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The Right Fangirl

The Conservative Fangirls Coalition

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a thought on safe spaces on college campuses
futurama - fry
obaona wrote in therightfangirl
I'm mentally ill (and stress worsens mental illness), and when I see conservatives making fun of rooms with toys, play doh, puppies, coloring books, etc, that are designed to help college students with stress, something about it pings me wrong.

I finally figured out what it is.

None of those things are bad. Actually, they're all really good forms of self-care. With a big but - in order to function in the real world, any mentally ill person (or stressed individual period) needs to provide those things for themselves. They need to buy the coloring books. They need to take the time to go the park, and play with puppies. They need to mess with play doh in their own homes, and make themselves tea, and take a moment to breathe.

Because the real world doesn't do things for you. You have to learn to do them for yourself, if that's what you need.

I left college before this whole thing became a fad, but if it were, I probably would have gone to those rooms. But I would not have learned to make the effort to take care of myself. To go to the beach at four in the morning because I felt antsy. To curl up in bed with chocolate. Whatever.

Coloring books, puppies, and play doh are good. As long as you (general you) are mature enough to recognize you need to care for yourself and get those things yourself - no one else can (or should) do that for you.

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That is a really interesting point. "Actually, they're all really good forms of self-care." Right, those rooms don't seem like actual self-care. They're like school admin baby-sitting, but they're not teaching. Thank you for sharing.

That's well said. And I wish you good health and lowered stress.

Thank you! For the most part I'm doing quite well. :)

In the case of these tantrum-throwing, overgrown, adult toddlers, they're not mentally ill. If you're that mentally ill that you need coloring books and Play Doh to cope with an election loss, how can you manage the regular demands and stresses of college in the first place?

I do agree with your general point that people need to take care of themselves. But isn't that the way with liberals? It's always about forcing other people to take of their needs.

I mostly agree with you. To be fair, I dealt with the stresses of college while actively psychotic. (First diagnosis was paranoid schizophrenia.) ;) But most truly mentally ill people can't. I've had quite a few doctors ask, "So, did you graduate high-school?" "I have a BA." "... Oh! Congrats!"

It's always about forcing other people to take of their needs.


I gotta admit, i read about a quiet room with clay and coloring books and thought, "That sounds nice."

But I guess it sounds nice in the same way a rec room or a NaNo get together sounds nice. But when I actually go... well. As much as no one, in their bubbles of fostered codependency never like to think of themselves as exclusive, it just never seems like there's a comfortable space for someone who doesn't automatically click. It's never for me.

I suppose it's nice they made them exclusively political this time. Goodness knows I get sick of getting my hopes up.

(I do find cartooning by myself reduces my stress greatly in general, so that helps.)

They do sound nice. Sorry to hear they're not for you. I've always felt the same way about social situations. If I don't click immediately I often find myself on the outside looking in, so to speak.

I write partially to relieve stress, so I get that!

Most of the time, I can find one person in a room to click with at least for that moment, but when it doesn't happen, it sucks. One grace of the internet is that it has allowed the introverted and odd ducks to find their tribes.

I get your point, but I tend to look at from the stand point of in another couple of years these students are going to be expected to stand completely on their own two feet, and coddling them like this isn't preparing them to do that. If anything it is anti preparing them to cope with disappointment.

Life is filled with disappointment. You don't get your own way more than you do. They are way past the time when that lesson should have been taught.

Ah, but that is my point. If they don't learn to take care of themselves in college, when will they? Will they leave college utterly surprised when their employers don't offer puppies to comfort them? They should be leaning to find their own puppies, not depending on others to do so.

There's nothing wrong with needing a puppy or a coloring book for stress ... there is something wrong with expecting someone else to get them for you and manage your mental health for you.

I agree with you. Sadly, some employers (I'm looking at you, Google) do provide this sort of stuff. Demanding other employers follow suit may just be a matter of time.

Yes, they are surprised when employers don't baby them. Tech Guy was a supervisor for tech support at his company a long time before moving to another dept. and he was in charge of training. Anyone that fits under "Millenial" has been lazy, chronically late, whiny, glued to their phone, etc. They rarely lasted the 90-day trail period. Most of them quit after the first week.

In the old days, people would handle their problems the adult way with cocktails, pills, and copious cigarette smoking! ;)

There are many things about modern life that are stressful and soul crushing. People no longer have the support system they once had. But it seems like today nobody can handle anything anymore either. None of this stuff existed when I went to college in the '80s and early '90s. Or in law school later on for that matter. What are these people going to do when Cold Hard Reality starts pounding on them for real?

But it seems like today nobody can handle anything anymore either.

Thank you! This nonsense of calling the normal stresses of life "mental illness" drives me figuratively insane! Safe spaces, trigger warnings, even "emotional support" dogs or other animals - GROW UP!

ISIS and their ilk train their children (actual children, not adult 18-22 year olds!) with weapons, physical endurance exercises and teach them to be willing to both kill and die for their beliefs.

We have young adults who can't cope with being called names on the internet or their side losing an election. (When I bet a lot of them didn't even VOTE!)

What a bunch of useless crybabies! I cannot ABIDE them!

None of this stuff existed when I went to college in the '80s and early '90s. Or in law school later on for that matter

Speaking of law school, some law schools are allowing students to opt out of classes that teach rape law because rape is triggering.
....apparently, both the students and the professors are too dumb to realize that they'll never be able to help rape survivors get justice if they don't learn how to go about PROSECUTING AND CONVICTING RAPISTS.

I work in the local DA's office. I've read rape reports/examinations. I've also read autopsy reports and have seen photos right out of "Faces of Death." If you are a prosecutor, criminal defense attorney, a judge, or even a civil attorney who has to deal with wrongful death lawsuits, you have to see this stuff too. WTF?

I'm prone to relieving my personal stress through repetitive tasks and dissociation. The thing that makes it a joke is the thought that some college kids treat this election as the BIGGEST DRAMA OF THEIR LIFE!! What's it like to have such a pain-free life?! It'd be different if they had other stuff going on, and the election exacerbated it.

Yeah. I would have been majorly sad if Hillary Clinton had won (mainly because my inner feminist would have died if Clinton had gotten the honor of being the first female president); but I would not have collapsed into a ball of tears and skipped work the next day so I could soothe myself with coloring books. I've experienced worse things than a shitty election. So when I see people freaking out over Trump, I just envy how easy their lives must have been if THIS is their first major disappointment.

I think there is a little more to it than that.

Yes, part of it is that if you can't handle even small amounts of stress without a lot of soothing, you should not demand that others cater to your needs.

More fundamental than that is this: it should be recognized that being unable to handle small amount of stress without a lot of soothing, is substandard development, a handicap. It should not be regarded as an OK way to be, and especially, healthier people should not be encouraged to sink to the lowest common denominator.

There are people who sincerely can't walk and sincerely need a wheelchair to get around. Allowances should be made for those individuals. But those who don't have that disability, which is most people, should be taught to walk, and indeed run and jump, as well as they possibly can. And if they can walk, but won't, that should not be tolerated.

Yep, absolutely right. The fact that these young adults were ever given the slightest bit of attention for their infantile tantrums was the first societal mistake. The fact that they are now provided with what are essentially preschool rooms is horrifying.

Anyone who's dealt with small children knows you never give in to tantrums. The best way to handle them is to make the consequences known, ignore them, and when they calm down, enforce those consequences. This will likely lead to another meltdown. Still, you stand firm. And man, it's HARD! It takes all your resolve to not give up and give in to what they want, just so they will finally shut up!

But after a few rounds (or many) of this, eventually they will learn that their antics will NOT get them what they want. Oh, there are a few who won't learn it. But I think that's the minority. Most will eventually learn to adjust their behavior.

That's what should've been done with these college brats from the start. Now we've indulged them. The only thing that happens when you do that is that they get worse.

Yep. They're meant for self-care - and have been used by therapists to get a patient to open up. Ex., there are coloring books for adults with designs specifically created to target anxiety and calm the mind without drugs. The adult coloring book craze started out of therapy books.

And what everyone else said.

I don't and never would mock the mentally ill. I do have to roll my eyes at the continued babying and dumbing-down of our young people. It's not only the economy that keeps them living with Mommy and Daddy until 25+.

I don't and never would mock the mentally ill. I do have to roll my eyes at the continued babying and dumbing-down of our young people. It's not only the economy that keeps them living with Mommy and Daddy until 25+.

The shitty economy is a big part of it (I'm apartment hunting here in SoCal with my fiancee and....yikes!). But I notice a lot of people my age choose to stay with mom&dad even if they make good money simply because living at home gives them more disposable income to play with (plus mommy is still there to do the cleaning and laundry). And a staggering amount of people under 35 don't bother saving money for a rainy day and live on credit cards. Even though living with your parents is the perfect opportunity to save up before you move out.

No joke: my younger sister makes almost twice as much per month as I do. But she's still constantly whining about how broke she is every month (and she was outraged when she realized she had to PAY taxes instead of getting a refund because she made too much last year).

Everyone in college is mentally ill? Did I miss something?

Schools are for learning, not stress relief. Unless you're still in kindergarten.

Did I say that? No. My point is that college students, if they do need that kind of stress relief, need to learn to give it to themselves, not have the college do it for them - because that's how it will work outside of college.

You don't need to be mentally ill to need stress relief, either.

What absolutely everyone else said. These things aren't bad in and of themselves, BUT:
  1. Under absolutely no circumstances should public funding be paying for it.
  2. If you need psychological intervention because your candidate lost an election, how do you expect to handle the real world? Seriously, get a grip.
This is what we get for participation trophies and tolerating tantrums. It needs to stop.

The worst part is that they don't just set it up for major events like a presidential election (though that would still be stupid). "Safe Spaces" like this often pop up when Ben Shapiro or Milo Yiannopolous give a speech at a school.
These kids are such pansies they get triggered by the fact that someone they disagree with is allowed to speak in public just a few feet from where they go to class. They honestly believe that it's the school's responsibility to ensure they never have to deal with a dissenting opinion coming anywhere near them.

It would be hilarious if it wasn't legitimately sad and terrifying. :(

There's nothing wrong with offering students places where they can de-stress. HOWEVER, the main reason those "safe rooms" get made fun of is.....
a)...they're often in response to petty shit like a conservative giving a speech on campus, a Republican getting elected somewhere, some frat boy wearing an "offensive" Halloween costume, etc. No one would have a problem if they were set up to give students a place to de-stress from legitimate problems and/or mental illness

b)'s set up like a goddam kindergarten (like, seriously? Play Doh and coloring books?). And that is just too funny NOT to mock.
I know lots of perfectly healthy adults love childish things. Heck, I still de-stress by drawing fanart and playing video games. But I never expected my college to set up a Playstation Playroom for me whenever a Democrat got elected and made me sad.

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