[This blog will always be free to read, but it’s also how I pay my bills. So, if you like what you read, please consider a paid subscription. And yes, I do speaking engagements.]
This afternoon, conservative campus group Intercollegiate Studies Institute reached out to offer me $10,000 to debate Michael Knowles at the University of Pittsburgh on the validity of trans people. His scheduled event there has drawn significant controversy in light of his recent speech at CPAC calling for openly-trans people to be eradicated from the public square.
I’m posting below screenshots of their offer and my full response for the sake of transparency.
The leadership of the University of Pittsburgh need to ask themselves if trans and nonbinary students feel welcome on their campus.
Charlotte's Web Thoughts is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Hi, I’m Charlotte Clymer, and this is Charlotte’s Web Thoughts, my Substack. It’s completely free to access and read, but it’s also how my bills! So, please do kindly consider upgrading to a paid subscription: just $7/month or save money with the $70/annual sub. You can also go way above and beyond by becoming a Lifetime Member at $250.
As a cis, white, old female (she/her) I am ashamed and horrified that you had to be exposed to such ignorance hiding in the guise of a "debate" of your right to exist happening on a college campus "the natural home for discerning ideas". As a retired academic the insistence that this would be a "discerning" event shows that this organization has no idea what the terms "debate" or "discerning" mean. Your reply is thoughtful and respectful, and you have shown far more humanity than you have received. I am no longer religious; I do believe in moral values and ethical values. I do know the New Testament gospels and epistles. What ever happened to love thy neighbor as thyself? I don't remember this being conditional. Thank you also for sharing this as we all need to keep in mind the hatred being hidden behind an "opinion" or a "position". It is hatred, pure and simple.
This is a brilliant response, Charlotte. The whole "debate me!" thing cultivated by right-wingers like Knowles operates on the premise that there is a "side" to debate - whether it's climate change, holocaust denial, or the "validity" of transgender humans. There is not. To accept that there is something to "debate" on these issues requires "alternative facts", let alone a level of intellectual dishonesty that defies rational discourse.
Your response was crystal clear perfection. Thank you.