Have We Become Too Sensitive?

As a society, we have become increasingly tolerant and accepting of people’s differences. These differences include, but are not limited to: ethnicity, sexual preferences, lifestyle choices, etc. We have come a long way and have taken many steps in the right direction to be a more inclusive and accepting society. However, in the midst of this, we are being told not to say or speak of certain things in fear that it may hurt or offend someone. But are we taking it too far? Have we become too sensitive and politically correct? Is this getting in the way of freedom of speech?

In 2014, a professor at Harvard University wrote an article on the troubles with teaching rape law. She mentions that professors have been asked not to include the law of rape on exams, not to use the word “violate” because the word is triggering, and even not to teach rape law because it may cause distress for students. However, is this in the best interests of anyone, victims included? Shouldn’t law students be equipped and prepared to deal with these matters? It does not help people to avoid talking about this topic, as hurtful as it may be. It is an important topic and it is important that everyone is educated and informed on the topic, rather than being afraid to talk about it. Talking about rape and rape law is important for everyone, including victims. We should not be afraid to talk about topics just because they may be hurtful or offensive.

Furthermore, we are increasingly censoring opinions, ideas and views in fear of offending people. For example, Facebook employees were recently pushing to censor posts from Donald Trump claiming it was hate speech, when he stated that all Muslims should be banned from entering the U.S. However, Mark Zuckerberg refused to so.Why should we censor or ban a presidential candidate’s post? Evidently, Donald Trump’s comments can be offensive and hurtful to many people. However, shouldn’t people be aware of what the presidential candidate stands for? Are people’s feelings more important than being informed on a presidential candidate’s views? This is an important topic that should be discussed and debated, not banned or censored because it may offend someone.

It is great that we have become a more tolerant and inclusive society. However, once we begin to limit free speech in fear of it being offensive, or avoiding certain topics in fear of it being hurtful, it actually becomes detrimental to society. We cannot live in little bubbles where everyone has the same opinions, views, and ideas.