I had an interesting experience recently. I was at an event where it was mostly family and friends of various family members. Dinner and dancing and dress-up and all.
What was interesting to me (beyond just the event and the decorations and all) was the way (even among friends and family and even at a ‘special’ event) those holding a PC POV on a topic feel compelled to snipe and enforce that it is the right one. While I’m happy to let them think whatever they want to think, I must be “corrected” if I stray too far…
Now in fairness, this was a group rich in Vegetarians, Vegans, and other Left Advocates; and I’m modestly Right (or from their POV Flaming Bigoted Alt-Right Nutjob ;-)
So I made some fairly innocuous statements, each of which got a ‘snipe’ in return.
In one case a bunch of folks where doing a kind of a group rave dance thing. No one person particularly dancing with any other and the usual House Music heavy beat kind of music. Folks generally in their 20s mostly, some 30s?. I commented to another guy (an older bachelor, drifted California Left politically) that there seemed to be a shortage of guys dancing. Since there were about 2 guys and about 15 girls, a simple truth. Now he’s a single guy, and my intent was to encourage him to party too and maybe dance with them. But no. I was “politely scolded” with “They seem to be enjoying themselves just fine.” in a slightly condescending tone. The undertone being that you don’t need guys and girls to dance together… and I was evil for even hinting there was anything wrong. Then after that he seemed to choose to not be near me anymore. I guess I was contaminated…
Later, there was some conversation about one of the ladies who is a 20-something. My daughter’s good friend growing up; I’d known her since she was about 5 but had not seen her in a bunch of years. She has matured to be an absolutely beautiful young woman. She is tall, and with strong facial bone structure, laughing eyes, and what was once called a ‘statuesque’ build. She could be a Vegas Show Girl given her size and looks. Someone said she was studying to be a cook. I said (having grown up in the restaurant business and being a bit more aware of it than most) “You don’t put someone with her looks ‘back of house’, you put them ‘front of house'”. Meaning she has opportunities others do not have and can make a lot more money with a lot less work in a lot more pleasant environment. (I’ve worked in the kitchen. It is NOT pleasant.) Of course, one of the 30 something women at the table ‘corrected’ me with “I think she should do whatever she wants.” Again with a bit of a put-down tone of voice. The Retort Tone. As though I was advocating forcing her to give up a great love of the kitchen for sex slavery… 1/2 /sarc;
Toe that PC line and be hypersensitive to whatever misinterpretation someone might put on your intentions or be a pariah, I guess. The Left and Women’s Issues folks doesn’t ask for expansion or clarification on a point to see if there’s a positive motivation for a comment. They don’t think maybe it’s just a simple statement of how an industry works. No. Assume The Worst and Snipe a retort. Just tedious being around so many eggshells and landmines.
I did manage to avoid asking if there was any butter for the bread or about cream for the coffee or if I could get some cheese grated onto my salad or any of the other few dozen ways anyone who eats normally can get in trouble at a vegan / vegetarian event. (Honey? Don’t you know it’s not vegan and hurts the bees to steal their food!? Is the sugar vegan? Yeah… somewhere in the world some few places use gelatin to clarify the sugar solution prior to crystallization. Never mind that most places just spray dry it. Pay up and pay extra to assure no animal was anywhere near the sugar company or be an evil animal slaughterer… The list goes on… but do be aware a biscuit with butter and honey is Evil!… NO /sarc; )
OK, the event is over and I’ll not see 90% of the people who were there ever again. There’s a 1/2 dozen who are close family I’ll see again, and most of them will accept (i.e. tolerate) me despite my “defects”. Even if with some pity and distance. I’ve generally avoided letting them know how tedious they are or how much they can be oppressive of folks who do not believe their particular (bent?) POV. Being as this is California, and the more Loony Left Silicon Valley part of it, and the Vegan / Vegetarian excess of that, and, well, you get the picture; Given that, I’ve had some practice at ‘getting by’ here. But I think my time in Florida had my camouflage skills get rusty, though. I could just relax there and be me and only occasionally be accused of being Left Wing ;-)
It is an odd effect. Having strong left wing beliefs when in Florida and being seen as a Right Wing Nut in Silly Con Valley. Never actually changing what I believe in the transition. Near as I can tell I’m still the middle of the bird moderate I have been for the last 50 years.
In Florida (and more so in Texas visiting family) needing to not say things like “M.J. ought to be free to sell and grow by anyone” or “The Drug War is a stupid oppressive waste of resources” or “I’d have no problem dating a different race. In fact, I have.” And at the same time needing to be careful in California not to say things like “Maybe folks who are breaking the law to be here ought to go back to their own country and come in legally.” or “Pass the butter, please.” or even “She looks very nice in that dress”…
When did we as a society become so intolerant and in particular, when did The Left decide any stray from the PC Party Line (even one only a fantasy in the mind of the self appointed PC Police) was cause for derision and snide-itude?
I really don’t care if two girls or two guys want to dance together. In fact, I’ve danced with a gay guy. When the music slowed to ‘slow dance’, I decided not to run for the chairs but instead to stay on the dance floor. (Beer was involved and all the girls had run off to the bathroom together… and I really wanted to dance… in my defense… sort of…) Now I found out I really don’t like stubble and guys are not soft enough for my tastes, but still, I was willing to “go there” to find out. So how is it that in Texas and / or Florida that gets me The Hairy Eyeball from one side (they tend to be too polite to openly criticize or ‘correct’), but in California the fact that I decided I had a bit of a “yuck” reaction to beard and don’t like the whole thing gets me whacked from the other?
So here I am, basically middle-of-the-road on a lot of stuff. Left leaning on social issues mostly. Right leaning on money issues and rule of law, mostly. So both sides hate me. Sigh. But in California it is the incessant Left Wing Landmines you must watch out for, so that’s what I’ve stepped on mostly lately.
But it does get tedious dealing with the sniping and eggshell strewn culture.