The times are changing and it seems like a day can’t go by without the PC brigade getting up in the air about one thing or another.
Gone are the days when people could laugh at themselves or make a comment about what’s happening in the world without being accused of racism, sexism or offending a group of people. What’s more is things that were once deemed innocent are now banned or associated with corrupting society.
In an exclusive report by the Daily Telegraph, well-known Australian figures including three premiers, business execs, sport stars, famous celebrities and even a Victorian Cross winner are calling for Australians to return to a time of “common sense”. Whether it’s former prime minister John Howard warning Australians to expect even more political correctness or TV star and journalist Ita Buttrose slamming a ban on toy guns and parliament sex bans, many high-profile Australians have seemingly had a gut full of today’s PC standards.
An array of others including Blanche d’Alpuget, John Burgess, Dick Smith and Prue MacSween have also called for an end to the PC madness. Recently, actor John Wood told Starts at 60 that society is too quick to jump down people’s throats over little things.
“We used to be able to laugh at ourselves and each other very easily,” he said. “A lot of Australian humour comes from British sensibilities, but now most of the stuff I thought was fairly innocent [isn’t appropriate now].”
So what are some examples of politically correctness going absolutely mad in recent times?
Toy weapons such as mock pirate swords, bows and arrows and toy guns were restricted from childcare centres across New South Wales earlier this month, with the Australian Childcare Alliance NSW hinting the toys could promote violence and “warlike” behaviour.
Many Baby Boomers played games like cops and robbers as kids, but the ban could mean that these games are a thing of the past.
Retail stores also felt the backlash of the PC brigade, with sleepwear brand Peter Alexander being forced to remove a boys jumper from its collection after a worried parent complained the clothing item in question contained a “sexist statement”.
The jumper, which featured a slogan, “boys will be boys”, was slammed by a mother, who accused the store of excusing bad behaviour by boys and that the message wasn’t a step in the right direction. Peter Alexander apologised and said it didn’t tolerate the behaviour being associated with the slogan.
Even the past isn’t safe of the PC police, with famous American author Laura Ingalls Wilder recently being stripped of a children’s literature award. Despite the Little House on the Prairie books being regarded as literary classics, the American Library Association said reflections of life in the 1800s and views of indigenous people are now outdated.
“Her works reflect dated cultural attitudes towards indigenous people and people of colour that contradict modern acceptance, celebration and understanding of diverse communities,” ALA President Jim Neal and ALSC President Nina Lindsay said at the time.
Meanwhile, A British mother called for classic childhood fairy tale Sleeping Beauty to be banned from schools, claiming that the Prince in the story is actually sexually assaulting the princess because he didn’t ask Sleeping Beauty if he could kiss her.
Other stories from the past year include a married couple being kicked out of a petting zoo for not having children, the walking man symbol at traffic lights being accused of discrimination, supermarkets selling gender-neutral cards on Mother’s Day and even the national anthem being banned from some ACT schools because it is deemed offensive.