Tag Archives: political correctness

Uncommon, not Useless, Thank You Very Much

My initial reaction was, “No.  She couldn’t really have just said that.”  But yes, indeedy, Democrat National Committee advisor Hilary Rosen actually did say out loud what so many liberals and progressives think.  You know: full-time, at-home moms have no business attempting to contribute to discussions on politics, economics, or any intellectual topic.  Due to an un-named and unstudied phenomenon, the brains of these women immediately turn to mush as soon as they make the decision to raise their own children (rather than contracting them out), rendering them incapable of intelligent thought about anything other than diapers, playdates, potty training, and Nick Jr. programming.

So much about this flare-up is offensive to me–and I hope, to other housewives.  Where to begin:

It has nothing to do with whether being a mother is work or not.  It’s ridiculous how White House spokesfool Jay Carney and Michelle Obama and CNN talking head Suzanne Malveaux all tried to appear sympathetic by affirming that raising children is a difficult “job.”  That’s not the point, and they know it.

Does Hilary Rosen (and her ilk) actually believe that full-time moms have no grasp on the economic realities of families??  Who does she think buys the groceries, heads to the pharmacy for yet another round of antibiotics, decides whether to put off having the brakes on the minivan done until after Christmas or whether they can’t wait that long, budgets for Christmas shopping so that it won’t look like you are skimping this year, tracks down used sports equipment or band instruments, scours the clearance racks for past season clothes, and so on and so on.  Housewives, Ms. Rosen, are keenly aware of what it means to stretch a paycheck–a single paycheck, mind you.

(CAROL) COSTELLO: Ann Romney doesn’t have to go outside and work. (SUZANNE) MALVEAUX: It’s a luxury to be able to choose.  This is such a crock!!  They just keep trying to sell this notion that most women have to work outside the home or their children will starve.  I suppose if you call going without unlimited data plans on your household’s 4 smart phones starving, then it’s true.  If you call skipping the annual trip to Disney World starving, then it’s true.  Dining out once a month instead of twice a week, making the kids mow lawns or shovel snow to fund their own XBox game purchases,  foregoing the TV and DVR in each child’s room and making them watch television in the family room: all equivalent to starving.  But what about single moms, you ask.  They really do have to work to support their family, right?  Umm…except in the case of widows, single motherhood is preventable.

Ms. Rosen voiced the sentiments that so many share but dare not speak: that housewives are useless in this age of day care on every street corner, worthless for not adding to the family income, and a horrible role model for daughters in their waste of a college degree and embrace of their femininity.  This housewife can only hope and pray that this firestorm will open the eyes of moms who vote.  Do you hear what the Democrats think of you?

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Words Mean Something

I think I may have mentioned before that I am a word lover.  Actually, I’m more of a word freak.  My kids would tell you that I get giddy over recognizing Latin or Greek roots in words.  I love the Word of the Day feature on my homepage.  And I nag the kids in their writing  and speech about choosing their words carefully.  I know that writers can agonize over each word to give their sentences exactly the right tone.

That’s why, why I was outraged to learn that Mark Twain’s most famous works will be revised in a major act of political correctness.  Apparently, a certain Twain scholar has taken it upon himself to replace the “N-word” in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer with he word “slave” in a new combined edition of the books.  Also out are the words “Injun Joe” and “half-breed.”    The thinking here is that the new wording will be less offensive to readers so that middle school and high school teachers can begin assigning these classics once again.

Where to begin on what irks me about this English professor and a publisher taking such liberties?  Most obvious is the fact that by changing the dialect and vocabulary of the characters, he is changing the characters themselves.  This is not a matter of translating, say, Chaucer because no one understands Old or Middle English.  This is putting new words in a character’s mouth, words that Twain could have chosen but didn’t.  Mark Twain knew the meaning of the words he chose and used them for a reason.

What I find to be so laughable is this professor’s desire to protect kids from a word that they very likely use themselves or certainly hear repeatedly in the hip-hop music they love.  The “N-word” is routinely tossed about in song lyrics and teenage conversation, especially by the demographic group that would cry offense if someone of another race were to use the word.  That is a garbled, “sensitive” way of saying that it seems it’s OK for black kids to refer to each other as “niggers,” but it is a mortal sin for white kids to use that word.  There, I said it.  I half expect to find the PC police stalking my comment box now and posting hateful messages.  So the word is just fine in song lyrics, but it’s offensive in classic American literature??

Here’s what I find offensive in the so-called “literature” on high school required reading lists: sexually explicit scenes and 4-letter words.  I know a lot of that language is part of kids’ everyday vocabulary; I hear it all the time in the mall or at the library.  But to me, it’s offensive.   I also find detailed descriptions of rape, oral sex, and even consensual sex to be highly inappropriate for high school kids.  Books containing these, however, are forced on kids as “literature” by librarians and English teachers.  Take, for example, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou.  It’s very explicit in its description of sexual abuse.  Found on some required 9th Grade reading lists is the more recent The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.  It’s loaded with shock-value scenes in place of plot, but it’s cheerfully assigned with a little disclaimer  about mature content for parents of Ohio freshmen.  Teachers really think kids are comfortable discussing such scenes in front of the whole English class?  But teachers will argue that’s what makes the books “real” and “relevent.”  Hmmm.

So are we supposed to be sensitive about are word choices or not?  I’m confused.  Mark Twain…bad; hip-hop artist…good?

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What’s in a Name?

I was saddened as I read an article today about the YMCA changing its name to just the Y.   The article rightly points out that everyone does shorten the name in conversation.  However, does anyone really think that the fact that the initial for  “Christian” was dropped is insignificant?  Officials from the organization formerly known as the YMCA give lots of excuses for the change:

“We’re trying to simplify how we tell the story of what we do, and the name represents that,” said Neil Nicoll, president and chief executive of the organization.

I don’t even know what that means.  But, I think this quote gets a little closer to the truth:

“It’s a way of being warmer, more genuine, more welcoming, when you call yourself what everyone else calls you,” said Kate Coleman, the organization’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer.

Does the organization’s hierarchy believe that referring to their Christian history and mission makes it less warm, genuine, or welcoming??  Apparently, Y executives have determined Christianity to be alienating, offensive, or some sort of liability.  I guess the hope is that by changing the name, the organization can distance itself from its Christian roots just like KFC tries to make you believe that because “Fried” is no longer in the name, the same chicken is somehow healthier.

One look at the website for the national organization or that of your local YMCA reveals that membership in the organization is open to all, regardless of creed.  Keeping the “Christian” in the name just reminds us of the Judeo-Christian principles on which the group was founded.  Of course, that does seem to be a problem in modern America.  This secular society does not like to be reminded that our very nation and its law were founded upon Judeo-Christian principles.  I would argue that the Y is less “genuine” for trying to hide its origins.

Another American icon sells out to politcal correctness.

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