Why I Dislike the "Safe Space" Concept
Let's cut staright to the chase:
No. 1: It’s just a nice sounding name for “Censorship Space”.
A safe space means that no opposing opinions is allowed among the group. It may be a safe space for those who are part of it (as they share opinions and believes). But for everyone else, it’s a mine field were the slightest disagreement may “trigger” someone and make the speaker unwelcome. If you can disagree with others, others should also be able to disagree with you.
Some safe spaces are built for LGBT or POC, and disallowing racist or homophobic sppech sounds like a morally correct choice. But that just brings another question - Who determins what's ***ist and what's not? With accusations of ***ist being thrown around so frequently thses days, definitions of these discriminations are really messed up. You can get labeled as a "Islamicphobic" just for admitting that the majority of terrorists are muslims, and a French lady may get slammed with "cultural appropriation" (which usually comes with accusations of racism) just because she wanted to learn Beijing Opera.
No. 2: It’s mostly for people who are overly sensitive.
Remember the old saying: “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words won’t hurt me.”? Well, for most people who need safe spaces it’s “sticks and stones can break my bones, and words can hurt my soul”. Sure, words can hurt sometimes. But being so sensitive towards them that you need a sanctuary from them? C’mon! Your opinions are not forbidden and won’t be policed when heard by others, you don’t need an isolated echo chamber just to express them.
Another thing to keep in mind is that no matter how well you do, people will still talk shit about you. Do not let those insults become personal to you as they are mostly based on willful ignorance and stereotypes out of pure disdain, if you do that, THEY WIN.
No. 3: It can hint that you cannot withstand your argument.
College safe spaces are pretty much for people who don’t want to hear disagreement, and there are many reasons for that. While people tends to dislike hearing ideas that opposes them, it’s inevitable that they will hear disagreement. While some people might ask “Why don’t you just argue back?”, and when they find out you can’t (either via formal debate or your outright refusal to debate), they may realize that it’s because your ideas are simply flawed and cannot withstand arguments—but you are simply too stubborn to accept that so you built your own safe space to keep out naysayers so you can express it without making you look bad.
Also, there’s an old cowboy saying: “If one person calls you an ass just walk away, if everyone starts calling you an ass go buy yourself a stable.” If most people around you started to criticize your believes, maybe you should start considering whether it’s just that everyone else is wrong, or that there’re truly problems in your believes.
No. 4: It’s an escape from reality.
Let’s face it, we humans are social animals, we have to interact with others in our everyday life. No one can afford to stay in a safe space forever. These safe spaces can lower your mental guard and limit your vision of sociaty as you’re only seeing and hearing stuff you like to hear. Since safe spaces are for people who are already overly sensitive, when they eventually leave it they may be overwhelmed by how detached from sociaty they are and become flabbergasted by the ugly aspects of sociaty. It’s better for people to interact with sociaty more and learn more about it. The more you’ve seen, the less sensitive and trigger happy you will be.
No. 5: It can also be a sign of cowardliness.
Some of those who needs a safe space needs it because they simply can’t get themselves to listen to things they don’t like, and/or cannot accept their own drawbacks and mistakes. It takes a certain amount of courage to do that, I know, but how bad does it get if you have to hide yourself away?
Some safe spaces are for minorities/queers who want a place free of discrimination. But hiding in safes spaces doesn’t mean that it will make bigoted people cease their immoral ways. Running away from problems is like tolerating it—doing this won’t solve it, it will only make the issue grow bigger over time. It's like how recently some democrates bashed the head of CIA because she's too hard on terrorists - You cannot be soft with terrorists! If you ignore them or back down they will see you as weak or imcompenet and become more rampant than ever!
Also, if someone is being racist or homophobic towards you, that person is either a bigot, a troll or acting out of insecurity. Again, don’t give a shit about what they say. Your best option is to prove them wrong with your own actions and become better than what they say of you, the biased may never change, but it’s good to make them eat their own words, no?
No. 6: It’s a type of victim mentality.
Think about it for a second, why will you need to hide yourself away in a sanctuary? It’s it that the whole world is against you? It’s the 21st century! Slavery is illegal, racism is condemned, we have the 1st Amendment (at least in the US, but most democratic countries have freedom of speech). So building a safe space and hiding in it is basically saying “the whole world is oppressing me”. Not everyone is intolerant to different opinions, so stop self-victimizing to make it look like you have the moral high ground! Being "under-privilaged" doesn't automatically make you correct!