Mike the Psych's Blog

What if psychologists ruled the world? In real life?


Cambridge snowflakes complaining about food

chef_stiring_pot_anim_500_wht_6703Have students nothing better to do than accuse a college chef of cultural appropriation or misrepresentation and micro-aggressions by (mis)naming food?

Among their targets at Pembroke College Cambridge are: Jamaican Stew, Chinese Chicken, Indian Fish pie, African stew with sweet potato, and a Tunisian rice dish.

Various students have complained that these dishes don’t exist in their home countries.

It started when a student posted on a Facebook page called Grudgebridge “Dear catering staff, stop mixing mango and beef and calling it Jamaican stew; it’s rude“. Not to be confused with “rude boys” presumably i.e. those wild Jamaican boys who like reggae and ska?

The complaints then built up citing the other dishes as micro-aggressions. There was only one student, an Indian, who suggested that the catering staff should at least be given credit for trying saying “I urge people to look around and realise there’s a lot more to life than complaining about fruity chicken“. Well said!

To which a black student complained about  being constantly invalidated when flagging up specific issues and claiming that micro-aggressions are a reality of everyday existence for people of colour. Well maybe if you are always looking for them.

Of course the college is leaning over backwards to appease the students and the college bursar said that the college encouraged catering staff to take the views of students seriously.

The current generation of students are a real timorous bunch who should be thinking hard about their futures and how employers will perceive all this petty PC behaviour.

Don’t the students realise that we have a habit of messing about with foreign cuisine here in the UK?

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UK undergraduates – fear for their futures

graduation_hat_tassel_flip_anim_500_wht_14455Fear for their first interaction at work, their first outing in the real world.

Of course they could enter closed orders, live and work inside a gated community, stay in their bedrooms in their parents homes forever –  or work in a university

Why am I so pessimistic? Because this generation of university students, sometimes referred to as snowflakes (and with good reason), is the most risk averse, inward looking, intolerant, over-sensitive, bunch of self-righteous wimps I’ve ever come across.

The evidence for this?

94% of university campuses have some kind of censorship, up from 80% in 2015

Among things that have been banned by students’ unions are:

  • Fancy Dress parties especially if you plan dressing up as the Village People, Tarts & Vicars,  chavs, gangsters, Pocohantas, camp men, Arabs or Mexicans. Presumably dressing up as a toff and burning £20 notes is OK in some quarters?
  • Posters showing women’s bums or cleavages (a disciplinary offence).
  • Wolf whistles, innuendos, or making offensive sexual noises.
  • Some tabloid newspapers (I think those with page 3 pictures back in the day but maybe others)
  • Speakers with outspoken views – the so-calle no platform policies. including total bans on islamist, fascist or racist speakers
  • 24% have safe space policies which censor free speech.

There are only three universities where that which is banned is actually illegal. Which means the rest is down to sheer intolerance. And yet no doubt these are the people crying over Brexit because it means we are being horrid to foreigners!

Oxford university encourages students to report inappropriate fancy dress parties (learning from the Stasi) and discourages cross-dressing as it upsets trans-identified students.

It also banned  a student magazine called No Offence which celebrated free speech.

Clearly you don’t want to leave Oxford more open-minded than went you went in!

At some universities students can be disciplined for not addressing transgender students by their correct name or correct gender pronoun.

With the wide spectrum thrown up by gender fluidity it raises the question of how you would you know what the correct gender pronoun was. Should students wear badges or tattoos declaring how they identify themselves? Oh, didn’t the Nazis try that kind of thing?

The editor of Spiked, which has monitored free speech in universities for the last three years says “Campus censorship is about more than the so-called snowflake generation throwing its weight around, a coddled cohort treating the university like an oversized creche.

In truth the students’ union censors are the product of a society, and an academy that affirms their outlook, that sees free speech as dangerous, people as fragile, and the unfettered pursuit of truth through reason  as a risky business

Its just that after decades of liberalism in our universities we suddenly have students unions dictating how people should behave.  Just like the extremists they are frightened of.

51eyrsosk1lAnd a lot of this started in America. The University of California’s Berkeley campus was where the free speech movement demanded that the university lifted a ban on political activity on campus. Fifty years later they suffered violent riots as students sought to ban a gay Brit, Milo Yiannopoulos,  who was a pro-Trump conservative from speaking at all.

They succeeded but also succeeded in propelling his book Dangerous up the best-sellers list. He is critical of Islam and rude about feminists and the left but there is no evidence he is a white supremacist or a fascist. Sounds OK to me.

I’m not saying that it’s wrong to ban all the things mentioned above but the idea of cultural appropriation for example is often twisted out of proportion. For example East Anglia bans a mexican restaurant from giving out sombreros.

Go to Mexico and all the street markets sell them to tourists. So how does that work? Is the Mexican restaurant actually abusing its position and stealing from a minority group? Should only Mexicans be allowed to cook mexican food, Chinese to cook chinese food and so on?

And other european countries don’t seem to have been infected by snowflakes yet. Have a look at this poster for a weekly party for Erasmus students!


Student “Snowflakes” need protecting!

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)

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University students upset by lectures covering “sensitive topics” could be given deadline extensions, exam resits or exemptions from set work to ensure they are not disadvantaged.

Guidance drawn up by Newcastle University warns that students could be so distressed by material dealing with such issues as rape, violence, racism and misogyny that it could affect their academic performance.

If this happened, the case could be referred to a committee of tutors with the power to make “adjustments” to how these students were examined, such as excusing them from completing some of the assessed work.

Academics across the country are already issuing “trigger warnings” to give students advance notice of “sensitive material”, including images in video games, war photography and topless models, as well as discussions of underage sex, homelessness and religion.

While some professors defend their use, others have criticised them for putting pressure on tutors to self-censor what they…

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University of East Anglia is daftest campus in UK

ulearn2bu

graduation_hat_tassel_flip_anim_500_wht_14455And not in a good way. The students there have already banned Tate & Lyle sugar from the campus shop, blocked six nations rugby being screened in the union bar, boycotted Starbucks and Nestlé, banned the dale of red-top newspapers (page 3) stopped sombreros being given out (cultural appropriation), and tried to ban UKIP from speaking there as it would make students feel less safe and secure.

I understand some of these e.g. companies who avoid paying tax or discourage breast-feeding in poor countries (I boycott Nestlé products myself for that reason).

Fossil fuel extraction and global warming is  matter of opinion and I’m for anything Emma Thompson and her luvvie friends are against on principle.

The university has provided day-time sleeping berths for hungover students. Why you might ask.

And their latest idea? Asking students not to throw their mortar boards in the air on graduation photos in case anyone…

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Tracy Beaker author Jacqueline Wilson has criticised the language skills of British schoolchildren

A recurring theme in UK sadly

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)

Tracy Beaker author Jacqueline Wilson has criticised the language skills of British schoolchildren – revealing that her young overseas fans write more eloquent English than UK kids.

The best-selling author, who receives hundreds of fan letters each week, told The Independent that children from Eastern Europe, Spain and Portugal all had better spelling and grammar than British children.

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“They’re writing in English, and apologising for their English, yet these letters will be more grammatical and spelt more properly than [those from] our own children. It’s quite extraordinary.” Around 90 per cent of children who write to her cannot even spell Jacqueline correctly, she said, adding that standards had slipped in the two decades that children had regularly written to her.

“Spelling doesn’t seem to be something that happens [at school]. I don’t think it is being taught.” Many children didn’t even bother to try to write properly, resorting to “text…

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