I conclude that it has two ultimate causes. One is well known: The leftist doctrine that men victimize women, whites victimize nonwhites, normal people victimize sexual deviants, and so on.
But this doctrine has been around for decades, if not centuries. It wasn’t enough to create the “safe space” phenomenon until a few years ago. (Although we can identify a precursor in the various “ethnic studies” programs created starting in the 1960s whose main purpose was to give academically-weak nonwhites a semi-academic field in which they could excel.)
The second cause of the Safe Space is the contemporary belief that school officials must do all in their power to raise the achievements of members of these “protected classes.” If women’s grades are being lowered by male chauvinism, if nonwhites’ grades are being lowered by white hostility, if sexual deviants are having their grades lowered by intimidating sexually-normalist rhetoric, then college officials feel duty-bound to step in and help. The trend in American education is for laws and regulations to require more and more efforts by school personnel to achieve “equity.”
And it’s not just about educational achievement. A college education is increasingly regarded as necessary if an individual is going to succeed in life, regardless of his field. Those colleges are letting society down by forcing too many non-privileged students to drop out, and they’d better do something drastic to restore equity.
So it makes perfect sense for colleges to create “Safe Spaces,” places where the non-privileged on campus will be safe from whites, men, the sexually non-deviant, and so on.
The “Safe Space” is the logical end of the leftist doctrine that certain classes need protection. The only uncertainty now is just how big the Space will be made and just how “safe” it will be.