Safe Space Overload – A Generation of Wimps
What is a Safe Space?
According to my google search:
a place or environment in which a person or category of people can feel confident that they will not be exposed to discrimination, criticism, harassment, or any other emotional or physical harm. “school must be a safe space for LGBT students.”
I support that principle that at-risk groups and individuals…. in fact, everyone should feel safe, at school, at work in their communities, almost everywhere. Harassing someone due to their sexual preference, gender identity, skin color, gender or religion is patently wrong.
But somehow this new generation has taken this concept to extremes. Harassing anyone for anything is wrong. Not cheering is harassing. Criticizing someone for abhorrent behavior is bad…. arguing an alternate opinion is just plain mean. Debate has become unacceptable… non-existent. Let’s just erase discourse…. let’s not have discord.
Harvard, for example, is considering banning exclusive clubs that have entry requirements and is censoring students who belong to single sex clubs, i.e., Fraternities. Fraternities are notorious for objectifying women and sexual misconduct. Banning them isn’t going to change the fact that a bunch of animals gathered together will act like animals. The problem is the animals, not the club. Trying to pretend the animals can’t find another place to be trash is unrealistic.
There is a Facebook Group dedicated to DC Technology-based companies and startups called DC Tech. It’s the epitome of the safest of places. People shamelessly self-promote droll events, stupid products, and silly businesses and everyone must like said posts. Everyone must cheer. No controversy is allowed. No negativity. It must be a safe space of optimal comfort.
It’s become the Berkely of the DC Startup World. A place where instead of ignoring ideas that are uncomfortable, they want them erased. A place where an Ann Coulter lecture, is canceled because it made a bunch of bed wetters sad.
Now I think Ann Coulter is a Cancer. Yet, I would like to hear her spew cancerous bullshit. I want to know what the dark side is thinking.
But that’s just me. Because I know that with pain comes learning. There is little intellectual growth without discomfort. I watch Fox news for the same reason, even though it causes me to throw-up in my mouth.
What is the difference between these new thumb suckers who prefer to hide from learning and old farts, like Mr Cranky?
I grew up in a world where I was picked last when choosing sides for a pickup baseball game and I didn’t cry to my mommy about it. I grew up in a world where my parents said, “get the hell out of the house and be back when the street lights came on.” I didn’t have parent scheduled and moderated play dates. There were no referees to ensure that little Glen and little Johnny didn’t get in a fight. Glenny and Johnny sometimes got in fights and developed the social skills to negotiate a difficult world. You know.. the real world. The world where there are spaces that are not safe.
I was forced to learn how to negotiate my way through life. My mommy didn’t supervise my play. My coach didn’t give me a trophy for sucking in soccer and some people told me I was an asshole. And that is what prepared me to live in a real world.
Do people who hate people because of their race or gender preference or religion suck? They sure as shit do. But as my friends use to say, “Sticks and stones can break my bones but names can never harm me.” As long as they aren’t yelling fire in a crowded movie theatre they have a constitutional right to be douchebags.
If you don’t like what someone says, you have two valid choices and one pusillanimous choice (that’s right Mr Cranky said pusillanimous and not only spelled it correctly but used it in the proper context). The valid options? Go see Ann Coulter even though you loathe everything she says and then discuss with others why she’s wrong. Create a rebuttal…. or just don’t go. No one forces you to see that witch (which is a much safer word than bitch).
But if you censor her…. that doesn’t create a safe place. That creates a weak, stagnant, colorless world. That doesn’t make you smart, or brave, or intelligent. That makes you a baby, woefully prepared to function in a competitive global marketplace. That makes you a pretend entrepreneur and that’s why you’ll never have respect from real business people.
Now would you like me to lend you my binky?