Sam Leith’s Sexist Comments

Let me start by saying that I’m sorry. I’m sorry for all the years I spent being an uptight anti-racism warrior, pointing out the flaws in other peoples’ reasoning – mainly by branding them racists. But I’ve come a long way since then and I hope I’m not the only one. Political correctness is horrible.

The BBC has sacked Carol Thatcher, daughter of the infamous former Prime Minister, for saying – off-air – that the hair of a certain tennis player reminded her of a golliwog – that is, a black minstrel doll with certain exaggerated racial traits. Several columnists at the Guardian newspaper have jumped on the bandwagon and have called the remark of 55 year old Thatcher racist. Which of course is the next best thing to calling her a racist.

Let’s just stop and think about that. Writers and journalists are applauding censorship? Since when is censorship a good thing for those of us who earn a living by publicizing our opinions? Today they pull Thatcher from the air, tomorrow they could pull Sam Leith from the paper. After all he has shown himself to be wholly insensitive to the continuing plight of women worldwide:

Since golliwogs allude to an entire history of minstrelsy, patronage and subordination, though, comparing a real person to one carries an entirely different charge than comparing a voluptuous woman to Jessica Rabbit.

Patronage and subordination apparently doesn’t enter into it when a man compares a woman to an exaggeratedly sexual cartoon character, just because she is voluptuous, Mr. Leith? Put yourself in her position for a sec – would you enjoy being likened to a cartoon floozy? And so, with the same pompousness with which you brand Carol Thatcher’s remark ‘racist’ I have branded yours ‘sexist’. I have about as much proof for the sexism in your comment as you have for the racism in Thatcher’s, so I say it’s a fair cop.

This proves that political correctness stifles free speech – even the speech of those who think they are oh-so-correct themselves, like Mr. Leith. For all his carefully cultured correctness – the dodgy haircut, the sloppy shirt, the position at the Guardian, he is still unable to suppress his real personality: a man who looks at a woman and thinks of a cartoon sexbomb.

And that’s my point. We’re human. You too, Mr. Leith, admit it. And humans cannot be expected to live up to the demands of political correctness. Which, in my book, means that political correctness is fairly useless. When someone is really a racist, we’ll pick up on that soon enough. And then we can decide for ourselves whether or not we still want to see this person’s TV programs, or read his or her newspaper columns.


One Comment

  1. How in the world can we examine the roots of unfairness and bias if we sterilize, suppress, and punish those who express themselves in words or in art?

    Selfishly, of course, I want those with power and authority to be more transparent to give us some indication of what their intent might be behind the actions and policy they may make or influence.

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