If you’ve wondered how we’ve actually gotten to the place where we need Religious freedom laws (because someone’s feeeeelllliiinnnggssss got hurt by being turned down for their special gay cake), look no further than our colleges and universities. These bastions of idiocy have decided that the delicate sensibilities of our students need to have special places where there is nothing around to offend, or “trigger” imagined traumas, places with puppy videos and Play-Doh. Yes, seriously. And we pay exorbitant sums of money to send our kids to be “educated” in this jackassery.
I’ve heard rumbles about it around the internet before, but the New York Times had a great opinion piece about how this puts kids at a severe disadvantage. Yes, I about fell over too. The NEW YORK TIMES…
The author, Judith Shulevitz, discussed a lot in her op-ed piece, but makes the valid point that if having your ideas challenged is too upsetting for you then college shouldn’t be for you either. College should be a place where your ideas are challenged and challenged hard. That’s how you grow as an individual.
How can you possibly begin to make change in the world if you can’t stand to even listen to opposing viewpoints? You can’t intelligently argue and support your views if you, the perpetually offended, can’t be taken seriously because you run away to a “safe space” at the mere mention of a different view. Not to mention that no one in the “real world” will give a large rat’s heiny about how “invalidated”, “offended”, “hurt” or “traumatized” you might be if they disagree with you.
The most obnoxious example given was Brown University. Brown has a “safe space” where students could go if they find anything offensive or if their wittle feewings get hurt or overwhelmed. This “safe space” replete with cookies, coloring books, bubbles, Play-Doh, calming music, pillows, blankets and videos of puppies was designed to give the overly sensitive who might find comments “troubling” or “triggering,” a place to recuperate from their “trauma.” What is this, KINDERGARTEN??? Let’s just remember that college students range from 18-22 years old… THEY ARE FREAKING ADULTS!!!
And the people who frequent it to deal with their “traumas” are people like a junior Shulevitz describes at Brown who decided after she went to a class in the lecture hall that it was too much and she just had to return to play land… because she was “feeling bombarded by a lot of viewpoints that really go against my dearly and closely held beliefs.”
Cry me a river. GROW UP! Guess what? I live in a country where my “dearly and closely held beliefs” are challenged daily. Abortion is legal and freely available, in my state gay marriage is legal and celebrated, Christian businesses are being targeted and put out of business by gay mafia bullies and my efforts to combat any of it, and the ridiculous amount of taxation I am subjected to, are met with disdain, hostility and ignorant behavior. It’s called LIFE, sweetie, get over yourself!
Newsflash, people are mean.
The thought process that people should be protected from viewpoints that differ or “distress” them is pure idiocy. You can’t learn if you aren’t challenged, and being challenged is by definition uncomfortable. As Shulevitz put it
…while keeping college-level discussions ‘safe’ may feel good to the hypersensitive, it’s bad for them and for everyone else. People ought to go to college to sharpen their wits and broaden their field of vision. Shield them from unfamiliar ideas, and they’ll never learn the discipline of seeing the world as other people see it. They’ll be unprepared for the social and intellectual headwinds that will hit them as soon as they step off the campuses whose climates they have so carefully controlled.
Another newsflash: THERE IS NO RIGHT TO GO THROUGH LIFE COMPLETELY UN-OFFENDED!
Even some college liberals are wising up to how ridiculous this has become and are calling bull on much of it: http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/21786/
And then there is the most awesome response to “safe places” ever, penned by Chris Hernandez. Hernandez is a police officer and Marine veteran, currently serving as a National Guard soldier. He is a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan with over two decades of military service, and he wrote the most butt-kicking response to the whiners in academia over the subject (so butt-kicking that Facebook banned posting it because it seems to violate their “community standards”… I guess they are part of the “perpetually offended” as well!). Hernandez said:
F*** your trauma. Yes, f*** your trauma. My sympathy for your suffering, whether that suffering was real or imaginary, ended when you demanded I change my life to avoid bringing up your bad memories. You don’t seem to have figured this out, but there is no “I must never be reminded of a negative experience” expectation in any culture anywhere on earth. If your psyche is so fragile you fall apart when someone inadvertently reminds you of “trauma,” especially if that trauma consisted of you overreacting to a self-interpreted racial slur, you need therapy. You belong on a psychiatrist’s couch, not in college dictating what the rest of society can’t do, say, or think. Get your own head right before you try to run other people’s lives. If you expect everyone around you to cater to your neurosis, forever, you’re what I’d call a “failure at life,” doomed to perpetual disappointment.
So, college kids, SUCK IT UP! The world really doesn’t care about your traumas, real or imagined. Your boss isn’t going to let you watch puppy videos after he or she tells you you’re your presentation sucked and if you don’t shape up you’re fired. Grow up and be an adult instead of just playing one on your parents’ (or the taxpayers’) dime.