“She Fears You,” Hamilton College’s mandatory and coercive orientation program for freshman males last fall, received a 2011 Muzzle Award today from the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression. “She Fears You” is based on the theory that men need a “combined emotional and cognitive intervention” to reform their deeply ingrained rape-supportive beliefs about gender and sexuality. The Muzzle Awards draw attention to “egregious or ridiculous affronts to free expression” by universities, local and national politicians, and even judges. The dubious distinctions have been awarded annually on or near April 13, Thomas Jefferson’s birthday, since 1992.
Torch readers will likely remember Hamilton’s ill-advised foray into thought reform, which earned the school a stern letter from FIRE. As part of an extended freshman orientation program, all first-year males were told that they must attend a lecture by Keith Edwards entitled “She Fears You.” As Sam remarked at the time: