Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Pussy Generation

Beyond the controversy...

Of all the silly terms that men have used throughout history [such as ‘Baby Boomers’ & ‘Generation X’], to mask their narcissism and validate their inadequacies, perhaps ‘Pussy Generation’—borne of a debatable political outburst—is the most apt.

The term, Baby Boomers, is generally used in reference to the people who were born (approximately between 1946 and 1964) during the post-World-War II baby boom demographicBut the follow-up cohort, Generation X, has been used at various times to describe alienated youth - a generation that has become adept at playing victim. A generation that  has always had scorn for convention, and in spite of everything, is capable of taking on the impossible and beating it. This is the generation that turned the digital evolution into a full-blown internet revolution. And then, having successfully shattered myths, it stopped seeing the X as an unknown variable but as a desire not to be defined. Thus, freedoms were won, rights acquired, goals attained, sensibilities were heightened. In the process, notably, sexuality became fluid and political correctness was entrenched.

Then the bomb dropped as a new cohort - Pussy Generation - enters the fray, suggesting that perhaps this generation has all along been called by the  wrong name
Clint Eastwood
“We’re really in a pussy generation,” Clint Eastwood, actor and Academy Award-winning director, said in a magazine interview. “Everybody’s walking on eggshells,” he lamented, and this exaggerated sensibilities, according to him, is creating havoc in society. But, “secretly, everybody’s getting tired of political correctness. We see people accusing others of being racist and all kinds of stuff. When I did ‘Gran Torino,’ even my associate said, ‘This is a really good script, but it’s politically incorrect.’ And I said, ‘Good. Let me read it tonight.’ The next morning, I came in and I threw it on his desk and I said, ‘We’re starting this immediately.’” 

The principal attraction to Donald Trump, many supporters say,
is that he is just about the only public figure willing to speak frankly.
Kyle Smith, writing in the New York Post, thinks Eastwood might be right. 
Generation X, the generation that had political correctness beaten into it at college, is now in charge of huge swathes of the media. Generation P (The Pussy Generation), which is even more easily offended, is rising to positions of influence. Together they’ve brought to the nation the campus mindset of going completely bonkers over random remarks—even if meant in jest—deemed insensitive to
one group or another.” 

He also notes that Eastwood has somehow pinpointed the principal attraction of the
 Brendan Eich, a co-founder of Mozilla; Milo Yiannopoulos,
a conservative journalist, and Tim Hunt, a Nobel laureate
republican nominee, Donald Trump.
“These days,” said Smith. “A Nobel laureate (Tim Hunt) can lose his job for making a joke about women overreacting to criticism, a Twitter user (Milo Yiannopoulos) can be permanently banned from the service for razzing an actress and the co-founder of Mozilla (Brendan Eich) can be chased out of his own company for having held the same position on gay marriage that Barack Obama had at the time.”

It must be said, though, that internet trolling is as obnoxious as the political correctness (and the exaggerated sensibilities) that Eastwood denounced.

Kevin Roberts, Saatchi & Saatchi's chairman
However, Smith, buttressing his argument, explained that just as Eastwoods controversial interview was being published, a case in point came to public attention. Kevin Roberts, chairman of the advertising company, Saatchi & Saatchi, lost his job for saying that women do not occupy as many leadership roles as men because they don’t have the same "vertical ambition, even though a    
Harvard Business School study (written by three women) share that same view.

So, is it safe to say that if society’s sensibilities were a bit more refined, some of Trump’s outrageous remarks would not have kicked up a dust, and therefore would not have increased his appeal among those who are tired of walking on eggshells?

Ellen DeGeneres
But what about the Ellen DeGeneres case? The talk-show host, surprise, surprise, was accused of being racist because she used a photo-shopped image to make a comical point. She had tweeted a meme of herself riding on Usain Bolts back in a hilarious celebration of Bolt’s athletic performance at the Rio Olympics. It turned out that the sensibilities of certain internet users were too fragile to condone the sight of a comedienne (who happens to be white) riding on the back of the world’s fastest man (who happens to be black).

Now, while the so called checks and balances of the internet in our social media-obsessed society appear to be healthy, it still remains one of the uncountable wonders of the Pussy Generation that someone saw racism, and not humor, in that meme. 

What is not surprising, however, is a 2015 Rasmussen poll that found that 71% of American adults think political correctness is a problem in the country, while only 18% disagree and 10% remain undecided. 
Maybe Clint Eastwood wasn’t exaggerating when he said that “Everybody’s walking on eggshells.” Maybe he was right, after all, that secretly, people are tired of political correctness.” 

Truth is: not everything race-related is racist. And not every political incorrectness is wrong. Whatever your take... Welcome to the Pussy Generation.