Don’t be so quick to mock colleges on ‘trigger warnings’ and ‘microaggressions’

Don’t be so quick to mock colleges on ‘trigger warnings’ and ‘microaggressions’
You say micro, I say macro. (Image via Legal Insurrection)

[Ed. – The authors, who are college presidents, are mistaken. It’s not the students that are ridiculed. It is idiot administrators like them.]

[B]aby boomer pundits … ridicule students for asking professors to provide advance warning about disturbing materials — so-called trigger warnings — and mock administrators trying to better protect students on campus. Commentators portray students who make such requests as hypersensitive, self-involved and censorial — which is to say, the uncool opposite of the tolerant and communal, anything-goes ethos the Woodstock generation espoused.

Granted, the more extreme examples of these appeals on college campuses provide easy targets. Pundits on both the left and the right had a month of field days last spring after students at Oberlin College and Georgetown University cautioned that just listening to a speech by Christina Hoff Sommers, an author and critic of contemporary feminism, could cause trauma. Comedians and satirists have garnered laughs with confections such as a recent article in the Onion headlined, “Parents Dedicate New College Safe Space in Honor of Daughter Who Felt Weird in Class Once.”

Also seemingly worthy of scorn is the notion of “micro-aggressions” — that “innocent” comments might leave recipients feeling slighted. Why, we hear, can’t students just toughen up and prepare to face the real world?


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