How did we get so MEAN?
Sounding like the spit and chaw crowd on the courthouse steps: It was never like this before. Decades ago, we had had strong, vehement positions. We were the first generation to try to work and play well with others who didn’t think, act, and look like us. We made many mistakes. We had #protests that afterward we could only be admitted to have been over nothing useful. We stuck to our positions even when they clearly were mistaken. Some protests went violent, to the horror of the non-violent.We believed that we were the voice of the future. The future of tolerance, enlightenment, and… Click To Tweet ..
The good we tried to emulate included the willingness to listen to others. We would fill auditoriums to listen to, and catcall, controversial speakers. We would turn our backs when an athlete accused of sexual assault ran onto the field.
We believed that we were the voice of the future. The future of tolerance, enlightenment, and Action.
A small part of this was the solitary woman in my Electrical Engineering class. She and I shared INTJ obsessions and would run out the classroom door rather than have a conversation I noticed that she was bright and intuitive and worked to ensure that she was my lab partner. Others, men, pointed out that engineering was a male game. My only response was to point to our lab grades. In a small way, I was making a difference. Besides, I was horrified by snipes from other women about her split ends. (Side note, she also was my heroine.) The good we tried to emulate included the willingness to listen to others Click To Tweet
What went wrong?
Decades later, the future is now and our hope is shattered.
- Instead of action, we have twits getting carpel-thumbs.
- Instead of tolerance, we have violence, smashing windows, and attacking speakers and sponsors to prevent the ‘wrong person’ from giving a talk.
- Instead of openness, we have quivering micro-aggression antennae and safe spaces.
- Instead of listening to the out-of-favor, we have political correctness.
- Instead of campuses being Physically safe places for all, we still have self-selected groups, e.g. Athletes and Greeks, participating in criminal assaults.
Hitting closer to me was the event symbolized by the lead photo. It is a PR/recruiting poster used in mass transit locations. Where? Red Neck, USA? No! It was ultra-liberal San Francisco, and Silicon Valley. I was shaken by the backlash that hit an engineer, simply because she was a woman. The carpel-thumbs came out to savage her. Dollars were tossed at her, presumably in an allusion that women are only good for stripping. More at: https://goo.gl/fCFfE6, https://goo.gl/Amw6Kc , https://goo.gl/TKyQdy