If students can’t handle Rod Liddle’s rude jokes, they are not ready for real life.

Admittedly, these students are in a stronger position to comment on an event than I am. In the end, they were there, and I was not. I can only be guided by the reports of what Mr. Liddle said. But if he did not make such scandalous remarks that no newspaper would dare to print them, I fear that it is difficult for me to understand why the students were so alarmed. I hope their trauma doesn’t get worse if I assume that they might overreact even a little.

Liddle reportedly began by mentioning the news that Durham’s student union was advertising a “learning opportunity” for “students involved in the adult sex industry.” According to him, he was disappointed by the absence of sex workers.

Now I understand why his audience could find this joke rude and vulgar. But not why they might find it an insult. After all, if someone believes – as young progressive people invariably do – that “sex work is work” and a valid way of earning a living, then you can’t object to a man assuming he feels the same way. most.

Liddle also reportedly claimed that anyone with male genitals “is scientifically male.” This remark also sparked outrage, presumably because the students disagreed, although I believe that some may have simply objected, quite reasonably, to Mr. Liddle’s timing. (“Sir! This is a formal dinner and we just finished the main course. Please keep your musings on male genitalia to yourself, or at least until we digest the cheese and cookies.”)

In addition, Mr. Liddle reportedly expressed the view that “the educational failure of British Caribbean descent” has “nothing to do with institutional or structural racism.” Mr. Liddle’s critics have sometimes assumed that he is a cynical troll who says things solely to shock him, but I do not believe that such a description could be true. After all, if he really wanted to create controversy, he would a) point out that white working-class boys often have the worst educational failures, and b) argue that this has nothing to do with the fact that they were “left behind” by the “metropolitan elite”. Then, instead of being canceled by leftist students, The Sun and GB News could have canceled it.

But perhaps this is a deviation from my point of view. I am a little worried about these poor students. Eventually, when they leave cozy old Durham and enter the real world, they may find that some people – perhaps quite a few people – hold views that are painfully similar to those of Mr. Liddle. How the hell are they going to handle it?


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