It’s curious when people find a joke so offensive their immediate reaction is to discuss it in detail with as many people as possible. Some would say that this is counterproductive, like buying a Dixie Chicks CD in order to smash it in front of news cameras. However without bemoaning the transgression to your sensibility how else could people know how moral you are? How thoughtful you are, how compassionate, you are a defender to the little people, that you are the champion of the downtrodden. Those of the offended moral class are compelled to run to the top of the mountain and shout “what was said I DO NOT LIKE.” Which is fine really, embarrassing to behold as being offended by words is the ultimate first world problem. In the free market of ideas your butthurt can be heard, you will not be censored those of quick, strong feelings. You are acting like cunts though.
Quvenzhané Wallis isn’t a cunt, that is the joke. Ostensibly you did not like the joke which the common reaction would be to not laugh. Presumably you did not like that joke because it used a mean word at a black female child. Bill Watterson, the creator of Calvin and Hobbes, wrote this on controversy over his January 7th, 1987 strip:
Some readers felt I was maligning adoption by placing into the same context as child labor and cannibalism. I thought the juxtaposition was ludicrous enough that no one could take it seriously. As I learned, some people take everything seriously.
The Onion tweet the night of the Academy Awards is so outlandishly ludicrous that it is obvious to everyone that it is sarcasm. No rational person actually believes The Onion is of the earnest opinion that not only is Ms. Wallis a cunt but we all are secretly thinking it. A mild Oscars example of this kind of humour was when Glen Hansard won an academy award with Marketa Irglova for Best Original Song in 2008. After Glen’s heartfelt and humble speech Jon Stewart quipped; “Wow that guy is so arrogant.” Jon Stewart had to pause and wait for the laughter to die down. In spirit Jon Stewart’s joke is the exact same as The Onion’s. So with the collective knowledge that The Onion was sarcastically joking why is there still this, albeit narcissistic, outrage?
Now to all, the offended and the rest, not a single person thinks Ms. Wallis is being called sarcastically a vagina and therefore she is a penis. That understanding would be absurd. The Onion rather was referring to cunt meaning a disparaging term for a person one dislikes or finds extremely disagreeable. If there is any sexism here it is the North American attitude that the most offensive of all words is a negative representation strictly of the female genitalia, reinforced in women’s culturally manufactured body shame.
The mountain top pearl clutchers, hoarse of voice are upset because the joke was aimed at a young black child. Even that the joke is a compliment, she is universally liked would be the bland translation, people are coming to her defense. This outrageously accomplished actor is reduced to a demographic, a demographic that apparently needs to be spoken for? If one was to be known as the least racist person they would have to identify potential racism at every opportunity. Although the joke is complementary and makes no mention of gender or race, those of the moral class need to tell us this has everything to do with gender and race. Paternalism limits an individual or group’s liberty or autonomy presumably for their own good. When Quvenzhané Wallis as an actor who has reached the pinnacle of her profession is reduced to a demographic she becomes something that needs to be protected. She is no longer exalted but she is needful, she needs the faux umbrage brigade of paternal narcissists to protect her from the world of words. Her flexing biceps and accomplishments serve her no good as she is just a young black child who needs to be condescendingly protected.
“Would you say that about a white child?” the straw man creators query. Sure one could as some white children are privileged cunts, their lives on the easiest setting. However it would be rude to call cunty children cunts. Although there are horrible things written in earnest all the time paternalism dictates a vulgar complement in this demographic profile case deserves the pitchforks. As the author Teju Cole explains in his deconstruction of the Invisible Children Charity:
This world exists simply to satisfy the needs—including, importantly, the sentimental needs—of white people and Oprah. The White Savior Industrial Complex is not about justice. It is about having a big emotional experience that validates privilege.
In this attention based economy those broadcasting from the mountain are branding themselves the keeper of morals, the protector of the made needy. “Look upon us you lowly racist misogynists and know we are your betters” they chide us. “Please also click on our banner advertisements and congratulate us on our compassion.”
Hey Ms. Wallis this funny newspaper made a joke about how everyone thinks you’re awesome but to do so they called you a mean word. How do you feel about that? If you beat a burly man in an arm wrestling match and were jokingly called a weakling is that okay?
Political Correctness is pretending to have the final say over an issue while contributing nothing to a solution. People being merely offended lack the power to change the world, offense alone cannot end misogyny, racism or the mistreatment of children. Often being offended is the process of ignoring real problems, sanitizing the injustices of life to mere words that should be deleted. The offended are very interested in cosmetic changes. By censoring all allusions to black female children other than the bland they can sleep soundly pretending they’ve superficially made the world better. They’re just so great those first world denizens of umbrage, they’re just so great.