Wednesday, August 31, 2016

"Safe Spaces" As Terminology

   One of the many things wrong with politically correct "safe spaces" is the term. The PCs have a real knack for choosing inaccurate and annoying terminology--often because they commonly choose their jargon in order to gain illicit rhetorical advantage.
   I'm going to ignore the substance of the "safe space" dispute right now...but just think about the term for a second. Oh and: remember: these are rooms on American university campuses. These are, for example, rooms where you can go (well...maybe not you...because you may very well be a dreaded straightwhitemale...) to, for example, watch puppy videos because someone who you disagree with is speaking somewhere else on campus... Calling such places "safe" is to clearly indicate that the rest of the campus is dangerous. Which is simply false of almost every university campus in the U.S. That's bad enough without even mentioning the fact that the reason the rest of campus is being implicitly described as dangerous is that (for example) somewhere on it someone is saying something somebody might think is wrong. 
   Now...if you're really, really, really, really, really idiotically fragile, civil disagreement might be upsetting. But there is no even vaguely plausible way to describe it as dangerous.
   The "safe space" terminology is almost as extravagantly inaccurate as the "microaggression" terminology...not quite...but it's in the ballpark...

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