28 Yeshiva Profs Slam Shapiro For Sharing Biological Facts
UPDATED 12/12 7:00 PM ET: The president of Yeshiva University also issued a statement of solidarity with the professors Monday evening, writing to “echo” their concerns about Shapiro. It’s unfortunate the president chose not to reaffirm his support for the hundreds of Yeshiva students who respectfully supported Shapiro’s message.
In a letter to the editor of Yeshiva University’s student newspaper published Monday afternoon, 28 Yeshiva professors condemned Ben Shapiro’s remarks on transgenderism delivered on campus last week, arguing they constituted “discrimination” and “disrespect.”
Shapiro’s lecture was sponsored by Young America’s Foundation and organized by the school’s conservative campus club.
“We are extremely disturbed,” the professors wrote, “that on the night of Monday December 5, during a talk hosted by a Yeshiva University student group, Ben Shapiro mocked transgender people– and drew applause and laughter from a packed audience in Lamport Auditorium.”
Shapiro is not an expert on transgender experience or mental health, and his opinion does not reflect the current understanding of these very serious issues, in which people’s lives are literally at stake. Public humiliation of others has no place at any university, much less one whose motto includes the word Torah. We are surprised that we need to remind this university community that Jewish tradition condemns the derision of another human being. Moreover, while we encourage our students to seek out diverse opinions, we also hope they would stand up against discrimination and disrespect.
How many of these 28 professors even attended the event? How many actually watched the full lecture online?
Shapiro’s remarks on transgenderism did not even remotely approach the territory of discrimination or disrespect. In fact, Shapiro spoke with great compassion for those who suffer from gender dysphoria.
Here’s what he said:
Transgender people are unfortunately suffering from a significant mental illness that is deeply harmful, and it is not a solution to pretend that transgender people are the sex that they think they are in their head. Biology is biology. Men can’t magically become women, and women can’t magically become men. And when you lie to people by humoring their delusions you’re exacerbating mental illness. It’s not a good thing, it’s a bad thing. It’s a deeply unsympathetic thing to do.
His willingness to speak honestly, despite the threat of blowback from politically correct academics, is actually a demonstration of enormous respect for anybody suffering with mental illness.
As Shapiro often does during YAF-sponsored lectures, he recalled the story of his grandfather who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, arguing it would have been a “cruelty” to humor any of his delusions rather than addressing them by administering medical treatment.
The audience, which was comprised of 800 students who were overwhelmingly supportive of Shapiro’s message, politely applauded his remarks.
In a world where students rarely have an opportunity to hear the conservative perspective on transgenderism within the confines of a college campus, it’s sad that these professors could not tolerate one night of ideological diversity on the issue.
Fortunately, however, students came out in droves to support Shapiro and tens of thousands of viewers have heard his lecture at Yeshiva online as well.
Academic intolerance for the conservative perspective, one that Shapiro articulates as eloquently as anyone in the media, never ceases to fail our students.