At a college in Illinois, students seemingly believe that the best way to effect social change is to go to sleep. No, seriously.
“The nap-ins are part of the internal journey to diversity,” student coordinator Marissa Amposta, a senior studying art at Southern Illinois University (SIU), told the Daily Egyptian, the student newspaper. “All dreams start while sleeping.”
Amposta is facilitating four two-hour sleep sessions in March for Women’s History Month, setting up a safe space in the rotunda of Morris Library. She said the sessions are meant to “internally generate student dreams of diversity.”
The nap-ins are part of the Dreaming Diversity Art Installation established Monday, the Daily Egyptian reported. The installation is a 15-foot-long fabric scroll hanging in the middle of the library rotunda, where students will write their dreams on pieces of fabric and paper. Amposta also said that a “labyrinth” will be set up in the rotunda, surrounding the scroll, “to help guide students to their dreams.”
“The maze is sort of a metaphor for the general path to diversity,” the student coordinator explained. “It takes a while to reach, and its complicated.” If the entire project relies on individual dreams scribbled by 18- to 22-year-old students just awoken from a social justice slumber in the name of vague “diversity,” the path will be winding indeed. But students should watch their step lest they tread on sleeping comrades.
These dreams will be discussed at a women’s panel on March 31, hosted by two of the school’s departments: art and women, gender, and sexuality studies.
“People forget we are still working for equality,” Nicole Tabor, graduate assistant coordinator at the Women’s Resource Center, told the Daily Egyptian. “It might never happen if we stop fighting.” By fighting, does she mean sleeping?
Women in America enjoy a great deal of equality unmatched in other parts of the world, particularly the Middle East and Africa — where female genital mutilation, enforced modesty, and social restrictions are the norm. There may be some social inequalities in the West — besides the trumped-up “equal pay” statistics — but events like this merely go to show that women in the West need to come up with “dreams” in order to push against alleged oppression.
As for “diversity” in general, a sociology study in September 2014 revealed that “microaggression complaints and other specimens of victimhood occur in atomized and diverse settings that are fairly egalitarian except for the presence of strong and stable authority.” Perhaps ironically, people are most likely to complain about offenses against equality and inclusivity in places that are the most equal and diverse.
“In these settings behaviors that jeopardize equality or demean minority cultures are rare and those that occur mostly minor, but in this context even minor offenses — or perceived offenses — cause much anguish,” the study’s authors added. This focus on small slights in a culture of equality is coupled with the prevalence of social media, where aggrieved parties can instantly share their “oppressions” with tens of thousands of others, generating a power in victimhood.
This gives rise to a “victimhood culture” which pushes people to compete to seem the most oppressed or aggrieved. This culture inspires people to call “attention to one’s own hardships — to weaknesses rather than strengths and to exploitation rather than exploits.”
The paper contrasted a “culture of honor” and a “culture of dignity” with this “culture of victimhood.” The culture of honor emphasized defending one’s own reputation and encouraged duels and other ways for individuals to avenge themselves against insults. The culture of dignity assumed each person’s value, and so encouraged aggrieved parties to develop a “thick skin” and brush off insults,” taking serious attacks to the authorities.
But the culture of victimhood has the worst aspects of both previous cultures. Rather than stigmatizing a weak person who does not avenge an insult (culture of honor) or the insulting party (culture of dignity), it demonizes domination. An individual can best gain support by proving his or her own victimization — “so rather than emphasize either their strength or inner worth, the aggrieved emphasize their oppression and social marginalization.”
This encourages two things: virtue-signaling and voluntary helplessness. If you are a member of an “underprivileged” group, you can gain the most social support by convincing others you are being discriminated against. This is not even limited to social justice warriors (SJWs) — conservatives often appeal for support in this way as well.
What better describes this culture of victimhood than the idea of trying to manufacture “dreams” to inspire social change for equality in a university setting already so equal and diverse that people complain about “microaggressions”? Women and minorities already enjoy such equality at Southern Illinois University that they actually don’t know what to ask for — so they turn to the subconscious to guide them.
Perhaps these activists should reconsider their priorities. There are, for instance, millions of women across the world who are actually oppressed. Maybe some of their “dreams” should focus on bringing some equality overseas.