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Argumentative Essay On Safe Space

The Safe Space Network defines a safe space as, “A place where the rules guard each person’s self-respect and dignity and strongly encourage everyone to respect others. ” Many college campuses across the country has these “safe spaces”. In Brown University, their safe space includes cookies, coloring books, bubbles, a video of puppies, and other child-like related items meant to promote self expression, no matter how controversial the utilizer’s gender identity, religious beliefs, or culture. Contrary to their name, I believe safe spaces have the potential for extreme danger when students cannot express their ideas outside of those zones.

Being told to keep ideas to one’s self restricts important qualities of human nature–self-expression and individuality. The fear of offending others, an increase in narcissistic value, and a hypocritical nature contributes to this restricting of free speech. The problem decreased in freedom of speech lies with where to one draws the “offensive” line. Would the government allow a student in a predominately Jewish classroom to bring a swastika to class as long as he does not hurt anyone? In a utopian society, the student would not bring in the swastika and the Jewish students would practice tolerance even if he did.

Where lies the difference between a utopia and the present society? A utopian world lacks human nature. When someone brings a flag to school that upsets another person, people voices their opinions voicing their opinion arises out of a natural instinct. In eighth grade, my classroom had a day to bring to school something the student possessed of importance. My teacher, wishing to keep peace, made an announcement stating, “You can bring in anything that means a lot to you except anything relating to politics or religion. ” That statement took me by surprise because religion plays an important role in my life.

I could have easily disregarded that remark and brought in a family picture or a keepsake, but instead I took action. My parents helped me talk to the principle and from then on we were allowed to bring in anything religious or political. The ability to share viewpoints becomes more and more rare because of America’s fear of offending. Being offended may have positive effects, as arguing and discussing fosters learning. If schools across the country openly offer debate teams, this must promote academic growth and understanding.

If keeping the peace requires silencing opposing views, how is America the symbol of liberty and civility? This country loses the definition of respect behind the fight for “equal rights”. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines respect as, “a feeling or understanding that someone or something is important, serious, etc. , and should be treated in an appropriate way” Society today thinks treating a person in the appropriate way means accepting all of their ideas and therefore not having any power over their own.

When people begin giving up their views to accept others’, America loses the individuality the country was founded upon. People with the majority view use the word “respect” to mask giving up rights. Mark Stevyn, a free speech advocate featured in John Stossel’s special, Censored in America, states, “Respectful is a bogus code word”. The American population freezes when met with a viewpoint that flows against the major current, and therefore views those people as enemies. America continues to create a quagmire of disrespect by burying its individuality.

Free Speech in today’s society seems to, and should have a high value. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy argues, “Free speech becomes a volatile issue when it is highly valued because only then do the limitations placed upon it become controversial. ” Although I agree that America values free speech, I believe that the American citizen values only their own free speech. Appreciating my own free speech but no one else’s begins the endless cycle of an easily offended nation. Today’s culture utilizes free speech to stop free speech.

When one person believes in marriage meant for a male and female and another believes in marriage for any mix of genders, who calls who a hater? Well balanced tolerance solves the problem of offending others, but only through patience. Society continually presents itself with contradicting views, as a part of human nature. Attempting to protect people from each other’s views only opens the door to an easily offended population. It becomes effortless in a society of instant gratification to let narcissism take over. Once America loses the tolerance facet of citizenship, it allows everyone to offend each other.

I utilize my own free speech writing this essay. If I write about how America does not restrict free speech, I contradict myself. Respecting, caring, and tolerating one another builds the perfect concoction for a free and safe nation. Right now I possess the freedom to voice my view on this matter, but how will my rights change in the next twenty years? America’s attempt at not offending anyone offends me. But if “safe spaces” prohibiting free speech grow to encompass classrooms, schools or whole nations how would anyone know my views if I cannot say anything offensive?

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