I celebrate Chanukah, the more low-key Festival of Lights. I appreciate it when people wish me a Happy Chanukah – really. By the same token, if I know someone celebrates Christmas, I wish them a Merry one. I don’t go for the Happy Holiday thing unless I’m not sure what that particular person celebrates. I wish my Muslim friends an Eid Mubarak when it is their holiday. I firmly believe that it is politically correct to offer wishes in the manner that the person celebrates. I also know some people that are Jehovah’s Witnesses and I don’t wish them anything at the holidays, nor do I wish them a happy birthday. It is about respecting people’s beliefs, not watering them down.
If you speak to most people who are minorities in Canada, most feel the same way. My Jewish and Muslim friends appreciate and enjoy other people’s traditions. If truth be told, it is extreme political correctness that is ruining the holidays. I’ve written about my thoughts on this before (holiday trees? Please, it’s a Christmas tree) but now, the sensitive, participation award winning people of the world are trying to ban “Baby It’s Cold Outside” and Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer (the cartoon). “Baby It’s Cold Outside” is said to have questionable lyrics about consent and little Rudolph because it features verbal abuse and bullying.
Here is the truth – “Baby It’s Cold Outside” does feature questionable lyrics, but who really pays attention? Lady Gaga and Joseph Gordon-Levitt performed it on The Muppets with the Lady herself singing the traditionally male part of the duet. Rudolph actually has an anti-bullying message with the one thing that makes the adorable little reindeer different being the very thing that saves the day (his bright red nose) – a positive message for any child who feels different.
Can we not just live and let live? It is up to the individual to decide what messages a song carries. If those particular lyrics are an issue, how about some very misogynistic Rap or Hip-Hop lyrics? Should we ban 80’s music too? “Every Breath You Take” is about stalking if you read the lyrics as is “Hungry Like the Wolf” by my beloved Duran Duran. Are you doubting me? How about this:
Stalked in the forest too close to hide
I’ll be upon you by the moonlight side
A little creepy, isn’t it? How about “Your So Vain” by Carly Simon? It’s about Warren Beatty and if you think about it is bullying him. How about any song Taylor Swift does? It’s usually a revenge song against one of her ex-boyfriends – does that not qualify as bullying? There is also “Cake By The Ocean” by DNCE with these lyrics:
Not so serious, girl, why those feet cold?
We just getting started, don’t you tiptoe
I could go on and on, but you get the idea. I do not want any song banned unless it promotes hate. Certain songs, like the ones I’ve noted or “Baby It’s Cold Outside” are of the time that they were created in and people should understand that and stop reading too much into things. This hyper-political correctness is often to detriment of the causes that they are trying to support as a select few take it seriously. Many causes, including the #MeToo and other Women’s Rights movement are so important, but what starts out in such a promising way, gets watered down when they take things too far. It is about gender equality, not female superiority. Many women have been harassed and you know when it is happening, but I have had male friends who are ardent supporters of women’s rights called out for innocently touching a woman on the arm or for opening a door for them.
Why can we just not let people judge for themselves what is appropriate? If you don’t like “Baby It’s Cold Outside” or “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” turn off the radio and TV respectively. Vote with ratings – not by doing something that is not in the interest of anyone. Remember, book banning and burning was part of the Holocaust and the Taliban rule of Afghanistan. You might think it’s an extreme comparison, but when you start banning things, and subscribing to a mob mentality – this is the result. I know that some smart aleck out there will say “What about if this was Mein Kempf if you believe in freedom of speech?” Again, there is a difference between hate propaganda and freedom of speech. I absolutely agree that people are entitled to freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression as laid out in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but that means everyone, not a select few who force their will on others.
Let people enjoy their holidays including Christmas and lives – and while you have the right to express yourself, remember that the message is lost when it’s taken too far, like it has been lately.