Once upon a time it was believed, as the saying went, that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” Someone ought to relay that to liberals who are insane with political correctness, which is infecting every aspect of a hyper-spoiled, hyper-sensitive Western civilization whose people have long forgotten to live and let live.
As reported by the UK’s Independent, apparently practicing yoga is now culturally insensitive – at least at one university in Canada.
“Yoga has become the latest victim of political correctness on university campuses after a free class was cancelled because of complaints that the lessons were an unacceptable ‘cultural appropriation’ of a non-Western practice.
“Jennifer Scharf, a yoga practitioner who has offered free weekly sessions to students at the University of Ottawa in Canada since 2008, said she was shocked to receive an abrupt message telling her the classes were to be suspended.
“‘I’d been in touch to prepare for the new semester’s classes when, out of nowhere, I received an email telling me there were some issues in terms of a formal complaint,'” she told The Independent.
And so, rather than simply telling the complainant that no offense had been intended, and that on behalf of the students who were taking advantage of the classes they would continue, the ruling administrative body caved. The Otttawa Student Federation, the university’s independent student body, canceled the classes.
The Independent cited the Ottawa Sun, which reported that staff from the Center for Students with Disabilities, where the classes took place for students of all abilities, said in an email: “While yoga is a really great idea and accessible and great for students…there are cultural issues of implication involved in the practice. Yoga has been under a lot of controversy lately due to how it is being practiced,” and which cultures those practices “are being taken from.”
The group went on to say in its email that since many of those cultures “have experienced oppression, cultural genocide and diasporas due to colonialism and Western supremacy…we need to be mindful of this and how we express ourselves while practising yoga.”
‘The right not to be offended’
Scharf told The Independent that she had thought of a compromise she hoped would keep the free classes available for the students who took part in them, by changing the name to “mindful stretching,” but even not calling it “yoga” anymore wasn’t good enough.
“I think it’s easy to worry too much about accommodating everyone,” she said. “By saving one person’s feelings, we’re ruined the experience for so many others.” [Emphasis added]
Exactly. And since when did the “right to not be offended – ever” become the dominant right that supersedes all others?
This is the problem with over-sensitivity and political correctness; Scharf hit the nail on the head. Any decision of this kind is inherently biased against someone and tends to punish the majority, despite an absence of malice on their part. It’s hard to believe that, in this particular case, the students of the yoga class were making a conscious decision to insult someone’s culture. And yet none of that matters; the “insult” has been committed because a couple of people who appear to be looking for a reason to be insulted have said so, and these days that’s enough for the PC Police.
Shutting down debate
As for the Canadian yoga “controversy,” it comes amid rising intolerance – and that’s what it is, intolerance of the minority – on college campuses all over the Western world, and in particular the United States. As The Independent further reported:
“In recent months, Oxford University cancelled a debate on abortion after protesters objected to the fact it was being held between two men, while the Cambridge Union was asked to withdraw its speaking invitation to the writer and commentator Germaine Greer because of her views on transgender issues.
“Last month, the lecturer Erika Christakis and her husband were called on to resign from Yale’s Silliman College, where the couple lived and worked, after she sent an email suggesting that her students try not to be offended by culturally insensitive Halloween costumes.”
Except, they weren’t “culturally insensitive” costumes – unless, of course, you were someone looking to be offended.