Politically incorrect euphemisms

Not exactly.

Here’s what New York Times fashion writer Ruth La Ferla actually wrote:

Ms. Danes … turn[ed] out in a Giorgio Armani tulle confection that showed off an ethereal, if slightly skeletal, frame. What Ms. Danes lacked in pulchritude, Lena Dunham of “Girls” supplied in abundance, wearing a coral-rose-patterned Prada gown that (somewhat sloppily) showed off her curves.

Never fear. HuffPo editorial fellow (how sexist) Lauren Duca gets her Naomi Wolf on to defend the vulnerable celebs.

The contrastingly blatant fattism we see in La Ferla’s commentary is nothing new. Lena Dunham’s body is far from the Hollywood ideal, and as a strong, feminist woman in the spotlight, she is a prime target for all sorts of shaming … especially the fat kind. The point is that this sort of observation has absolutely no place in a red carpet writeup, and is especially disturbing coming from such an esteemed publication.

The juxtaposition with the “skeletal” Claire Danes further highlights the conspicuous cattiness of La Ferla’s analysis. Fat-shaming is unacceptable, as is thin-shaming. La Ferla is discussing both bodies in a way that is especially problematic, and the empirical size of the women is irrelevant. The act of drawing attention to a woman’s shape is cruel and offensive. Not to mention the pragmatic issue with the comparison: if Claire is too skinny and Lena is too fat, can women just not win?

I can’t help but wonder what George Carlin would say about this.

The most PC movie review ever

Back in Oct. 2009, Todd Boyd, a professor of mine at USC and Tyler Perry’s fiercest critic, wrote:

[In] spite of the demeaning stereotypes and utter disregard for black humanity, TP’s dope has some people reluctant to criticize him. Many point to TP’s money and success and in turn use this to justify their support of his nefarious enterprise. No one is crazy enough to actually try and defend the garbage that he puts out, so praising his business success allows them to shift the focus away from the amateurish flicks that he makes.

Now read the New York Times’ non-judgmental review of Perry’s latest Madea movie.

Score one for Professor Boyd.

Chick-fil-A may not like me, but I like Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A is the best fast food chain in America. Period. They’re efficient, courteous and consistent. I could care less about their CEO’s politics.

The Atlanta-based company has come under fire from gay rights groups for supplying food to an event sponsored by the Pennsylvania Family Institute, which has worked to defeat same-sex marriage initiatives. (I guess feeding religious fundamentalists crosses some sort of progressive line in the sand.)

Granted, Chick-fil-A is sympathetic to the Pennsylvania Family Institute’s cause, as is half the country. So what? Fast food chains neither shape or influence public opinion.

To those who want to boycott, fine. It’s not my time you’re wasting. But this kind of hyperbole (excerpted from an online petition against Chick-fil-A by students at Florida Gulf Coast University) will prove counterproductive:

“The Student Union is a place where all students should feel safe and welcome. By allowing a company with a history of bigotry and homophobia into our campus, we potentially allow FGCU to place monetary gain above the comfort and safety of the very students who are expected to frequent the Union Building,” say the group of students at FGCU.

‘Cause you never know when a Chick-fil-A manager might spork you in the eye for wearing a Margaret Cho T-shirt.

I’m curious as to where all this ends. Should I research the political leanings of the company that installed the drinking fountains where I work? I’d hate to think I was consuming anti-gay water.

As offensive as the word itself

Saying they want to publish a version that won’t be banned from some schools because of its language, two scholars are editing Mark Twain‘s classic Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to eliminate uses of the “N” word and replace it with “slave,” Publishers Weekly writes.

The edition, from NewSouth Books, will also shorten an offensive reference to Native Americans.

Sad on so many levels. That this undisputed work of art is “relegated to optional reading lists, or banned outright” from grade school curricula proves the tyranny of political correctness. When sensitivities rise beyond reason, smarts plummet beneath comprehension — a recurring axiom in 21st Century America.

Scrubbing the ugliness from history betrays the very notion of education. And forget about context, a word few people seem to understand, or want to.

Mostly, I’m sad that American students are being robbed of Mark Twain. If you can’t summon outrage over this one, check your pulse.

Are you a heterosexist?

The acronym is bigger than I thought — and even more ridiculous. The latest, all-inclusive version:


The University of Wisconsin-LaCross Pride Center site also features a glossary of “non-heteronormative” PC inanities:

A generic term used to refer to a third gender person (woman-livingman). The term ‘berdache’ is generally rejected as inappropriate and offensive by Native Peoples because it is a term that was assigned by European settlers to differently gendered Native Peoples. Appropriate terms vary by tribe and include: ‘one-spirit’, ‘two-spirit’, and ‘wintke.’

Prejudice against individuals and groups who display non-heterosexual behaviors or identities, combined with the majority power to impose such prejudice. Usually used to the advantage of the group in power. Any attitude, action, or practice – backed by institutional power – that subordinates people because of their sexual orientation.

A person whose gender identity is comprised of all or many gender expressions.

(via Andrew Sullivan)