I am, by all accounts according to neo-liberals who advocate political correctness, a “cisgender, binary person over 65 who is enjoying his golden years before travelling off to the Land of Nod”.
Translation: “He’s a straight, old fuck who is retired, waiting to die.”
Ah, the pleasures of politically correct parlance; how have we survived so long without it? Don’t get me wrong: as someone who has spent a lifetime studying language in many of its shapes and forms, I’m all for clarity, honesty, and inclusion.
Yet, have we now gone a bit too far? Language is ever changing, but for most of us, it is getting very hard to catch up.
Take for example gender designation. On most forms, we had the standard Male, Female, but then came Non-Binary, Transgender, Other, and Prefer Not to Say choices. Fair enough. I totally agree that we should not be defined by our “gender assigned at birth,” and I used to have difficulty with pronoun choices where “she” and “he,” originally designates, have now become “they”. Again, I get what this is about, but it plays chaos with traditional grammar. Do we now say that “they” is waiting for the birth of miracle and wonder (Ferlinghetti)? Oddly, as I was typing this, my built-in grammar check did not recognize this as an error. We have certainly evolved in a short space of time.
Still, politically correct language is a slippery slope to navigate. For example, why is it OK to refer to older women who display and celebrate their sexuality as “Cougars”? Would an older man who had similar traits or inclinations not be called “a horny old goat,” or, in my case according to the many women I have known, simply GOAT?
Similarly, it now seems to be acceptable to call someone “queer,” whereas this was a term of derision less than two decades ago. How has this changed, and why, and is it now for the better? Something to consider. Is “gay” still acceptable, or should one just say their gender preference straight off?
What about using “sexualized” terms? How to keep the neo-liberal watchdogs happy here?
Should penis be renamed as “patriarchal torturer’s device” (also known as PTSD)? The vagina as the “binary birth canal?” A vibrator as a “non-binary blender?” A strap-on penisas a “joystick”?
What about a Jihadist as “an Incel who is Waiting for 40 Virgins to Notice Them?”
And how about masturbation, amusingly referred to sometimes as “spanking the monkey”? In order not to offend these poor animals, should we now refer to it as “Primate pulling,” (something that is offensive to Christians, which, by the way, is OK since Christianity-bashing is acceptable by the savvy Left.)
I believe in “fair trade” sexuality: be whatever, or whoever you want to be; I ultimately don’t care, and neither should you. When you think about it, no one is really interested in your sexual preferences, how you dress, whether or not you have the “tools of the trade” (unless they are consumers, of course).
I was asked recently by an organization of writers of which I am a member about my “gender designation” when I was getting ready to submit my bio to their website. I told them that I prefer to identify as “it/itself,” truly the most gender-neutral designation I could think of, with me giving away nothing and not having my “privates” (or, was that “privacy”?) violated. I received a rather nasty email, suggesting that I not “mock” those who took this matter seriously.
I still have not paid my membership dues, and I realize that an anachronism like me is perhaps best swept under the carpet, left to hibernate in its own den of iniquity.
After reading their indignant letter, I poured myself a drink, rolled a bomber, and took down my copy of The Annotated Grimm’s Fairy Tales, wondering if my research would yield an answer to my many questions about how to be ever vigilant and aware in these oh-so-politically correct times.
I began with the story of “Snow-White and the 7 Vertically- Challenged Cisgenders” and thought long and hard about that Cougar of a wicked stepmother.
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