Updated: Nov 25, 2018
Hi, I'm Eleanor, and I'm a snowflake. If you're not a purveyor of the BBC's Facebook comments section, you can be forgiven for not knowing what a snowflake is. The term is usually used in scorn to imply that someone is overly sensitive or reactionary to an issue, often a social problem. For example;
"Here's the snowflake brigade, arguing for gay marriage."
I'm that person that is overly PC and proud. You see, being politically correct just means that you're respecting the life or lifestyle of someone else - something most take for granted (see privilege). Once I learned the term 'nitty-gritty' is likely linked to the English slave trade (it's said to refer to the debris left in the bottom of slave ships, often referring to sick or dead slaves) I stopped using it. I call people out for saying things are 'gay' or 'retarded' because it's beyond offensive. In a language so vibrant and colourful as the English language, why do we have to use words that describe a person as an insult?
I have transgender friends, I have gay friends, I have female friends, and I have friends from all over the world, and although I have experienced very little discrimination, I see some of what they face every day. And it needs to stop. So, yeah, I'm called a snowflake for standing up for, and alongside, those that are too often marginalised.
What gets me is that history is rich with awesome snowflakes. People who were so incensed by injustices that they did something about it; Emily Pankhurst, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jeremy Bentham. These people created a snowstorm that brought about social change - and aren't we ALL better for it?
So yes, we might seem like cry-babies that whine about the portrayal of women in Disney films (yes, I was one of those who agreed with Keira Knightly and Kristen Bell although I've not banned it, I do highlight the issues I have). Or complainers about ethnic diversity in film and TV (just watched Chesapeake Shores helloooo Jesse Metcalf, but even his presence didn't distract me from the fact that there was zero diversity in casting. It was a total whitewash, and that stinks). Or champions of problems our forefathers never considered (gender neutrality is by no means a new concept, but its presence in the fore of the media brings in to daily life a little more). And we are; we cry, whine, complain, protest, demonstrate, object, boycott and demand until we see more balance in our society. Because when snowflakes come together, they can stop the world in its tracks.
Here are some memes that get me all shouty and keyboard warrior-y.
Snowflake meme #1. This one annoys me the most in so many ways. The first is that if 'snowflakes' had spoken out in the way that they can now, perhaps children wouldn't have worked 16 hour days at 11 years old. That lads who were barely out of school wouldn't have been sent off to fight a war with little hope of returning. That the poor wouldn't have been the worst affected by the plague. And it was those who saw injustice and fought it that means these things won't happen again. You're welcome.
Meme #2: Images like this make me mad. This is just some guy who, by the looks of things, is posing for a photo of a new tattoo. There is no evidence that he can't get a job, much less that he blames anyone for it. Scapegoating at its finest.
Meme 3#: I hate 'being liberal' being used as an insult. One of the most commonly used abuses is Lib-tard, like caring how everyone is represented his somehow lesser.