DELRAY BEACH, FLORIDA – “What’s wrong with them?”
In front of us was a group of young women, tying their surfboards on top of their Jeep.
At first glance, nothing at all. They had come from a nearby surf camp and were enjoying a girls-only holiday.
Some were dressed in shorts and shirts… others, barely dressed at all.
One, standing on the doorframe, stretching to attach the surfboard to the roof, was a picture of health and pulchritude.
She caught our attention. At first, we thought she had forgotten to put on the bottom part of her bathing suit. Then we realized that she was wearing a “string” bikini, scarcely evident to the naked eye.
The skimpy outfits invited attention; but the looks we were getting denied hospitality. We wanted to stare; but we could only get away with a furtive glance.
“What are you doing here?” the scowls seemed to ask.
(It was a public beach. We were checking out the property next door, which is for sale.)
What gives? we wondered…
Whole New World
We have been talking about the future; it is not always better.
Sometimes, technology makes it worse. Sometimes government gets in the way. And sometimes, changes seem to take place with no apparent cause.
To put this into context, we were attending a business conference in Nicaragua; most attendees were in their 20s or 30s.
“You’ve got to be careful,” a colleague began. “It’s a whole new world. These young women have a much different attitude from the older women. They expect to be protected from everything. Including you.”
Your editor was briefly flattered. He’d begun to think he crossed into the age where a man is more likely to be an embarrassment than a threat.
“One of them… an attractive woman… and she wears attractive clothes… complained because the men in the office kept asking her on dates. She said it was a ‘hostile work environment.’”
“It doesn’t sound hostile to me,” we replied. “It sounds friendly.”
“You can’t joke about it,” our friend continued.”
You can’t joke about anything
“I told a joke to a group of employees. I thought it was a harmless, innocent joke. I did it only because they asked me to tell a joke, and it was the only one I could think of. But one of the young women said she found it offensive.
“Here’s the joke. See what you think…
An old woman goes into a bar. She says, “I’ll have sex with anyone who can guess what I have in my handbag.”
One of the guys at the bar tries to humor her. So, he says, “Let me guess. You’ve got an elephant.”
The woman says, “No… but that’s close enough!”
“Is that funny? I don’t know. But I can’t see who could be offended by it.
“That’s the thing. These millennials are hypersensitive. They have no sense of humor. And they have a whole set of politically-correct hot buttons.
“I mean, you can’t say a person is ‘black’ or ‘oriental.’ It doesn’t make sense, because there’s nothing offensive about saying someone is ‘white’ or ‘occidental.’ But you have to say African-American and Asian.
“And you can’t say someone is a ‘Jew.’ You have to say he’s ‘Jewish.’ Again, it doesn’t make sense, because you wouldn’t say someone is ‘Christianish.’
“And you can’t say that someone is ‘fat.’ Or ‘crippled.’ Or ‘retarded.’ Or a ‘half-wit.’ I know you say those things in your Diary… and I guess you get away with it because you’re not writing to young people.
“And don’t call them ‘girls,’” our colleague warned.
“Oh, why not?” we protested, lamely. “I wouldn’t mind if they call me a ‘boy.’”
“Well, you are out of it completely. Young women have somehow managed to make themselves into a ‘victim group.’
“Women live longer… they have more money… they have more education… they elect the president and Congress… but they still think they are victims, entitled to special treatment.
“Victim status means you can’t challenge their claims. If they feel you have a hostile work environment, it IS a hostile work environment.
And it goes beyond just the words
“The kids in public schools aren’t allowed to play tag because it involves touching one another. And they teach them that gender is a choice. Or optional. No wonder they come out with such strange ideas.
“If gender were optional, it wouldn’t make sense to treat women as a victim class.
“After all, they CHOSE to be women, didn’t they? It would be like someone who chooses to a be turkey… and then complains because Thanksgiving is coming.
“But these things don’t have to be logical. These millennials – not just women – think they should be protected from everything. Especially from ideas.
“We had one young woman complain because there was another woman in the office who was pregnant. She said it made her feel uncomfortable to work with someone who was going to have a baby.
“And when we have office events with food, they don’t just want the vegetarian option… but also the gluten-free and lactose-free options.
“It’s getting worse. I had one employee come up to me after you wrote about those monuments in Baltimore that the city had removed.
“She said she didn’t want to work for a racist company. I explained that you were just exploring ideas… and what they mean. And you were entitled to your opinions.
“That’s what freedom of speech is all about. It allows us to speak to one another so that bad ideas, like weeds, are exposed and rooted out.
“But these people don’t want to explore ideas; they want to be protected from them.
“And a lot of things that you and I believe in, such as the First Amendment, freedom, and capitalism, they think are immoral.
“I don’t know where this came from or where it is going… but I bet it’s somewhere I don’t want to go.”
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