In a World Where Everything is OffensiveOctober 29th, 2013
World, you are sucking the fun out of every last thing. It’s exhausting. Everything we enjoyed as children is being eliminated by the special interest group it offends. I just don’t know where it stops.
I see value in being culturally respectful. In not dressing as something that is wide spread known as offensive. As a privileged white Canadian, I am not even going to pretend to understand the feelings associated with seeing your culture bastardized in the Halloween spirit. I see where this is wrong, on a global level, and why education and discussion around why we shouldn’t do this is important.
However, there seems to be no end to what is considered offensive to someone. Nurses complain that people dress up as them because they are a profession that should be taken seriously. Hobos and vagrants are a reflection of poverty in our society, so you shouldn’t make light of that either. Vegans complain that people dress up like food animals because it further puts those animals into a category separate from reality, separate from the problems they see with the slaughter. Elderly people don’t want young people to dress up as old people, because it belittles and makes a joke out of them, which they fear will spill into everyday life, leaving small children mocking the elderly.
And listen, if your children are mocking the elderly, it isn’t because someone dressed up as an old lady for a Halloween party, it’s because you’ve failed to teach them how to respect other humans.
Doesn’t it all seem a bit ridiculous?
In case you’re sitting there thinking I’m being insensitive, let me give you an even more ludicrous example: I am a tall person, and thus, I don’t think anyone should be allowed to wear stilts. Stilts make light of the differences I’ve face in my life; always being taller than everyone in school, never being able to find pants, towering over everyone should I choose to wear heels. I’ve heard comments all my life about my height, how I must be able to see for miles, wondering how the air is up here, asking me to let them know when it rains. It’s offensive, and thus, me and all the other tall people would like to outlaw the use of stilts as part of any costume, it just belittles our plight.
This is my point. There has to be an end. We messed up the world so badly, we’ve let cruelty, racism, and bigotry get out of hand. We’re clambering to regain control, to change the trajectory, to make the world a better, more tolerant place for people in all shapes, forms, sizes and appearances. This is a good thing when it addresses real social ills, but it gets out of hand when we start having special interest groups for everything possible.
I don’t claim to have the answers. And as I sit from my place of white middle class privilege, I don’t claim to understand how seeing someone dressed in a certain costume could hurt me. I for one am more offended by the constant princess propaganda that surrounds my child in every facet of her life than I am of her thinking a guy dressed up like a hobo on Halloween is funny, but that’s just me.
Let’s not suck every ounce of fun out of everything trying to make the world a better place. I don’t want to see the day when Halloween costumes are handed out by the government, one size, colour and type for everyone. Creativity is important, especially to our children.