Can one be brave through being cowardly? Is standing up for one’s gender or racial identity and demanding absolute deference in regards to your perspective really a matter of standing up to authority and asserting yourself in a meaningful way? Is hysterical screaming really a valid way of making a point?
If one was to ask the average safe space enthusiast these questions, their answers, once one got beyond the shrieking demands that you check your privilege, educate yourself and acknowledge that you’re likely a bigot by virtue of your skin or genitals, would likely be a resounding “yes,” followed by spirit fingers or jazz hands. However to the rest of the working world, even those outside of the skeptics/shitlords circles, the current batches of college students and progressive activists are increasingly appearing to be more childlike with every new screed or dictum to come out of a student government. Though there have been no shortage of articles and news programs asking if students themselves aren’t being over-coddled, the question of infantilization of students is another, connected area that is increasingly courting public attention.
Beyond mere senses of entitlement and authority, one equally remarkable and cringe-inducing aspect to much of what seems to define the millennial generation is what many in the past have referred to as Puer Aeternus, or Peter Pan syndrome. Described by Wikipedia as;
“Puer aeternus (sometimes shortened to puer) Latin for “eternal boy”, in mythology, is a child-god who is forever young. In psychology, it is an older person whose emotional life has remained at an adolescent level. The puer typically leads a provisional life, due to the fear of being caught in a situation from which it might not be possible to escape. He covets independence and freedom, opposes boundaries and limits, and tends to find any restriction intolerable.”
Now though this term is typically applied to adult males, it can rather easily be applied to all five hundred and sixty seven genders which the average “woke” millennial insists there are. After all, it would be incredibly cis-normative to insist on gendering the term, while also misogynist to not include women. But jokes aside, with the increasingly common appearances of things such as adult coloring books, adult day cares and even on campus ball pit safe spaces, what was previously a comment on students immaturity in regards to free speech and open exchange of ideas is turning largely into a rather concerning trend of outright infantilizing of those who are supposed to be adults.
Much like a protective parent, many universities (at the behest of their own student bodies) have begun banning words, phrases and literature on grounds ranging from claims of racism and sexism, right up through outright stating that the proposed bans are to protect the students delicate sensibilities. Recently Clemson university issued a ban on Harambe jokes which a university official justified to Reason.com stating that jokes and memes about the gorilla had been “used to add to the rape culture as well as being a form of racism.” Added to this, numerous campuses have banned or restricted the formation of more conservative student groups, usually under pressure from more fanatical progressive bodies within the student governments.
Yet before one even needs to consider the bans of things such as jokes or memes, we can look just as easily to the proliferation of the insipid safe spaces that students and faculty increasingly insist upon establishing effectively everywhere they can. Initially coined as a term to describe a controlled environment in which trauma sufferers could speak about their experiences, safe spaces have now become the standard tool with which the delicate little flowers who are in college can avoid being confronted with ideas they may not like or agree with. Added to these safe spaces, which seem to crop up everywhere as millennials and their enabler university faculty can manage to put them, we also have trigger warnings which have themselves evolved from a once almost reasonable idea into the fetid banal nonsense they are today.
Once a suggested tool for the traumatized to use to be made aware of material that may be troubling to them, trigger warnings are now largely devices demanded by students who while not suffering from real trauma are in fact hyper sensitive, which are used often to avoid engaging with any materials at all. This being in the environment where everyone from Shakespeare to Homer are dubbed “problematic” and “triggering” and the students who should be sucking it up and reading the course materials simply wig out like a toddler who’s been denied a toy. Beyond the very nature of things such as safe spaces and trigger warnings themselves, the students reactions and behavior regarding their defense and promotion of such serves as a perfect example of how childlike and immature safe spacers truly are.
So beyond the pointing and laughing that all of this childish behavior, with its screeching insistence for protection, provision and entitlement compels, what are the implications of such to the broader world. To be sure just a few years ago the mind numbing stupidity of the regressive social justice goon as we know them now was largely regarded as merely something that lingered on sites like Reddit and Tumblr. However now we see a proliferation of this ideology, coupled with an endless infantilization of people who by all rights ought to be acting like adults, all beginning to seep out into the real world, so what does this mean for the future?
Whereas but a short time ago it was largely shrugged off with the assumption that these young adults would, upon entering the workforce, be forced to mature and adapt. However a recent news item that caught the attention of some, focusing on a group of millennial interns who were fired for protesting the company’s dress code does cast some doubt as to this. Added then the seemingly consistent demands from college protesters that they be paid by the university in addition to being given passes for coursework that went undone while they were protesting, it is unlikely that a work ethic or ability to abide by stated polices will spontaneously grow within them.
But still, what sort of actual effects should we expect from this trend of fecklessness and entitlement within this generation?
For one thing, if being upset with a given policy is likely to result in some protests and workplace activism, it can be fair to say that employers will likely be rather wary of hiring those dubbed the leaders of tomorrow, if only to avoid the aggravation. But beyond this, should attitudes within these strident, self-righteous clowns not change at some point there could be potential knock-on effects, particularly in the political world where so many seem to inhabit. From attempts to create cultures and safe spaces where delicate emotions are coddled and protected, up through the intentional skewing and redefining of words such as “racist” and “bigot,” politicians could in theory, seeing a voter demographic they are capable of catering to, come into office with the intent on implementing regressive policies in the name of further empowering the aforementioned delicate sensibilities.
Though we’re only just beginning to see the rise of the regressive leftist in the public sphere, the regularity with which they inspire furrowed brows and cringes throughout the nation does seem to be increasing. As this could simply be a matter of shifting public attention, it is also a sign that the race baiters, femsplainers and identitarian agitators of this social justice left aren’t likely to go anywhere. Either in life, or within our fields of vision.