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Have you ever participated in a discussion in a safe space? Was it any different than a discussion elsewhere?
In Forum VI - Safe Spaces
Amitra Hoq
Jul 26, 2020
So in my personal experience, yes I have participated in a safe space discussion. Was it different than a discussion anywhere else, I can confirm that this is indeed true. However there are two different questions that should be asked about safe spaces. 1. Are they good and 2. Are they effective. My answer to question number 1 is that yes, safe spaces are good. I believe that safe spaces provide the comfort that many people seek after being oppressed due to their identity. This is especially true in my case, after years of constant harassment due to my identities, participating in a safe space discussion was the validation I was seeking. It felt great to be able to talk to people who had shared common struggles with me, and I actually received advice on how to navigate everyday life. Then I participated in another discussion. And then another. And then I reached the point where I had exhausted the resources of safe space discussions. This brings me to my other question, are safe space discussions effect? My answer to this is yes and no. It feels nice that everyone agrees with you and shares the same thirst for vindication, but there are many things that can go wrong with this. Instead of talking through differences, which might happen in discussions outside of safe spaces, people are reinforcing their common struggles. This doesn't create room for growth mindset, rather creates a need to shut down any other outside opinion. I have seen this within myself, where I become rigid to accept a new outlook on a scenario, and error which I am spending time correcting myself. What I want to focus on, the connection between cancel culture and safe spaces. Cancel culture is a recent phenomena where if a celebrity or prominent social figure has been found doing something(or did something in the past) that is highly problematic, masses of people will "cancel," or attempt to trend the misdeed and thus the public figure looses the support of myriad of people. There are as many pros as cons to this scenario. One pro is that the person is held accountable for whatever they have done, however they are not given the platform to apologize or have some attempt of redemption. One misconduct, and your career might as well be over. I think safe spaces perpetuates this mindset, and in the end, I do not think they are productive. Safe spaces are all about creating an atmosphere where you be yourself, and share your opinions, but the in group out group bias only becomes stronger.

Amitra Hoq

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