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athgarvan

SAFE SPACES?

A few days ago I had a post here asking if "political correctness" has gone too far as I believe it has. I wrote that "sacred spaces" were appearing in some universities where 'political correctness' tries to shut down debate about the right-to-life, the nature of marriage, immigration, etc. This becomes a threat to free and open debate and therefore to free and open societies.
Nowadays, if you are against open-door immigration, you are considered a 'racist', if you oppose gay marriage, you are a 'homophobe', if you oppose abortion, you wish to 'oppress' women and deserve to be expelled from polite society and 'no-platformed' at universities!

The Rose of Tralee International Festival is based on the love song "The Rose of Tralee", by William Mulchinock a 19th century wealthy merchant who was in love with Mary O'Connor, his maid. Since 1959 the Festival has grown, incorporating centres from all over the world and is firmly established on everyone's events calendar. TV live coverage of the Rose selection has helped install the Festival in the national psyche with over a million people tuning in. This year's Rose of Tralee is the Canadian 'Rose'.

Entrants are interviewed on aspects of their lives. This year the Sydney 'Rose',  Brianna Parkins, was allowed to say during the interview: “I think we can do better here in Ireland.  I think it is time to give women a say on their own reproductive rights. I would love to see a referendum on the eighth coming up soon. That would be my dream.”

This is in reference to an ongoing debate in Ireland about the repeal of the 8th amendent to our Constitution which guarantees the “right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.”

Pro-choice campaigners believe the wording means abortion rights in Ireland are too restricted; anti-abortion campaigners want it to remain the same.

The Rose of Tralee festival describes itself as apolitical and does not encourage political statements.

Comments

is a woman's dream a political statement?

there was a feminist saying back in the 60's - the personal is political

reproductive rights is very personal
every woman has the potential need for the medical procedure of abortion.
every woman has the right to decide for herself if she can sustain a pregnancy
every woman has the right to determine her fate and that of those who depend on her
these are not easy decisions - they are very personal

but the state has made them political and made them impossible for some women to make

This.

I live in a state with these rights and will protect them with every bone in my body.
Open debate MUST be allowed. Everyone's position must be respected.
debate is one thing
restrictive laws another
no one is mandating that a woman have an abortion
but laws are preventing her from having a choice

Debate allows people to come to their own decision
it does not force a decision
debate tried to persuade it does not legislate

her dream did not preclude debate
it closed no speech
but it wanted open choice
Why do some universities shelter students from what they consider "religious" ideas? Especially if opposite ideas are promoted on TV and the media generally.
i don't know what is happening in Ireland
perhaps if pro choice is on tv the opposite opinion needs to buy time too?

if it is a religious view than it should be choice of the individual and not mandated by the state

if i understood the start of your posting, the young woman had a dream of a constitutional change
that is a political not a religious agenda

religion can teach what it thinks best
but no one religion can dictate the behavior of all the citizens of a state
Why do some universities shelter students from what they consider "religious" ideas? Especially if opposite ideas are promoted on TV and the media generally.

Universities are nothing more than a collection of buildings and educators gathered together to encourage and apply intensive study in advanced subjects. In the USA, a college cannot be a University without offering advanced degrees, otherwise it is just a College.

As for why Universities choose a platform to promote and others to supress? They are funded in a variety of ways, either via public funds or private funds and grants. If they are privately funded or church supported, their policies will likely reflect that. If they are publicly funded they will generally be more inclusive and more supportive of more radical positions and beliefs.

Just because a student attends a university doesn't necessarily mean the student subscribes to all of the stated beliefs espoused by that university. It may be that a specific instructor is at that school, or that financial aid or a fellowship or job was available at school A but not at school B.

Part of education is training students to make intelligent choices when faced by opposing views. How a person chooses to evaluate the data and make a decision is crucial. Having all viewpoints discussed, however, is also crucial to making an informed decision.

- Erulisse (one L)
When I was a kid, if you supported civil rights, you were a "nigger lover". In the 1950's our government destroyed the lives of many liberals for being "communists". The prevailing societal norm has always wielded a heavy hand toward minority opinions. We started calling that "political correctness" when that societal norm passed from conservatism to liberalism.

I don't believe in the suppression of ideas, especially in universities. I was glad to see this story today: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-university-of-chicago-safe-spaces-letter-met-20160825-story.html
thank you for the article

it reminded me of an experience i had years ago when i was teaching

i taught a new approach to a biblical text that scholars were using
it was not the popular interpretation that had been given to children
i had a student who refused to accept the new interpretation
on the final exam when i asked about the text the student gave the old simplistic view of it and refused to mention the new interpretation
Thank you sincerely for that link about U of C.
The problem is certainly not just an Ireland problem as has been suggested.
The problem is much more widely found in many and minor ways everywhere.

Edited at 2016-08-26 08:02 (UTC)
The Rose of Tralee is a sad tale, in which the woman dies. Kind of like the woman in Ireland a few years ago who the doctors knew the baby inside her was dying, and that to save her life they needed to perform an abortion. They refused to perform this surgery, and the woman died of septicaemia after days of agony.

Do you not think that Ireland could do better?
This is what our Constitution states:

This is in reference to an ongoing debate in Ireland about the repeal of the 8th amendment to our Constitution which guarantees the “right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.”
There are signs that the tide is turning over here.

The University of Chicago just sent a letter to its incoming freshmen telling them not to expect 'trigger warnings,' 'safe spaces,' or other accommodations catering to their tender sensibilities.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-university-of-chicago-safe-spaces-letter-met-20160825-story.html
your link has already been noted above.
maybe students need both - and a balance needs to be found

yes, women who have been raped should be warned about material with rape scenes and classes where it will be discussed
homosexual rape is just as bad!
to be physically violated in your most private parts is humiliation and physical pain
the psychological recovery can be tenuous

students should have choices
they should have the information to make the choice
"this course will be about..."
"the next class we will discuss....."
and "this material will be included on the exam..."
then it is up to the student to prepare and to make a decision

and a version of a "safe space" is a psychological necessity
we all need places where we can be ourselves - say what we think and feel
but those spaces are not the whole campus

and campus safety is a concern
riots are not fun
and some controversial speakers want that kind of response

to be conscious of the effect of words is not "political correctness"

and a university has the freedom to be selective just as the students are
sometimes that selectiveness is prejudicial
but the ultimate is an outside venue
if a speaker is wanted and the university is uncooperative

views will find a way to be heard