Safe space – What is it?

Before talking about safe spaces, I wonder if you’ve watched South Park episodes. It isn’t broadcasted here in India but you could watch partial episodes on their official website. It’s a very successful and funny adult cartoon series in the US that majorly revolves around five kids in a small town called South Park and has been particularly famous (or notorious) for portraying controversial dark humours surrounding personalities, religions, sexual preferences, ideologies, current affairs and what not?

safe space

In one of the episodes (the 5th episode, 19th season) , there was a scene where all are singing and dancing about their invisible protective room and how they do not want to face reality. Reality is harsh and they don’t wish to be judged, hated or get bullied. Quite an epic video to watch!

Okay, the real question now, what is a safe space?

A Safe Space is a place where anyone can relax and be able to fully express, without fear of being made to feel uncomfortable, unwelcome, or unsafe on account of biological sex, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, cultural background, religious affiliation, age, or physical or mental ability.

The concept of safe space originated in the feminists movement which, sort of, gave a certain permission to say and act freely, generate ideas for resistance and form collective strength. Some of the first safe places were conscious raising groups and gay bars. I guess, the connotations attached with so called invisible protective rooms are equally positive and negative. Why negative? Of late, their adoptions have aroused controversies due to accusations that they stifled free speech and other political views.

Safe spaces also find a common ground in the “Tolerance vs Intolerance” debate that recently rattled the mainstream media in India. Consider this. The farthest points between two persons starting from an origin while circumnavigating the globe¬†ultimately converge just at the same point. And so does the opposing ideologies of political right and left; they tend to converge on the common ground of totalitarianism. Well, just a thought.

As I conclude, I couldn’t find any watchable video for safe space, so here’s one from South park Studios. Sit back and relax! (Warning: Video uses some expletives. User’s discretion advised.)


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