It would appear that the politically correct hysteria sweeping today’s college campuses knows no bounds. At Ottawa, Ontario’s Carleton University, the administration has set its sights on a new target: the scale.
You might ask…the scale? What could possibly be perceived as threatening, malicious, or unjust about a scale in a gym?
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A lot, apparently. As first year student Samar El Faki noted on Facebook: “Scales are very triggering. I think people are being insensitive because they simply don’t understand.”
Yes, I suppose we don’t understand. So…to the campus thought police, the scale is a grievous and discriminatory injustice because it is inherently unfair to those who weigh more than others? It might make someone struggling with a weight problem feel bad? Oh…the horror!
The decision was met with widespread mockery on social media. One individual tweeted, “Carleton University removed scale from gym because Liberals are triggered. What’s next? Mirrors?”
This is, after all, the age in which the largest youth soccer league in the United States gives trophies to every child at the end of the season so no one feels left out. It is the age where the term “illegal immigrant” has been pushed aside by the seemingly less offensive term “undocumented”…because it would be a great injustice to suggest that any human being is “illegal.” This is the age where president Obama used the invented term “ISIL” as opposed to the widely accepted “Islamic State” because he didn’t want to acknowledge that the jihadi group was related to Islam in any way, shape, or form.
Fundamentally, the good people at Carleton University seem to forget that obesity is probably the greatest threat to personal health and wellness in the Western world today. Its impact upon one’s respiratory, cardiovascular, circulatory, and muscular systems is well documented. Its impact on joints is devastating. The cold, hard reality is this: By and large, thin people are healthy. Overweight people are less healthy. And obese people are extremely unhealthy.
But, just as it would be needlessly cruel to deprive any child soccer player of a trophy, it would also be needlessly cruel to have an objective mechanism to measure weight in a gym. After all, it’s not fair that some people weight more than others, right?
Free thinkers should be alarmed as to where this new obsession with PC hysteria could lead in the future:
Should we just stop keeping score in sporting events for all but professional matches? Should we dispense with grades because they are inherently unfair to those who are more intelligent and hardworking? Should we stop reporting crime statistics because it might make people from rural and suburban areas feel a sense of “privilege” at the expense of their urban counterparts? Should we be prohibited from reporting the immigration status of those who commit crimes because it could be “triggering” for those in the United States who are “undocumented?” Should we stop reporting statistics on infant mortality, life expectancy, and disease because it might make some in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and South Asia “feel” bad at the expense of their counterparts in North America, Europe, and East Asia?
Fundamentally, political correctness seeks to cloud, obfuscate, misrepresent, or outright deny the truth. Personal responsibility, individual liberty, tolerance, and diversity are really its main enemies.
Did the Carleton University administration ever consider that those who feel uncomfortable with numerical measurements of their weight always had the option to simply not use the scale? Did they consider that the majority of students, administration, and staff likely view a scale as an extremely useful tool and would prefer to have access to a scale at the campus gym?
In the new age of political correctness facts and logic are of little consequence. Pragmatism is passe. What is of paramount importance is “feelings.” Thus, if anyone is made to “feel” bad by anything, or is “triggered”, then it is only fair to ban it. If 1% of the students at Carleton University are opposed to the mere presence of scales at gym facilities, then the other 99% should just keep their mouths shut and go along with the program. After all, it would be very insensitive to those who are struggling with their body image to have to use a stairmaster or elliptical or treadmill with an “instrument of oppression” in plain sight.
Now, it goes without saying that, regardless of political perspective, it is intolerable to ridicule or shame other human beings because of their weight or appearance. Our basic sense of decency, humanity, and morality should inform us in this regard. But to suggest that removing scales from athletic facilities is solving some problem, either from a social or public health perspective, is beyond preposterous.
Given that politically correct hysteria is as contagious on college campuses as chickenpox in a second grade classroom, it remains to be seen whether the “anti-scale movement” will gather steam at other North American or European universities.
In the meantime, all we can do is sit back and watch. The millennial social justice warriors don’t realize…the joke’s on them.