I’m Tired of Living in a PC World

I’m tired of living in Politically Correct World.

There I said it.

I know I’ll get some backlash from people in my community for this post, but I have sat on this piece for too long.

Tensions have been high in recent LGBT news following the Great T-Word Scandal of 2014 and despite my strong opinions on the matter, I stayed away from Social Media battles relating to the issue. Because as much as I hate personal freedoms and individual rights being slammed, I hate even more the division it all causes in our very own community.

However, last week I stumbled across an article, the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, and realized then that this post was long overdue.

The article title caught my attention right away: “‘Cards Against Humanity’ Co-Creator Publicly Apologizes for Transphobic Card”. I own the game and know well that it is intentionally rude and politically incorrect, with a tagline on the game that reads “A party game for horrible people”. The game is similar to the clean, politically correct game of Apples to Apples, where players play red cards (e.g. Lobster) in their hand to best fit a green card category (e.g. Expensive). In Cards Against Humanity, a black card is drawn and revealed that has a fill-in-blank sentence on it. Players choose a white card from their hand, cards that only have words or phrases on them, to complete the sentence. Of course the goal is to be the player to make the funniest combination – like in MadLibs. The game is not exactly everyone’s cup of tea – the kind of game some never admit to enjoy. To further prove this point, I drew one black card and one white card at random: “This is the way the world ends. This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang, but with: Throwing a virgin into a volcano.” Let the laughter ensue.

So, when I saw the title of the article, my first thought was, “What could possibly be so terrible in a game like that to coax an apology from one of its creators?” I mean, isn’t that the point of the game? To gather with close friends and safely laugh at horribly disgusting terms and pairings that are not well-accepted in public? Isn’t that like going to Dick’s Last Resort and complaining that the waiter was rude?

And if the article title wasn’t enough to spark my curiosity, there was this accompanying picture:

fusion.net

fusion.net

The card read “Passable transvestites.” No way could this be the card that made such a fuss. NO WAY could people be so incredibly self-involved to expect that even in a “game for horrible people” all must bend so as not to hurt feelings and stir up politically correct social anxiety. And yet, that was exactly the case.

In the article, I found out that Tumbler user “horriblewarning” (strange irony there) is the owner of the original picture. He says he and his friends were playing the game and collectively felt that this card was wrong and transphobic so they had a little fun with it. They burned it, took a few photos and posted it to Tumbler with the caption “DEATH TO TRANSPHOBIA”.

Now, to be clear, I have no real issue with horriblewarning (Jonah, 19) and his friends not liking the card. To me, everyone has a right to an opinion, and if that was there’s, fine. I even have just a mild annoyance at the dramatic post online, but this is the Age of Social Media after all.

My problem is with the insane angry-mob-like reaction the post received. All of a sudden, the post was spreading like wildfire as users screamed for justice and apologies for the “transphobic card”. Are these people serious? Do you honestly expect to sweep the world and remove any politically incorrect humor in existence? Should I call up Joan Rivers and let her know that her comedy will no longer be allowed on this planet? Should we gather up every “A priest and rabbi walk into a bar” joke and ensure that they never again see the light of day?

And let’s focus on the card, once more, shall we? “Passable Transvestites”. If the LGBT community (or whomever) is really all that pissed about this card, how about a vocabulary lesson: Transvestite means any person who is dressing like a member of the opposite sex or gender, typically for emotional or sexual satisfaction. The terms Transgender or Transsexual are not interchangeable with Transvestite.

And this is my point – because of all of the uproar about transphobic slurs and the use of the word “Tranny” and the “She-Male” game on RuPaul’s Drag Race, we are too sensitive. We can’t even see a play on words as funny anymore (“Ooh, Girl. You’ve got She-Mail”). Is it really true that after all of these years fighting for LGBT rights, we want to pick a fight over words? This weekend marks the 45th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City. Every year, we celebrate the progress we’ve made and look to further that progress. In the last few months, that progress has felt slow to me, as more and more members of my community turn on each other, on allies, on artists, and on the future. How is it that we have decided that policing others’ individual rights is more important than fighting for our own?

The truth is, there will always be things that offend us – some more than others. If we are able to deal with those offenses on a small, one-on-one basis, there will be no need for massive public slayings of people who seem to have mis-stepped. Being the community that needs a red carpet laid out across a politically correct universe seems a little silly coming from a group of people that started as outcasts and rebels, don’t you think?

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6 thoughts on “I’m Tired of Living in a PC World

  1. I’ll be at the “Dyke March” on Saturday night. I know there are women who will not attend because they hate the word “Dyke” but I think it is better to reclaim the word and de-fang it than to give it so much power, like Lord Voldemort, that we dare not speak its name.

    I’m with you. There is too much real discrimination against LGBT people out there to deal with game cards.

    • Truth! My Jamie and I talk about that word all the time. Before I really accepted my sexuality and came out, I never dared to say the word because everyone said it was wrong. But truthfully, we don’t have to dictate it as wrong. We just keep perpetuating the cycle.
      I have a friend that offended by anyone saying “girls” as in “out with the girls”. She says we should say “women” or “ladies”, otherwise it’s demeaning. Ugh – it’s just frustrating that we pick such minor battles for which to die.

  2. I am with you on this, although I do approve of much of the recent policing of language. I think that it is good to be aware of unconscious slants that language can give.
    Comedy and satire are the great equalizers, however. Anything that cannot be mocked has been given some kind of a holy status that we should be a little wary of.

    • True, but I guess that’s my point. The policing of words has no choice but to spill over into comedy, artistic expression, and who knows what else. Not to mention the fact that we’ll be left with a whole pile of words no one is ever supposed to use, categorized to our “enemies” as our Achilles heel.

  3. I’ll admit I had a smug little chuckle at someone finally pointing out that ‘transvestite’ and ‘transgender/sexual’ aren’t the same thing. It’s nice to see someone stopping for a second instead of falling for the clickbait.

    I understand that the original post came from kids, no bigs there. But the brushfire reaction leaves a bad taste in my mouth as well. I’ll freely admit I’m probably more on the ally side of the spectrum, rather than directly inside of the LGBTQ community. But, when you spend the bulk of your life growing up together with all the other folks who live outside of the mainstream for one reason or another as well, and getting to know and care for them as people and not categories, it’s odd and disappointing to see such backlash and in-fighting amongst people who should have each others’ backs. Strangers -and- friends.

    Though, Tumblr seems to be a magnet for this type of behavior… I mean, just take a look at the collective SJW (Social Justice Warrior) and Anti-SJW subcultures that trade jabs all over the site.

    • I’m not on Tumbler but my LGBT students have filled me in on some of the SJW craziness. What’s sad is that, as impressionable youth, they fell head-first into many of the traps. It wasn’t until I played devil’s advocate with some of the issues they had taken up did they see that it wasn’t all just one-sided. I love people that are willing to stand up for their beliefs and opinions, but I HATE the follow-the-crowd mentality that leads to unnecessary mud-slinging. I don’t think I’ll be signing up for Tumbler anytime soon. 🙂

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