How does the safe space threaten you?

Bleeding Heart Libertarians, usually a favourite of mine, had a shocker the other day when they described rape survivors as “infantile” for needing safe spaces. (HT @EricCrampton for the article.)

… a “safe space” with coloring books, bubbles, and videos is misogyny. (And misandry, since men can be raped too.) It’s treating women (and men) as pathetic wilting flowers who cannot handle debate about controversial statistics. Read Nietzsche on pity: when you pity someone like this, you degrade that person.

Commenter Jon Herington expressed my reaction beautifully:

Note that it’s not adult men who are trying to “protect” these women by *creating* these spaces. The survivors of sexual assault are creating these spaces themselves! It is, however, adult men who are calling them infants…

Safe spaces are created by people who’ve experienced trauma so that they, and others who might feel similarly, can deal with their trauma while going about their life (rather than, as one commenter suggested, staying in bed – real empowering, thanks man). No one outside that trauma has any real idea why the safe space is needed. Telling someone they’re wrong for needing a safe space is unbelievably arrogant.

Safe spaces clearly make some people feel threatened. Why? What’s their investment in further disempowering the survivor?

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