I’ve thought about some of these dilemmas a lot this year, because of all the banging on about “<b>safe spaces</b>” at university. The fact of Christmas tension illustrates than even the bosom of the family home is not a guaranteed “<b>safe space</b>”. Our family Christmases were “safe” neither for me nor for my parents, because we had competing ideas about the world.
And I’m very glad that university didn’t provide me with a “safe space”, one where I might have felt entitled to learn nothing about how so many of the assumptions my upbringing had fostered were wrong. Do I regret lecturing my parents about sexism, racism and homophobia? No. I only regret that I did it so gracelessly, so badly, so self-righteously.