The thesaurus, the much-maligned tool of dimwit strivers, enjoys a resurgence at Princeton of all places.
The Ivy League school’s human resources department issued guidelines that exclude words relating, even obtusely, to males from job postings aimed to “reflect the inclusive culture and policies at Princeton University.” The school does not yet flag “African American,” “gay,” or “Muslim” as terms to bowdlerize in job listings. But that just probably reflects the exclusivity of the “inclusive culture” that still puts men to the forefront and not any institutional favoritism toward underprivileged groups, right?
Don’t use “layman.” Say “non-specialist.” Erase “manmade” and write “artificial” instead. “Forefathers”? “Ancestors.” The policy remains silent about “mansplaining,” “manspreading,” and “bropriating.”
Let me give it a try.
It’s raining men sexually-amorphous beings. That’s one small step for a man person, one giant leap for mankind tellurian homo sapiens. The dude gender-indistinct sentient biped abides.
So much easier on the ears when translated from English to Academese.
The school that excluded women for the first two centuries or so of its existence now turning on males seems penance and paradox. It also strikes as more redundant than wrong. Research shows a dramatic drop in grip strength in young males today versus their father’s generation. A bubble-wrapped upbringing forbidding football and other traditionally masculine pursuits stunts growth into men just as Princeton stops references to them. On sitcoms and those annoying Sonic commercials, males — effete or bumbling betas — star but rarely do men. Twenty-first century man appears in the likeness of Ken, that neutered, non-threatening bloke who keeps his mouth permanently closed so as not to offend Barbie or Ivy League HR offices.
If you think Princeton’s language edict a bit hysterical, then you’re a sexist perpetuating gender stereotypes and the patriarchy for using a chauvinist term derived from a latinate word referring to the womb. Mind your tongue. Big Sister is listening.
The campus antics make for a good laugh until one discovers that the intolerant mindset masquerading as tolerance makes its way into comedy. Yes, the laugh police crashed the Sausage Party.
Lesbian website Autostraddle decided to “un-publish” a favorable review of the raunchy, politically-incorrect, animated movie after complaints from readers. “[I] hope it’s not transmisogynistic,” one staffer worried of the Seth Rogan film in the internal vetting process. Another asked, “[I]s the reviewer white”?
Reasons given to pull the review, mostly commentary on a lesbian taco voiced by Selma Hayek, included “a damaging portrayal of a predatory queer woman,” “Hayek’s taco was racist and… reinforced harmful stereotypes,” and the matter of consent during a scene depicting a “sexual encounter between the taco and the hot dog bun.”
“I want to personally apologize to every reader who was hurt by the Sausage Party review,” senior editor Heather Hogan informed readers. “I failed you as a senior editor of this website and I failed you as an ally. I am wholly sorry for the pain and anger I caused you. I offer you no justification. I was blinded by my own whiteness existing inside a system of white supremacy.”
Comedian Kurt Metzger found himself disinvited from a Comedy Central show and in jeopardy of losing his spot as a writer for Inside Amy Schumer because he ridiculed the Upright Citizens Brigade for missing the irony of becoming its own name after banning a comedian accused of sexual assault online but not in the police log.
“I know because women said it and that’s all I need,” he mockingly posted of the allegations, calling the accused comedian: “So f—ing dangerous that we can’t go to the police and report his many rapes. That would be just toooo rapey, and the women are too brave for that.”
Evidently recalling Tawana Brawley, Crystal Mangum, “Jackie” of UVA, and other cases that respectable people toss down the memory hole, the comedian posted the satire changing the names and places but clearly lampooning the mob mentality that resulted in his comedian colleague banned from Upright Citizens Brigade venues.
Now for the good news! That motherf—er is now banned from The Times Square Arts Center and Halloween Adventure! Yeah let’s see you try and rape anyone without specifically being at The Time Square Arts Center and Halloween Adventure, now, you f—ing rapist! BAM! Lady Ghostbusters! Little girl looks up at us! Tear. “I WILL go to college after all!” Don’t mention it, little girl. Just knowing I got to be part of an unthinking herd of mewling progressive cattle is enough.
Note to Kurt: stick to the approved punchlines — Donald Trump, people with Southern accents, Mormons. The point of comedy in the second age of political correctness involves knocking the politically unfashionable rather than provoking laughs. The audiences crack up out of ideological solidarity, not amusement.
America can withstand its institutions of higher learning becoming (remaining?) stuffy, ideologically-rigid mini Oceanas. But comedy remains too important to culture to cede to the hipster vandals who destroy everything else through non sequitur politicization (wedding-cake baking, NBA all-star games, etc.). What’s better than a laugh? How many friendships do shared senses of humor foster? What beyond God works better than gallows humor to help bear the unbearable? Thankfully, comedy contains the remedy to what ails it. Half of H.L. Mencken articles, three quarters of Monty Python sketches, and all of Animal House derided authority. Poobahs and panjandrums who order you not to deride this or that set themselves up for caricature for any who dare. Comedy takes courage. Ask Lenny Bruce — or Kurt Metzger.
Like the punchline that follows “How many feminists does it take to screw in a lightbulb” (“That’s not funny!”), the butts of Metzger’s joke refuse to see the humor. Nor do the campus scolds monitoring our expressions, pronouns, and gendered verbiage. If we can’t laugh at Kurt Metzger, at least we can still laugh at his antagonists — but just very quietly in private. Big Sister is listening.
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