothing substantial to aide in their cause. It just wastes all of our time, and hints at your own intolerance.
Generally I prefer to avoid using the word “offensive” for the reason that it is relative, and I firmly believe that it is one’s choice whether or not be offended; it also seems obvious to me that claiming offense offers nothing of value to a debate or cause, which is why groups such as Project Dinah frustrate dialogue on campus. I prefer words such as dispicable and deprave in reference to people like Tucker Max. Those words actually carry intellectual meaning. The words “irreverent” and “shallow” are words that also carry meaning, and words that I have used to describe the portrayal of sexuality by Project Dinah. I have refrained from using the word offensive, and personally, I find it arrogant and appalling that the group would have the gall to use the word in reference to someone else.