Cool. I'm glad we're in agreement. Cancel culture doesn't exist because noone can take away your ability to be an asshole.
No-one's taken away your ability to be an asshole, but that isn't an argument against cancel culture not existing.
In this case, we're not talking about colleagues. We're talking about students, who have far less power and far less recourse within this situation. The fact that you confuse the two is telling.
Those students are hardly powerless. You're not powerless if you can hold faculty as hostages, barge into lecture halls, and escape without any punishment, all while attending one of the world's top universities.
If he had done that, it probably would have made national news as an outrage story. The sun would probably have photoshopped a hijab on him or something, there'd be a funny headline like "the Mosque Delusion".
Dawkins has criticized Christianity much longer than Islam. No-one accused him of being a "Christianphobe," or a racist, or anything else, or if they did, he never faced any punishment for it (which he shouldn't have - no religion should be above criticism). Switch to Islam though, and the conversation changes.
Okay, let's be more specific. You haven't explained it in a way that makes sense or is consistent with the vast, vast majority (if not all) of the examples you are actually using.
How can you tell if someone is trying to stop someone from saying something?
When someone is removing their ability/platform to say something.
Does you arguing against me now indicate that you want me to stop making the points I'm making. Am I being CANCELLED?
No, because not once have I said that you shouldn't be able to speak on this forum.
Cancelling does not seem to mean anything, and if it does then it's so normal, so fundamental to the basic ways in which society works, that it's kind of silly to think we should even care about it.
Society works under the premise that ideas can be discussed and expressed. Cancel culture is the opposite of how society is meant to function.
Even if we concede that, in every single example, these people who supposedly got "cancelled" were wholly in the right and did absolutely nothing that any sane person could object to, and that all the people who did object were just PURELY AND COMPLETELY EVIL and not rational right-thinking sane people like you, then so what?
So you don't care.
In a scenario (which I've never actually suggested) where the world actually is divided between good and evil people, where all the good people are punished, your answer is "so what?"
Wow. Just wow.
Are you suggesting that people shouldn't have the right to be angry if their anger is unreasonable?
People can be angry about whatever they want.
Are you suggesting that people should not be allowed to use the voice and the influence they have to attack someone whom they are angry with?
I wouldn't want anyone attacking anyone. I've repeatedly stated over the years that I believe in the concept of "attack the product, not the person."
Who decides what is reasonable? Do you decide what is reasonable? Are you going to sit on a big throne and judge us lesser mortals for our free speech crimes?
There is a lot of complexity here. I think it's entirely reasonable to think that some of the people you've mentioned were hard done by.
Oh, so YOU decide what's reasonable. Wonderful.
But to answer your question, no, I would never appoint myself as the moral arbiter of what is and isn't reasonable, which is an argument against cancel culture, not for it.
The question is, when does that actually become a problem and what should be done about it?
I'd say it becomes a problem when people go from criticizing a person's ideas to attempting to remove the means of the person to express those ideas.
As to what to do about it, that varies - free speech laws are already in effect, and those laws don't stop people from acting like shits. I'd say education and exposing people to as many viewpoints as possible, but that's a generic solution. Dwarf mentioned a "cancel culture law" or something to protect employee rights, and I think that's a good idea, but it doesn't solve everything.
In the case of Lindsey Ellis and Natalie Wynn, there is a clear problem or failing on the part of the people who participated. They are being hypocrites, they are attacking marginalized people in the name of defending marginalized people, and that signifies a failure of communication. It signifies how alienated even well meaning people actually are from the experiences of marginalization, and how easy it is to derive all your information about marginalized people from other people like you. Something has gone fundamentally wrong in that case.
Oh, I agree that something has gone fundamentally wrong, but I disagree with your assessment.
First, Lindsey Ellis is hardly "marginalized," but that aside, the failure here is critical thinking (at best) or just plain viciousness (at worse). I can't give any credit to the people in that Twitterstorm because there's only really two options:
a) They saw her tweet, and genuinely saw it as being racist.
b) They saw a tweet, interpreted it as creatively as possible, and used it as an excuse to be shits.
Truth be told, I actually find option b more comforting, because I can at least understand the desire to bully someone for the power drive. Option a however, is kind of terrifying, because it demonstrates that something has gone terribly, TERRIBLY wrong in education (or something similar.
Most of these cases you're mentioning are literally just cases of people having a different perspective to you, in my opinion a far more insightful perspective, and being able to see implications and connections that you can't.
I really don't think so. A lot of the time, perspective doesn't come into at all - Lindsay Ellis, Amelie Zhao, Ollie Robinson, etc. Perspective has nothing to do with these things for instance. And frankly, I'd defend people offering different perspectives. More perspectives there are, the better.
Because fundamentally, I don't think your perspective is actually better than those of the people who dogpiled Lindsey Ellis.
My perspective is that bullying is bad, that Twitter attacks are bad, that it's best to give people the benefit of the doubt, and that commenting on the similarities between two IPs is inocuous.
Um, yes, I think my perspective is better than the people who dogpiled on her, and other authors.
The fact you didn't do that doesn't indicate that you're too smart or too attuned to the experience of marginalization to fall for obvious white people nonsense, it merely signifies that you don't care. If you also wouldn't have called out JK Rowling, if you won't call out Ben Shapiro or Gavin McInness because you're afraid of cancelling them, then you're not smarter than those people, you're just lazier.
Better to be moral and lazy rather than immoral and active.
But getting back to the start of that, no, I do care. I care very much. I wouldn't be spending so much time here if I didn't care. I care, because I think bullying is wrong, that viewpoints should be discussed and not censored, because I think forgiveness is a virtue, because I think consistency is better than hypocrisy, because I think free speech is important, and if I'm being partisan, I care because the left's shooting itself in the foot on the issue, because the right is no stranger to employing cancel culture, but now there's elements of the left that are just as intolerant.
Also, you're conflating with calling people out with cancelling them. Those are different things. First, that isn't really an argument, because there's an infinite number of people in the world, and no-one can address all of them. But for those three individuals, I've certainly expressed distaste with Rowling on a number of issues (probably not the same issues as you) over the years. McInness I've barely touched, because he's rarely come up as a topic of conversation, and I barely know anything about him, only that he is (or was) the leader of the Proud Boys, who, at best, are a bunch of prats. Shapiro is someone I disagree with on some issues (actually, taking a glance at his Wikipedia page, almost certainly most issues), agree with on others (such as cancel culture being bad), but again, Shapiro has rarely been brought up here. But the key difference between me and the Ellis crowd is that I'd never attack them directly and attempt to get them deplatformed. I wouldn't do that to anyone.