Thursday 19 October 2017

Life can be rough: our students must learn that

'Why are students so eager to self-infantilise? I blame the generation of parents who raised these children to be fragile snowflakes who are simply unable to cope with the slings and arrows life throws at us. I blame social media most of all.' Photo: PA
'Why are students so eager to self-infantilise? I blame the generation of parents who raised these children to be fragile snowflakes who are simply unable to cope with the slings and arrows life throws at us. I blame social media most of all.' Photo: PA

Lorraine Courtney

A few days ago the president of America's Emory University met with student demonstrators who said they were concerned and frightened after someone wrote "Trump 2016" in chalk on campus buildings. Sounds scary. "Trump 2016" written in chalk, imagine.

This display must mean that we've now reached peak victimhood. You see we've created a cult of victimhood where the excessively sensitive are able to find gripes everywhere, in any micro-aggression, handclap or unsafe space. It's been going on for a long time on America's university campuses and has created a potent robust censorship movement there, where lecturers and guests are frequently accused of racism, sexism, homophobia or ethnocentric thinking. Campuses eagerly ban speakers whose ideas might distress students.

The moral panic about speech and sexual activity in universities has reached Britain and Ireland too. Last year feminist author Germaine Greer was due to give a talk at Cardiff University. She was demonised after a number of activists protested her repeated derogatory comments about trans women. Yes, Greer has spoken out against "man's delusion that he is female", claiming trans women are "some kind of ghastly parody" but will never be women because they do not know what it's like to have a vagina.

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