Should White Boys Be Heard? Dickenson Student Says No


February 19, 2019 4:28 PM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
A Dickinson College senior did not foresee her essay in the student paper titled Should White Boys Still Be Allowed to Talk? going viral online or appearing on national organizations' websites. In her guest editorial, Leda Fisher argues that white, male students are taking over discussions of feminism, LGBTQ and race that she feels are better voiced by women and minority students.

A Dickinson College senior did not foresee her essay in the student paper titled "Should White Boys Still Be Allowed to Talk?" going viral online or appearing on national organizations' websites. In her guest editorial, Leda Fisher argues that white, male students are taking over discussions of feminism, LGBTQ and race that she "feels are better voiced by women and minority students."

The essay begins with the question: "When you ask a question at a lecture, is it secretly just your opinion ending with the phrase 'do you agree?'" If you answered yes, your name must be "something like Jake, or Chad, or Alex, and you were taught that your voice is the most important in every room."” According to Fisher, there is an "endless line of white boys waiting to share their opinions on the state of feminism in America, whether the LGBTQ+ population finally has enough rights, the merits of capitalism, etc." without proper personal knowledge or experience.

The piece closes with: "so, should white boys still be allowed to share their 'opinions'? Should we be forced to listen? In honor of Black History Month, I'm gonna go with a hell no. Go find someone whose perspective has been buried or ignored and listen to them, raise up their voice. To all the Chrises, Ryans, Olivers and Seans out there, I encourage you to critically examine where your viewpoints come from, read a text that challenges you without looking for reasons to dismiss it and maybe try listening from now on."

Many news outlets criticized the piece and hundreds signed a petition calling for the college to expel her and accused her of having “spewed censorship, bigotry, racism and hatred."

Hundreds of comments to The Dickinsonian claimed Fisher was "trying to silence white men from speaking in class, and that view was racist." Others said her use of "stereotypical white names was demeaning." Some Dickinson students, on the other hand, have followed Fisher's piece with essays of their own, "defending her and saying that she was never truly trying to prevent white male students from talking in class, only to use satire and rhetoric to get them to think." Do you agree with Leda Fisher's essay? Why or why not?

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Discuss

Share your thoughts and perhaps thousands of students will benefit from your unique insight on the subject!



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Miguel M  on  5/1/2019 3:36:30 PM commented:

*Sigh* That's all I'm going to say.

Boys, later men are given love/honor conditionally  on  3/16/2019 12:06:11 AM commented:

I understand her feelings However problem is deeper We need to understand boys are raised to be tough given aggressive treatment from infancy They are also given little kind caring verbal interaction for fear of coddling This is leaving many boys/men to give up early in school never attend college Boys/men are also given honor on condition of achievement Boys/men not achieving are given ridicule even abuse to make them try harder Support is not given for fear of coddling and false belief in genetics This conditional respect is leaving many boys/men having to generate love/honor in small or large ways You can see this in grade school boys seeking honor shouting out answers As girls/women we are given honor for being girls We are given kind caring verbal support This is helping us take over education We are more at ease Boys/men now feel threatened due to false belief in genetics and more abuse allowed for boys/men by everyone In college still need to earn love As women we feel more secu

William B  on  3/6/2019 10:57:48 AM commented:

Maybe, just maybe, she should open her mind to the fact that there some of us "white boys" that have endured our own hardships directly caused by women. She is trying to do to those of us that have endured these hardships and is making a joke of herself by crying and acting like the only person or race or gender or sexuality that has endured any kind of tragedy or hardship. Maybe if she would open her mind a little and think a little bit she would realize that by the "white boys" not crying and complaining with our hands out , that we have truly overcame our own personal hardships and the resentments that seem to tag along with them. Maybe that's why we speak up. Maybe, just maybe, we do have first hand knowledge of these things that your ignorant, and selfish mind cant seem to comprehend and you would stop holding your hand out thinking that everyone owes you something . Because , its obvious that at the very least , that you think your owed pity or sympathy .

Mary S.  on  3/4/2019 5:00:27 PM commented:

It's a sad day when Americans think they can deny anyone the ability to talk. That is a part of our freedom. We can agree to disagree. The American male, especially the divorced male, is one of the most discriminated against persons in our society. The pendulum has swung from the 'Cheating on your wife with the secretary' generation to the 'force him to pay child support; so what if he can't eat or pay his own rent'. A society with a degraded male populous is just as broken as a society with a degraded female populous.

Dylan C  on  2/27/2019 11:22:50 AM commented:

People like that are why I make sure people know about my Bolivian heritage in forms. Everyone has the god given right to be heard, protected in this country by the first amendment, everyone is entitled to have an opinion on whatever they want to. Discrimination on the "oppressors" is still discrimination and while I agree you still have the right to your opinion with that article you also have the responsibility to know what you are arguing for racism towards white people because you don't believe they have anything you want to hear

Sheridan C  on  2/26/2019 12:44:29 PM commented:

This is so sad. The people that screaming and yelling about the racism and hatred in this country are the ones that are being racist and hateful. I agree that we need to listen to minority opinions and voices, but that does not mean we get to silence others! Everyone in this country should have the freedom to have a voice, no matter the topic. Keep trying to censor people and you will have all hell break loose eventually. It is OKAY to be a straight white male. It is OKAY to speak up for what you believe in. This is ridiculous and closed minded and this student should be punished for being discriminatory against white males.

Freedom of speach  on  2/26/2019 1:07:02 AM commented:

Yes “She is racist and sexist. She exemplifies being a hate filled bigot”

Maria JZ  on  2/24/2019 7:25:12 PM commented:

I do believe there REALLY needs to be more representation of LGBTQ+ people and colored minorities, that most of the time their voices are hindered for reasons that are pretty obvious. Although I do agree most white men have it seemingly easy, the trick is about inclusivity. A popular historical figure that wanted to include people and bring them together is Martin Luther King. He wanted Whites, Blacks, Latinos, Native Americans to live in perfect harmony, well in that time it was reportedly African Americans and Whites but the point is the same. This is no different, we shouldn't really judge anyone by their race, gender, sexuality and instead judge by actions. We should strive to live together as one, without hate and discrimination. That'''''s how society and the world could become a better place.

Halimah G.  on  2/24/2019 2:43:35 PM commented:

Alright, this article is some of the most ignorant page of bullcrap I've read in my life and I'm going to list some reasons why. Let's start off with the point that as a LGBT+ member, you shouldn't let anyone invalidate you or your beliefs without your consent. And the fact that you need to have some sort of scapegoat just because you YOURSELF, feel insecure, is childish and immature. We as a community have each others back, and quite frankly as of recent, we have even turned on one another which is such a disappointment and a step back into our newfound success. Secondly, you are taking the actions of a few individuals that you are associated with/stuck being around, and stereotyping the demographic. Which I recall, is EXACTLY what the LGBT+ did not want people to do against us. You cannot fight fire with fire, and expect to not get burned in the process. You should be familiar with the term "Two wrongs do not make a right". And you unfortunately have fallen into the category. You should be setting a good example for the rest of the community instead of trying to place the blame on an entire group and trying to force everyone else to agree with your opinion. Imagine some 12, or 13 year old comes across an article like this and reads it, taking a stance with you. That hate is going to fuel them for the next few years of their critical growth period, and they aren't going to be able to tell right from wrong anymore. The LGBT+ has the plus sign for a reason, and among the additional letters, "Allies" are a part of our community. There are plenty of white (cishet) men out there, that stand for this community and support our right, have our backs, whatever we need from them. You are a sad being to group them all together as hateful beings. No one is silencing you from your beliefs, or stopping you from your sexuality/transition. AND THEN on top of that, you use Black History Month as an excuse to lash out against them, instead of celebrating the month for the primary pu

I.E. white boy  on  2/24/2019 12:56:36 AM commented:

This is so contradictory and sad it’s funny...

Joseph W  on  2/23/2019 11:57:32 PM commented:

Okay, here’s the deal. There’s never been a time to be a human being. With democracy and overall well-being at an all time high with crime and poverty at an all-time low in human history. If there is a time to be a human being, it is now. You don’t like the sense of arrogance or whiteness when you think of America. How about she go live in China, India, or North Korea where the vast majority live in poverty and don’t have the same freedoms as us. To say our nation as a whole should target and shun a whole race is the most authoritarian thing I’ve heard. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem learning from other points of perspective( especially minorities). I love hispanic and black history month because we as peole get to celebrate our differences and learn about other cultures. However, her personal accounts of white people doesn’t condone me to being prejudged and shunned to be quiet just because the color of my skin. Everyone’s opinion and beliefs should be treated equally (yes even the biggets and radicals) To not do so is in fact racist.

Anonymous  on  2/23/2019 9:54:23 PM commented:

I find it ironic that the most hateful and prejudiced people are those complaining about "the hateful and prejudiced majority".

carolyn  on  2/23/2019 8:13:16 PM commented:

She is racist and sexist. She exemplifies being a hate filled bigot.

Anna K  on  2/23/2019 7:23:14 PM commented:

What happened to the first amendment? And second off I don't understand why an Educational site would allow this oppressive essay to be posted. ALL PEOPLE HAVE A VOICE WHETHER YOU ARE BLACK, WHITE, SPANISH, ASIAN, GREEN, BLUE, PURPLE. I don't understand why anything like this is acceptable.

Anon White Bi Female Feminist  on  2/23/2019 6:10:04 PM commented:

Although I do feel as if this was the wrong approach to make the statement, I personally agree with her. No, I do not think all white males should be silenced, but I do believe that they need to think about it. I think we should have them thinking about the personal struggles that people in these communities go through with. Do you mean it when you defend them? I don’t believe she meant anything in the wrong way, but it was approached wrongly. Aside from that, people will never 100% agree with you, so I just want to let that be said. Every voice should be heard, but every voice should re-evaluate their beliefs- and I’m not just talking about sterotypical straight white men named Chris. I mean everyone, thanks

Deshaun J  on  2/23/2019 2:09:04 AM commented:

What kind of a question is this? Silencing a person because of the color of their skin or gender, no matter who, is evil and wrong. Just because someone is a white man doesn’t mean they have an authority over someone else who is different, not in 2019. This student is filled with hate.

Anonymous U.  on  2/22/2019 10:15:13 PM commented:

For a person/group of people that promote equality, this sure is a whole lot of hypocrisy. Racism doesn’t care what race you are, just that it means someone is discriminating against a race. Period. Same with sexism.

Sage A.  on  2/22/2019 8:20:27 PM commented:

Racist? Check, Bigoted? Check, Sexist? Check. All that's missing from this woman's rant is a blurb on ageism as well. The kind of "Diversity" this so called essay writer is calling for used to be called segregation not that many decades ago. It doesn't matter how many layers of paint you put on a decaying structure, it still rotting from within. Sadly, this is drivel is what is being taught in colleges across the nation. I'm more than willing to bet that the original writer of the article would love separated water fountains as well. She can call them, safe space drinking locations.

Grace W  on  2/22/2019 8:08:04 PM commented:

Yes Men should have a voice!!! What the heck if you are mad about men sharing their viewpoint that is more sexist then every “man-spreader” ever!!!

Nathaniel D  on  2/22/2019 7:41:55 PM commented:

If you want to take part in a discussion, go for it. Don't worry about what a person is. You shouldn't disregard someone just because of their skin color. Nobody learns anything if you just view it as one side versus the other.

Anonymous White Gay Male  on  2/21/2019 10:48:16 PM commented:

Since it was brought up about white men having a stance on anything LGBTQIA related, I feel I need to reply to this. First off how dare, whoever this Fisher person is, spout off these racist ideals against white males. I do not remember a time when I was not part of the homosexual community, or when being a white male separated me from its issues. Secondly, if everyone's opinion is important to be heard when it comes to speaking on something that in any remote way affects your society, you have no right to decide who is deserving of having an opinion. To suggest a group shouldn't have a voice, is LITERALLY unconstitutional. Thirdly, I guarantee there are white males who have supported the same ideals that are held by the author on the political issues that are being questioned on whether or not my race and gender have a right to reply on, so I ask this, are you really going to decide because of their race and gender, my race and gender, that they too should have no voice to speak out? If you want white males silenced, then fair is fair. You should lose every white male on your side of any argument you've ever been on. This person may say that they are not trying to silence white males, but if you believe even in a corner of your mind, and have the audacity to write the comment that "hell no" to whether or not "white boys" should share their opinions, you have already proven yourself to be a sexist and a bigot. If, for an example, I asked if black women (maybe even a single black woman) should be allowed to voice their opinion on gun control, I would likely be expelled in a heartbeat for racist communication that my college institution does not agree with. But here is the thing, I do not go through life constantly thinking "I'm a white man, and I am better," I have gone through life knowing that I am a person, and that everyone around me is a person, to think of race and gender, and to call attention to it at any and every given moment, that is racism and sexism. The

Tre`  on  2/21/2019 8:31:47 PM commented:

Sure, her delivery was a bit rough, but it was needed to be said. Too often, people who have nothing to do with issues (i.e white men) have the strongest opinions about them.

Aidan P.  on  2/21/2019 3:20:59 PM commented:

I do not think that she should be expelled. I disagree with that kind of witch hunting to ruin peoples lives for a single event. However, I do think that she needs a reality check, because what she says in her essay is, regardless of satire, racist and sexist.

William L  on  2/21/2019 11:49:57 AM commented:

@Phillip C Wow, another sheep that has convinced himself that he's lesser than others solely because he's white. I've been to those classes in college: Almost none of the information they teach is scientific or even reasonable/accurate. It does, however, actively push a toxic and racist liberal agenda. You're a college student. Be smarter than this, Phillip.

Kyle P  on  2/21/2019 7:06:07 AM commented:

This is completely ridiculous seeing how everyone has the right to speak and voice an opinion why would this show up in my email it’s completely targeting me! If I were to write an essay on “Should Black Women have a voice” I’d be lashed out for being racist

Anon M  on  2/20/2019 10:49:47 PM commented:

The very idea that a specific group of people should be silenced is obsurd. It doesn't matter which group it is, be it Flat Earthers, Anti-Vaxxers, Blacks, Women, LGBTs, or White Males. It's similar to banning all single-gender clubs except for the all-women ones. "Those who deny others freedom deserve it not for themselves."

Devin H.  on  2/20/2019 8:28:16 PM commented:

"Leda Fisher argues that white, male students are taking over discussions of feminism, LGBTQ and race.." Well gee willikers, it's like white boys make up the bulk of the population so of course they are going to be the most heard. "... she "feels are better voiced by women and minority students." You're kidding me right? White men are also affected by LGBT activists, feminists, and race debates. This is the problem here, there is no critical thinking. You are dramatically changing the culture these people live in so of course they are going to spout their opinion. Not only that, but it's good to hear from them because restricting women to speak on feminism is like restricting Conservatives on gun control or Liberals on taxes. They are going to be incredibly bias and only talk about the topic from their point of view. This is the reason why people are becoming more divided and segregated. Feelings valued more than critical unbias thought. This is what is going to kill the US.

mark c  on  2/20/2019 8:12:09 PM commented:

Many minorities (like Leda) have become the biggest hypocrites I've seen in my lifetime. The same poeple who fought to create an environment where poeple are respectful, tolerant, and equal without regard to race or sex, now feel it is ok to single out all white men as a group. She is a "Big time" hypocrite. Tolerance means tolerating folks that are different. #hyp·o·crite

Chase H.  on  2/20/2019 6:33:29 PM commented:

I understand where she is coming from. She is trying to make a statement that if you are not apart of a minority group, you shouldn’t be making decisions for their rights and such. That being said, I think the white boys thing is not the correct choice of words. Furthermore, she should have considered the point that those with privileges (such as white boys) have the ability to amlify the voices of the oppressed and the minority, and use their privilege to incite change.

George T.  on  2/20/2019 1:42:47 AM commented:

This is a website for learning and opening our minds as students. Why would something as racist and detrimental to critical thinking be posted here? Everyone has the right to their opinion.

Amy S.  on  2/20/2019 1:24:58 AM commented:

So we’re completely disregarding a whole group of people’s opinions because of their race and gender??? Isn’t that discrimination? If we don’t allow other viewpoints into a discussion, even ones we don’t agree with, we aren’t thinking critically anymore, and everything everyone says has to be in line with what everyone else is thinking and be politically correct. That isn’t learning, that’s us as a society regressing. How can a white body change what he comes from? He cannot change that anymore than a black person can. He who is white should not have to live with the burden of what others have done before him, just because he is a white male. Should all males be punished for men raping women even if they don’t take part in it? Should black people be silenced because in Africa they sell their own into slavery to this day? No, because African Americans aren’t associated with them. And a white boy shouldnt be associated with his ancestry. We are not our ancestors. We are ourselves.

Anthony T  on  2/19/2019 10:04:08 PM commented:

Clearly, this young woman wants to censor the oposition point of view. Shut your mouth, sit there and listen to us!

Anonymous A.  on  2/19/2019 7:55:50 PM commented:

What’s to discuss?? that’s Malcolm x kind of hate for you. Expel her

Melody M.  on  2/19/2019 7:46:20 PM commented:

Is this seriously what society has come to? I find it very comical that the author of this essay jumps to conclusions that every white boy in America has been taught to devalue other people's opinions. Here, she is doing the exact same thing with a certain group of people. So, my question is: what's her point? She uses little to no evidence that white boys show this type of character today. Am I saying that not one white boy has done the things she says? Absolutely not. I'm female and Hispanic, and I've had my fair share of people undermining me. But guess what? They're not only white males. If this article were to be titled "Should Black Girls Still Be Allowed to Talk?", it would be protested-- and rightfully so. Why should this be treated any differently?

Phil K  on  2/19/2019 7:11:28 PM commented:

What a utterly racist question!! Should black students be heard? Should we let woman speak? Should Chinese girls be allowed to talk about whites? For some reason its ok to be a racist, if your prejudice against whites.. You would never title this article the way you did if it was not about whites, because you would be afraid of being called a racist.

John A  on  2/19/2019 5:32:32 PM commented:

Should minorities be heard? Using that logic we should ban all minorities from talking since they are taking over discussions on everyday issues, let’s just ban them.

Philip C.  on  2/19/2019 5:10:41 PM commented:

I agree with her. My sociology class, often times talking about class, race, and gender, is dominated in discussion mostly by white men (including myself). It would be more conducive to learning, in particular on these topics, if we *listened* to others more than we talk. This is not to say that "censorship" is necessary, but that white males should be more thoughtful about what they are speaking about, and when. They do not have the same experience with race as people of color do, and not the same experience of gender as women (let alone women of color, or those beyond the gender binary).

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