Megyn Kelly (Screen shot)

Megyn Kelly lashes out at feminist "buttercups" who need to "toughen up"

Powerful lobbies of powerless students are somehow capable of stifling free expression on campus


Scott Eric Kaufman
April 23, 2015 4:28PM (UTC)

Megyn Kelly invited "The Factual Feminist" Christina Hoff Sommers on "The Kelly File" last night to discuss the decision by students at University of North Texas to demand a commencement speaker who better aligned with their values than Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

She claimed that this was yet another example of students wanting to "silence a speaker they don't happen to agree with," akin to Georgetown students who last week wanted to trigger warnings outside of Sommers' talk "so people could get prepared to deal with their upset."

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Before Kelly could let her guest speak, though, she provided her audience with a warning of her own -- that Sommers isn't the kind of feminist who will say things that offend conservatives. "You're not the kind of feminist [that college students] believe in," Kelly told her, "and you don't say the stuff they want you to say, and therefore they want you to shut your mouth, and if you don't shut your mouth, then everyone needs to be held before you come on to campus and be told that they can go to their 'safe space' if you have the nerve to show up."

Sommers described the safe spaces at Brown University, which she claimed contained Play-Doh and videos of puppies. "It's so shocking to me as a philosophy professor," she added, "that campuses have become such a hostile environment for free expression."

Kelly described how when Sommers appeared at Georgetown, the university provided students with "safe zones" for people "overwhelmed" by her presence. Sommers attempted to jump in, but Kelly was on a roll and spoke right over her, saying that she had received so many threats that the campus felt it necessary to provide her with security.

Sommers corrected her, saying "I don't know if there were threats, but the tone of the criticism" on social media alarmed campus officials. She tried to describe the atmosphere at another speech she gave at Oberlin, but Kelly again cut her off.

"It's like we're ruining the upcoming generation," she said. "Life doesn't involve only people who think the way you think, college students! You have to get used to people with opposing views!"

Sommers agreed, adding that people used to come to her talks to debate her, but now they say that her moderate, liberal views are a threat to their psychological well-being.

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"You don't buy the whole dogma," Kelly said. "You don't buy the numbers on the campus assaults, and neither does Britt Hume, and a lot of other people who aren't sexist or misogynist."

She concluded the segment by recounting "the words of my old trainer, Dave, back when I still worked out: 'Toughen up, Buttercup!'"

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Watch the entire exchange below Fox News below.


Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Christina Hoff Sommers Feminism Megyn Kelly The Kelly Files

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