Today: 17.08.2018
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16.08.2018

PC police won’t let us use these words anymore.

On a crowded elevator in San Francisco in April, Richard Ned Lebow was asked what floor he wanted. The 76-year-old professor from Kings College London replied: “Ladies’ lingerie.” Turns out, one of the people on the elevator was an easily triggered professor of gender studies at Merrimack College named Simona Sharoni. Sharoni formally complained about...
Time: 15:27     Date: 26.05.2018
Last US News - Opinion: PC police won’t let us use these words anymore. NY Post 24 - US News

Turns out, one of the people on the elevator was an easily triggered professor of gender studies at Merrimack College named Simona Sharoni.

Sharoni formally complained about Lebow’s “misogyny” to the host of the International Studies Association, a conference that both professors were attending at the time. Now the association is demanding that Lebow apologize on pain of disciplinary charges.

Lebow says nix: “If I did apologize,” he told The Mail on Sunday, “it would show that crazy people like this one can intimidate associations, and it will have a chilling effect on everyone. This is also about an issue of humor and the idea that humor is now becoming off-limits.”

Any suggestion that political correctness amounts to “just being polite” is bonkers. Today, it’s a weapon deployed by capricious neurotics from Planet Grievance to ruin perfectly normal people who display normal Earthling behavior such as “joking.” Since when does a mention of “ladies lingerie” constitute a hateful attack?

Much of the nuttiest stuff in the thought-policing world continues to happen on campus. Robby Soave, who has covered college protests against speech extensively for Reason, writes that students generally tell him they support the First Amendment BUT “They also tell me some combination of the following: Hate speech isn’t free speech; if marginalized people feel threatened by the speech, the speech is actually violence” and angry mobs that shut down speakers are not behaving unethically because they’re not the government.

‘As university culture seeps into everyday life, today’s insufferable student will be sitting next to you at work tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow she might be your boss’

That attitude manifests itself in places like the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s “Inclusive Excellence Center,” launched in 2012, which cautions you to think twice about all the damage you do when you say the word “Nazi” (unless you’re talking about actual Nazis; saying “Soup Nazi” means you’re minimizing the Holocaust), “illegal alien” or “third world.” Also, don’t say “thug” because you might hurt their feelings, not to mention “lame,” “man up” or “are you deaf?”

Hey, some people actually are deaf, don’t be blind to their pain. Also, “blind spot” and “blind alley” increasingly get labeled “ableist.”

The University of Michigan spent $16,000 in 2015 advising students not to say “I want to die” because it’s offensive to the suicidal, nor “That test raped me” because some people actually have been raped, although probably not by calculus exams. At Minnesota’s Macalester College, posters and social media warned in 2014 against using the words “crazy,” “psycho,” “schizo” and “derp.” Which is nuts.

Wisconsin-Milwaukee also frowns upon the phrase “politically correct,” which is pretty meta. “Over time PC has become a way to deflect, say that people are being ‘too sensitive’ and police language,” reads a campus guide. “It is disconnected from authentic understanding of impact.” In other words, the more ridiculous we get, the more you’d better not notice.

What used to be crazy campus hysteria (another banned word) has oozed down from the Ivory Tower and infected the normals — corporate HR departments and the like. Example: What could be more normal than Reader’s Digest? Author “Molly Pennington, Ph.D.,” writing for the venerable 96-year-old institution, recently revealed “12 Surprisingly Offensive Words You Need to Erase from Your Vocabulary.”

You’d also better not say “long time no see” because that’s making fun of the way Indians talk, supposedly. “No can do”? You may not realize it, but this constitutes cruel mockery of Chinese immigrants, according to Pennington. “Hysterical” is sexist, deriving from the Greek word for uterus. More often, it means “funny.” If I call Melissa McCarthy “hysterical,” I think she’d be pleased rather than offended, but then again the word cops seem to be on a mission to drain the humor out of everything.

Pennington also cautions against using the phrase “grandfathered in,” which “originates with the practice of allowing voters in southern states easier voting conditions if they had a grandpa who had voted before 1867. Guess who didn’t have those relatives? Black voters, because their grandpas were slaves.” So that time in 2013 when President Barack Obama said, “we went out of our way to make sure the law allowed for grandfathering,” was he condoning slavery?

As university culture seeps into everyday life, today’s insufferable student will be sitting next to you at work tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow she might be your boss.

Running afoul of her might cost you your job. Just ask James Damore, the Google engineer who was fired last year simply for publicly musing about differences between the sexes. As for Lebow, he refused ISA’s demand to apologize by May 15, and it’s unclear what sanctions they will take against him now.

If his case is any indication, the next stage of the PC plague will be killing off all the jokes.

Opinion

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Opinion

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Living

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Business

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Metro

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Sport

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