Snowflakes Everywhere

snowflakesAs I keep attempting to converse with Max, human interaction is often about context. The Anchoress fusses on super-sensitivity, “snowflake students.” It seems it was one student, who had a personal problem with the sub-unit of rape in pagan mythology. She didn’t seem to get a satisfactory hearing from a professor, so she went to a student board instead.

Between the student, the professor, and the committee, who knows what really transpired. Context is everything. Dwelling on stories of forced sex may well inspire admiration for the use of language. But such a focus might also suggest the teacher has his or her own thing about sexuality.

I suppose if Ovid is telling a few hundred myths with artistry, one might ask why Daphne and Persephone might stand out. On the other hand, Greek/Roman mythology always seems to be about some major god having sex with willing or unwilling persons.

I’ve long observed Patheos Catholic channel does deal with sensitivity to its own snowflakes. Ms Scalia introduced a new blogger with the reassurance that the author would offer “a clear communication of what Catholicism actually teaches.” Because heaven or committee forbid, that a discussion on a Catholic site might ever raise more questions than it answers.

Maybe Ovid needs an advisory or a rating. Do stories of kidnap and forced sex constitute pornography, even if they have artistic merit? Do Catholic bloggers likewise need advisories and ratings? I wonder what warning the board would give about this website.

My premise is this: modern society, helped somewhat by the phenomenon of the blogosphere, has encouraged complaint. Lots of people feel empowered to fuss about things, and expect the offenses to be fixed. Even really minor trespasses. Catholics are really little different. And to be sure, complaint isn’t always bad. But I do think it takes discernment to judge when a complaint is like a snowflake–fleeting and blowing away–or like a heavy snowfall. Because sometimes it is important for a problem to be heard about. And even a small matter might need a single attentive listening before moving on.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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3 Responses to Snowflakes Everywhere

  1. I give you credit for keeping up with that blog, which I stopped reading a long time ago. All of – well, *most* of the Catholic Patheos blogs all march to the same insipid drumbeat. That said, hers is the most dismal of all to me – I have never heard her voice, but I imagine an exhausted sounding nasal drone of a litany of complaints, offered up like a prayer. I survived abuse bla bla triger warnings are for babies bla bla. It is like a Catholic Fox news show offering mockery of those they disdain, with no soul or intellect to offer any alternatives – other than the reflection of their own gazes in the studio monitor.

    Clear for all of her religiosity and catholicity, the pastoral virtues of listening and discernment seem to be mightily absent here. As you said – snowflake fleeting or blowing? One would need those pastoral virtues among others, to make the call. To type from the privacy of your home, enshrouded in one’s own busy-ness shows me that rather than a trigger warning, an ivory tower does the job.

    I’m sorry if I sound harsh; maybe for a post like this, I need a trigger warning of my own.

  2. Jen says:

    I think, being one also subjected to abuse, that my own experiences make it clearer to me why others may need a head’s up that certain things might be discussed. My experiences and reactions are my own–I don’t presume to speak for what others have experienced or may need in going forward with their lives. Lord knows I’ve had too much experience being “gaslighted” and discounted as a part of that abuse to recognize when it may be happening to others.

    That having been said, if I discuss certain topics, I’ll give a content warning/trigger warning. I’m also more likely to read things if people give the same, because odds are good it’ll be discussed in a sensitive and thoughtful manner–if they care enough to care about their readers, then I’ll trust they aren’t trying to shock. (From a writing perspective, those attempting to shock their readers rarely do.) Those who don’t give trigger/content warnings usually don’t provide a thoughtful or interesting commentary on such topics, or such has been my experience.

    And I really, really hate the term “special snowflake.” Odds are good it’s being levied as a way to denigrate another person. It’s a way to disengage with a person while completely writing off what they may be saying.

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