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You're a racist, sexist, homophobic, murdering pedophile who hates rainbows, laughter, unicorns, and...wait, where was I
Take me to your dumbass
I hope aliens land on Earth in my lifetime because I'd love to be their tour guide. I'd start with the Vulcan salute (obviously) and then welcome them proudly to the 21st century, a technologically advanced age full of breathtaking scientific invention, thought-provoking religious revolutions, and an utterly ridiculous fear of language that has crossed over into the realm of insanity.
Am I wrong in thinking that words should be sexy? We all know there's no bigger turn on than a well-chosen adjective and a sentence with perfect subject-verb agreement. And if you throw correct placement of hyphens in the mix—damn, boy. Just slap a ring on my finger and call me “Mrs.”
But sadly, we seem to have gotten to the point where language has become mangled within the choke hold of political correctness. We are taught to have emotional reactions to certain trigger words or phrases and informed that we“ought” to get offended at such and such—regardless of whether or not we are initially inclined to be so.
What do I mean? Well, what immediately comes to mind is one of our modern world's favorite insults: racist. This term is thrown around like candy on Halloween, and more often than not, it doesn't refer to ball-to-the-walls serious stuff like the Klu Klux Clan. It just refers to talking about race at all.
For example, one day a friend of mine--let's call her Anne--looked at a picture of someone online and said he looked like he should live in Tokyo. This person apparently worked in California somewhere, but I guess the point was that he looked Asian. In, fact, I think he actually was Asian. And this comment was overheard by a common acquaintance--let's call her Sally--who immediately ignited and reproved Anne for this comment.
Here's another example. A colleague of mine once described her children as “chocolate babies,” meaning that they were mixed race. But you can bet your ass that loads of people would get offended at that. In fact, how many of you cringed just reading it?
I risk social censorship if I acknowledge or comment on the wide and colorful spectrum of race. Why is that something shameful? People look different. That's interesting. Isn't color something to celebrate? It suggests various cultures and lifestyles. It's something we should be proud of as human beings.
If I tell a black man that he's as delicious-looking as a Kit Kat Bar, why should he take it as an insult? Now, if I told a black man to get back to the cotton field, okay, we can talk. But there's a very clear difference between the two, and merely noting that he's black isn't racist.
At some point during the last decade, we decided that any comment on race is racist. But newsflash: rebuking someone for describing skin color doesn't make you open minded. It just make you look like tight ass.
I resent this arbitrary fear of language. I resent being told that I should be afraid of this word and that word. But most of all, I resent all of these stupid labels that stick people into narrow and close-minded boxes--the very societal "chains" these labels claim to break. The issue arises from the fact that the meaning of words has changed to fit the purpose of politics; now, any comment can be twisted to fit beneath the umbrella of "insensitivity."
If I describe a Mexican coworker as having skin the color of caramel, people cringe awkwardly. If I hear someone say they're uncomfortable with Bruce Jenner's choices, I'm supposed to call them intolerant (because they have no right to disagree EVER). And if a guy opens a door for me, I better get offended because he's obviously implying that I'm too weak to extend my arm. It's not like he's just being, you know, polite.
My generation is particularly guilty of this; we're so afraid of looking “intolerant” that we've allowed the plane of what's actually offensive to bleed over into the realm of overt political correctness. We're at the point where we're constantly second guessing ourselves. And this has given birth to far more serious things than tight-asses with no sense of humor: it has all but killed communication between this generation and the last.
BYOD: Bring Your Own Dip
Older friends have told me that they have no idea how to talk to us twenty-somethings because we get offended at everything. Far from making us look “broad-minded” and “accepting,” our need to play nanny and tell everyone how to talk apparently just makes us appear fearful and stiff-necked. Basically, we've become that guy at the party who stands in the corner sulking because nobody had the nerve to bring his favorite chips.
In conclusion, I'm of the opinion that life is too short to work so hard to get offended. For one thing, it takes too much energy, and I've got a lot of Netflix shows to catch up on. For another, it makes you anal, stressed out, and unpleasant to be around. Can't we all just lighten up?
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go to the park, bust out my sketchbook, and draw all the chocolate and vanilla babies who happen to roll by in strollers pushed by mama. What a great ice cream twist the human race is! Let's celebrate it, not take offense at it.