The Runner Debates: “Snowflake”: Con
Featured / August 29, 2017
Millennials aren’t just sensitive, they’re progressive
Tae Whitehouse, Contributor
In today’s society, the task of being both progressive and palatable can seem borderline impossible. If one simply accepts their situation, making no effort to take control of their own path and place in society, the older generations label them lazy or copasetic.
On the other hand, if one tries to make their voice heard and inspire change, they are often given the stinging title of “snowflake.”
Snowflake is a name used to condescendingly belittle the millennial generation. Often slung by the baby boomers, the term suggests that a desire to move towards social progress, political progress, and individuality is not only a negative trait, but the adverse consequences of being coddled too much as a child. It is used to shame people for having and expressing their own opinions, suggesting that those who take offense to certain ideas are hypersensitive and trying to dismantle free speech.
That notion could not be more self-contradictory. Saying that the right to express displeasure with the current socio-political system and desire to change it is oppressive to free speech is a thinly veiled attempt to take away the right to free speech. Free speech is not simply listening to others’ opinions and swallowing your displeasure. It is, and has always been, about healthy debate and discussion on topics where there are many areas of disagreement.
Many feel as though millennials are too soft and sensitive. In reality, this generation is the one who is willing to acknowledge the social injustices present in our society and work in order to fix them. Ironically, the generation before us, who claim to have thicker skin, is not only equally as easily offended, but also set on focusing their displeasure on criticizing the things we are offended by. To get offended by someone else’s offense is both purposeless and damaging to those who are struggling to make society a more accepting place for everyone.
It is time for minority groups to have equal rights, and it is time for the social lens to broaden and include those who have previously had their voices taken away. Using the term snowflake only shows one’s insecure fear that they do not have the power to raise their own voice and make the changes that they want to see in the world.
“Snowflake” as an insult discredits progressive conversations. It is used supposedly to promote free speech, while in reality, its only purpose is to make a mockery of those willing to weigh in on social and political discussions. It is a way to avoid expressing your own opinion, while humiliating those with the determination and strength to express their own. When called a snowflake, to get offended by it is only reinforcing the insult, making it an effective plug for any debate. It is a poorly thought out insult that serves only as a weak final resort to any discussion where one feels out of their depth and desperate to disgrace their intellectual opponent.
Use of the word snowflake truly only serves to root out those who are afraid of change and easily offended, effectively revealing the accuser as the true thin-skinned, hypersensitive person. A snowflake.