It’s a term that I’m not keen on, but this week, I think its highly appropriate to wheel out the word ‘snowflakes’ in reference to a couple of tales which have irked me in recent days.
I’m sure it goes without saying that most of you know what it means.
But in case you don’t, it’s a phrase used to describe the perpetually offended and upset in today’s society. Those who take offence at anything and everything that’s going on in this increasingly bonkers world.
You may have read of two such instances over the last week or so.
First up, it was revealed that students at Manchester University were being told not to clap and instead to perform silent ‘jazz hands’ as a way of showing appreciation for something because applause can apparently be seen as ‘intimidating’ for those with sensory and anxiety issues.
This was quickly followed by the news that parents in Hampshire had been told not to cheer on their children during junior football matches because it puts them ‘under pressure’.
Both were presented as creating a more ‘inclusive’ world.
Now, I’m no stranger to applauding things and children’s football matches (although the two don’t necessarily go hand in hand) and I’ve never heard anything so daft.
I get that there may be some people who have issues with loud noises, but we can’t live in a society where a room full of people aren’t allowed to clap purely on the off chance one person might have a problem with it.
As much as there are plenty of people who have problems with such things, the world sometimes offers no hiding place and these things just can’t be avoided, however much you might try.
I know from personal experience that while you can create ‘damage limitation’ in sensory issue cases, sometimes there’s just no alternative and to try and pander to that just creates more deep rooted problems.
As for football, encouragement and cheering on players is no bad thing.
Yes, I understand that some parents and managers might sometimes go over the top with their shouts from the touchlines and I’ve seen plenty of examples of a gaggle of dads shouting a vast array of instructions to some puzzled youngster: “Pass! Shoot! Hold it!”
I’m all in favour of trying to keep some of those elements of the game under check and certainly the parents who reduce their children to nervous, gibbering wrecks by assuming that little Johnny’s mis-timed kick has suddenly reduced his chances of becoming the next Lionel Messi need to have a word with themselves.
But not let’s not make the world so inoffensive that ‘inclusivity’ starts taking over from common sense.