Lewis & Clark Law School Students Call for Cancellation of Christina Hoff Sommers Event

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Students at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon, are calling for the cancellation of a Monday event featuring American Enterprise Institute Scholar Christina Hoff Sommers.

A letter published by Lewis & Clark Law School’s National Lawyers Guild chapter calls for the cancellation of a Monday event featuring American Enterprise Institute (AEI) Scholar Christina Hoff Sommers. The letter calls Sommers a “known fascist” and “rape apologist/denialist.”

We have recently become aware of a troubling event being held within the confines of our community. Under the guise of “open debate” and “free discourse,” the Federalist Society found it necessary to unilaterally invite a known fascist to our campus to encourage what we believe to be an act of aggression and violence toward members of our society who experience racial and gendered oppression. Christina Sommers has repeatedly made remarks in order to delegitimize the suffering felt by women across the world, and to embolden male—supremacist groups, including the Men’s Rights Activist (MRA) movement and Milo Yiannopoulos. Sommers has called the epidemic of sexual assault on campuses and the gender wage gap “myths,” refuses to recognize genderqueer and gender non—conforming persons, and denies the existence of male supremacy. Because of the way systemic oppression manifests, we know those who live at intersections of oppression——cis and trans women of color, genderqueer and gender non—conforming persons of color—bear the brunt of this attempt to legitimize gendered violence. By giving a mainstream voice to such groups, Sommers gives credibility to this reactionary rhetoric.

The letter was signed by several students groups at Lewis & Clark Law School including the Minority Law Student Association, Women’s Law Caucus, Jewish Law Society, Black Law Student Society, Latino Law Society and the school’s Young Democratic Socialists of America chapter. The groups collectively argue that Lewis & Clark’s Federalist Society’s decision to invite Sommers is an “act of aggression and violence toward members of our society who experience racial and gendered oppression.”

The letter also asked The Federal Society to rescind their invitation to Sommers.

Students from Lewis & Clark Law School Federal Society chapter fired back at the request.

As a preliminary matter, we wish to strongly oppose the labeling of our guest. Christina Hoff Sommers as a “known fascist.” It is difficult to pin down a precise definition of fascism, and such efforts have been a subject of debate since the emergence of the ideology decades ago. However, one thing is patently clear: Ms. Sommers is not a fascist. She has stood in support of free expression. individuality, and against the oppressive cloak of that extreme collectivists ac known all too well to wear. Moreover, we hope that such a misapplied label is only a rash mistake, and not a deliberate attempt to justify shutting down the pursuit of free and rational discourse by any means possible.

The event is scheduled to take place on Monday afternoon at Lewis & Clark Law School.

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