Welcome to my safe space

Insights Newsletter
14 September, 2018

I recently read an article that distressed me so deeply I feel it needed a trigger warning.

The article reported that millennials are more likely to support socialism. In fact, the piece was written by our executive director for this very newsletter.

Of course I was offended by such a smear, I am after all part of the snowflake generation.

As Oliver has already written, Lukianoff and Haidt are right in arguing that this snowflake culture is likely to set up a generation for failure.

It is a culture where controversial speakers are banned from university campuses. Students need ‘trigger warnings’ before being exposed to potentially harmful or offensive content. And comedians who tell off-colour jokes are not welcome.

But this snowflake is starting to feel a little left out. If everyone else is getting a ‘safe space’, I want one too.

Luckily, there are plenty of examples to draw inspiration from.

Content that blames neoliberalism for everything from poverty to rising house prices needs a trigger warning. In fact, any content that uses the term neoliberalism will almost always be offensive. Neoliberalism is normally a lazy descriptor for the free market. It is used by people who have probably never heard of Venezuela.

So-called nutrition expert Christine Cronau has been banned from several Australian university campuses for her dubious claims that a high fat diet can starve off cancer cells and cure almost any ailment from thrush to depression.

New Zealand campuses should take note. How fantastic would it be if speakers who failed to take an evidence-based approach to health were de-platformed? Sure, several Otago University public health experts might be out of a job. But personally, I would feel safer knowing that their advocacy is not leading to policy change.

The University of Queensland and Western Sydney University have policies against sarcasm. In my safe space I demand the opposite. I feel offended by people who do not pick up on sarcasm.

Don’t get me wrong, I have always considered myself more of an iceberg than a snowflake.

But as I appear to be in the ideological minority for millennials, perhaps university campuses should be doing more to protect the needs of my people.

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