‘Snowflake’ is a term used to gaslight those who dare speak out against the new authoritarianism.


‘Snowflake’ (sometimes ‘special snowflake’) is a slang term used in recent years, usually directed against “entitled” Millennials who complain about the America they inherited — one full of debt, minimum wage jobs,  exhorbitant student loans they can never hope to pay back, and few opportunities.

The term “snowflake” has its roots back in the 1990s and early 2000s when Millennials were still schoolchildren.   In those days, it was fashionable for teachers to recognize that “every child was special” and give awards and prizes just for participating, etc.  so that no one would feel left out.    A real snowflake is a common and unremarkable thing, as common as dust.  But since, purportedly, no two snowflakes are alike, every snowflake is special.

Over time, “snowflake” became a pejorative term, intended to shame a person for allegedly wanting “special” (or in most cases, maybe just “fair” or “just”) treatment.

Since Trump’s win in November, the meaning of ‘snowflake’ has shifted to a more political definition and is no longer confined to Millennials.    The formerly non-political insult has been used frequently by alt-right Trump supporters to dismiss and minimalize the concerns of  “the lib’ruls” (another insult they frequently use against those who oppose their far right views).  “Snowflake” is used to trivialize the very real concerns of those who oppose the Trump presidency, regardless of their generation.  It’s used against anyone of any age who dislikes Trump’s authoritarian, cruel, and controversial policies.  So, if you’re an aging person and afraid you might lose your health insurance or Medicare or social security, are worried about accelerated climate change and the shut down of the EPA when we need it the most,  fear and loathe Trump’s dismantling of democracy, are deeply offended by his war on truth, or oppose the Muslim ban, then, according to the Trump supporters, you are a pathetic snowflake who just expects special treatment or entitlements, when all you really expect is decent and humane treatment and your civil and human rights to not be taken away from you.

Calling people ‘snowflakes’ under these circumstances is gaslighting and shaming.   It’s only one small example of the nationwide narcissistic abuse this administration is already dishing out on all of us, but it’s one of the more obvious (and annoying) ones.   Complain because your mother has cancer and may lose her health care and die, and you’re a snowflake.    Speak out against the president’s constant lies and twisting of the truth into “alternative facts” and “fake news” and you’re a snowflake.   Express concern that this administration’s bigoted policies may  bring back discrimination and sanction public bullying of non-whites, and you’re a snowflake.  Object to Trump’s discussing women like chattel and sex objects, and you’re a snowflake.

In Trump’s strongman world, there is no room for anything feminine, sensitive, or soft.  There is no room for compassion, kindness,  or empathy, for in Trumpland, all those things are weakness.   If you’re bullied, well, you probably deserve it because you’re a loser anyway and probably a snowflake too.   Already I hear stories about bullying of kids who are “different” now being condoned among the kids of alt-right parents. They feel empowered to bully those who aren’t like them, because  Trump is the President and he says it’s okay and he does it himself, so it must be okay.

This administration is bringing out the worst in everyone.  For Trump’s  supporters, they now feel emboldened, because they now have permission to bully and abuse those who don’t agree with them or are different than they are, and for everyone else — especially those of us who suffered abuse —  we feel triggered: dissociated, afraid and hypervigilant, caught in a downward spiral of increasing chaos, hopelessness, and despair.


10 thoughts on “‘Snowflake’ is a term used to gaslight those who dare speak out against the new authoritarianism.

  1. I’m glad you brought this up. I was even called a snowflake by someone in our group for saying something nice about the women’s march. He said, “I thought you were a psychopath, not a snowflake.” I think the term must have started with The Fight Club. “You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.” The trumpettes are gloating over their victory and being totally obnoxious.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, I think it actually did original from “Fight Club,” IIRC
      They sure are gloating. Another thing they like to say all the time is “I like to drink the tears of liberals.” That’s fucking sick.


  2. Yes, I’ve been called “Snowflake” as well, and it reminded me of being in grade school when kids feel empowered – not because they’ve learned how to win an argument with reason, but because they’ve learned a new term with which to hide their ignorance and bully or shame others.

    Emboldened by the “success” name calling, insulting and generally being a jackass won for the president, being mean and ignorant has not only become acceptable in the minds of many – but trendy.

    May God protect us especially those with handicaps or suffering of any kind.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right – here I am stuck in the middle with you …

    The most important thing to me with all of this is to hold close to the ideal that we are all worth the same, no matter what. The more divisive the tone, the more labels applied, the more I feel grounded in the knowledge we are all equal, as much as some hate the idea 🙂

    Sticks and stones? One of the things I really try to live to my kids – no matter what people say, you are what *you* are, not what others think.

    I guess how I feel about it is this – we need to be big in ourselves, and not care about the noise outside, it is just noise …

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just heard that song you quoted from this morning. I’ve been hearing a lot of old protest and political songs from the 60s and 70s lately, much more than usual. I’m sure there is a connection.


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