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Woke, Triggered, and Micro-Aggressed

 

Ironically enough, I’m sitting on a college campus writing this, as I wait for my kid to get out of her last class of the week. I read earlier today how UC Berkeley will be providing counseling for students and employees in case they feel scared from anything conservative speaker Ben Shapiro might utter on their campus at his upcoming engagement.

The school is “deeply concerned” about the “impact of the speakers on their safety and belonging.” As if any of those people will actually be attending the speech by Mr. Shapiro or any other conservative. Maybe just the fact he will be breathing the same air as they do on campus is upsetting to them. I don’t know.

So I ask myself, yet again, how are these “kids” going to become functioning adults if they need counseling sessions due to the idea of or merely hearing something they don’t agree with? How will they be able to deal with real trauma or loss if, God forbid, something serious happens to them? Who is raising these kids to be so insecure with themselves? What happened to the whole self-esteem craze they were brought up with? Newsflash: it didn’t work.

I have one adult daughter who managed to graduate university without needing any safe spaces from scary words, mostly from a sociology professor she viewed as entertaining in his leftism. Another daughter is currently in her sophomore year at this place where I sit, too busy with classes, studying, activities and friends to give any of this consideration. My youngest is taking a Spanish class at community college while still in high school and hasn’t been given any kind of handout saying she can’t speak that language because of cultural appropriation. But I’m almost waiting for that.

Point is, when I tell my kids these things are happening on campuses, they almost don’t believe me. They barely follow social media, other than Instagram, or much news at all and simply carry on with their own lives, unlike their mom, who has a job in social media and can’t really avoid it. At times, I entangle myself in what I feel could be productive conversations about these college campus situations with people who only in the end want to call me clueless and stupid. Usually educators. Or millennials. My oldest belongs to that generation just by a hair, and almost won’t even own up to it. She doesn’t understand how they think or why everything is so difficult to them, especially if they don’t get their way.

What is causing this? I have no researched answers, but my theory is that parents who catered to these kids’ whims their whole lives are to blame. Now, I realize every college student is not engaged in useless activism, but I’ve told mine that if they so much as think of donning a pink knitted hat for a march or black bandana over their face to go cause trouble, their college ride from us is over. I’m a mean mom. Get a job, go volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, or go serve at a shelter or church if you have that much extra time. Stop being upset about every single thing and, while you’re at it, pretend you’ve never heard the words “micro-aggression,” “triggered,” and “woke.”

I also realize that once they have graduated, they are on their own and can do whatever they choose. I can only hope we raised them with enough sense to see the bigger picture. We tell them: the 40-year-old you will look back on these college years someday and what will you see? Either a kind, productive person who learned and had some fun along the way and then contributed to society and/or a family, or a mess who needs weekly therapy because you fell prey to a narrative that insists you can’t handle an opposing viewpoint or truth of any kind. Pick one.

But we have the upper hand, here. My current university student, a Gen Z-er, is a gifted artist who is majoring in psychology and plans to continue her education to become an art therapist. She wants to work in hospitals with kids someday. While that is a noble cause, I figure by the time she graduates the real money will be near or on college campuses, where, for a cash only fee, she’ll provide a handful of coloring books and crayons, some blankets to make tent forts, and a bongo drum for ambience. I’m pricing a nice selection of berets and horn-rimmed glasses for her at this moment. Things are that stupid right now.

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There are 35 comments.

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  1. Coolidge

    I wish your daughter great success in her life, and her career. Something tells me that she is on her way to a blessed life with a mother like you to help her when she needs guidance.

    • #1
    • September 8, 2017 at 10:16 pm
    • 9 likes
  2. Thatcher

    Great post! That your children eschew the victim culture is testament to your work as a parent and proof of your hypothesis on why others need protection from “painful” speech.

    My daughter, who graduated last year from a Jesuit university, has no and had no issues with “offensive ideas.” None of her friends did either. I think that a small minority has been embraced by the press and the larger group of students who want to get a good education and a job are being ignored.

    • #2
    • September 8, 2017 at 10:25 pm
    • 12 likes
  3. Member

     “What happened to the whole self-esteem craze they were brought up with? Newsflash: it didn’t work.”

    The Fake, Manufactured Esteem program worked just as well as could have been predicted if anyone had bothered to ask. It created loads of Juvenile Adults (?) who don’t even have a clear concept of what self-esteem actually is let alone how to get there. They have been given the false impression that a good self image is some kind of inherent right, not something to be earned. That is why their self esteem is so very fragile.
    True self esteem is earned through accomplishment, almost any accomplishment will do though it does matter what it is and how it is achieved. To teach children that accomplishment doesn’t matter constitutes a form of child abuse IMHO.

    • #3
    • September 9, 2017 at 2:39 am
    • 7 likes
  4. Member

    Laura Gadbery: figure by the time she graduates the real money will be near or on college campuses, where, for a cash only fee, she’ll provide a handful of coloring books and crayons, some blankets to make tent forts, and a bongo drum for ambience.

    Priceless.

    • #4
    • September 9, 2017 at 4:39 am
    • 5 likes
  5. Coolidge
    ST

    Sweet post. Welcome aboard.


    • #5
    • September 9, 2017 at 6:13 am
    • 3 likes
  6. Member

    Laura, do you ever fear for their safety? The news portrays Berkeley like a third world country war zone! They don’t seem to offer basic protection, like the Boston police did, by not letting these opposing protestors mingle – Do parents have any influence on what is being taught there, i.e. the silencing of one of our basic founding principles Freedom of Speech? You are all paying the tab, including employing these teachers and staff. Your kids are really blessed to have you as a mom!

    • #6
    • September 9, 2017 at 7:02 am
    • 2 likes
  7. Coolidge
    Laura Gadbery Post author

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):
    Laura, do you ever fear for their safety?

    I don’t fear for their safety because I don’t send them to a school like Berkeley. Parents really have no say, even at public school levels. I just can’t understand why people pay for their kids to attend schools like that. It doesn’t even seem prestigious anymore. I am hopeful that some see it though, with the enrollment at Mizzou down something like 35% after the debacle there a couple of years ago. I’m hopeful for a turnaround, but I don’t see it coming any time soon. Thanks for commenting!

    • #7
    • September 9, 2017 at 9:03 am
    • 2 likes
  8. Coolidge
    Laura Gadbery Post author

    CarolJoy (View Comment):
    I wish your daughter great success in her life, and her career. Something tells me that she is on her way to a blessed life with a mother like you to help her when she needs guidance.

    Thank you! I think as long as they don’t see themselves as victims every other minute, they will do just fine. :)

    • #8
    • September 9, 2017 at 9:09 am
    • 2 likes
  9. Coolidge
    Laura Gadbery Post author

    Clavius (View Comment):
    My daughter, who graduated last year from a Jesuit university, has no and had no issues with “offensive ideas.” None of her friends did either. I think that a small minority has been embraced by the press and the larger group of students who want to get a good education and a job are being ignored.

    This is so true. When I saw that blurb from Berkeley yesterday I just groaned. As a parent, if my kid needed therapy because of ideas contrary to her beliefs, I’d be mortified. I’m proud of the normal kids!

    • #9
    • September 9, 2017 at 9:15 am
    • 5 likes
  10. Member

    Nice post.

    I have a theory. Parents used to have a code; coddling children leaves them unprepared for life’s harsh realities. Coping, perseverance and self defense were needed skills and had to be learned the hard way. So our parents sent us out into the world every day expecting that everything would not be ideal. There would be scrapes, bullying and failure. Things would often be unfair and outcomes unsatisfying. Our parents stayed out of all this except in the most egregious situations. Kids will be kids. The message was clear: don’t expect any sympathy for that mouse below my eye or the blood on my shirt. The thought was: I would figure it out. Today’s opponent was tomorrow’s friend. There is a natural order at work here and it will develop no matter a parent’s intervention. In fact, the best kid’s to bully were the ones with overbearing parents. They were the first to give up their lunch money.

    Mothers, especially those who had no brawling brothers as siblings, have a tendency to coddle. They just don’t understand testosterone and its effects on boys. Working mothers perhaps moreso. Schools have become surrogate mothering institutions. They’ve institutionalized rules meant to literally criminalize much of what it means to be a boy. I’m not suggesting that boyhood brawling be sanctioned on the schoolyard, but schools have claimed jurisdiction well away from the schoolyard and the penalties they inflict on normal boyhood behavior are absurd. So called “bullies” are vilified. Don’t they understand that every single person above you on the so called pecking order can be your bully? If you defend yourself, even if you lose, it is likely the bullying will stop. If you are lucky to have a friend above your tormentor, the bully may be chastened. A particularly abusive bully near the top of the pecking order will continue his abuse until challenged. The point is, bullying behavior is encouraged by these nanny ninnies as it inhibits the natural means for neutralizing them: a challenge by a game opponent.

    Girls work out their pecking order issues in different, less direct means, mainly through social isolation and outcast. What the nanny ninnies have done is force these means on boys who don’t really care about their place in the social order; they could care less. The result is a mess.

    Enter the coddling guilt mothers and school administrators who over-react and try to fight their children’s battles for them. Suddenly there is an epidemic of hurt feelings and bullies. The feminists insist that boys and girls are the same, but at the same time they demonize the boys who prove that they are in fact, wrong about that assumption. Treating both sexes universally just creates confusion. Interventions and irrational zero tolerance policies have deprived these children from developing the coping, perseverance and self-defense skills required to function as an adult.

    We have coddled a generation of adults. Let’s call them the “basket generation” because they, like Mr. Lupner of the old SNL skits with Bill Murray and Gilda Radner, lack a spine and must be carried around in a wicker basket.

    • #10
    • September 9, 2017 at 11:36 am
    • 10 likes
  11. Thatcher

    ST (View Comment):
    Sweet post. Welcome aboard.


    And how!…I’d not want to be on a college/university campus today for any reason…let alone to ostensibly be educated! Prayers for your young adults as they make their way through the minefield! As ST says: Welcome! More posts and comments, as time permits, please/thank you?

    • #11
    • September 9, 2017 at 1:18 pm
    • 2 likes
  12. Coolidge
    Laura Gadbery Post author

    Nanda Panjandrum (View Comment):

    ST (View Comment):
    Sweet post. Welcome aboard.


    And how!…I’d not want to be on a college/university campus today for any reason…let alone to ostensibly be educated! Prayers for your young adults as they make their way through the minefield! As ST says: Welcome! More posts and comments, as time permits, please/thank you?

    Thanks so much! I didn’t have the full college experience. My husband did. There are some careers that just need it, obviously; it’s not a path I recommend for everyone. I really pray that they use their heads and stay above the fray, if it comes to that. So far, so good.

    • #12
    • September 9, 2017 at 1:46 pm
    • 3 likes
  13. Coolidge
    Laura Gadbery Post author

    Doug Kimball (View Comment):
    We have coddled a generation of adults. Let’s call them the “basket generation” because they, like Mr. Lupner of the old SNL skits with Bill Murray and Gilda Radner, lack a spine and must be carried around in a wicker basket.

    Thanks for the comment! Good points, all. Nice SNL reference, btw! :)

    • #13
    • September 9, 2017 at 1:47 pm
    • 2 likes
  14. Contributor

    Good job, Laura! You should not only be proud of your daughters but they are probably very proud of you. “Mean mom”–phooey! Well done!

    • #14
    • September 10, 2017 at 4:04 pm
    • 3 likes
  15. Member

    In the dark ages when I went to college, students (male ones, anyway) vented their pent-up energy and sexual frustration in panty raids. I never participated in one, but I remember witnessing one at my Big-10 alma mater.

    Now the mention of such a thing probably warrants a trigger warning and post-traumatic stress counseling. And a long lecture on sexism, patriarchy, and a bunch of psychological malarkey.

    When did going to college become a psycho-sociological maze and stop being a gateway to maturity?

    • #15
    • September 10, 2017 at 4:08 pm
    • 6 likes
  16. Member

    Doug Kimball (View Comment):
    Nice post.

    I have a theory. Parents used to have a code; coddling children leaves them unprepared for life’s harsh realities. Coping, perseverance and self defense were needed skills and had to be learned the hard way. So our parents sent us out into the world every day expecting that everything would not be ideal. There would be scrapes, bullying and failure. Things would often be unfair and outcomes unsatisfying. Our parents stayed out of all this except in the most egregious situations. Kids will be kids. The message was clear: don’t expect any sympathy for that mouse below my eye or the blood on my shirt. The thought was: I would figure it out. Today’s opponent was tomorrow’s friend. There is a natural order at work here and it will develop no matter a parent’s intervention. In fact, the best kid’s to bully were the ones with overbearing parents. They were the first to give up their lunch money.

    Mothers, especially those who had no brawling brothers as siblings, have a tendency to coddle. They just don’t understand testosterone and its effects on boys. Working mothers perhaps moreso. Schools have become surrogate mothering institutions. They’ve institutionalized rules meant to literally criminalize much of what it means to be a boy. I’m not suggesting that boyhood brawling be sanctioned on the schoolyard, but schools have claimed jurisdiction well away from the schoolyard and the penalties they inflict on normal boyhood behavior are absurd. So called “bullies” are vilified. Don’t they understand that every single person above you on the so called pecking order can be your bully? If you defend yourself, even if you lose, it is likely the bullying will stop. If you are lucky to have a friend above your tormentor, the bully may be chastened. A particularly abusive bully near the top of the pecking order will continue his abuse until challenged. The point is, bullying behavior is encouraged by these nanny ninnies as it inhibits the natural means for neutralizing them: a challenge by a game opponent.

    Enter the coddling guilt mothers and school administrators who over-react and try to fight their children’s battles for them. Suddenly there is an epidemic of hurt feelings and bullies. The feminists insist that boys and girls are the same, but at the same time they demonize the boys who prove that they are in fact, wrong about that assumption. Treating both sexes universally just creates confusion. Interventions and irrational zero tolerance policies have deprived these children from developing the coping, perseverance and self-defense skills required to function as an adult.

    We have coddled a generation of adults. …

    If this were the explanation, then why is it that only conservative ideas act as triggers? Why don’t we see conservative students getting triggered by liberal speakers etc and demanding their own safe spaces?

    • #16
    • September 10, 2017 at 5:25 pm
    • 5 likes
  17. Thatcher

    I find it hard to put into words how much I like this post. So, I guess I’ll just say I really like it. :)

    • #17
    • September 10, 2017 at 5:45 pm
    • 5 likes
  18. Member

    I attended Berkeley in the 70s. I am certain the students then were made of sterner stuff. College was a luxury, but not a “luxury good”. Everything was dangerous, cheap, ugly, or tasted foul. Even the toilet paper was garish (from coloring gone wrong). Nobody cared how you felt. And if you were male, your “male privilege” was the Vietnam War waiting for you.

    But it was fun, and it got the damn job done!

    Laura, you sound like a wonderful mother. Your children are very lucky.

    • #18
    • September 10, 2017 at 6:42 pm
    • 3 likes
  19. Member

    Laura Gadbery: What is causing this? I have no researched answers, but my theory is that parents who catered to these kids’ whims their whole lives are to blame.

    My theory: this is a theatrical maneuver to make Ben Shapiro look like a monster.

    • #19
    • September 10, 2017 at 6:49 pm
    • 3 likes
  20. Thatcher

    Bob Wainwright (View Comment):
    If this were the explanation, then why is it that only conservative ideas act as triggers? Why don’t we see conservative students getting triggered by liberal speakers etc and demanding their own safe spaces?

    Because conservative people of student age hide their views, are used to contrasting ideas, and were likely brought up to be tough.

    • #20
    • September 10, 2017 at 8:46 pm
    • 5 likes
  21. Thatcher

    Clavius (View Comment):

    Bob Wainwright (View Comment):
    If this were the explanation, then why is it that only conservative ideas act as triggers? Why don’t we see conservative students getting triggered by liberal speakers etc and demanding their own safe spaces?

    Because conservative people of student age hide their views, are used to contrasting ideas, and were likely brought up to be tough.

    And besides, looking for safe space is antithetical to the conservative mindset.

    • #21
    • September 10, 2017 at 8:51 pm
    • 3 likes
  22. Thatcher

    Clavius (View Comment):

    Bob Wainwright (View Comment):
    If this were the explanation, then why is it that only conservative ideas act as triggers? Why don’t we see conservative students getting triggered by liberal speakers etc and demanding their own safe spaces?

    Because conservative people of student age hide their views, are used to contrasting ideas, and were likely brought up to be tough.

    If not to be tough, to think critically, to synthesize ideas cogently , and to express them concisely. At least that’s my experience of acquiring the skill-set. YMMV

    • #22
    • September 10, 2017 at 9:26 pm
    • 3 likes
  23. Thatcher

    Nanda Panjandrum (View Comment):

    Clavius (View Comment):

    Bob Wainwright (View Comment):
    If this were the explanation, then why is it that only conservative ideas act as triggers? Why don’t we see conservative students getting triggered by liberal speakers etc and demanding their own safe spaces?

    Because conservative people of student age hide their views, are used to contrasting ideas, and were likely brought up to be tough.

    If not to be tough, to think critically, to synthesize ideas cogently , and to express them concisely. At least that’s my experience of acquiring the skill-set. YMMV

    So much better said than what I wrote. It is much more than just tough. Thanks @nandapanjandrum!

    • #23
    • September 10, 2017 at 10:06 pm
    • 3 likes
  24. Member

    They used to call it the vapors, hysteria. It kind of makes sense in the feminized world the left lives in.

    • #24
    • September 11, 2017 at 5:31 am
    • 3 likes
  25. Member

    The question is whether this phenomenon is caused by a general problem in the way kids are brought up, which would mean that kids of all beliefs would be affected, or whether it is really just a power play by the left. My feeling is that it’s not a coincidence that trigger-able kids are also left wing kids who are triggered by conservative ideas. The emotional fragility which they seem to have is basically fake. Or maybe at some point it becomes real after they convince themselves of it. But ultimately they are just pawns in a left wing power play.

    • #25
    • September 11, 2017 at 7:36 am
    • 4 likes
  26. Thatcher

    Ralphie (View Comment):
    feminized

    Feminine folks like me resemble that description; how ’bout: infantilized, instead?

    • #26
    • September 11, 2017 at 10:20 am
    • 1 like
  27. Member

    Doug Kimball (View Comment):
    There is a natural order at work here and it will develop no matter a parent’s intervention. In fact, the best kid’s to bully were the ones with overbearing parents. They were the first to give up their lunch money.

    Excellent comments, Doug. And the above is a classic.

    And to the post, Laura – just great. You’ve raised some well-balanced kids, having inoculated them against that deadly disease, precious snowflakitis.

    OkieSailor (View Comment):
    The Fake, Manufactured Esteem program worked just as well as could have been predicted if anyone had bothered to ask. It created loads of Juvenile Adults (?) who don’t even have a clear concept of what self-esteem actually is let alone how to get there.

    Absolutely spot on!! Added to your excellent comments on this is Denis Prager’s idea that it has produced very selfish kids with no concept of gratitude.

    • #27
    • September 11, 2017 at 10:25 am
    • 3 likes
  28. Coolidge
    Laura Gadbery Post author

    Don Tillman (View Comment):

    Laura Gadbery: What is causing this? I have no researched answers, but my theory is that parents who catered to these kids’ whims their whole lives are to blame.

    My theory: this is a theatrical maneuver to make Ben Shapiro look like a monster.

    Well, and that.

    • #28
    • September 12, 2017 at 7:09 am
    • 1 like
  29. Coolidge
    Laura Gadbery Post author

    Clavius (View Comment):

    Bob Wainwright (View Comment):
    If this were the explanation, then why is it that only conservative ideas act as triggers? Why don’t we see conservative students getting triggered by liberal speakers etc and demanding their own safe spaces?

    Because conservative people of student age hide their views, are used to contrasting ideas, and were likely brought up to be tough.

    This is how I was going to answer. I read through all the comments first and you win. My kids have told me that after observing professors who lean to the left, they find it best to brush it off so their grades aren’t affected. Isn’t that sad that even some professors can’t listen to arguments different from theirs. Which is why Berkeley is offering them the counseling services as well.

    • #29
    • September 12, 2017 at 7:12 am
    • 2 likes
  30. Coolidge
    Laura Gadbery Post author

    Ralphie (View Comment):
    They used to call it the vapors, hysteria. It kind of makes sense in the feminized world the left lives in.

    Oh, how I wish it made less sense.

    • #30
    • September 12, 2017 at 7:14 am
    • 1 like
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