For some reason, it seems the anti-Brexiters and anti-Trumpers have taken the safety pin as their symbol resistance to “the man.” It may be due to the fact that they see the safety pin as a safe thing in a dangerous world, unlike the straight pin. But anyone who has dealt with babies or worked as a tailor knows, the safety pin creates a false sense of security. One assumes the pin is safe, when in fact, it is just as likely to draw blood as a straight pin.
But, in this modern world, perception is reality. If a thing looks safe, it is. A hard hat on a construction site will protect a man wearing it when a two ton girder falls on his noggin. A bright-yellow vest will somehow shield a man working on railroad tracks from being run over by a train’s negligent engineer. Remember in the early days of seat belts and the promises that they would protect one from the effects of any accident?
The current safety pin craze, while not promising protection from the awfulness of Brexit or Trump, seems to offer a sort of safe-haven for for those opposed to Brexit or Trump. In other words, wearing a safety pin on a lapel or a purse is meant to represents a “safe person” for those youngsters hyperventilating about Brexit or Trump.
A safety pin means safe- only when ignoring the pin that is hidden. A pin that can poke and draw as much blood as a straight pin or a thumbtack. And those who are more experienced know that a seen threat is easier to deal with than a hidden threat. Tailors, seamstresses and surgeons all deal with sharp pins and needles everyday, rarely suffering injuries. Yet they hold safety pins in disdain.
The safety pin is a symbol of a child. A nerdy and needy child. This writer can remember when a boy or girl showed-up at school with his pants or skirt, or dress, closed by a safety pin instead of a a proper button or hook and eye. It was assumed that the mother was too lazy to properly mend the clothes, or just didn’t care. It was a symbol of slovenliness.
And it may be this idea of safety pins and slovenliness that defines the “safety pin movement.” The promoters are emotionally, and perhaps intellectually, slovenly. They are like babies or young children. Only their own immediate concerns are important to them. They are babies and need a hug and a kiss. But when they’re 16 to 60 years old, the kiss and hug become not so much expressions of love as a form of (dare this writer say it?) child abuse.
The world is a wonderful place, but it’s also a hard and dangerous place. If colleges and high schools don’t teach their students that the world can be an awful bitch at times, where one will get abused and hurt more often than one would like, then those high schools and colleges are not doing their jobs. And in not doing their jobs, those institutions are doing their students, society and the nation a grave disservice. In real life there are no safe spaces. There are no safety pin wearing friends. Eventually, one will step on the corn of the “safety pin friend” and find an enemy so vicious, it’ll make even the most-rabid Trump supporter look like an angel.
The world is not a safe place and not a “safe space.” We, in the United States, have been blessed with a Constitution that guarantees our rights. The right to speak and express ourselves honestly, among others. But there is no guarantee against being offended or encountering others who disagree.
It’s like a forklift driver at work says: “Man up, buttercup.”