Once again the American Civil Liberties Union has stomped all over a host of people's rights in favour of a complaint from one person. Seemingly in the States, 'father-daughter' dances have been popular for decades, along with 'mother-son' baseball games. But a single mother came up with the idea that this was somehow discriminatory (to her and her child) and as a result, in one school district these popular events have been banned. No discussion, no thought as to creative ways to make a single parent feel included, but banned. Yup, that's the way to go. It's Political Correctness as its intolerant best.
Got lots of people enjoying something? Ban it: it must be upsetting someone.
In the Otago Daily Times this morning we had a tongue-in-cheek opinion piece on a similar piece of PC-ness that occurred last week, when a couple of city councillors (themselves not young people, by any means) called themselves (and fellow councillors) slightly derogatory names. One male councillor referred to himself and others as 'us old fellas', while a female councillor referred to herself and them as 'old farts.' World-shattering.
In spite of neither of them causing any offence to other councillors, someone at Age Concern Otago got herself into a knot and complained about the 'deprecating comments' - they were insulting old people (sorry, chronologically challenged people) she claimed. Unbelievably, the female councillor apologised (that's the way these PC folk get you on the downward slide: making you apologise for something that wasn't offensive in the first place), while the male councillor wisely told the ACO person to get a life.
The ACO person said the phrases were ageist. Yup, that's right: anything with the word 'old' in it is likely to appear on the ageist indicator. But curiously enough, old people are old. I call myself old all the time - because I am. That doesn't stop me from behaving like a twenty-year-old when I want. So what?
We're so concerned about upsetting someone these days that we've lost our sense of humour (and all those great jokes that include three people of different nationalities, or mothers-in-law, or Irishmen, or Australians). These things aren't insulting: they're part of life. The ACLU is a group that's widely known for its total inability to see anything as funny; seems like the lady from ACO is leaning in the same direction.