The WLU/Lindsay Shepherd controversy was never about free speech
Aadita Chaudhury
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You missed the point! The debate the whole country is concerned about has been about FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION all along, you merely pointed to the fact that Lindsay Shepherd is not completely blameless. Oh! No kidding! Really?…

Let me explain. This is your argument: “Shepherd’s issue was never related to academic freedom and freedom of speech to begin with. She failed to meet the contractual obligations as a TA, a role in which, she does not technically have academic freedom”. I disagree.

Let me deconstruct your argument. And let me be clear: Your article is not discussing what is up for debate here. Yours is not an argument-based criticism of the debate at hand. This is why: you are criticizing the fact that she brought into a course she is a TA of an ‘outside the syllabus topic’ — a claim that I would argue is, at least, debatable (i.e. Are pronouns- and the subject these refer to- not a fundamental aspect of the written and spoken language in English, French, Spanish, or any other language ?). As a result of Lindsay Shepherd’s academic overstep, you dismiss what her complaint (and this whole issue) is REALLY about; an outrageous violation of Section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (*Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: (a) freedom of conscience and religion; (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication; © freedom of peaceful assembly; and freedom of association — Section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms from, Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.). Let me be clear, the violation to her Charter Rights should, and must NEVER, be dismissed as a consequence of an academic overstep. Let that sink in… Read it again if you are still missing the point… Do you understand how wrong and dangerous the premise of your article is to anyone and everyone within the academic circles? Minorities? Oh man, you must really think about what you write before you publish it… speaking of opression…

Now that I hope to have clarified how it is not reasonable to reach the conclusion that because she ‘overstepped’ her academic role as an educator (or assistant thereof), her complaints against the repression of her right to discuss certain (and any) topics, forms, and manners of communication within university campuses are invalid, I want to shed light in yet another outragous statement you have made.

“but her right to present obviously debunked arguments about gender pronouns to the disadvantage of actual lived experiences of fellow students, where their lives and identities are up for debate.” What? please link the source(s) this claim is based on. You do not seem to realize that closing the debate and not citing sources for claims of this nature does not benefit your position (nor any position in this debate, to be clear), right?. I hope you can reconsider this simple fact — a reasonable and thoughtful discussion on topics that affects people’s lives should and must be encouraged and NEVER dismissed as ‘debunked’. Creationism is debunked, the extent and nature of sexuality, the expression of genes, and many other aspects of science concerning the nature of humanity as we understand it are NOT and should NEVER be dismissed as obviously debunked! or at least have the journalistic decency to explain why! If it is obviously debunked, then it can be obviously explained, right?

I believe you wrote this article because you are in the click-bait business, that is why you were so blinded to the fact that you are promoting intolerance and NOT defending women or students in any way.