Prompt Images

When did the concept of having a safe space become a bad thing?

I didn’t even know the term itself existed until conservatives attempted to weaponize it in an attempt to shame people for expecting physical and psychological safety in their everyday lives.

As if it made us weak. As if there was something wrong with saying “I want to be safe.”

Bro, is it gay to experience the very real, human emotion known as fear?

I guess I was always a bit confused why people who would literally die for their right to own an assault rifle to keep their family safe were so affronted by the idea of a college student wanting the opportunity to talk to a licensed professional about their feelings because they felt their very existence put them at risk for violence.

Just as you want your family to feel safe and protected in the home you’ve built for them, everyone wants to feel safe in whatever space (and body) they inhabit.

Why is one your God-given right and the other a source of shame?

We are all entitled to feel and BE safe.

Your safe space may be in your basement with the football jerseys and deer heads and the spotlight shining on the shotgun you proudly display in your gun rack. Mine is in a warm, intimate office, on a soft, comfy couch talking to my therapist about how I fear potentially losing my job because I consensually touch mens’ butts for fun and don’t mind calling out white, Christian, cisgendered men on their racist bullshit.

For whatever reason, the media and those who lean right, or incredibly far right they actually fell off the X-axis, glommed onto the ONE news article that featured crying pods on a college campus after the 2016 election. I mean, even I thought that was a bit weird; emotional Port-A-Johns set up between the dining hall and library so you can weep a little before going to Abnormal Psychology seems a bit on the nose. But, why would we suddenly be in a position to judge Muslim students, trans students, undocumented students any other student who is fearful because they needed a space (most likely the campus counseling office, NOT the pod) where they can talk openly about their fears?

For anyone, regardless of political affiliation, we want spaces we can call ours.

Places where we can figuratively and literally lower our shoulders, kick our shoes off, and just be with the people who love us—or maybe even just ourselves—without pretense and fear. So a call to be able to defend your home to remain safe is actually literally the same thing as someone who believes they shouldn’t have to fear getting shot in bed while sleeping in THEIR home.

The government has a constitutional responsibility to keep us safe.

No one goes up to a lifeguard and says “Listen buddy, I want to be able to drown or get eaten by a shark at this beach to prove how manly and strong I am. So, I’m gonna need you to leave that chair there. Fuck libs and their safe spaces. AND IS THAT SUN SCREEN?!?! What, are you not man enough to fight skin cancer?!?!”

I have to believe that somewhere and somehow, in some alternate timeline, the Marco Rubios and Ted Cruzes of the world had a place where they felt uniquely and positively safe (not Cancun tho, Ted, amirite?)

Did they not go to Church with their grandmother and feel at peace with who they were in that building with their God? Did they not bake cupcakes with their parents and siblings so they would have something to bring to their classmates on their birthday? Did they ever walk the halls of their high school and not have to worry about watching their back because a classmate isn’t packing an assault rifle in their backpack?

No one needs to feel ashamed about wanting a safe space.

Your apartment. Your Crossfit gym. Christmas morning with your family. Sleeping with the windows open on the first warm night of Spring. Propping the porch door open to air out the house. A family vacation to Disney World. The movie theatre at a midnight showing of a movie you’ve waited months for. Sending your kid to preschool. Finishing the Boston Marathon. Attending a religious service at your place of worship.

Being and feeling safe in a space isn’t something we should have to rationalize. But here we are… because some people have never had someone reach out to them and say, “It’s okay to be afraid or feel vulnerable… why not come in here and talk about it?”

Eric Mochnacz

A wizard of pop culture. A prince of snark. A delightful addition to any dinner party.

learn more
Share this story
About The Prompt
A sweet, sweet collective of writers, artists, podcasters, and other creatives. Sound like fun?
Learn more