PC Culture

The Most Absurd PC Moments of the 2010s

Attendees at the Women’s March in Washington D.C., in 2017. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)
Presented in no particular order.

A lot has happened in the last decade — including a lot of things being called racist, sexist, offensive, or insensitive.

Here, in no particular order, are 24 of the most absurdly politically correct moments of the decade:

1. A college diversity-training course taught that it was culturally insensitive to expect people to be on time. 

A Clemson University training course taught its attendees that it is offensive to expect people to be on time, because “time may be considered fluid” in other cultures.-

2. The phrase “trigger warning” was deemed a trigger.

According to a piece in Everyday Feminism, “trigger warning” is actually in itself a trigger — because it could “be re-traumatizing for folks who have suffered military, police, and other forms of violence.” (The piece recommended using “content warning” instead.)

3. A professor was accused of sexual harassment for saying that effort is 10 percent of the grade. 

A Brooklyn College of City University of New York professor says he was forced to change his syllabus after he was accused of “sexual harrassment” for stating that effort was 10 percent of the grade.

4. A campus survey included a trigger warning to caution college students that it may contain “anatomical names of body parts.”

The survey was distributed at several major universities — because, apparently, college students just might not be able to handle the kinds of words that most kids hear in their middle-school biology classes.

5. University researchers demanded that we accept people who “identify as real vampires.”

Apparently, it’s the least we can do to prevent anti-vampire discrimination.

6. A Seattle-area councilman was concerned about the city hosing poop off of its sidewalks because he thought that it might seem too racially insensitive.

The area in question reportedly stank like “urine and excrement” — but one councilman was worried that hosing it down could be a microaggression.

7. A bathing-suit advertisement was criticized for being “sexist” because it depicted a woman in a bathing suit.

I thought it was normal for product advertisements to depict the product that they’re selling — but apparently, I was wrong.

8. Some feminists decided that “pussyhats” were both racist and transphobic. 

Why? Well, because not all women have vaginas, and not all vaginas are pink, of course.

9. A professor claimed that the small chairs in preschools are sexist, “disempowering,” and “problematic.” 

Apparently, it makes no difference that preschoolers are small people.

10. College students decided against bringing a camel to school for a “Hump Day” event, due to concerns about racism.

Students at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota were worried that the presence of a camel might offend Middle Eastern students.

11. A school in Seattle reportedly insisted that Easter eggs be called “spring spheres.”

Maybe calling them, simply, “eggs” would still have been too religious? Hard to say.

12. A group of Berkeley students insisted that they could not take their in-class exam due to their lack of privilege. 

Apparently, test-taking was just too emotionally taxing for some University of Berkeley students to be able to handle.

13. The phrase “long time, no see” was reportedly declared to be “derogatory” toward Asians. 

A student at Colorado State University said she was told that she shouldn’t use the phrase — despite the fact that even NPR admits that “it is so widespread as a greeting that there’s nothing to indicate the term’s origins, be they Native American or Mandarin Chinese.”

14. A college newspaper changed its name from “The Bullet” because its editors were concerned that that name was too dangerous. 

The University of Mary Washington changed its newspaper’s name from “The Bullet” to “The Blue and GrayPress” — because its editors were worried that the old name “propagated violence.”

15. Lecturers were warned that capital letters might scare students and that they should avoid using them. 

Journalism lecturers at Leeds Trinity University were instructed to avoid using all caps when communicating with students, because it might make them too afraid to do the assignment.

16. A campus-wide email told white students to stop wearing hooped earrings, because doing so was cultural appropriation. 

A resident assistant at Pitzer College sent an email to her entire school claiming that white girls wearing hooped earrings was offensive to “the black and brown bodies who typically wear hooped earrings.”

17. A campus Christian club was found guilty of discrimination for requiring its leaders to be Christians. 

Apparently, the Chico State University club’s rules violated a 2011 executive order.

18. Oxford University law students were told that they didn’t have to learn about rape or violence law if they found it too triggering.

Undergraduate law students were reportedly allowed to leave during any lessons about such material if they felt uncomfortable.

19. The word “too” was declared sexist.

According to a piece in the Huffington Post, the adverb has “deprived” “most women” “of self-satisfaction and appreciation.”

20. A liberal author demanded that “normal people” avoid wearing any kind of red hat, because all red hats can be too scary.

Sorry, Washington Nationals fans.

21. Skinny eyebrows were declared “cultural appropriation.”

Apparently, it is offensive to tweeze your eyebrows a lot if you’re not Latina. (Note: Thick eyebrow styles were called “cultural appropriation” during the 2010s, too.)

22. Evergreen State University told professors to take student protesters’ feelings into account when grading them.

Apparently, their “emotional commitment” to protesting should be taken into account when evaluating their academic work. (Apparently, grading classwork based on, you know, classwork would be too insensitive.)

23. A lot of college kids were upset about The Vagina Monologues.

Several colleges and universities either canceled or adapted performances of The Vagina Monologues over concerns about excluding women without vaginas. One school, Southwestern University in Texas, canceled theirs for another reason: because a white lady wrote it.

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