When did we all become so hypersensitive?
|Kat von D|
Personally, I just think it’s a dumb name for a lipstick, but offensive? Some people got their panties all up in a twist, claiming it was a slur on the “mentally challenged” (because no one is just “retarded” anymore), prompting Sephora to pull the lipstick off the shelves.
Use of the words “nigger,” “kike,” “spic,” “mick” and “wop” and "fag" is and has been offensive for as long as I can remember. Although, considering how old I am – Wait, is it still okay to say “old”? Or is the accepted term now “aged?” Perhaps “lifespan-challenged.” Anyway, for as long as I can remember those words have been verboten, unless you happen to be a member of one of those groups and then you get a pass, but only when referring to one of your own. Still, I cringe whenever I hear them, no matter from whose lips. Why? Not because of the words themselves, but because of the intent behind them, which is most often meant to demean and cause pain.
However, the politically-correct wave that is currently sweeping the nation has me flummoxed. “Oriental” is out. “Asian” is in. “Indian” is out. “Native American” is in. “Negro” has been out for a long time, then “Black” was in, followed by “African-American” and now the all-inclusive “People of Color.” I, however, am still just plain “white,” which basically means I’m a mongrel, a mutt. Much like “Wonder Bread,” who the hell knows what’s in there? Go ahead and call me "honkie" if you want, but you’ll have to do better than that to offend me. Poverty offends me. Intentional cruelty offends me. Rush Limbaugh offends me. Names? Not so much.
While our society is mired in such minutiae, the big shit is kicking our asses. We deny "welfare" to people in need, but billions in "subsidies" to corporations? No problem. We always have money for war, but not for education. We claim to honor our vets, while cutting benefits to military families. But hey -- as long as we're polite about it.
I'm a writer. I know words matter. I understand their use in eliciting emotional responses, but I would never create a character that stubs her toe and plunges into months of depression, because if later in the story that same character loses a child, I've got nowhere to go.
Kat von D had no intent or desire to hurt or demean anyone: “It’s just a fucking lipstick!” I agree, and urge Sephora to reissue it under the name, “Much Ado About Nothing.”
Enjoy this famous skit from SLN between Chevy Chase and Richard Pryor, because it would never make it onto television today.