Lindsay Shepherd, my hero

November 21, 2017

Below are some audio highlights from the reprimanding session between a graduate student, Lindsay Shepard and her supervising faculty at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, Canada. In the audio, Shepard is being punished for holding a class discussion on the compelled use of gender language in which she had included a YouTube clip of professor Jordan Peterson debating the use of non-gendered pronouns and why he won’t use them. She says she also provided other opinions supporting the use of non-gendered pronouns.

Apparently, due to an undisclosed number of complaints from students, she is dressed down by mealy-mouthed faculty and accused of creating a toxic environment, causing harm and promoting transphobia and gender-based violence, among other atrocities. She is maligned with Holocaust deniers and is accused of breaking the law. (In June 2017, Canadian lawmakers passed Bill C-16 which includes “misgendering” and “gender expression” under the Canadian Human Rights Act and also the Criminal Code.)

Thank goodness she recorded her interrogation because it perfectly demonstrates the intellectual intimidation and eerie robo-indoctrination currently in progress on a college campus near you. Unless you agree with the dopes interrogating her, the exchange is depressing, upsetting and George Orwell couldn’t have written it better.


Lindsay Shepherd is a hero. In the recording, she sounds shocked and tearful, yet she coherently defends free expression, unfazed by a room full of jackasses. She boldly confronts their accusations with rational and wise responses, “So it’s about those students who are disturbed? Everything is catered to them?” And she mocks their flimsy evidence, “Ok, so by proxy, me showing a YouTube video, I’m transphobic and I caused harm and violence? So be it.”

After a massive public backlash, the President of Wilfrid Laurier University, Deborah MacLatchy, issued a modest public apology, ” … I am sorry it occurred in the way that it did and I regret the impact it had on Lindsay Shepherd.”

Here is an opinion on the incident by Canadian columnist, Barbara Kay, who describes the faculty’s actions as “intellectual assault” and makes some good points.

In a Twitter post, Kay wonders what we’ve all been wondering:

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Helping youth exposed to conflict understand their rights to freedom of expression in order to build a more peaceful society.