Go without a coat when it’s cold; find out what cold is. Go hungry; keep your existence lean. Wear away the fat, get down to the lean tissue and see what it’s all about. The only time you define your character is when you go without. In times of hardship, you find out what you’re made of and what you’re capable of. If you’re never tested, you’ll never define your character.
“Safe spaces” have been cropping up at US universities for a while. Apparently students can’t handle adult topics and cannot take a meta-perspective anymore. To cope they need sheltered spaces (or see this article):
The safe space, Ms. Byron explained, was intended to give people who might find comments “troubling” or “triggering,” a place to recuperate. The room was equipped with cookies, coloring books, bubbles, Play-Doh, calming music, pillows, blankets and a video of frolicking puppies, as well as students and staff members trained to deal with trauma.
Even worse, apparently invited speakers who go by actual data are threatening now and get protested or boycotted.
An example is Christina Hoff Sommers speaking about feminism at Oberlin. She’s a “dissident feminist” (actually arguing for freedom feminism) and does highly interesting videos for the American Enterprise Institute on YouTube, e.g., this one. Given a rather biased interpretation of her work (she looks at actual data and is not swayed by hysterics), a few students at Oberlin apparently had a dire need for safe spaces (note: this “love letter” is extremely biased regarding her work, the best things on that site are actually the comments, esp. the one by “Heywood Y.”):
Dear Oberlin Students,
Don’t you think that it might be better to go listen to Sommers’ presentation for yourselves, rather than metaphorically sticking your fingers in your ears and screaming “la la la la la” to drown out a viewpoint that differs from your own?
The purposes of a college education are to learn how to learn, and to seek the truth. Achieving these goals requires you to develop mental discipline, intellectual curiosity, and emotional resilience, all of which are hallmarks of well-adjusted adulthood. College should not be a glorified (and expensive) therapeutic day care facility for fragile 18-22 year old children in adult bodies, where the currently fashionable opinions are memorized by rote and regurgitated on demand. The people who wrote this appeal are turning themselves — and you — into hothouse flowers incapable of surviving in the real world.
Muster up the tiniest shred of the courage your grandparents exerted daily, and go listen for an hour to someone with whom you disagree. Sit quietly, bite your tongue, and ponder the merits of your opponent’s views. You might learn something that will come in handy after you leave the smothering cocoon of groupthink that is Oberlin College.
Brilliant comment — others are very good as well.
But it’s strange to believe that the people protesting against an invited speaker actually are students. Students who will one day make decisions that matter. They could have just not gone to the lecture. Or they could have gone and listened and perhaps learned something. But no, protest letters, boycotts and safe-spaces.
Simply beautiful. 😉
Well, the form is, the content … brilliant satire.
But unfortunately, safe-spaces and censorship also seem to be spreading. For example, see this brilliant article (and the illustration, waow) about censorship in England. I mean, seriously? Frankly, there’s something to be said for this rant when it comes to trauma. And as for safe spaces, let’s have dangerous spaces. And as for the chronically offended, this article nailed it.