As we bid farewell to another year, it looks like we’ll also be saying goodbye to some iconic pieces of cultural history along with it. Songs, fairy tales, hand gestures; for the PC-police, nothing has been off limits in 2018.
Here’s a look at some of the things we’ll miss as we trudge wearily on toward a heavily-sanitized world where nobody ever feels offended again.
1. Christmas songs
They had a good run, but 2018 was the year the PC-grinch stole Christmas songs. After 74 years, ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ was discovered to have a “rapey” vibe and radio stations decided time’s up for the Christmas classic. Next for the chop was ‘I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus’ which could be traumatizing to children. It’s been voted the best Christmas song of all time, but even the iconic Irish classic ‘Fairytale of New York’ wasn’t safe. Far too many offensive words, in that one. What next? ‘Driving Home For Christmas’ promotes air pollution?
2. Fairy tales
Many of us fondly remember watching and re-watching movies like Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast — and reading and re-reading fairy tale classics like Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty and The Ugly Duckling.
The children of the future will know no such pleasure. This year, Keira Knightley led the charge, banning many of them from her children’s book shelves, lest they impart any negative messages. Soon there will be no more ugly ducklings to scare children with horrifying themes like bullying and image-consciousness. There will be no Sleeping Beauty awakened from her slumber by a prince’s non-consensual kiss. Oh and speaking of consent, did God sexually assault Mary by getting her pregnant with Jesus without prior approval? That’s another debate, if you dare wade into it.
By now you will probably have attended at least one event at which a couple of people decided to forgo engaging in the “non-inclusive” traditional clapping and cheering methods of expressing appreciation and opted instead for “jazz hands” or “clicking” of the fingers. It’s all in an effort to ensure deaf people, anxious people, or anyone with sensory issues feel as included as possible. There’s no word yet on what we’ll be replacing jazz hands with when they discover that it clearly isn’t inclusive to visually impaired people.
So with 2018, we wave goodbye to clapping — unless waving is also now offensive? We’re not quite sure.
4. Gendered phrases
This was also the year when the PC-brigade tried even harder to get rid of the words ‘woman’ and ‘women’ and replace them with ‘womxn’ because the word women is apparently racist and transphobic. Even some major brands were almost suckered into the PC ploy. If they had their way, we’d also be doing away with words like ‘mother’ and ‘father’ and sticking to the more bland ‘parent’ in a bid to never cause any offense. This follows a 2017 effort to replace the phrase ‘pregnant women’ with ‘pregnant people’ to avoid excluding transgender people.
Oh, and the Nativity’s three wise men? No thank you, this Christmas we’ll have ‘three wise people’ instead.
5. Halloween costumes
Remember those exciting Halloween nights, dressing up as witches and wizards, or re-imagining yourself as a beautiful Pocahontas for the evening? Well, 2018 surely taught you better. Witches are now “culturally offensive” and costumes depicting characters from minority backgrounds are highly problematic. At first, we thought strong female characters like Elsa from Frozen and Moana were wonderful, but we soon discovered that Elsa costumes promote white beauty and Moana costumes promote cultural appropriation. In fact, the many ways in which you could have been unintentionally offensive in 2018 were endless.
6. Animal phrases
Perhaps because we’ve already put an end to all the terms that could offend humans, in 2018 we moved on to animals. Earlier this month, animal welfare organization PETA suggested doing away with certain well-known phrases like ‘kill two birds with one stone’ and ‘bring home the bacon’ and replacing them with more animal-friendly ones like ‘feed two birds with one scone’ and ‘bring home the bagels.’
Now, animal welfare is all well and good, but we’re pretty sure they can’t feel offended by animal-themed idioms.
Words matter, and as our understanding of social justice evolves, our language evolves along with it. Here’s how to remove speciesism from your daily conversations. pic.twitter.com/o67EbBA7H4
— PETA (@peta) December 4, 2018
Fare thee well, simpler times. We’ll miss you.