It’s official. We no longer can say anything without bruising someone’s sensibilities and setting off a three-alarm fire of political incorrectness on Twitter and other social media.
I mean, say “good morning” to someone and you’re apt to be accused of discriminating against afternoons, evenings and night time.
You think I’m kidding? Consider the goings-on at the Summer Olympic Games in Brazil. There have been more mea culpas issued than gold medals. One broadcaster had to apologize for talking about a female swimmer’s coach/husband instead of the female swimmer; another apologized for referring to lesbian beach volleyball player Larissa Franca’s wife Liliane as her husband; another talking head apologized for referencing a Chinese swimmer to a pig; the Olympic committee apologized for raising the wrong Chinese flag; former U.S. Congressman John Dingell apologized “in advance for my Olympic tweets;” singer Demi Lovato offered her “deepest apologies” for laughing at her mother’s bad joke about the Zika virus; American gymnast Gabby Douglas apologized for not putting her right hand on her heart during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner; organizers apologized to fans for lengthy lineups and waits; one broadcaster apologized for suggesting that American gymnast Simone Biles’ parents weren’t really her parents; a BBC broadcaster apologized for a homophobic remark about gays on the tennis venue kiss-cam; the Daily Beast apologized for an article outing gay athletes; the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes, apologized for faulty facilities; a CBC broadcaster apologized for misidentifying two American swimmers whose bodies were 99.9 per cent submerged; organizers apologized for thefts in the Olympic Village; organizers apologized for playing the wrong Nigerian anthem; the San Jose Mercury News apologized for an insensitive headline about African-American swimmer Simone Manuel; the Chicago Tribune apologized for an insensitive headline about trap shooter Corey Cogdell-Unrein; Lebanese judoka Nacif Elias asked “for forgiveness” following an epic rant on the heels of his disqualification; some Americans demanded an apology from their decathlete champion Ashton Eaton, who wore a red Canada hat in support of his Canadian wife, Brianne Theisen-Eaton, in the heptathlon.
And I apologize for the length of that paragraph.
But it underscores my point: No matter what you say, no matter what you do, you’re going to have someone’s knickers in a knot.
It’s to the point where I think Clint Eastwood wasn’t far off the mark when he told Esquire that this is the “pussy generation.” Naturally, the award-winning actor/director was assailed for using a crude term that refers to the vagina and implies weakness, but one must be careful in any criticism of Clint. He is, after all, an 86-year-old man and we wouldn’t want to be accused of ageism, would we?
Of all the examples of political correctness run amok re the Olympic Games, the silliest had to be the critique of this headline in the Toronto Sun: Pretty Penny. It was in reference to Canada’s teenage, multiple-medal winning swimmer Penny Oleksiak. Some read Pretty Penny as blatant sexism. Oh. Come. On. It was a simple play on words, for cripes sake. But we don’t want to go there. Not in 2016. There can be no references to a female athlete’s appearance. It doesn’t matter that Penny is a pretty 16-year-old girl with dazzling eyes and a lovely smile. The politically correct police tell reporters that they’re in Rio to record the times of Oleksiak’s swimming events. Just the facts, ma’am. Nothing more.
What a shame.
I swear, it’s just a matter of time before these politically correct ninnies take aim at some of our most beloved literary works. Like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. WTF is up with that? Snow White is the fairest in all the land, yet the best she can do is cook and clean for Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy and Dopey? Talk about your sexist stereotyping. But wait. Snow White is not without her biases and prejudices. Clearly, she has a hangup about small men. I mean, she could have dated one of the seven dwarfs. Didn’t happen, though. She died rather than date a dwarf. Little wonder Grumpy was grumpy.
I think Snow White owes Grumpy an apology.