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    The AtlanticCaitlin Flanagan6/1/1810 min
    4 reads1 comment
    7.0
    The Atlantic
    4 reads
    7.0
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    • DellwoodBarker
      Top reader this weekReading streakScribe
      18 hours ago

      Now, in many regards, universities monitor the sexuality of their students more intrusively than in the 1950s. There are fulltime employees of American universities whose job is to sit young people down and interrogate them about when and where and how they touched another person sexually, and how it felt, and what signs and sounds and words and gestures made them believe that consent had been granted. This was how homosexuals used to be thrown out of schools and sports teams and the military; this is how young women were punished for acting on their sexual impulses by a wide variety of American institutions in the past. This is beyond the overreach of the modern university; this is an affront to the most essential and irreducible of all of the American ideas: the freedom of the individual.

      A long time ago, Mario Savio stood on the steps of Berkeley’s Sproul Hall, his audience a crowd of kids who were in many regards conservative; some had crew cuts and curfews, many others shared an unexamined faith in the political promises of Barry Goldwater, but all of them had this in common: a gathering awareness that the university assumed a role in their life that was oppressive and fundamentally anti-democratic. Savio’s famous words are the stuff of street poetry: “There's a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part! You can't even passively take part! And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the levers and upon all of the apparatus—you’ve got to make it stop!”