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The snowflake factory strikes again

Never say never again

No, we’re not talking about Sean Connery’s seventh and final Bond film. (Not recommended. Trust me.) The mandate to avoid negatives comes from academia. You know, those Beta Kappas who often don’t have children but are keen on telling others who do how it’s done.

“Journalism professors at Leeds Trinity University in the UK have been instructed not to use certain words – in case they frighten sensitive students,” Fox News says. “According to UK media reports, the use of capital letters has been banned as well as the ‘overuse’ of the words ‘do and ‘don’t.'”

But do and don’t and capital letters aren’t the only thing degreed heads are eager to strike from the record. Check out the following sit-down with Fox News Tucker Carlson as he and Cathy Areu, publisher of Catalina Magazine, discuss the toxicity of the term “man”:

Are you outraged now? Incensed? I don’t blame you. You have my apologies if that video adversely effects your work performance or overall well-being. But now you’ll understand.

“Student anxiety can cause academic failure.” But failure to adequately address one’s anxiety – and find fixes that don’t require having the world revolve around one – doesn’t equate to success. But once they’re graduated, these meticulously refrigerated snowflakes are no longer the school’s problems. They’re society’s problems.

But there’s more. The Leeds Trinity memo admonished staff to be “explicit about any inexplicitness” when it comes to required work, and always be aware that “misconceptions or misunderstandings quickly spread” among would-be learners.

So teachers are being told to be clear in their expectations. But they MUST refrain from using “do,” “don’t,” capital letters, and any other words associated with clear speak when speaking to students who will be upset over a lack of clarity … because a lack of clarity “can lead to further confusion and students may even then decide that the assessment is too difficult and not attempt it.”

Quite possibly, a mass exodus of teachers may be the next topic requiring a memorandum.

In their defense, “Leeds Trinity University released a statement claiming it had not banned capital letters – but confirmed “it is best practice not to write in all capital letters.”” (Don’t tell that to the NOW – National Organization of women – or the LGBTQ alliance. You may offend someone.)

But Vice Chancellor Margaret House assures everyone that “We’re proud to offer a personal and inclusive university experience that gives every student the support to realize their potential.”

So it’s all about potential, right? The potential to be triggered, anxious, offended and ineffectual?

You don’t need a college degree to know that.

Put your hands together – but don’t clap

This is no slam against those suffering from anxiety (I enjoy a fair amount). Having endured this the majority of my life, I would love to avoid those special moments – days, months, years – that have me praying I could exit my own skin.

But enough is enough. “The University of Manchester’s student union made global headlines after voting to ban clapping and cheering at certain events in order to avoid triggering those with anxiety or sensory issues.”

Yes, you read that correctly. Clapping is nixed because it’s potentially offensive. Cheering, too. Next thing, smiling will be banned because depression sufferers will become increasingly depressed at the sight. And while the latter is often true, banning others’ enjoyment is absurd.

But the University of Manchester, however well intended they may be, has ham-fistedly replaced one potentially offensive gesture with another they obviously hadn’t considered – jazz hands. Certainly not happy-clappy for some (pun intended). Deigning the move okay because “jazz hands” is the official sign language gesture to communicate clapping makes no difference. The micro-aggression against those who can hear and want to celebrate is clear.

Check out what Piers Morgan has to say. The discussion gets going at the 0.15 mark:

But the union is adamant. “I think a lot of time, I’ve seen that clapping, whooping, talking over each other, loud noises, encourages an atmosphere that is not as respectful as it could be,” explained student union officer Sara Khan to the BBC.

Quite possibly, despite Ms. Khan’s experience, it is the lack of contextual awareness and cultural understanding that is the root of her dilemma, not the clapping itself. Mutual respect is what’s needed, not a one-sided attempt to brand and subsequently marginalize others.

But then, students rely on clear-thinking parents and teachers to learn these truths … something, it seems, that is in increasingly short supply.

Her least liked child … triggered me

Mommy blogger Katie Bower was doing what she does best: Keeping it real on Bower Power blog about her second son’s sixth birthday. Posting pics on Instagram and chatting on about babies, birthdays, and – bam – something that resulted in a solid dose of backlash.

This Georgia peach has 53K+ followers, so while the love is coming – the lifestyle blog is a full-time marketing maneuver – so too is the condemnation. But perhaps it’s well deserved, if only for a wake-up call.

The child’s birthday post was going fine, with Bower cooing about her son. “He is quiet except when he’s not … overflowing with unique personality,” MSN reports Bower posting. “He hates the car and is a complete homebody. He loves art and sports and is quick with a joke. He loves organizing and quality time and says one day he is gonna be a daddy to one hundred babies.”

Awwww, how cute. (Except for the 100 babies. This mom is curious what has a six-year-old thinking he’s going to have 100 babies.) But Mommy loves her Munchkin. What she doesn’t seem to like, however, is that little guy isn’t getting the likes he should … the likes she says she fears “he” will internalize as some reflection of unworthiness when he’s old enough to understand such things

“Guys I am gonna be perfectly honest. … Instagram never liked my Munchkin and it killed me inside,” Bowers confessed in an emotional caption. “His photos never got as many likes. Never got comments. From a statistical point of view, he wasn’t as popular with everyone out there.”

What? This loving mom is lamenting her son’s lack of popularity on Instagram?

The post goes on: “My insufficiency caused this statistical deficit because obviously my Munch should get ALL the love and squinty eyes are totally adorable.”

An all-out plea for likes ended the post. It was sad to read. Sadder still, because Bower seems to be blaming the internet for the backlash she received, instead of looking to the confused package she presents by fixating on her son’s apparent lack of likes. (There was a reason for the disclaimer she posted, insisting she doesn’t like her children based on how popular they are on Instagram.)

So, what do you think? Were you triggered to know about Bower’s least liked child? Offended that reaction to her “honesty” was so brutal? Feeling bad for Munch who’ll have to deal with his mom’s inadequacies one day?

One commentator had this to say:

Where’s a student union representative or teachers memo when you need one?