Is Today’s Generation too Sensitive?



Crying child

Slavery, war, famine, violence, and discrimination are all very real problems in today’s society. For instance, police brutality resulted in 1,146 deaths in 2017, 17 school shootings have occurred so far in 2018, and the human trafficking business has tripled its profits in a decade, earning an estimated $44 billion in 2005 and currently being worth $150.2 billion annually. Among these debilitating issues of society, however, heroes arise to address the largest issue of all: microaggressions.

Microaggressions are defined as, “the everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group”. In addition to microaggressions, there are microinsults, macroaggressions, and microassaults representing forms of modern prejudice against minorities. According to National Review, a few of these microaggressions citizens have been punished for include disliking certain types of coffee (sexist), using the word “American” (problematic), and taking a yoga class (racist). Though this politically correct culture began with good intentions to improve the Earth, its ideas and values have clearly gone too far, with many people being unable to even express a personal opinion without risk of possibly offending another person.

One reason why some people refuse to be “P.C.” is because the fight for equality has majorly become an argument over petty issues. There are legitimate problems today, including those listed in the beginning of this article, but there are also over-exaggerated inconveniences that largely represent political correctness. For example, in November 20th of 2016, the media company BuzzFeed posted a video titled “Women Try Manspreading For A Week,” addressing the issue of men taking several seats in public forms of transportation, like subways. In the video, the BuzzFeed employees displayed the deep prejudice they felt as a result of manspreading and explained how the borderline crime has many inherent sexist and misogynistic implications against women. While the video has garnered much negative attention from those realizing how useless the video’s complaints are, there are thousands of young viewers who have actually taken the media’s message to heart. BuzzFeed has hundreds of similar videos addressing like issues and currently has 15 million subscribers, meaning that there are many people who genuinely enjoy its content and are being influenced with every video the media company creates.

Other examples of current generations being overly P.C. include the cases from Idaho State University, Quinnipiac University, and the University of Georgia. Researchers from Idaho State published a college study declaring that students would have to accept people who “identify as real vampires”, explaining “…they are born with it, somewhat akin to sexual orientation.” And, in Quinnipiac University, a sorority’s charity event was cancelled after a student complained that featuring maracas on promotional posters was racist.

A similar case occurred in the University of Kansas when activists demanded a charity event for children with cancer to be cancelled because the activists thought their cause was more important. The final occurrence in the University of Georgia involved banning hoop skirts because they are a symbol of racism; the reasoning for this action was that hoop skirts were worn during the era of slavery, automatically making them represent discrimination and racism. Though there are people who have trauma from certain events and can be seriously affected when seeing triggers to the events, this circumstance is extreme. Given the university’s reasoning for taking action, Kraemer students can also technically protest going to school because the majority of students have hair, a reminder to the slavery era when many American citizens also had hair.

In expansion of the previous points about expressing personal opinion, people should be able to live the majority of life while not in a “safe space” (defined as “a place or environment in which a person or category of people can feel confident that they will not be exposed to discrimination, criticism, harassment, or any other emotional or physical harm”). Safe spaces prevent people from being exposed to other perspectives, which, ultimately, can cause them to be ignorant and intolerant. If a person is able to publicly broadcast their opinion but avoid receiving any criticism, they would never be able to accept rejection or see any flaws in their beliefs.