在社会问题中学英语:Weird社会的safetyism问题

加拿大都市网

天气预报有大风雨,你还会让孩子参加万圣节活动吗?

上月Halloween晚上,加拿大魁北克省天气预测有大风雨,三十多个城镇包括Montreal把庆祝活动取销或延后,但省府Quebec City和三五个城镇就不参与,孩子的trick-or-treating继续,实行名副其实的风雨无改。

天气预测是这样:”The weather agency warns that people should be on the lookout for flash floods(突然、短暂的水灾) and water accumulation(积水) on the roads.”最后的天气不如预测般差,只下了小雨,其实无必要扫孩子的兴,但若你是家长,这样的weather forecast,会让孩子出去吗?

多玩少玩一晚,没有什么大不了,但有学者就认为这当中反映的问题可大。McGill University 的anthropologist(人类学家) Samuel Veissière提出这个问题:”Do your kids suffer from ‘Halloween Fragility Syndrome’?”

Halloween Fragility Syndrome是他自己原创的“症候”。Fragile是形容词,解easily broken or damaged,易破易坏的;easily destroyed or threatened,易被摧毁或受威胁的,用来形容人,解not strong or sturdy、delicate and vulnerable,虚弱的、脆弱的。Fragility是名词,解脆弱。

Samuel Veissière说:”While my home city of Montreal did not exactly police costume etiquette(礼节、礼仪、规矩), the official decision to cancel festivities because of unpleasant weather was consistent(一致的) with a broader culture of over-protection(过分保护) and aversion(厌恶) to the ‘uncomfortable’ – a growing trend in parenting, teaching, policy-making, and clinical guidelines…”

制造脆弱一代

这说的是过分着重安全,心理学家、The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure作者Jonathan Haidt称之为”safetyism”(安全主义)。愈来愈多科学家相信,这种态度正造成“灾难性”的社会问题 。

Matthew Lash在”Is safetyism destroying a generation?”一文中,也讨论到”safetyism”与家长态度的关係和祸害:In sum, a well-intentioned(本意良好的) safety culture which has led to “paranoid parenting,” and screen time replacing unstructured and unsupervised play time, has created a fragile generation.

Paranoid解多疑的,paranoid的家长是惊弓之鸟,处处看到危险,过分保护孩子,不让他们离开视线范围。这样一来,就制造了脆弱的下一代。具体问题是:

This cohort(一群) is experiencing a dramatic rise in anxiety, depression and suicide. When they arrived on campus, in an increasingly polarized(两极化的) political climate, they were unprepared to be intellectually challenged. They – or at least the “social justice” activists of this generation – responded by creating a culture of censorship(审查), intimidation(恐吓) and violence(暴力), and witch hunts against non-believers. Universities, led by risk adverse bureaucracies, are treating students like customers and allowing an aggressive(好斗的), censorious minority set the agenda.
这情况在WEIRD国家尤为显著。WEIRD是Western,Educated, Industrial, Rich, and Democratic(西方、教育水平高、工业化、富裕和民主)的缩写。Weird解very strange、bizarre,怪异的、古怪的,这缩写自然有贬义。环境愈好、人民的精神问题就愈大,这确有点weird。’

在Halloween翌日CNN有这条新闻:”7-year-old girl shot in Chicago while trick-or-treating”。Safetyism与否,相信这代的家长仍会说︰”Better safe than sorry!”(安全好过后悔!)”You can’t be too careful!”(小心不会嫌多!)

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