The brilliant Finnish-Canadian computer science professor / blogger Ilkka Kokkarinen has taken down his popular blog, presumably to keep his job after his campus newspaper noticed his heterodox views. His skepticism about the intellectual consistency of lesbian-feminist theory and practice would appear to have been his biggest crime. The Ryerson campus newspaper reported:
CS instructor in need of sensitivity training: Chair
Ryerson computer science instructor, Ilkka Kokkarinen, is under fire after making what are being called sexist and homophobic comments on his blog, Sixteen Volts.
After being alerted by The Ryersonian, computer science chair, Alireza Sadeghian said the department neither accepts nor condones Kokkarinen’s views.
“I will personally suggest to Dr. Kokkarinen that he enrol [sic] and participate in appropriate seminars to obtain a proper understanding of human rights and discrimination,” said Sadeghian in an e-mail.
“I will arrange appropriate educational workshops, seminars or training sessions with the help of the discrimination and harassment prevention office at Ryerson.”
Groups on campus have seen Kokkarinen’s comments on his blog, and are concerned. Mandy Ridley, a RyePride co-ordinator, found his comments to be harmful.
“He’s clearly promoting hate upon women and queer-identified women.”
On April 1, Kokkarinen wrote in his blog: “The female overrepresentation is heavily concentrated on the fluff fields that ... which makes these fields suit the female mind better…basically all fields that don’t require any mathematics or logical and analytical thinking beyond the elementary school level.”
An anonymous American student alerted the Women’s Centre, mentioning that she is a computer science student and software engineer and that she had stumbled across Kokkarinen’s blog and was concerned.
The Women’s Centre responded by posting her note outside its office...
Students in his classes describe Kokkarinen as nice, helpful and intelligent.
“By far the best prof I’ve had,” said one student posting anonymously on the website, RateMyProfessors.com, that allows for students to post instructor feedback.
“I consider this guy a good prof,” said another. “Very clear, friendly, good marker and definitely loves his field.”
Is Canada still a free country? Is anywhere going to be a free country in another decade?
Will all the bloggers who are denouncing (rightfully) the Muslim threat to free speech take up Dr. Kokkarinen's case?
Clearly, Professor Kokkarinen was naive to use his own name when he switched his blog from Finnish to English, but considering how much of his writing was based on details of his daily life, it would have been child's play for the witch hunters to track him down and crush him even if he had used a pseudonym.
Perhaps this suggests that the survival of freedom of speech in the West rests with the Finnish language. Maybe we should start studying Finnish to use as a secret language for the discussion of ideas forbidden to be mentioned in English?