Richard Littlejohn is a git. No shit, Sherlock! In other news today, the Pope just happens to be catholic and bears.. . well, we all know what bears get up to.
So is there any point in highlighting the fact that the man is what Merriam-Webster otherwise define, quaintly, as a “rotter: a person who is deemed to be despicable or contemptible”?
Actually, yes. Because the bottom line, the quintessential question is: what sort of a git is he?
To which the answer, I think, has to be a RUDE git. Which is both true and important when it comes to understanding the self-righteous sputterings of the political-correctness-gone-mad brigade.
I was prompted to write by a line from his column in today’s Mail. Writing – tirading! – at length about the idiocies of diversity insofar as they afflict the 2012 Games, he came up with this gem, an example of what he considers political correctness so insane it wouldn’t even make it into a spoof TV show:
“For instance, Twenty Twelve would be hard-pressed to come up with an episode in which Olympic volunteers were issued with official advice about what to do if a man in a dress approaches them asking the way to the toilets. But that’s precisely what has happened.
“‘Do not make an assumption about their gender unless directed by their name. If you are asked, provide instructions to the male/female and accessible toilets.’”
Hilarious, no? Ridiculous? Er, no. Not in the least.
What Littlejohn actually means is that if officials encounter someone whose attire is not entirely consistent with other gender cues, they should just plunge in headfirst and decide they know best what gender that individual aspires to.
That’s grief for the trans community. But equally an issue for anyone who doesn’t do standard gender presentation: has definitely proved problematic for individuals who identify as butch.
And in an environment where a whole bunch of people from different cultures with entirely global ideas about the link between dress and gender are milling around, could lead to any number of additional mistakes.
So, you know what: the thing to do in such situations is to BE POLITE.
And that’s what gets my goat about this stupidism of Littlejohn’s. There are many occasions where a particular diversity initiative has impliations for the public purse – no matter how small. That shoehorns it, however much minorities themselves may quibble, into the arena of public interest: gives the likes of Littlejohn a license to write about it.
But this? What cost is there to anyone if official hosts for the Games are reminded that being polite is positive – and that politeness includes not making assumptions about people where you have a clue that doing so might upset.
It is a so important point.
Because a very great deal of what minorities have asked, are asking, is not special privilege, but simply to be treated with ordinary everyday decency.
I’ll end with a couple of alternative definitions of git, which seem equally apposite. From the Urban Dictionary:
– A completely ignorant, childish person with no manners.
– Total and utter tosser who is incapable of doing anything other than annoying people, and not in a way that is funny to others.
I rest my case…