What is Vindictive Protectiveness? Well, Vindictive Protectiveness is “creating a culture in which everyone must think twice before speaking up, lest they face charges of insensitivity, aggression, or worse. ( Lukianoff & Haidt, 2015) I honestly think America is becoming overly sensitive to many uncomfortable topics of discussion. How is one supposed to learn if one is not taken outside of one’s comfort zone?!?
Before reading my opinion on this topic, please read this article: The Coddling of the American Mind
Now take a moment to digest all of that…….
Okay great, here’s what I have to say.
Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that there is a difference between coddling students and being genuinely concerned for trauma survivors well-being, but I also do believe that if a law student isn’t allowed to learn about the procedures needed to file a case for a rape survivor. Something is extremely wrong with our education system. I also do believe that being able to speak to people about my trauma and explain why specific things trigger me has helped me immensely. Taking away any teachable moment from anyone is a disservice to yourself and to that person.
By avoiding uncomfortable topics such as discrimination or rape culture, it can aid in masking the root issues which keeps us from discovering solutions to these topics. When it comes to respecting people’s boundaries in an academic environment, I believe that it is up to professors, students or any other facilitator to address that there will be a strong language used during the pending discussion and that no harm or offense should occur. I know during many of my diversity training this warning was given, and I felt better prepared mentally and physically for the “tough” discussions a head. I also had many facilitators tell us to take a moment to break down why specific words triggered a reaction in us and if that reaction was a valid one to have.