Source: The Atlantic | by GREG LUKIANOFF AND JONATHAN HAIDT
Something strange is happening at America's colleges and universities. A movement is arising, undirected and driven largely by students, to scrub campuses clean of words, ideas, and subjects that might cause discomfort or give offense.
Last December, Jeannie Suk wrote in an online article for The New Yorker about law students asking her fellow professors at Harvard not to teach rape law—or, in one case, even use the word violate (as in "that violates the law") lest it cause students distress. In February, Laura Kipnis, a professor at Northwestern University, wrote an essay in The Chronicle of Higher Education describing a new campus politics of sexual paranoia—and was then subjected to a long investigation after students who were offended by the article and by a tweet she'd sent filed Title IX complaints against her. In June, a professor protecting himself with a pseudonym wrote an essay for Vox describing how gingerly he now has to teach. "I'm a Liberal Professor, and My Liberal Students Terrify Me," the headline said. A number of popular comedians, including Chris Rock, have stopped performing on college campuses (see Caitlin Flanagan's article in this month's issue). Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Maher have publicly condemned the oversensitivity of college students, saying too many of them can't take a joke.
Two terms have risen quickly from obscurity into common campus parlance. Microaggressions are small actions or word choices that seem on their face to have no malicious intent but that are thought of as a kind of violence nonetheless. For example, by some campus guidelines, it is a microaggression to ask an Asian American or Latino American "Where were you born?," because this implies that he or she is not a real American. Trigger warnings are alerts that professors are expected to issue if something in a course might cause a strong emotional response. For example, some students have called for warnings that Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart describes racial violence and that F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby portrays misogyny and physical abuse, so that students who have been previously victimized by racism or domestic violence can choose to avoid these works, which they believe might "trigger" a recurrence of past trauma.
Some recent campus actions border on the surreal.
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Generation Snowflake: Safe Spaces, Trigger Warnings And The Wussification Of Our Young People
Source: The Sleuth Journal | by Michael Snyder
Why do so many of our young people instantly break down in tears the moment anything seriously offends them? Have we raised an entire generation that has been so coddled and that is so spineless that it is completely incapable of dealing with the harsh realities of the modern world? At colleges and universities all over America, students are now demanding "safe spaces" where anything and everything that could possibly make them feel "uncomfortable" is banned. And "trigger warnings" are being placed on some of our great literary classics because they might cause some students to feel "unsafe" because they may be reminded of a past trauma. In this day and age, our overly coddled young people have come to expect that they should be automatically shielded from anything that could remotely be considered harmful or offensive, and as a result we now have an entire generation that is completely lacking in toughness. That may be fine as long as you can depend on Mom and Dad, but how in the world are these young men and women going to handle the difficult challenges that come with living in the real world?
Author Claire Fox has a great deal of experience dealing with these overly sensitive young people, and she has dubbed them "Generation Snowflake"
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