[Serious] Why do many people, particularly college students, support the idea of "safe spaces" and trigger warnings?

There's a few good reasons for safe spaces.

There's a lot of unconventional things some of us are, or have gone through. For example, alcoholism, different forms of addiction, being lgbtq, poly, as well as psychological issues like anxiety, depression, codependence... And so on.

So places like support groups or shelters or social organizations exist to make these people more comfortable with their problems enough to discuss their issues honestly and without judgement. It is counterproductive to allow everything in the name of free speech in these settings. It is often impossible to make any significant breakthroughs in the face of judgemental arguments and also can be terribly scarring. Hence safe spaces.

With a lot of places that discuss women's issues, like maybe a women's studies class, a lot of counter arguments can be rude, insulting and scarring, and discourage the target audience from opening up about their feelings on topics relevant to them. It is normal for people to start with a very crude understanding, but eventually make the journey to a more nuanced thought on the same topic, and rude insulting arguments might disrupt this change in thought process. Hence, even if the person is illogical, it is pertinent to protect their feelings. Additionally, a lot of typically male ways of arguing can come off as rude, arrogant, attacking, triggering and aggressive. Progress can be made faster without all of these to deal with.

Extending this notion of safe space to a place of regular argument and discourse can however be disruptive. You can't have it in a law school course on sexual assault law, or in a b-school case study. Beyond a point, safe spaces can be counter productive. There is great subjectivity on who or what would need a safe space, and when you have colleges being sued by parents and others, they try to protect themselves with rules that don't make sense.

/r/AskReddit Thread