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Email From Erika Christakis: "Dressing Yourselves," email to Silliman College (Yale) Students on Halloween Costumes - FIREI wonder, and I am not trying to be provocative: Is there no room anymore for a child or young person to be a little bit obnoxious… a little bit inappropriate or provocative or, yes, offensive? American universities were once a safe space not only for maturation but also for a certain regressive, or even transgressive, experience; increasingly, it seems, they have become places of censure and prohibition. And the censure and prohibition come from above, not from yourselves! Are we all okay with this transfer of power? Have we lost faith in young people’s capacity – in your capacity – to exercise self-censure, through social norming, and also in your capacity to ignore or reject things that trouble you?
Civil rights once meant an existential struggle between the oppressed and villains like Bull Connor with his dogs and fire hoses. Now Oprah is miffed over being treating rudely while eyeing a $38,000 purse in Switzerland; the NAACP wants sensitivity training for a rodeo clown with an Obama mask; American Idol’s failed contestants sue for “cruel and inhuman treatment”; near-billionaire rapper Jay-Z warns that the have-nots may riot; and a depressed former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. was reduced to spending $750,000 of other people’s money on essentials like stuffed elk heads and Michael Jackson’s old fedora.
TED is a platform for discussion. We are committed to a stance of open-mindedness and respectful dialogue. And we seek talks that build bridges and spark conversation. Anyone familiar with our catalog of talks, events and discussions on women’s issues and equality knows these issues are near and dear to us. (A playlist follows.) We’re proud to have shared these talks and conversations on important issues with the world.