Lawrence University invokes shocking last minute BAN on Earth Day Keynote Speaker Lierre Keith due to her Feminist views on Gender

In a shocking last minute decision Lawrence University representatives no-platformed Deep Green Resistance founding member Lierre Keith from her scheduled Earth Day appearance due to previous feminist comments she has made about gender. Specifically, she was banned from speaking at the university due to her belief that Gender is socially created and not biologically innate.
Keith is the author of The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice and Sustainability and a well known writer, Radical Feminist, food activist and environmentalist. Her scheduled speech “Stopping Civilization’s Violence to the Earth” was booked as part of Lawrence’s Greenfire Earth Week Speaking Series.
An event organizer contacted Keith on April 11 with the disturbing news that Lawrence University faculty lecturer Helen Boyd (pen name of Gail Kramer) who is identified in emails as “Professor Helen Boyd-Kramer, a well-known transadvocate” was organizing a campaign to censor Keith’s environmentalist lecture. Boyd-Kramer is the heterosexual wife of transgender and long-time crossdresser, actor Jason Crowl. Boyd-Kramer is the author of “My Husband Betty: Love, Sex and Life with a Crossdresser” and appears on the transgender circuit as a paid speaker describing her experiences as the wife of a transgender man, as well as lecturing in the Gender Studies and Freshman Studies departments at Lawrence. The organizer informed Lierre Keith that Boyd-Kramer was threatening to mount a public protest at the Earth Day event as well as publish an article in the Lawrence University newspaper damning the event unless Lierre agreed to meet with her “in order to have a private conversation about the issue”. Although Keith’s scheduled Earth Day talk had nothing to do with the transgender issue, the organizer stated his fear that “They would diminish the impact of your talk by making you look close-minded and mean, and by shifting the focus of discussion and re-framing your appearance completely.” Lierre was repeatedly asked if her feminist views on gender had “changed”: “we’d love to hear that and the issue will end there.”

helen boyd
Gail Kramer/Helen Boyd with husband Jason Crowl/Betty Crow

No stranger to controversy, and with the strong support of those in the Wisconsin environmentalist community Keith intended to proceed with her appearance as scheduled on Sunday April 21. Two days before the event she was informed that her environmentalist program had been no-platformed at Lawrence University due to her unwillingness to retract her previous, unrelated feminist statements expressing her belief that gender is socially constructed and not biologically innate.
Lawrence University Earth Day organizer Adam James Kranz posted the following message on the event Facebook page announcing that he would personally replace Keith as speaker and present the aspects of Keith’s ideas that he finds “compelling”:

Why Lierre Keith is Not Speaking at Lawrence

by Greenfire (Notes) on Friday, April 19, 2013 at 2:06pm

From their website “Deep Green Resistance is an analysis, a strategy, and a movement being born, the only movement of its kind.”

DGR’s writings have strongly influenced my perspective on environmental issues, and I think their ideas have a lot of valuable contributions to make. 

They draw deep connections between violence against the land and violence based on class, race, gender, etc.

Their analysis puts modern ills in historical context, comparing the tribulations of agricultural life to the hunter-gatherer systems dominant for most of human existence.

They make incisive critiques of mainstream modes of activism and reform. 

Their appraisal of reform-based activism asks us whether we can afford to wait, and, if not, whether we have any alternatives.

There are plenty of intellectual critiques one can and should make of DGR – I did two independent studies last Spring doing just that. However, I feel that DGR’s perspective is very valuable and poses some tough questions to the conventional brand of activism. Lierre is one of the three main leaders and authors behind DGR, and I hoped her lecture would provoke some interesting discussion. 

The broad, inclusive resistance to oppression and hierarchy that DGR advocates was my own entry point into activist causes beyond environmentalism. I largely relied on their positions on issues I hadn’t bothered to study myself – especially feminism.

This is why I was so disappointed and betrayed to learn that Lierre doesn’t support the trans community in their fight against the same oppressive forces Lierre spends her life combating. In fact, Lierre’s views are deeply offensive and actively transphobic. If anyone is interested in reading her hate-speech, it is quoted here:

and a deconstruction/rebuttal:

Lierre’s views are products of an old trend in eco-feminism that I can’t claim to understand. However, it is not defensible under the shield of intellectual freedom of thought. Her statements go well beyond an analysis that is merely wrong to a level that is actively offensive and disregards the lived experiences of millions of people.

Greenfire is committed to maintaining a safe space for everyone on campus. Hosting Lierre, knowing her opinions and knowing that members of the community know them as well, would disregard the feelings of members of our community, and this is unacceptable. I personally apologize for not making this decision sooner.

Instead of Lierre’s lecture, Greenfire will now host a lecture and discussion forum on radical environmental activism. I will present aspects of DGR’s ideas that I find compelling and try to ask questions that create a productive dialogue about our own tactical choices and analyses. Everyone is welcome to join us. The event will still take place on Sunday, 4/21, at 1 PM, in Steitz 102.

Adam Kranz


Lierre has issued the following statement directed at the President of Lawrence University:
“xxxxxxxx” <>
Dear Dr. Beck,

I am writing to tell you about an incident on your campus about which you should be concerned.
I am the author of multiple books on environmentalism. A student at Lawrence, xxxxxxx (cc’d here), invited me to speak for Earth Day. The lecture was scheduled for tomorrow, April 21. Yesterday, I received an email from Mr. xxxxxx (pasted below), canceling my appearance because some students take issue with my ideas.
I will get into the content of this disagreement later. My overwhelming point of concern is the purpose of higher education and the defense of the liberal tradition itself. I don’t know if I can state this strongly enough. Universities are supposed to be institutions founded on the bedrock principle of an open and robust exchange of ideas. I am appalled that anyone would be barred from speaking at your school over a disagreement. Intellectual engagement is the entire reason universities exist. It’s also why institutions of higher learning are vitally important to a pluralistic society. The young adults in your care need to understand this principle. If they learn one thing at your school, it should be this: ideas qua ideas are our only defense against the human tendency to fundamentalism with all its attendant horrors.

Mr. xxxxx’s email (pasted below) stated my appearance would be “threatening” and “offensive” to some students. Given that I have threatened no one, and that I am a middle-aged woman with a degenerative disease and no upper-body strength, I think we can set aside the notion that I pose a physical threat to anyone. What they mean is “uncomfortable.” But people don’t go to college to feel comfortable. They go to be challenged. They go—or, they should go—to learn to engage with new ideas, to examine themselves and the world, to interrogate their beliefs and the society around them as deeply as possible. Some of your students are not preparing themselves for citizenship in a pluralistic democracy, which by definition means a civic society of people who hold differing–often, profoundly differing–beliefs. The entire project will rise or fall on how we as a society negotiate those differences. That some of your students don’t understand this–and are, in fact, actively rejecting it–leaves me gravely concerned for the future. That is why I am bringing this to your attention. I hope you share my concern.

To the details of the disagreement. I will try to be brief. I am a feminist. I have spent three decades fighting male violence against women. My analysis is informed by a century and a half of feminist theory and activism. My views are in no way unique. I believe that a social system of male domination starts with human beings who are biologically male or female and creates two social classes of people: men and women. Socialization to either group can be a brutal process.

Men are made by socialization to masculinity. Being a man requires a psychology based on emotional numbness and a dichotomy of self and other. This is also the psychology required by soldiers, which is why I don’t think you can be a peace activist without being a feminist.
Female socialization is a process of psychologically constraining and breaking girls—otherwise known as “grooming”—to create a class of compliant victims. Femininity is a set of behaviors that are, in essence, ritualized submission.
I see nothing in the creation of gender to celebrate or embrace. As a feminist, I am an abolitionist. Patriarchy is a corrupt and brutal arrangement of power, and I want to see it dismantled so that the category of gender no longer exists. This is also my position on race and class. The categories are not natural: they only exist because hierarchical systems of power create them (see, for instance, Audrey Smedley’s book Race in North America). I want a world of justice and equality, where the material conditions that currently create race, class, and gender have been forever overcome.
There are, of course, people who disagree with feminism. In their view, men and women display domination and submission, respectively, not because of social conditions, but because we have different brains. Gendered behavior is natural, they say, a function of our biology. Boys are naturally aggressive and active, while girls are naturally emotional and passive. The claim is often that prenatal hormones create these propensities, and that the wrong hormones can produce the wrong brain. Hence it is possible to have a man’s body with a woman’s brain (which adherents like to call a “lady brain”). Cursory research will reveal the variations and disagreements amongst the genderists. Some, for instance, believe that gender is a matter of costuming—what they call “presentation.” The problem with gender isn’t gender per se, but that there are social constraints on what men can wear. On the other extreme are people who argue that their genitals are a “birth defect” that require surgical removal.
I can’t do justice to the range of genderist beliefs in an email. My point is that I disagree with them, and because of that disagreement I was disinvited from your school. I don’t know what could be more important in a college environment than an examination of social reality and ideas about justice, but that examination has been shut down at Lawrence.
I would urge you to encourage the opposite in your students, for their sakes, certainly, but more importantly in defense of the values central to the liberal tradition. Encountering ideas that differ from one’s own has never hurt anyone; indeed, it is the only way to a better world.
I would be happy to send the text of the talk (which frankly had nothing to do with the subject discussed above) I had planned to give if you have further interest.
Lierre Keith
Please take a moment to show your support for Lierre Kieth and your support for the great tradition of academic free speech by dropping your own message to Jill Beck, The President of Lawrence University expressing your concern at the following address:
Thank you.

52 thoughts on “Lawrence University invokes shocking last minute BAN on Earth Day Keynote Speaker Lierre Keith due to her Feminist views on Gender

  1. That tumblr link says it was Joelle Ruby Ryan who first brought attention to Keith’s feminism to try and shut down the talk.

    1. Joelle Ryan has made his blog private because as a University faculty member, having an opinion appears to be only viewing material for “true” believers. Others who might object or find flaw are not allowed to see those comments. So the tumblr link to the Ryan blog does not work.
      There’s nothing lost there. I’ve read the post and frankly, it does not frame any arguments coherently. It cites buzzwords and spews a lot of indignation against someone laying out arguments against the gender identity movement. But no counterpoints other than “that’s so transphobic!” are raised.
      Bluntly, University faculty that do not defend opinions and allow for free exchange of competing ideas do not deserve to be faculty. Students enter higher education to hone their critical thinking skills, not to be trained in groupthink.

  2. Thank you for making this public, Gallus Mag.
    Same old crap. How dare any woman, let along a Radical lesbian Feminist who says no to men, be allowed to speak, exist, etc.?
    This is what I posted at the Greenfire site, in increments:
    Lierre has been physically attacked and regularly gets death threats for her courage and politics. Who does it serve to censor her? It’s bad enough that we have almost no women only space left. Just imagine that the men who have stalked and leered at Lesbians and other women have figured a very clever way to gain access to what little we have left and to destroy feminism. They just say they are women and Lesbians! Most get no surgery, but do get far more support from women than real women do.
    “Trans” is a myth and cult. We would not accept white people demanding we accept them as People of Color because they say they have always felt they were, and then getting into power positions in the community they oppress and re-writing their history as men who fetishize and caricaturize women are doing.
    If you accept these men, do you agree with the men who have murdered women being allowed into women’s prisons and getting the government to pay for their “sex-changes?” Or the forty-five year old man who sued to be able to expose himself to young girls since by law he is allowed in their sports locker room? It’s all on a continuum. Would you also accept the “trans-paraplegic” able-bodied man who also insists he’s a Lesbian and is using disabled services? If not, why not? His argument is classic trans cult. (He enjoys going to his local Dyke March and deliberately making his wheelchair fall over to get sympathy.)
    I recommend you read the archives at GenderTrender to know who and what you are supporting against feminists like Lierre Keith.
    National Geographic’s “Taboo” : Fake paraplegic Chloe Jennings-White
    February 1, 2012
    Considering that the men who demand we accept them as women (and even as Lesbians) have basically destroyed all remaining women-only space, given death threats, and terrorize women who refuse to obey their cultish orders, it is quite a serious thing for one of the only Radical Lesbian Feminists who still speaks her mind against intimidation now be censored from speaking.
    If anyone even dares to see the obvious: These very privileged men are managing to destroy much of what feminists have worked for decades to build — then it is very serious. And why is anyone who cares about women supporting them? It’s quite simple: men are still treated with far more respect than women.

  3. Lierre’s response is eloquent, a succinct and crystal clear explanation of the issue. She also points out the obvious—that her talk had nothing to do with gender or transgender issues, but as is always the case, the genderists believe everything is about them. Universities are supposed to support academic freedom. How does banning a speaker based on a difference of philosophy fit into that? Lierre is brilliant, and she is good at what she does. As usual, the things Lierre actually said bear no resemblance to any kind of hate or phobia, but apparently, a radical feminist analysis of patriarchy pointing out the dynamics and the dysfunction of the gender hierarchy, as well as a scientific insistence on actual biology is too much for the genderists to endure.

  4. So, their highly politicized and polarizing position on gendered expectations is fine, up to and including forcing their gendered stereotypes on others whether they’re welcome or not,
    and genderfree transgressives are somehow divisive? But how??

    1. Narcissists generally partner with other narcissists whose disorder mirrors and interlocks with their own. Jason here is so very speshul that his wife built a career around his speshulness. And Gail, of course, is speshul because her partner is.
      You’re forgiven if “folie a deux” pops into your mind.

  5. Yep, a brilliant response to this blatant censorship. Following the link to the supposed blatant transphobia page, we have the usual crap that:
    “Rather, transphobia is the actual perpetuation of violence against trans people.”
    And, it seems, perpetuation of violence is daring to DISAGREE (with men) about the innate nature of gender. What we’ve all heard before, feminists are EVIL baby-eating psychos ‘cos we dare to disagree with the menz, just here it is men who imagine/claim they are women, or the menz in a dress……………

  6. The tone of this post is incendiary and polarizing. While I support having a variety of opinions on campus, including ones with which I disagree, I understand why Greenfire chose to cancel Keith’s appearance. We have a large trans population on campus, and, as Keith has made clear time and again, she’s not interested in constructive dialogue or indeed any attempt to challenge or critique her views. Also, I would add that a belief that gender is socially constructed isn’t at all incompatible with support for the trans community; in fact, I would think that fighting patriarchy would mean fighting oppression of any marginalized group–and that most certainly includes trans people. My two cents: to support the liberation of one group instead of–or even at the expense of–another is hardly in keeping with the mission of feminism.

    1. “madge” wrote: ‘My two cents: to support the liberation of one group instead of–or even at the expense of–another is hardly in keeping with the mission of feminism.’
      Which has precisely jackshit to do with what she was scheduled to speak about. Which means that the transjacktivists are more about censorship of the person and not what the person was scheduled to discuss.
      It does not matter whether she wants to have a dialogue with the whacktivists about her ideas surrounding the delusional…that MIGHT have been somewhat of a valid point had she been booked to discuss trans* topics, but she wasn’t. Instead, this turned into another situation of trans* throwing their manly weight around to censor a PERSON at the last minute because she has beliefs that offend someone’s sense of speshulness…

    2. I find it shocking and polarizing that MMadge completely dismisses the whole POINT of the feminist critique of the gender hierarchy and the Trans Politic which is that it is a so-called “Liberation Movement” AGAINST WOMEN which is not only ACTIVELY HARMFUL TO WOMEN but whose PURPOSE is to REMOVE some of OUR few rights AS WOMEN.
      Presumably MMadge has reading comprehension issues or is so incredibly toxic with misogyny that she/he reflexively dismisses all rights for and the welfare of WOMEN and throws us UNDER THE BUS for the sake of male interests. Truly disgusting.

      1. I kept my tone respectful, but I see that no one here is interested in a respectful, rational exchange of ideas and opinions, so never mind. Feel free to return to patting one another on the back for being such great feminists.

      2. Oh bullshit, Madge. Just bullshit. Quit painting yourself as the just the picture of rationality and respect, when the very first line of your post was an attack on the writer. Then when the writer, a woman, fights back, you answer with a fucking tone argument?! Are you fucking kidding me?!
        Yes, Madge. Lots of us here are women (though not all), but all of us here are angry – for a lot of very good reasons that you’d find out if you’d bother to read some of the other posts. And we’re not going to be polite about it to save your precious feelings.
        So go back to supporting murderers and rapists of women and children demanding that the state pay for their female hormones and sex-change operations. Go on, keep supporting them, Madge! Go! Go! Go back to supporting male-bodied people in private areas where women and girls undress. Go back to people raised as men, viewed as men for fifty-odd years putting on a dress and declaring that they now know enough about the marginalization and oppression of women to teach Women’s Studies! Go, Madge, Go! ‘Cause yeah, you’re just an awesome feminist!
        Wow, with “women” like you on our side…

      3. concur with Gallus…
        definitely sad that MM elected not to even attempt to proffer any comment or opinion about what Lierre Keith’s earlier comments had to do with the ‘no platform’ given that it wasn’t the topic of the speaking engagement. But I guess this is to be expected given the way all of the twanz blogs tend to think that claiming ‘transphobia’ is a competent response to arguments and that no substance to support their claim is ever required.

      4. “I kept my tone respectful, but I see that no one here is interested in a respectful, rational exchange of ideas and opinions, so never mind. Feel free to return to patting one another on the back for being such great feminists.”
        In other words: “I’m better than you, and I’ll demonstrated it with sarcasm”

    3. “she’s not interested in constructive dialogue or indeed any attempt to challenge or critique her views”
      Nor is she under any obligation to.
      It is unlikely any two persons will agree completely on any issue. If we accept as a premise that only those that agree with (any particular group) have the right to speak, then nobody truly has that right.

      1. Yes, yet again we have ‘I’m being very NICE and polite, why are you so MEAN?’ response. Which is kind of the telling people they’re wrong/disagreed with upsets them, so you shouldn’t do it (or only if you’re prepared to submit to unrelenting attempts at constructive dialog from the aggrieved parties in their attempts to re-educate/indoctrinate/hypnotise/stun you into finally stopping disagreeing with them).
        My take — we disagree, we’re going to disagree, I don’t want to waste time/energy/ink debating with you, so just fuck off! Works on men/religious nutters/MRAs/trans cultists/cold fusion idiots/UFO believers and so on.
        Seems to be part of a larger trend that finds disagreeing and holding different opinions as a hard thing, and thinks that respecting someone elses beliefs etc means NOT pointing out, ever, that you do actually disagree and think they’re an idiot/deluded etc for actually believing it.

    4. So what if you have a large trans population on campus? What does that have to do with Ms. Keith’s planned Earth Day remarks? Why should she revise her considered views on trans just because a bunch of misogynistic males in dresses want her to? She owes you exactly nothing.
      I’m sick to death of males imposing their will on women. And that includes you, “Madge”.

  7. Why does it not surprise me that trans* uses its brute force to silence someone who does not play along with their delusions. Even less surprising is the appearance of Joe Ryan’s name in amongst the mix in some of the background materials, since it was well known that he is utterly fucking clueless yet somehow conned a school into letting him teach women’s studies and has done everything in his power to try and silence those that recognize (among other things) that biology matters.
    Note to trans*: not everything is about you. Seriously. Just because someone said something at some point in time or holds a belief that offended your speshul snowflake sense of self does not mean that you get to keep them off of every stage known to man (pun intended).

  8. “Lierre’s views are products of an old trend in eco-feminism that I can’t claim to understand. However, it is not defensible under the shield of intellectual freedom of thought. Her statements go well beyond an analysis that is merely wrong to a level that is actively offensive and disregards the lived experiences of millions of people.”
    So, what is so WRONG here.
    Old-fashioned, one claim (if it’s old it’s automatically wrong) — but trying to imply that old means old and discredited, or just plain nonsense since the writer claims to not even understand it.
    Then we have the plain claim that it is not DEFENSIBLE under an academic freedom argument. Not that we’ll give her a chance to defend herself, and argue it out, we’ll just declare that she CAN’T, end of story.
    Actively offensive? WHAT the fuck is that supposed to mean? And the supposed clincher — the opinions of (millions??? Yeah, right) of males that they are actually women CANNOT be disregarded/disagreed with?
    Which, if allowed as an argument, would mean that feminism is out the window at the same institution since MILLIONS of men (if not billions in this case) would, from their precious lived experience, argue that women sticking to womens work and womens traditional position is GOOD, hence feminists are ‘actively offensive’ in suggesting anything else.
    Same error in both cases, suggesting that the menz are wrong in their beliefs, plain as that. Just some are wearing dresses…………….
    Damn , I WISH that someone here would explain what being ‘actively offensive’ WAS, ‘cos I’d bloody well go out and do it tout suite, if it’s so DANGEROUS for one women to be ‘actively offensive’……….Like the arguments against gay marriage BTW, that by so doing you’re somehow undermining straight family life — if I knew how to do THAT, I’d go and do it — although seems that one works even if you’ve no idea HOW you’re doing it, you apparently still are just by existing…………
    Perhaps that’s it, ALL women, just by existing, just keep ‘actively offending’ the men, by refusing to be total doormats. The men in dresses though get even MORE offended, because by existing and bleeding and giving birth, we actively OFFEND them by reminding them what they really are……………
    Here’s to be actively offensive, because if we’re NOT, we’re doing something wrong…………………..

  9. Reblogged this on musicbugsandgender and commented:
    Back in 1989 when I was in sixth-form studying for my general studies A-level our tutors did something brave that one could scarcely imagine happening today. For the politics module, they invited representatives of ALL the local political parties, including the far-right BNP to provide a presentation and take student Q&A. All my then tutors were ’60s children and undoubtedly more ‘Germaine Greer’ and ‘Benjamin Spock’ than ‘Enoch Powell’ politically speaking. Nonetheless they gave us students a chance to listen and make up our own minds and for that I can only applaud them. Education is about opening up access to knowledge and allowing people to make of it what they will, utilizing it to the best of their compassion and intelligence. We know when things are being hidden from us and we feel patronized, manipulated; unaccountably angry. Whether we agree with the principles of radical feminism – or nationalism – is beside the point: we’re all hungry for knowledge and experience, and we respond to trust.
    Don’t censor. Let us make up our own minds.
    And with respect to Keith and her peers in particular – is second-wave feminism the new communism? Does expressing non-liberal views on gender and sexuality put one on a McCarthy-esque blacklist? PC gone mad, you say…

  10. Meh, fewer and fewer people will want to hear radfem views anymore. You can’t even book a hall anymore. BTW, Lierre is pretty hot, I’d do her.

  11. I went over to Lierre Keith’s site,, and bought her books. Frankly, the silencing of an opposing viewpoint due to personal beliefs is destroying the higher education freedom of expression. It’s groupthink all the way.
    What’s next? Banning anyone who has any religious belief from expressing a viewpoint on any subject because their opinion on anything cannot be valid if they have belief/religion? Oh yeah, Dick Dawkins has already done that.
    Goodbye, Free exchange of ideas.
    Hello, Groupthink.

    1. I feel compelled to state that while I wouldn’t give a groat to hear Dick Dawkins speak, I have great respect for PZ Myers. This isn’t about religion/atheism. This isn’t about radfem/trans.
      This is about the destruction of the free exchange of ideas.
      Support Lierre Keith and her work.

      1. Well, there we were ladies, we’d thought we’d found a little haven in academia, that we could wave the academic freedom flag and have a little space to discuss feminism and all that………….
        Except it was all a bit of a con really. The menz at the top STILL don’t want the ladies in there — just look at the sex split, the higher up the academic ladder you go, the fewer ladies. Must be our ineffective little lady-brains after all, with all that blood being diverted to our uteri every month……………….
        So, womens studies morphs into ‘jenduh studies’ and gets taken over by men (with or without dresses). Womens studies degrees die off, and the mens in dresses get to scare off any feminists who dare to set a foot on campus, in case they are actively offensive with their persistent refusal to believe in jenduh. Plus various departments get to look better in terms of their gender split, cos the men in dresses get counted in the F column!
        * Especially in computer science departments given the surprisingly large number of male computing types who seem to end up trans! I suspect a link with Aspergers type symptoms, and the sort of people who are desperate to follow the rules, and to whom gender rules are just another happy little set of rules they can learn and follow. Just that some want to pick the laydee rules rather than the menz ones (cos the fabrics are nicer………).

  12. I really agree, Gallus, Bad Dyke, Michelle and others. Really, our and Lierre’s crime is to exist. That’s what it all leads to. Trans intentions are the same as the worst of men: wipe out women. Remove our rights, and then us. Destroy our existence.
    Trans are not a “marginalized group,” they are an illusion, as real as “kind Nazis” or a “caring right wing.” (I was going to say, “as real as space aliens,” but they might be a possibility, while men becoming women never will be.)
    Trans are privileged, female-hating men who are doing tremendous harm to Lesbians and all women and girls. Or they are self-hating women who are still women in spite of betraying us.
    Part of the myth, the lie, the con, and the cult is that we should ally with our enemy. And yes, they are our enemy, destroying female-only space, threatening, censoring, bullying….

  13. This is so incredibly upsetting. I really fear for the future of women, if we’re not even allowed to talk about gender in a critical manner without fear of being threaten, attacked, and in other ways discriminated against. Was she supposed to get paid for this gig? Is public speaking part of her livelihood?

  14. Letter sent to Lawrence University:
    I am writing to express dismay at the fact that the eco-feminist Lierre Keith was barred from speaking after she had been invited as a speaker. I can only call out the University of on this with utter disgust for the anti intellectual, bigoted and misogynistic decision to cancel the talk. I see that Lawrence University is upholding all the ideals of the good senator and embraces censorship and blacklists based on accusations. If anyone had any doubt prior, that even the faintest pretension of intellectual honesty, had fled the academy (like a bat out of hell) they can rest assured it is long gone—you can all come out now, no more feminists, no more women.
    As I understand it, long story short, Ms. Helen Boyd, did not approve of the speaker, so the speaker was banned. Might I suggest that not every feminists needs to be vetted through Ms. Boyd. Really the whole affair de Boyd is unprofessional niggling and narrow-minded. One might ask, on what merit or authority was Ms. Boyd imbued with such power as to “demand a sit down” with an invited speaker? Who is she the God Father of gender? Let’s be honest, Ms. Boyd has made herself a name as a professional “wife.” The wife of an indeed very privileged husband—neither are poster children for oppression. More to the point, Ms. Boyd has not made a name for herself as a scholar, or a theorist, or as a writer of innovative prose. Ms. Boyd now also claims expertise in the environment and feminism. Or was she just making sure she keeps women who question gender silenced at all cost? It would seem that way. I could be completely in the dark. Perhaps this part of Ms. Boyd’s administrative duties to the University—censor and silence. I am sure this is more interesting than committee meetings not to mention much easier. Then, everyone can pretend they are tolerant while they at the exact same time they ride rough shod over any vestment of intellectual discourse, because really what is most hated is discourse. The new credo: We are right, forever and always. Everyone else is the bigot and whatever kind of “phobic” du jour thrown out as a ruse to silence women.
    It is so mind boggling that I just keep asking what kind of institution of “higher learning” cancels a feminist and activists at the behest of Helen Boyd? Helen who? Oh, Helen the eminent scholar and renowned researcher. Oh, of course Helen the gifted the writer of such a wide array of subjects. Yes, yes, we know Helen with such stellar academic credentials, wow. Achtung Helene ordered. All feminists must at all times agree with–Helen. Do you people have the chutzpah to cash parents tuition checks? Here is the long and short Lawrence University is misogynistic, they silence women, censor thought. Lawrence University does not tolerate discourse, they have all the hallmarks of an institution adrift in the silly sea of political correctness—anti intellectual and dysfunctionalism. They are governed by conformity and cowed by bigots and allow for faculty to bully invited speakers and then demand they be cancelled. I am an academic also and using a “pen name” because I do not need Ms. Boyd to decide she needs to silence and slander me also. I would argue here, for intellectual freedom but that would require some modicum of intellectualism, and well, freedom—but obviously it is not an argument that is welcome at Lawrence University.
    All I can say is shame on you people collecting a paycheck and pretending to be tolerant. Shame on you for allowing “faculty” to make you all look like a bunch of bigots. Shame on your neo Macarthism. It might behoove someone there to read The New Yorker piece on transgender youth. And take note they did not hire Ms. Boyd to write it. Yes Ms. Boyd, a champion of truth who less than a decade ago she was calling her husband a “cross dresser in every interview she did,” is that passé now or just would not garner as many of das politico credits, and would not pass muster for an “activist.” I hope you at least realize that in the future this is going to look even worse than it does now. Perhaps, Ms. Boyd can rid the Biology Department of any science that conflicts with notions of “gender identity.” It is my understanding that in the biology department they are really teaching things that would enrage Ms. Boyd. Oh and in neurobiology, hold on. They say there is no female brain—get the pitch forks and torches—burn them—call in the big guns of misogyny like Joelle Ruby Ryan, another jewel in the academic crown.
    Well good luck, Lawrence University is making a name for itself.

  15. Dear Dr. Beck,
    I’m writing to protest Lierre Keith’s talk at Lawrence being canceled because of her feminist politics. This kind of censorship is a shock and wrong for so many reasons. I can’t really add more to what Lierre has already said about it. It’s outrageous that supporters of men posing as women could have so much power to censor women, but that exposes the right wing politics of the trans movement, which is also inherently misogynist.
    What a loss for the University to miss the opportunity to hear and meet with Lierre. Her work is literally saving lives and the environment. The bigotry shown her is also hurting those at the University.
    Bev Jo

  16. Bad Dyke: ” … the sort of people who are desperate to follow the rules, and to whom gender rules are just another happy little set of rules they can learn and follow. Just that some want to pick the laydee rules rather than the menz ones (cos the fabrics are nicer………).”
    I think you’ve hit on something here, BD. Do you know that on their blogs they have “tip sheets” with rules to follow for being more laydee-like? And that they hire “vocal coaches” to teach them rules for raising the pitch of their manly voices a “half an octave”–that is, four, count ’em, four tones–into a laydee-like falsetto?
    Yep, rules it is, and it pisses them off no end when actual women refuse to follow the laydee-tranny rules they so thoughtfully lay down for us. Submit to the laydee-peen or else!

  17. Dear Ms. Beck:
    I write to support Lierre Keith and object to her recent speaking engagement cancellation at your school Earth Day function.
    To silence Ms. Keith is a shame, because while some may not agree with her, others happen to support her viewpoints. Free speech should be a concern of any university and when yours disinviting Ms. Keith you are revealing intolerance and censorship as your institutions core values.
    I’m proud to have attended a college that was rich with oppositional and challenging public forums. Exposure to a variety of viewpoints enriched my perspective.
    Gender roles are social constructs. To be a higher education institution and censor Ms. Keith due to ignorance and petty disagreements is pathetic. The confusion of sex (XX and XY, etc) and gender is nothing short of shocking ignorance. Women worked very hard to expand gender roles, not to see them narrowed by born males who want to dictate what being a woman entails.
    I hope to hear Ms. Keith receive a public apology from you, and an invitation to host this discussion campus wide.

  18. From: Derrick Jensen
    Date: Sunday, April 28, 2013, 3:29 PM
    Dear Dr. Beck,
    I was disappointed to learn that Lawrence University disinvited Lierre Keith to speak at your Earth Day event. The disappointment comes, really, in four parts.
    The first part is that especially in these days of increasingly controlled thought and speech, I have held on to universities as strongholds of independent thought and the free and open exchange of ideas. I say that as someone who has more than twenty well-respected books out and has been brought to speak at a couple of hundred colleges and universities. It seems unconscionable to me that a university would disinvite a distinguished speaker because a small group of people in this case “trans” and their allies claimed her presence would make them “uncomfortable.” By no means should the question of whether or not some sub-group of students are made “uncomfortable” be the measure by which a university should decide to disinvite speakers: I can certainly name groups of people who would have been made “uncomfortable” by the presence of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Andrea Dworkin, Upton Sinclair, Karl Marx, Jesus Christ, and on and on. I thought part of the purpose of a university was to challenge thought, and a university administrator should know better than anyone that challenging thought makes people uncomfortable.
    The second part of the disappointment comes in the mischaracterization of Ms Keith by this small group on campus. The “trans” and their allies have categorized her as a bigot and have said they feel threatened by her. But her supposed bigotry simply comes because she feels that women should be allowed to determine who comes into spaces that women have determined should be for women only. Not only do oppressed groups have the legally-established right to this form of self-determination, but the physical necessity of this when it comes to women should be obvious, given the fact that gold standard studies reveal that 25 percent of all women in this culture are raped in their lifetimes, and another 19 percent fend off rape attempts. To call an attempt to maintain safe spaces for women bigotry is absurd: for making this claim, the offending students should be required to take classes in the history of the oppression of women.
    The third part of the disappointment comes in the statement that the “uncomfortable” students also said they felt “threatened.” The implication was that Ms. Keith would somehow terrorize them. This is completely absurd even on its face. For one thing, she wasn’t going to talk about “trans” issues at all, but rather talk about the effects of agriculture on the natural world. I’m not sure what to say about a small group of people who are so emotionally fragile that they would feel “threatened” by a [slender, physically disabled, middle aged female] speaker who was not going to address any issues remotely associated with them. What makes the notion of being “threatened” even more absurd is that Ms Keith has never to my knowledge in public or private made anything that can be remotely considered to be a physical threat against any “trans” person or any “trans” ally. Ms. Keith comes from a background of radical feminist thought. Never to my knowledge has any radical feminist made any physical threat against any “trans” person or any “trans” ally. The “threat” they are claiming comes merely because she disagrees with them. This is not called a “threat.” This is called a “disagreement,” and is something universities are supposed to encourage. But it gets worse yet: “trans” and their allies have a long history of threatening radical feminists with physical and sexual assault, with attacks by acid, and so on.
    The only way they could find her “threatening”–even had she been going to talk about “trans” issues, which she was not–would be ideologically, and great educators of all times have recognized that challenges to one’s previously held ideologies is a central means by which people learn.
    So I find it extremely disappointing that Lawrence University gave in to these bullies on their false claims. Giving in to this sort of bullying should be against everything a university stands for.
    My final disappointment came when I read the actual letters sent by the student to Ms Keith cancelling the event. There were two parts to this disappointment. The first is that I could not believe he canceled the day before she was to get on a plane. That is unbelievably rude, and entitled: he presumes his time is more important than hers, that she has nothing else going on in her life, and that he can jerk her and her schedule around however he wants. I’ve had colleges reschedule on me before, and even cancel in a couple of cases, and they always did it for good reasons (budgetary problems, scheduling conflicts, whatever), and more to the point here, they always gave me respect as they did it: canceling at least a month in advance so I had time to mesh this change into my already busy schedule. The second part to this disappointment came in the student’s actual language, which was rude, arrogant, condescending, and patronizing. I have never in my hundreds of events received a note from an organizer that was as rude and unprofessional as this. Now, I understand that you personally have no control over letters written by students, but I also understand that these letters and these actions reflect poorly on the institution as a whole.
    I don’t know how much, if any of this, you knew about as it was happening. I understand that students and student groups are rightly given a fair amount of autonomy. But it is the responsibility of the university and its administrators to make sure that these students and student groups don’t misuse this autonomy to make a complete mess of things and treat people completely unacceptably, as they did in this case.
    Derrick Jensen
    Author, Endgame, A Language Older Than Words, The Culture of Make Believe

  19. Has anyone received a reply? I sent an email and have heard nothing, which I have to admit rather surprises me. Not even a form letter.

    1. As far as I know President Dr. Jill Beck has not yet responded to any of us who wrote regarding this awful censorship and treatment of feminist Lierre Keith at Lawrence University based on her previous public statements against sex-roles. Seems unbelievable, incredibly rude and irresponsible.

      1. I never got a reply, though these days that seems to be more or less par for the course when writing complaining emails, sadly 🙁

  20. I agree. Men and their demands against always come first. This is also another case of women allying with men against women.

  21. Ugh, what a bunch of censorship-loving freaks. You know, I’d love to hear Lierre Keith speak and as soon as I get some money from my new job I’m going to buy her books and the books of other Radfems.
    Also, have any of these delluded males and their handmaidens been to the Deep Green Resistance website? Probably not, because the free exchange of ideas is forbidden in a cult. Apparently
    it’s now forbidden in academia because some men’s fee fees will be hurt…even though the talk is not about them.
    DGRs position on gender is highly logical and not to mention consistent and not bogged down with pomo language. Their guides to being a white ally and an ally to indigenous peoples are great too.
    I find it interesting that a group like DGR that advocates for the dismantling of civilization is mainly considered controversial for their stance on what gender means, and not the dismantling of civilization part! Goes to show that the narcissistic cultists will always make everything about them.
    I am disgusted that Lierre Keith was banned considering that literal human garbage like a group that compares abortion to the Holocaust and a religious cult who sexually harassed students were allowed to show up at the university I went to with no notice, no opinion from the student body.

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