Matt Walsh “What is a Woman?” tour coming to UA 

Natalie Marburger, Contributing Writer

Matt Walsh of The Daily Wire, a conservative news website and media company, will be coming to The University of Alabama on Oct. 27 as part of his “What is a Woman?” tour. 

Walsh is a conservative commentator, author and filmmaker. Walsh, in collaboration with Young Americans for Freedom, a conservative student organization affiliated with Young America’s Foundation, will bring his documentary to six campuses across the U.S. 

Some students expressed concern over Walsh’s visit to campus due to his views on gender theory. 

“His documentary is meant to be a targeted attack on the trans community, and it is deeply disturbing that he has been invited to display his hateful messages at UA,” said SGA Director of LGBTQIA Affairs Andrew Sheridan in an email.  

The SGA approved October student organization funding at the Sept. 29 Senate session, allotting $7,135.53 for YAF to host Walsh on campus after several students spoke against the event.  

Students attending the YAF-hosted event will have the opportunity to ask questions and have them answered by Walsh. 

“I understand that some people disagree with his views,” said YAF President Wyatt Eichholz in an email. “In fact, it is precisely for that reason that we are opening up the event to Q&A, so that people who disagree will have an opportunity to learn more about Walsh’s beliefs.” 

Queer Student Association President Jas Orr said events like this one are an “echo chamber” of harmful ideology. 

“The thing about events like it is a lot of the times they advertise themselves as a safe space for people to come and ask questions, that they just want a conversation,” Orr said. “That’s not how it ever plays out in practicality.” 

Students are also concerned with the harm that might come by bringing Walsh to campus.  

“An event like this may not directly hurt someone,” Orr said. “But it will foster those ideas of hatred and then foster the ideas of violence.”  

Eichholz said he sees no logical reason to make a connection of why harm might come because of Walsh.  

“All too often, schools discriminate based on students’ viewpoints using terms like ‘safety’ and ‘wellbeing’ to justify their restriction of acceptable opinions,” Eichholz said. 

Orr said they believe hosting Walsh goes against the University’s values.  

“We have a division of diversity, equity and inclusion for a reason,” Orr said. “This is inherently exclusionary, inherently harmful, absolutely it goes against the Capstone’s values. … As a trans person myself it is heartbreaking, but the University can’t really do much about it because freedom of speech is important.” 

Shane Dorrill, the assistant director of communications for the University, said in a statement that the University must allow and protect any individual’s constitutional rights to free speech and expression, but does not endorse viewpoints expressed by guest speakers and other participants. 

Eichholz said YAF is open to people who disagree with their views. 

“We invite anyone from any background who has a genuine, good faith interest in engaging with open dialogue to come to the event, watch the documentary, and ask Matt a question when there is an opportunity,” Eichholz said. 

The event is currently pending review with The SOURCE, according to Director of Student Involvement Teneshia Arnold.  

Students can learn more about Walsh’s lecture tour on Young America’s Foundation website. 

Eicholz and Sheridan were unavailable for in person interviews.