Political Correctness gone mad
From media pundits and giggle fests, to advertisers trying to spice up an old concept like Oreos and milk, to sports managers praising Fidel Castro, to even political comedians mixing religion and female body parts – saying anything in public, even when obviously joking, has become a minefield.
“You say something of color, you tweet something of color, suddenly you have 15 people criticizing you in an attempt to take you down a notch,” said Raw Story Executive Editor Meghan Carpentier.
This has been pushing an increasing number of people into endless apologies.
“Anderson Cooper should not have had to give a public apology for giggling at the word 'pussy willow.'. I think that’s adorable! That’s just a10-year-old boy in him emerging and scampering about in short pants,” said author and political comedian Sara Benincasa.
“It’s really absurd. People get more angry about a word like pussy willow, than they do about, say, a drone strike that kills thirty innocent people in Afghanistan," said author and editorial columnist Ted Rall.
Meaningless political correctness has given rise to meaningless rituals of remorse.
“It’s like going to church and going through all the motions, but not really believing in God,” said Benincasa.
In an overly litigious culture, cries of discrimination are often simply an excuse to sue.
“There was a lawyer who sued all of the bars here in New York who had Ladies’ Nights, because that was gender discrimination – so it’s become this parody of politeness and parody of equity, where people are in fact just going overboard,” said Meghan Carpentier.
It starts from very early on. One school in America came up with rules on what a prom dress should – and should not – look like.
“It’s even more worrying, because there is more and more authoritarianism in the schools. There’s police in the schools, there are rules being imposed on students,” said blogger and author Danny Schechter.
The New York Department of Education recently attempted to ban 50 potentially offensive terms from school tests.
Words like “dinosaur” – in case it offends those who deny evolution, and “divorce” – to not hurt the feelings of kids whose parents are no longer together, and even “birthday” because it’s not celebrated by Jehovah’s witnesses.
The idea was publically mocked and finally scrapped – a victory for common sense many cheered. But critics say more will follow, despite the hypocrisy.
“In the real world, people drop the F-bomb all the time. In the real world, people do cheat all the time. And to be like “Oh my God! It’s people cheating!” It’s just kind of ridiculous,” said Ted Rall.
As the list of words and deeds considered politically, socially, or morally unacceptable grows, the United States of America – a country that prides itself on freedom of speech could be well on its way to becoming the united states of “I’m sorry”.