There is censorship going on at Duke University! Well, it's not that people are... banning speech, exactly. They're just discouraging it. What speech? Oh. Um, telling people "Man up," "That's so gay," and "Don't be a pussy." I know. What will these tyrannical leftist pussies do next?
Two months ago, Duke's website highlighted the work of a new student group that's trying to discourage their peers from using colloquial phraseology that puts down different groups. The student organization, Think Before You Talk, says it's trying to bring "awareness to the misuse of language, and its implications, on Duke's campus."
Other examples of Blue Devils' blue language that they're targeting include "no homo," "that's retarded," "bitch," "fag," and "I just got raped by that test":
So what's the problem? What's wrong with educating people on why it's maybe not cool to say "You're a pussy"? Orwellian censorship, that's what, according to the handful of angry but bizarrely influential righties who got wind of the campaign this week.
"[D]etractors have bristled at the effort, calling it a politically correct war on words that will stifle free speech and suggesting its true aim is to redefine terms to control public opinion and – ultimately – public policy," according to a student for a conservative paper that "broke" the news yesterday.
The intrepid student journalist then reported that reactions to the campaign ran "from sarcastic to disgusted"... at least, that's based on the Facebook comments she saw:
"I can't say anything about an individual person, because it might be construed as offensive to a larger group… even if I had no intention of offending a larger group," asks one Facebook post.
Others balk at the idea of being told how to choose their daily language.
"As a thinking individual, I don't and didn't need some children from Duke University admonishing me for 'thinking any gender is inferior,'" says another. "Do you see what they did there? 'Any gender.' Not 'either gender.' It's all about redefining terms, redefining life."
Some commenters on Facebook hardly took the campaign seriously at all: "There is nothing wrong with being a HOMO. We're all homos… homosapiens."
Somehow, this is a thing for righties now, because the concerned women of ChicksOnTheRight.com took up the mantle. "Seriously? Can we just stop this already? STOP BANNING WORDS, people," the blogger Mockarena gasped, apparently having skipped the college course that enables one to distinguish between banning words and discouraging them through education:
They're clearly just not busy enough, otherwise they wouldn't be so focused on meaningless stupidity like picking out new words to ban. People with Actual Brains don't need a bunch of whiny liberal college kids telling them about gender definitions and what words they can and can't say… They need to man up already, and stop being such pussies.
See, a woman said it, so it's cool. In fact, two women said it, if you include Christina Hoff Sommers, a "resident scholar" at the conservative American Enterprise Institute:
So in 24 hours, this thing goes from a grassroots campaign by student groups to nuts with blogs falsely calling it "banning words" to an esteemed Washington think-tanker highlighting CENSORSHIP and liberal crusades against thoughtcrimes.
I don't like to call people names, but it seems to me all these conservatives are a bunch of thin-skinned 'nillas.