Hate the Millennials/Ask a Millennial a question

Thruth

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Are millennials as bad as we think? | Media Network | The Guardian

Interesting article discussing that maybe it Is a combination of the Millennials' dichotomous, contradictory generational traits, magnified by the foibles of the young upon which is superimposed the prediliction of those older to always compare and dismiss the motivations of the young.

I feel much better that this has been explained and I feel even more justified in saying:

Fucking lazy, entitled, self-centred young people! Of course, there are those such as Monkeyface Monkeyface who may not exhibit such undesirable qualities. But we cannot use the demographics of those we run into on menswear forums as a measuring stick as I suspect the level of education, drive and ability might be higher than the general population.

It wasn't until I came upon this forum that i encountered a true Aryan. This is indeed a rare and wondrous place
 

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That's a pretty interesting article. I'm not sure it really tells all that much as there is such a disparity in development across regions, but intriguing nonetheless.
It was interesting in that being a millennial is far more nuanced than i first imagined. Certainly the characteristics are influenced by culture, politics and economics. But yet there are commonalities.
 

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It was interesting in that being a millennial is far more nuanced than i first imagined. Certainly the characteristics are influenced by culture, politics and economics. But yet there are commonalities.
I'm not really surprised by that as I don't believe in heterogeneous groups in the first place. Calling someone American or Canadian is basically irrelevant beyong their place of birth or domicile.
 

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Are millennials as bad as we think? | Media Network | The Guardian

Interesting article discussing that maybe it Is a combination of the Millennials' dichotomous, contradictory generational traits, magnified by the foibles of the young upon which is superimposed the prediliction of those older to always compare and dismiss the motivations of the young.

I feel much better that this has been explained and I feel even more justified in saying:

Fucking lazy, entitled, self-centred young people! Of course, there are those such as Monkeyface Monkeyface who may not exhibit such undesirable qualities. But we cannot use the demographics of those we run into on menswear forums as a measuring stick as I suspect the level of education, drive and ability might be higher than the general population.

It wasn't until I came upon this forum that i encountered a true Aryan. This is indeed a rare and wondrous place
Haha, you're right about that last part. I had only seen them in those bad US prison shows thus far.
 

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I'm not really surprised by that as I don't believe in heterogeneous groups in the first place. Calling someone American or Canadian is basically irrelevant beyong their place of birth or domicile.
Good point. If I believed in evolution I would thank my lucky stars for the depth of the gene pool that leads to such diversity.

But as a Christian fundamentalist creationist, when I hear gene pool i instantly get this mental image of Baptists and dinosaurs splashing about together. It helps me deal with with the trials and tribulations of the godless, decaying world.
 

Thruth

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Bad? Come on, man, OZ is one of the best shows ever!
American prison shows are so base and rude. English prison shows are much more cultured.

ello Clive, all right?

I'm all right Spencer, care to bend over and have me roger you roughly?

Cheers, Clive, and, when you are done, what say I toss your salad?

There's a good lad, Spencer. Always thinking of others.
 

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Good point. If I believed in evolution I would thank my lucky stars for the depth of the gene pool that leads to such diversity.

But as a Christian fundamentalist creationist, when I hear gene pool i instantly get this mental image of Baptists and dinosaurs splashing about together. It helps me deal with with the trials and tribulations of the godless, decaying world.
Could you imagine a T Rex with arm floaties? Heehee.
 

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By the time it's my time to retire, the legal age will probably 75-80, and we won't see any pension payments at all, even though we're paying towards it. Now who is the lazy generation?

We have to work harder and longer for less money and will never be able to retire.
At your retirement age most of the planet, especially the northern hemisphere, with be uninhabitable (uninhabited).
 

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Peggy Noonan wrote a great, on-point piece in the WSJ that deals with this op-ed piece in the Columbia University paper. I'll post the dumbass Columbia piece first followed by Noonan's commentary

Columbia University students say identities matter in core curriculum classes
Our identities matter in Core classrooms
Courtesy of Esther Jung By KAI JOHNSON, TANIKA LYNCH, ELIZABETH MONROE, and TRACEY WANG
April 30, 2015, 1:02am
During a forum hosted by the Multicultural Affairs Advisory Board on Literature Humanities last semester, a student shared an experience with an audience of instructors and fellow students. This experience, she said, came to define her relationship to her Lit Hum class and to Core material in general.

During the week spent on Ovid’s “Metamorphoses,” the class was instructed to read the myths of Persephone and Daphne, both of which include vivid depictions of rape and sexual assault. As a survivor of sexual assault, the student described being triggered while reading such detailed accounts of rape throughout the work. However, the student said her professor focused on the beauty of the language and the splendor of the imagery when lecturing on the text. As a result, the student completely disengaged from the class discussion as a means of self-preservation. She did not feel safe in the class. When she approached her professor after class, the student said she was essentially dismissed, and her concerns were ignored.

Ovid’s “Metamorphoses” is a fixture of Lit Hum, but like so many texts in the Western canon, it contains triggering and offensive material that marginalizes student identities in the classroom. These texts, wrought with histories and narratives of exclusion and oppression, can be difficult to read and discuss as a survivor, a person of color, or a student from a low-income background.

The MAAB, an extension of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, is an advocacy group dedicated to ensuring that Columbia’s campus is welcoming and safe for students of all backgrounds. This year, we explored possible interventions in Core classrooms, where transgressions concerning student identities are common. Beyond the texts themselves, class discussions can disregard the impacts that the Western canon has had and continues to have on marginalized groups.

For example, another student who attended the forum shared that her Lit Hum professor gave her class the opportunity to choose their own text to add to their syllabus for the year. When she suggested the class read a Toni Morrison text, another student declared that texts by authors of the African Diaspora are a staple in most high school English classes, and therefore they did not need to reread them. Toni Morrison is a writer of both the African Diaspora and the Western world, and her novels—aside from being some of the most intellectually and emotionally compelling writing in the last century—should be valued as founding texts of the Western canon.

The student’s remark regarding Toni Morrison was not merely insensitive, but also revealing of larger ideological divides. This would have been an opportune moment for the professor to intervene.

The MAAB has held two forums in our On the Core series and had multiple meetings with professor Roosevelt Montás, the director of the Center for the Core Curriculum. The goal of the forums on Literature Humanities and Contemporary Civilization was to give students, professors, and faculty a space to hold a safe and open dialogue about experiences in the classroom that all too often traumatize and silence students. Repeatedly, we heard from students who demonstrated that having difficult experiences in a Lit Hum or Contemporary Civilization class may actually be part of the norm. Unfortunately, not all professors seem equipped to be effective facilitators in the classroom.

Students need to feel safe in the classroom, and that requires a learning environment that recognizes the multiplicity of their identities. The MAAB has been meeting with administration and faculty in the Center for the Core Curriculum to determine how to create such a space. The Board has recommended three measures: First, we proposed that the center issue a letter to faculty about potential trigger warnings and suggestions for how to support triggered students. Next, we noted that there should be a mechanism for students to communicate their concerns to professors anonymously, as well as a mediation mechanism for students who have identity-based disagreements with professors. Finally, the center should create a training program for all professors, including faculty and graduate instructors, which will enable them to constructively facilitate conversations that embrace all identities, share best practices, and think critically about how the Core Curriculum is framed for their students.

Our vision for this training is not to infringe upon the instructors’ academic freedom in teaching the material. Rather, it is a means of providing them with effective strategies to engage with potential conflicts and confrontations in the classroom, whether they are between students or in response to the material itself. Given these tools, professors will be able to aid in the inclusion of student voices which presently feel silenced.

Students at the forum expressed that they have felt that Literature Humanities and Contemporary Civilization’s curricula are often presented as a set of universal, venerated, incontestable principles and texts that have founded Western society. Such a presentation does not allow room for their experiences in the Western world or in class discussions. While these founding principles have been liberating in many ways, instructors should more consistently acknowledge during class discussions that many of these same principles have created an unjust, unequal, and oppressive existence for many, as Professor Montás has suggested during our forums.

One of the defining elements of a Columbia education is the Core. The Center for the Core Curriculum, professor Montás, and many instructors have been receptive to our feedback and expressed dedication to addressing these issues. Altering the Core Curriculum is another important discussion—one that would undoubtedly require the insight of the larger student body. In the meantime, we hope that our recommendations will enable students to have a more intellectually rewarding experience in their classrooms.

The authors are members of the Multicultural Affairs Advisory Board. Tracey Wang is a former news deputy for Spectator.

The Trigger-Happy Generation - WSJ

The Trigger-Happy Generation
If reading great literature traumatizes you, wait until you get a taste of adult life.
PEGGY NOONAN
Updated May 22, 2015 10:34 a.m. ET

Readers know of the phenomenon at college campuses regarding charges of “microaggressions” and “triggers.” It’s been going on for a while and is part of a growing censorship movement in which professors, administrators and others are accused of racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, gender bias and ethnocentric thinking, among other things. Connected is the rejection or harassment of commencement and other campus speakers who are not politically correct. I hate that phrase, but it just won’t stop being current.

Kirsten Powers goes into much of this in her book, “The Silencing.” Anyway, quite a bunch of little Marats and Robespierres we’re bringing up.

But I was taken aback by a piece a few weeks ago in the Spectator, the student newspaper of Columbia University. I can’t shake it, though believe me I’ve tried. I won’t name the four undergraduate authors, because 30 years from now their children will be on Google, and because everyone in their 20s has the right to be an idiot.

Yet theirs is a significant and growing form of idiocy that deserves greater response.

The authors describe a student in a class discussion of Ovid’s epic poem “Metamorphoses.” The class read the myths of Persephone and Daphne, which, as parts of a narrative that stretches from the dawn of time to the Rome of Caesar, include depictions of violence, chaos, sexual assault and rape. The student, the authors reported, is herself “a survivor of sexual assault” and said she was “triggered.” She complained the professor focused “on the beauty of the language and the splendor of the imagery when lecturing on the text.” He did not apparently notice her feelings, or their urgency. As a result, “the student completely disengaged from the class discussion as a means of self-preservation. She did not feel safe in the class.”

Safe is the key word here. There’s the suggestion that a work may be a masterpiece but if it makes anyone feel bad, it’s out.

Later the student told the professor how she felt, and her concerns, she said, were ignored. The authors of the op-ed note that “Metamorphoses” is a fixture in the study of literature and humanities, “but like so many texts in the Western canon it contains triggering and offensive material that marginalizes student identities in the classroom.” The Western canon, they continue, is full of “histories and narratives of exclusion and oppression” that can be “difficult to read and discuss as a survivor, a person of color, or a student from a low-income background.”

That makes them feel unsafe: “Students need to feel safe in the classroom, and that requires a learning environment that recognizes the multiplicity of their identities.” The authors suggest changing the core curriculum but concede it may not be easy. Another student, they report, suggested in her class that maybe instead they could read “a Toni Morrison text.” A different student responded that “texts by authors of the African Diaspora are a staple in most high school English classes, and therefore they did not need to reread them.” That remark, the authors assert, was not only “insensitive” but “revealing of larger ideological divides.” The professor, they report, failed at this moment to “intervene.”

The op-ed authors call for “a space to hold a safe and open dialogue” about classroom experiences that “traumatize and silence students,” with the aim of creating environments that recognize “the multiplicity” of student “identities.”

Well, here are some questions and a few thoughts for all those who have been declaring at all the universities, and on social media, that their feelings have been hurt in the world and that the world had just better straighten up.

Why are you so fixated on the idea of personal safety, by which you apparently mean not having uncomfortable or unhappy thoughts and feelings? Is there any chance this preoccupation is unworthy of you? Please say yes.

There is no such thing as safety. That is asking too much of life. You can’t expect those around you to constantly accommodate your need for safety. That is asking too much of people.

Life gives you potentials for freedom, creativity, achievement, love, all sorts of beautiful things, but none of us are “safe.” And you are especially not safe in an atmosphere of true freedom. People will say and do things that are wrong, stupid, unkind, meant to injure. They’ll bring up subjects you find upsetting. It’s uncomfortable. But isn’t that the price we pay for freedom of speech?

You can ask for courtesy, sensitivity and dignity. You can show others those things, too, as a way of encouraging them. But if you constantly feel anxious and frightened by what you encounter in life, are we sure that means the world must reorder itself? Might it mean you need a lot of therapy?

Masterpieces, by their nature, pierce. They jar and unsettle. If something in a literary masterpiece upsets you, should the masterpiece really be banished? What will you be left with when all of them are gone?

What in your upbringing told you that safety is the highest of values? What told you it is a realistic expectation? Who taught you that you are entitled to it every day? Was your life full of . . . unchecked privilege? Discuss.

Do you think Shakespeare, Frieda Kahlo, Virginia Woolf, Langston Hughes and Steve Jobs woke up every morning thinking, “My focus today is on looking for slights and telling people they’re scaring me”? Or were their energies and commitments perhaps focused on other areas?

I notice lately that some members of your generation are being called, derisively, Snowflakes. Are you really a frail, special and delicate little thing that might melt when the heat is on?

Do you wish to be known as the first generation that comes with its own fainting couch? Did first- and second-wave feminists march to the barricades so their daughters and granddaughters could act like Victorians with the vapors?

Everyone in America gets triggered every day. Many of us experience the news as a daily microaggression. Who can we sue, silence or censor to feel better?

Finally, social justice warriors always portray themselves—and seem to experience themselves—as actively suffering victims who need protection. Is that perhaps an invalid self-image? Are you perhaps less needy than demanding? You seem to be demanding a safety no one else in the world gets. If you were so vulnerable, intimidated and weak, you wouldn’t really be able to attack and criticize your professors, administrators and fellow students so ably and successfully, would you?

Are you a bunch of frail and sensitive little bullies? Is it possible you’re not intimidated but intimidators?

Again, discuss.

By the way, I went back to the op-ed and read the online comments it engendered from the Columbia community. They were quite wonderful. One called, satirically, to ban all satire because it has too many “verbal triggers.” Another: “These women are like a baby watching a movie and thinking the monster is going to come out of the screen and get them.” Another: “These girls’ parents need a refund.”

The biggest slayer of pomposity and sanctimony in our time continues to be American wit.
 

Thruth

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now if you will indulge me a little bit more, and building on the previous post, this quote is from the FHRITP thread.

"They were menacing" - formerly reserved for black males on the other side of the street.
i submit this latent concept that such heckling is not just simply interrupting but is now frequently described as "menacing" and "harassment" and results in unsafe feelings and emotional unwindings underscores how emotionally fragile society has become and how entitlement has eroded the grit of previous generations that allowed people to pick themselves us, dust themselves off and move on because they understood life is not fair and that shit happens. then at some point, grit was lost and replaced with this entitlement spawned fragility to our detriment. once again, this is a point-counterpoint post, with the lame behaviour event first, followed up with the
'what the fuck happened to us for this to have occurred" pov.

‘This was beyond heckling, this was harassment': Female Ottawa comedian walks off stage | National Post

This was beyond heckling, this was harassment': Female Ottawa comedian walks off stage
Ottawa comedian Jen Grant has performed in many a gritty club over her 16-year career. She says she knows hecklers, and how to deal with them.

But a recent corporate gig in Toronto took on a darker tone — one she says was obviously sexual harassment — prompting her to walk off stage and eventually take her story public.


“I’m not the type to just complain for no reason, I’ve done a lot of hard gigs with hecklers,” said Grant, who now lives in Toronto and has performed at comedy festivals across the country. “Even though it’s not something comics like necessarily, people are vocal sometimes and you’ve got to deal with it when they come at you. But this was beyond heckling. This was harassment.”

Grant was hired to deliver a 45-minute comedy routine at the Ontario Printing and Imaging Association’s Excellence In Print awards at a country club in the neighbourhood of Toronto on May 13.

Unlike typical nightclub gigs, where comics are uncensored, there are performance guidelines at corporate shows that implore comedians to “dress classy,” as Grant describes it, and avoid talking about sex, politics and religion. Breaking those rules can cost a performer their pay and future jobs. So when Grant was faced with a hostile heckler making lewd comments, she said she felt like she was “at a gun fight with a knife.”

I was publicly humiliated

“I get introduced to the stage and within about three minutes I am interrupted by a male in his late 30’s/early 40’s saying to me ‘There’s a 51 per cent chance that my buddy here will have sex with you, and I will take the other 49%,’” Grant wrote in a Facebook post about the show.

She told the Citizen on Wednesday that she tried to maintain her composure. But when the heckler’s abusive language took on a “rapey” tone, she looked around and said, “Is this really happening?”

She said she found some solace when she made eye contact with a seemingly empathetic woman in the male-dominated audience. However as the man continued harassing her, she became too emotional and walked off the stage in tears.

“I was publicly humiliated,” she said.

Since writing about the experience on her Facebook page, Grant has been getting a lot of public support.


Christie Blatchford: When did our society get so sensitive? | National Post

Christie Blatchford: When did our society get so sensitive?

Christie Blatchford | May 22, 2015 | Last Updated: May 22 1:26 PM ET

If ever you have wondered, as David Byrne and the Talking Heads once sang, “Well, how did I get here?,” I may be able to help.

I refer to the era of extreme delicacy in which we all live, wherein, as a colleague described it, the CBC this week convened a “solemn panel” to discuss the traumatizing effect of rude words (the hideous FHRITP phenomenon) upon women and ask the big question, “What does that say about us as a society?” — and that was before we all learned that a veteran female comedian recently fled a stage in tears after a man in the audience heckled her with lewd suggestions.


It was on Sept. 13, 1993 that I first remember feeling the axis shift
I was covering a commission of inquiry that was examining the conduct of a wonderful and well-regarded Ontario Court judge named Wally Hryciuk.

A woman, a complainant, named Kelly Smith was testifying.

At the time, she was a 30-year-old assistant Crown attorney in the rough-and-tumble Scarborough courts.

A society that can’t tell the difference anymore has lost its way

Weeping, Smith described how the year before at another court, Hryciuk allegedly had kissed her hard, sending her into a tailspin of uncontrollable crying, frantic teeth-brushing and fears she might have caught a disease from him and would be unable to have children.

It was not the allegation that shocked me — the judge denied it in any case, and he was subsequently vindicated — but its characterization (a kiss being described by a lawyer as “tantamount” to sexual assault) and, even had it happened exactly as Smith said, her grotesque overreaction to it.

I wrote at the time, “If the purpose of this public inquiry is to answer the question, ‘Do we want as a judge a man who French kisses young female Crown attorneys?’, then I believe a secondary question is in order. It is, ‘Do we want as a Crown attorney a young woman who is reduced to irrational hysterics by such a kiss?’

“If the answer to the first question is ‘No’, so must the answer to the second one.”

Hryciuk’s vindication at the Ontario Court of Appeal was then three years away.

At the inquiry itself, in the final report that found he’d acted inappropriately, had engaged in “reckless” sexual humour and which recommended he be removed from office, and certainly in that hearing room that long-ago day, he was an object of contempt, his purported “victims” each and every one praised as brave little souls who had felt powerless.

In the 22 years since, things have only worsened, such that the latest shock-horror-outrage is what happened to the comedian Jen Grant at a printing industry awards dinner on May 1. This was the Ontario Printing and Imaging Association (OPIA) awards dinner at Toronto’s St. George’s Golf and Country Club. As the story of Grant’s experience emerged this week — she was harassed by a man whose opening gambit was “There’s a 51% chance that my buddy here will have sex with you and I take the other 49%” and then said, according to Grant, in “a very ‘rapey’ tone, ‘Ohhh, the things I would do to you’ ” — it turns out the whole event was a snafu of misplaced expectations.

The OPIA president, Tracey Preston, said she didn’t hear the heckler from where she was standing at the door but had she, she said, “We would have ceased the show and we would have reacted immediately.”

And the heckler’s employer, a full-service, Quebec-based printing company, publisher and distributor called TC Transcontinental, immediately suspended the offender with pay, apologized and its spokesperson Sylvain Morissette proclaimed, “This is not in our culture and values for sure.”

As for Grant, she felt like she’d brought a knife to a gun fight, she said, because she was under the impression that at corporate gigs like this one, she wasn’t to talk about sex, or be crude, or be able to unload on a heckler as she would have done at a comedy club.

After all, as she wrote on her blog, the gig was “a squeaky clean corporate event IN A COUNTRY CLUB. … I had to be clean at this show and not offend the people in the audience. I felt like I just had to take it.”

Hell, I didn’t know printing companies even had values, that anyone would be surprised that an after-golf tourney night is predictably a bit of a zoo, or that “corporate” or “COUNTRY CLUB” are synonyms for high-minded behaviour.

What I do know is that there’s an ocean between sexual assault and a kiss, however unwanted, between harmful actions and hurtful words, however mean, and between rape and a tone of voice, however leering.

And to answer the big question Peter Mansbridge posed with such heavy sorrow the other night, the society that can’t tell the difference anymore has lost its way.

National Post

 

doghouse

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Peggy Noonan wrote a great, on-point piece in the WSJ that deals with this op-ed piece in the Columbia University paper. I'll post the dumbass Columbia piece first followed by Noonan's commentary

Columbia University students say identities matter in core curriculum classes
Our identities matter in Core classrooms
Courtesy of Esther Jung By KAI JOHNSON, TANIKA LYNCH, ELIZABETH MONROE, and TRACEY WANG
April 30, 2015, 1:02am
During a forum hosted by the Multicultural Affairs Advisory Board on Literature Humanities last semester, a student shared an experience with an audience of instructors and fellow students. This experience, she said, came to define her relationship to her Lit Hum class and to Core material in general.

During the week spent on Ovid’s “Metamorphoses,” the class was instructed to read the myths of Persephone and Daphne, both of which include vivid depictions of rape and sexual assault. As a survivor of sexual assault, the student described being triggered while reading such detailed accounts of rape throughout the work. However, the student said her professor focused on the beauty of the language and the splendor of the imagery when lecturing on the text. As a result, the student completely disengaged from the class discussion as a means of self-preservation. She did not feel safe in the class. When she approached her professor after class, the student said she was essentially dismissed, and her concerns were ignored.

Ovid’s “Metamorphoses” is a fixture of Lit Hum, but like so many texts in the Western canon, it contains triggering and offensive material that marginalizes student identities in the classroom. These texts, wrought with histories and narratives of exclusion and oppression, can be difficult to read and discuss as a survivor, a person of color, or a student from a low-income background.

The MAAB, an extension of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, is an advocacy group dedicated to ensuring that Columbia’s campus is welcoming and safe for students of all backgrounds. This year, we explored possible interventions in Core classrooms, where transgressions concerning student identities are common. Beyond the texts themselves, class discussions can disregard the impacts that the Western canon has had and continues to have on marginalized groups.

For example, another student who attended the forum shared that her Lit Hum professor gave her class the opportunity to choose their own text to add to their syllabus for the year. When she suggested the class read a Toni Morrison text, another student declared that texts by authors of the African Diaspora are a staple in most high school English classes, and therefore they did not need to reread them. Toni Morrison is a writer of both the African Diaspora and the Western world, and her novels—aside from being some of the most intellectually and emotionally compelling writing in the last century—should be valued as founding texts of the Western canon.

The student’s remark regarding Toni Morrison was not merely insensitive, but also revealing of larger ideological divides. This would have been an opportune moment for the professor to intervene.

The MAAB has held two forums in our On the Core series and had multiple meetings with professor Roosevelt Montás, the director of the Center for the Core Curriculum. The goal of the forums on Literature Humanities and Contemporary Civilization was to give students, professors, and faculty a space to hold a safe and open dialogue about experiences in the classroom that all too often traumatize and silence students. Repeatedly, we heard from students who demonstrated that having difficult experiences in a Lit Hum or Contemporary Civilization class may actually be part of the norm. Unfortunately, not all professors seem equipped to be effective facilitators in the classroom.

Students need to feel safe in the classroom, and that requires a learning environment that recognizes the multiplicity of their identities. The MAAB has been meeting with administration and faculty in the Center for the Core Curriculum to determine how to create such a space. The Board has recommended three measures: First, we proposed that the center issue a letter to faculty about potential trigger warnings and suggestions for how to support triggered students. Next, we noted that there should be a mechanism for students to communicate their concerns to professors anonymously, as well as a mediation mechanism for students who have identity-based disagreements with professors. Finally, the center should create a training program for all professors, including faculty and graduate instructors, which will enable them to constructively facilitate conversations that embrace all identities, share best practices, and think critically about how the Core Curriculum is framed for their students.

Our vision for this training is not to infringe upon the instructors’ academic freedom in teaching the material. Rather, it is a means of providing them with effective strategies to engage with potential conflicts and confrontations in the classroom, whether they are between students or in response to the material itself. Given these tools, professors will be able to aid in the inclusion of student voices which presently feel silenced.

Students at the forum expressed that they have felt that Literature Humanities and Contemporary Civilization’s curricula are often presented as a set of universal, venerated, incontestable principles and texts that have founded Western society. Such a presentation does not allow room for their experiences in the Western world or in class discussions. While these founding principles have been liberating in many ways, instructors should more consistently acknowledge during class discussions that many of these same principles have created an unjust, unequal, and oppressive existence for many, as Professor Montás has suggested during our forums.

One of the defining elements of a Columbia education is the Core. The Center for the Core Curriculum, professor Montás, and many instructors have been receptive to our feedback and expressed dedication to addressing these issues. Altering the Core Curriculum is another important discussion—one that would undoubtedly require the insight of the larger student body. In the meantime, we hope that our recommendations will enable students to have a more intellectually rewarding experience in their classrooms.

The authors are members of the Multicultural Affairs Advisory Board. Tracey Wang is a former news deputy for Spectator.

The Trigger-Happy Generation - WSJ

The Trigger-Happy Generation
If reading great literature traumatizes you, wait until you get a taste of adult life.
PEGGY NOONAN
Updated May 22, 2015 10:34 a.m. ET

Readers know of the phenomenon at college campuses regarding charges of “microaggressions” and “triggers.” It’s been going on for a while and is part of a growing censorship movement in which professors, administrators and others are accused of racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, gender bias and ethnocentric thinking, among other things. Connected is the rejection or harassment of commencement and other campus speakers who are not politically correct. I hate that phrase, but it just won’t stop being current.

Kirsten Powers goes into much of this in her book, “The Silencing.” Anyway, quite a bunch of little Marats and Robespierres we’re bringing up.

But I was taken aback by a piece a few weeks ago in the Spectator, the student newspaper of Columbia University. I can’t shake it, though believe me I’ve tried. I won’t name the four undergraduate authors, because 30 years from now their children will be on Google, and because everyone in their 20s has the right to be an idiot.

Yet theirs is a significant and growing form of idiocy that deserves greater response.

The authors describe a student in a class discussion of Ovid’s epic poem “Metamorphoses.” The class read the myths of Persephone and Daphne, which, as parts of a narrative that stretches from the dawn of time to the Rome of Caesar, include depictions of violence, chaos, sexual assault and rape. The student, the authors reported, is herself “a survivor of sexual assault” and said she was “triggered.” She complained the professor focused “on the beauty of the language and the splendor of the imagery when lecturing on the text.” He did not apparently notice her feelings, or their urgency. As a result, “the student completely disengaged from the class discussion as a means of self-preservation. She did not feel safe in the class.”

Safe is the key word here. There’s the suggestion that a work may be a masterpiece but if it makes anyone feel bad, it’s out.

Later the student told the professor how she felt, and her concerns, she said, were ignored. The authors of the op-ed note that “Metamorphoses” is a fixture in the study of literature and humanities, “but like so many texts in the Western canon it contains triggering and offensive material that marginalizes student identities in the classroom.” The Western canon, they continue, is full of “histories and narratives of exclusion and oppression” that can be “difficult to read and discuss as a survivor, a person of color, or a student from a low-income background.”

That makes them feel unsafe: “Students need to feel safe in the classroom, and that requires a learning environment that recognizes the multiplicity of their identities.” The authors suggest changing the core curriculum but concede it may not be easy. Another student, they report, suggested in her class that maybe instead they could read “a Toni Morrison text.” A different student responded that “texts by authors of the African Diaspora are a staple in most high school English classes, and therefore they did not need to reread them.” That remark, the authors assert, was not only “insensitive” but “revealing of larger ideological divides.” The professor, they report, failed at this moment to “intervene.”

The op-ed authors call for “a space to hold a safe and open dialogue” about classroom experiences that “traumatize and silence students,” with the aim of creating environments that recognize “the multiplicity” of student “identities.”

Well, here are some questions and a few thoughts for all those who have been declaring at all the universities, and on social media, that their feelings have been hurt in the world and that the world had just better straighten up.

Why are you so fixated on the idea of personal safety, by which you apparently mean not having uncomfortable or unhappy thoughts and feelings? Is there any chance this preoccupation is unworthy of you? Please say yes.

There is no such thing as safety. That is asking too much of life. You can’t expect those around you to constantly accommodate your need for safety. That is asking too much of people.

Life gives you potentials for freedom, creativity, achievement, love, all sorts of beautiful things, but none of us are “safe.” And you are especially not safe in an atmosphere of true freedom. People will say and do things that are wrong, stupid, unkind, meant to injure. They’ll bring up subjects you find upsetting. It’s uncomfortable. But isn’t that the price we pay for freedom of speech?

You can ask for courtesy, sensitivity and dignity. You can show others those things, too, as a way of encouraging them. But if you constantly feel anxious and frightened by what you encounter in life, are we sure that means the world must reorder itself? Might it mean you need a lot of therapy?

Masterpieces, by their nature, pierce. They jar and unsettle. If something in a literary masterpiece upsets you, should the masterpiece really be banished? What will you be left with when all of them are gone?

What in your upbringing told you that safety is the highest of values? What told you it is a realistic expectation? Who taught you that you are entitled to it every day? Was your life full of . . . unchecked privilege? Discuss.

Do you think Shakespeare, Frieda Kahlo, Virginia Woolf, Langston Hughes and Steve Jobs woke up every morning thinking, “My focus today is on looking for slights and telling people they’re scaring me”? Or were their energies and commitments perhaps focused on other areas?

I notice lately that some members of your generation are being called, derisively, Snowflakes. Are you really a frail, special and delicate little thing that might melt when the heat is on?

Do you wish to be known as the first generation that comes with its own fainting couch? Did first- and second-wave feminists march to the barricades so their daughters and granddaughters could act like Victorians with the vapors?

Everyone in America gets triggered every day. Many of us experience the news as a daily microaggression. Who can we sue, silence or censor to feel better?

Finally, social justice warriors always portray themselves—and seem to experience themselves—as actively suffering victims who need protection. Is that perhaps an invalid self-image? Are you perhaps less needy than demanding? You seem to be demanding a safety no one else in the world gets. If you were so vulnerable, intimidated and weak, you wouldn’t really be able to attack and criticize your professors, administrators and fellow students so ably and successfully, would you?

Are you a bunch of frail and sensitive little bullies? Is it possible you’re not intimidated but intimidators?

Again, discuss.

By the way, I went back to the op-ed and read the online comments it engendered from the Columbia community. They were quite wonderful. One called, satirically, to ban all satire because it has too many “verbal triggers.” Another: “These women are like a baby watching a movie and thinking the monster is going to come out of the screen and get them.” Another: “These girls’ parents need a refund.”

The biggest slayer of pomposity and sanctimony in our time continues to be American wit.
I read this the other day. I don't always agree with Noonan but this is pretty accurate.
 

OfficePants

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Do the millenniels have a sense of humor beyond Disney cartoons and laughing at straight white males?
My favorite moment was watching a group of teens watching a sit com. A good 10 minutes went by and none of them laughed at anything. But yet they sat there and watched it. They're mindless. I couldn't take it got up and left.

It's why movie previews tell you the entire story. And it's why every TV show now needs a gay. And it's why nobody can question whether Bruce Jenner is crazy.
 

Russell Street

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every TV show now needs a gay
I thought that was because of the Richard Hatch Mandatory Homosexual Character Inclusion Act of 1999. I'll have to do some firsthand research, but I get the sense that the Millennial has no subtle sense of humor and anything not slapstick or overtly sexual or excretory is missed.
 
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