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Back in 1995 prior to the birth of our first child, I went to the local hospital’s Birthing Center to register. While filling in the necessary paperwork, I was startled to see that my husband’s name was not required. “It might offend the women who aren’t married,” explained the nurse ruefully.
I knew then that my newborn child would be entering a brave new world, a world where fathers are unnamed for fear of offense.
The Other McCain had an interesting piece awhile back. It concerned a young college student who has an “honors BA in Social Justice and Peace Studies” and was on the verge of graduating with her master’s degree in Gender Studies. She lamented that she couldn’t find a job except as a hotel desk clerk. “I have a honors BA, and I’m defending my MA thesis in two weeks,” she wrote. “I am also apply[ing] for jobs, and I can only find stuff in the service industry. I applied for a hotel front desk clerk job today. My degrees mean NOTHING. I am at the end of my rope.”
Vox Day, commenting on the poor young student, so cuttingly added, “And she just figured this out NOW? She has a degree in ‘Social Justice and Peace Studies.’ She will soon have a second degree in ‘Gender Studies.’ She’s very lucky the service industry will consider hiring anyone with a pulse, because any employer looking at those degrees has to know she is a walking, talking, sexual harassment and/or discrimination lawsuit waiting to happen. In fact, a Gender Studies degree actually has negative value, given that credentialed feminists are considerably more likely to cause disruption in the workplace. It’s bad enough to acquire garbage degrees in economic boom times. It’s even worse to do so in the middle of a five-year depression.”
It was the phrases “lawsuit waiting to happen” and “negative value” that caught my attention. It strikes me that a degree in Gender Studies would indeed have a negative value because such people are known for having chips on their shoulders toward society in general, and men in particular, regarding imagined offenses to their worldview.
It’s well-documented that feminism thrives on chronic offensiveness (indeed it can’t survive without it). But it’s not just the feminists who seem to relish being offended. We have become a society so terrified of offending anyone that the slightest complaint – rather than being treated with a suggestion that the complainer grow up – results in canceled events, altered policies, closed businesses and expelled students.
And it goes deeper than a chronic fear of offense. Those who thrive on being perpetually offended also introduced political correctness, one of the most insidious forms of tyranny ever invented. Political correctness has morphed from mild and inoffensive verbal corrections (“handicapped” are now “mobility impaired”) into a monstrosity of thought control and tyranny.
Although it’s become ingrained in our culture, political correctness is almost exclusively a progressive tool that has altered our language, behavior, attitude, entitlements and morals. With political correctness, words have become weapons and a vehicle for intimidation and bullying. By means of lawsuits and public education, bonds are being dissolved between children and parents and between husbands and wives. Employers are held hostage to the tiniest hint of hurt feelings from their employees. Universities contort themselves into a ghost of their former academic influence in order to offend no one (and in so doing, offend many). Links are broken between behavior and repercussions, and between scriptural standards and self-control.
As I wrote some time ago, “Progressives know that no one likes to be scorned or mocked. Consciously or unconsciously, most people avoid situations where they will be intimidated, isolated, or impugned. By accusations and insinuations, progressives can intimidate individuals into silence and thus, by default, gain more ground toward the socialism agenda. And since the mainstream media are firmly in their court, progressives can count on the fact that the media will only report their progress in favorable terms (while painting conservatives as buck-toothed knuckle-draggers).”
However, there appears to be a backlash or unintended consequence to this chronic-offensiveness-run-amok. Our graduate in Gender Studies is already figuring it out. The fact is, employers rightfully balk at hiring walking breathing lawsuits. Who wants to hire someone who will take offense at every word, every gesture, every decision? Who wants to hire someone waiting to pounce on those perceived offenses and sue because they got their feeeeelings hurt?
Somehow I don’t think this was what feminism had in mind when they offered useless degrees in Gender Studies and demanded pseudo-equity in the workplace (according to their standards). Somehow this isn’t what political correctness was supposed to bring.
The bottom line is those who go through life perpetually offended may find themselves unemployable (which gives them something further to be offended about, I suppose).
“At its core, political correctness is a scheme of social engineering,” wrote Alec Rawls back in 1998. “Correctoids think that by imposing their hypersensitivity, they can make the world a more caring place. Unfortunately, social engineering tends to backfire.”
An investigation into Australian universities found, “It is feared that students, instead of being offered balanced and impartial teaching, are instead being brow-beaten into mouthing the correct party-line on issues such as feminism, multiculturalism, the environment and world affairs.”
Folks, everybody gets offended about something. That’s human nature. The danger comes when we make “offensive” actions illegal. Personally I don’t care who gets offended by what I say, write, do, eat, grow, or raise. But I DO care – deeply – when you translate that offense into legislation.
There’s a reason the First Amendment is first. Offense was never meant to be illegal, and “tolerance” was not meant to be enshrined in law.
Media wishing to interview Patrice Lewis, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.