Culture

The Eleven Most Ridiculously PC Moments of 2017

The Eyebrows Have It: Kendall Jenner at the 2015 New York Fashion Week (Reuters photo: Eric Thayer)
A year in review of crazy

A lot of things happened in 2017 — including a lot of being offended. It was hard to narrow it down, but here — in no particular order — are the eleven most politically correct moments of 2017:

1. It was declared “cultural appropriation” for a white woman to wear hoop earrings.

A resident assistant at Pitzer College sent out a campus-wide email declaring that it was unacceptable for white girls to wear hoop earrings — because wearing them was culturally offensive to “the black and brown bodies who typically wear hooped earrings.”

This did not stop me from continuing to wear hoop earrings. Why? Well, for one thing, I understand that humanity has been around for so long that there’s really no such thing as an original idea anymore, anyway. Everything goes back to someone else’s idea — including hoop earrings, which were initially worn by people in ancient cultures. For another thing, I recognize that bombarding an entire campus with your feelings on jewelry is completely bananas, and a hoop earring is literally just a piece of metal twisted into a circle. No one owns circles, kids — certainly not you.

2. Berkeley students claimed they did not have enough “privilege” to take their exam in class.

A group of students at University of California–Berkeley demanded that they be excused from an in-class exam because they just didn’t have enough privilege to be able to handle it emotionally. Note: Going to class and taking exams is literally what college is — so, if you can’t handle that, don’t go.

3. Evergreen State College told professors to take students’ feelings into account when grading them.

Yes, seriously. School officials actually instructed professors to take into account the “emotional commitment” that some students had made to protesting on campus instead of doing work, and to be aware that “the work of students that have not been involved in the protests may also have been affected” because “many feel that the campus is not safe.”

The college’s president had already given protesting students passes on their homework, a concession that was captured on a video that went viral in May.

4. Certain kinds of eyebrows were deemed “cultural appropriation.”

According to an op-ed written by a student at Louisiana State University, women styling their eyebrows to make them appear thicker is an example of “cultural appropriation.” She also used the phrase “eyebrow culture,” when making her point, which I’ve got to admit is something I spend approximately zero percent of my time thinking about.

5. The size of chairs was declared a “microaggression.”

The size of chairs was deemed a microaggression against overweight people, according to a guide released by The New School, a private college in New York City. Damn chairs!

6. A city councilman was concerned that hosing poop-covered sidewalks might be culturally insensitive.

A Seattle councilman expressed concern that hosing down some filthy sidewalks that smelled of excrement might be insensitive “because it brought back images of the use of hoses against civil-rights activists.”

Before I saw this article, I would have told you that the idea that a poop-mess needs to be cleaned up — and that that clean-up generally involves water — was the least controversial opinion in human history. I would have been wrong.

7. The University of Arizona hired students to tattle on each other.

The school’s paid “social-justice activists” were instructed to “report any bias incidents or claims to appropriate Residence Life staff.” It seems like a good time to remind everyone that people who attend college are generally adults.

8. A British student union tried to ban clapping and cheering because it was not inclusive to deaf people.

The National Union of Students warned the audience at its conference to avoid clapping or cheering during speeches, to avoid making deaf people feel excluded. The craziest part is, they instructed participants to use “jazz hands” instead — as if they don’t even realize how exclusive that could be for blind people.

9. Expecting people to be on time was declared “culturally insensitive.”

A Clemson University diversity training taught participants that it was offensive to expect people to be on time, because “time may be considered fluid” in some cultures.

10. Authors were hiring “sensitivity readers” to problematic-proof their novels.

Novelists are now employing “sensitivity readers” in order to make sure that they don’t portray fictional characters from other communities in an inaccurate way. Note: No one actually knows how to portray a fictional person “accurately,” because fictional people do not exist. In all seriousness, this trend is a terrifying one that threatens to ruin the art of fiction as we know it.

11. A social-justice math class taught participants how “math has been used as a dehumanizing tool.”

An online course instructed math teachers to teach their students how math has been historically used to oppress people. Have to use all class time wisely.

READ MORE:

’Centrist Privilege’ Is a Thing Now

Social-Justice Blog Asks if Asian-Americans Can ‘Appropriate Their Own Culture’

Professor: ‘Mathematics Itself Operates as Whiteness’

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