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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Modern society deviates from true intent of sensitivity

    By Kaylin Tran

    Entertainment Editor

    Today’s generation is known for its tolerance and acceptance in terms of societal issues, although regional and cultural differences remain. From the Women’s March and the Black Lives Matter movement to the Pride parade and #MeToo, people have continued to advocate for equality and social reform towards a better future. However, more often than not, society’s recurring behavior of extreme sensitivity demonstrates that its efforts to advocate for equality are spiraling out of control.

    On April 22, Utah senior Keziah Daum was heavily criticized and berated on social media for wearing a qipao, a traditional Chinese dress, to prom. However, according to, many users on the Chinese social media website Weibo defended and complimented her dress.

    One user commented, “We are all very proud and delighted to share our cultural fashions with anyone around the world.”

    In desperate attempts to establish a righteous society, it appears that this idea of justice has crossed the line between advocating for equality and overdramatizing a situation. While this behavior stems from a desire to be inclusive, it has unfortunately only succeeded in becoming more exclusive.

    In another instance, “American Idol” judge Katy Perry received backlash for kissing contestant Benjamin Glaze. According to the Independent, Glaze agreed to kiss her cheek, but after she asked for a second one, Perry moved her face so the kiss would land on his lips. The incident received much attention due to Glaze’s lack of consent.

    After the incident received much attention on account of the Perry’s sexual assault, Glaze denounced these statements in an Instagram post, where he explicitly stated, “I do not think I was sexually harassed by Katy Perry […] I was uncomfortable in a sense of how I have never been kissed before and was not expecting it.”

    Sensitivity was especially necessary decades ago, during the height of racism and sexual stereotypes that discriminated against groups of people. It is certainly still needed for that purpose, but as society has holistically become more aware of callous remarks and treatment of others, the same need to advocate for justice has heightened. Thus, some may think that they are advocating for social justice, when in reality, they are creating something out nothing.

    When Netflix’s hit television series “13 Reasons Why” aired worldwide on March 31 of last year, the narration and depiction of Hannah Baker’s suicide caused its audience to have mixed reactions. In particular, the scene of Baker’s death made viewers question its purpose.

    While some claimed that the show’s portrayal of suicide was gruesome and completely unnecessary, others maintained that it serves as a harsh reminder of the realities of such topics that are tainted with societal stigma.

    “Too many programs shy away from showing the consequences of the devastating things that are done to women, but ‘13 Reasons Why’ made us look—and it made us care about who we were looking at,” stated Variety TV critic Maureen Ryan.

    Even more, while many were arguing about the inclusion of the graphic scene, its purpose was neglected, as the intent behind this action was to demonstrate the fatal repercussions of bullying and sexual harassment, two of the most popular societal issues.

    As opposed to jumping to conclusions and creating more problems than what had originally existed, it is important to consider the entire situation at hand and focus on the bigger picture rather than the smaller aspects that it consists of. Although it may initially seem counterintuitive, being less sensitive about trivial topics is something that needs to be done.

    Sensitivity and compassion are vital to cultivate a nurturing society, but by taking it too far, it has enabled others to insult and degrade people; it has enabled others to assume rather than face the facts; and it has enabled others to silence words that need to be heard.

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    Modern society deviates from true intent of sensitivity