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Measure my Anus

By Mr Grumpy - Fri 15th Jul 2011

One of my most favourite things about life here in Spain is the total lack of, and complete disdain of 'Political Correctness'.

Over recent years the faceless authorities in the UK have gone to such extremes to act with - more still to be 'seen to be act' with - political correctness at all times, that they have gone the full circle and ended up making a complete laughing stock of themselves.

Take the council department that spent tens of thousands of pounds in installing a small satellite office in a larger complex of offices with a disabled ramp - even though the offices were closed to the public and no member of staff employed there used a wheelchair.

The Metropolitan Police ? : Yes, you can have Black Police Officers Association, An Asian Police Officers Association, A Gay Police Officers Association and Women's Police Officers Association. No, you can't have a White PoliceMAN's association as that would be both Racist AND sexist. How so ? Isn't having an association for Asians, or for females discriminating against white people, or men ?

And don't get me started on the fact that we can't even call them PoliceMEN anymore !

(I digress, as usual, and will endeavour to get skilfully back on point... )

Let me give you an example : Spain is, by European standards, a very forward thinking and liberal country - legalising Same sex marriages and awarding same-sex couples the same privileges as all other couples (Notice I resisted the urge to put 'normal couples'), and being openly gay doesn't attract much attention in many places. Especially when you compare it to the Banjo-belt of America.

So being Gay in Spain presents no problem, no affront to your rights etc... live and let live etc... however, Spain is quite capable of being accepting of this without becoming overly 'PC' and become worried about offending anybody.

Only last week a Senior Catholic Priest who had been openly accused of being a homosexual took offence to the slur and invited the waiting ranks of newspaper press and television crew to " Measure my anus ". Far from the comment being explained away as a heat-of-the-moment and off the cuff remark, the Priest actually seemed to think that this fact alone would exonerate him of any such charge. The story featured on the front pages of the newspapers for one day and then was forgotten about. In the UK it would have been headline news for a fortnight, the Gay right movements would be calling for apologies from the Catholic church, and questions would probably be asked in parliament. Was Spain's gay rights movement up in arms ? Not really, they were happy for the old bigot to make an idiot of himself.

Barely a week later, one of the National Newspapers published a series of photographs of Leire Pajin , the Minister for Health, in her Bikini on the Beach. Not only did the accompanying story suggest that she could do with losing a bit of weight, but the next photo zoomed in and circled her spare tyre in red, and then to add insult, the next in the series photo shopped what she may look like if she could be bothered to go on a strict program of diet and fitness. Was the feminist movement kicking off ? Was a senior lawyer gearing up to sue the backsides of the newspaper for hundreds of thousands of Euros ? - Not especially.

Yesterday the press reported how Guardia officers broke into a 4th story apartment after reports of a disturbance, to find the 22 year old female occupant dead, and the intruder escaping out of the window. The Guardia pursued him, he slipped, fell and died. Are the Guardia being investigated by the Police Complaints Authority for their part in causing an unnecessary pursuit that lead to a death ? Nope.

There is no culture of blame and suing for defamation, no culture of people worrying about saying (let alone doing) the right or wrong thing, no tip-toeing around a subject and no calling a Spade a 'Manually operated, Bladed digging implement'.

Sometimes it's nice to keep things in perspective.

Comment on this Blog

Wow! What a post. Political correctness (which I did champion in research I did in the 80īs on the Hispanics in the US) has gone bonkers. When I was an "academic" also known as "thought police operative" we swooped down on any and all offenders in an attempt to eliminate all freedom of opinion and/or humour in the population at large - well, at little, since nobody cares what ivory tower academics have to say. Itīs clear a balance has to be struck and a space for all in a democracy, but yes, you have to be able to take a joke sometimes too.
Mo - Tue, 26th Jul 2011
Blame the Greeks then! Spanish words derived from the Greek, like problema, sistema, programa, idioma, are all masculine. Rules are made to be broken ...
Alcalaina - Fri, 22nd Jul 2011
I'm still looking into who I can sue for psychological damage and sexual discrimination due to the phrase being " EL PromblemA" as opposed to " La ". Why break the grammatical norm ? - It's obviously blatant discrimination by somebody, somewhere...
Mr Grumpy - Fri, 22nd Jul 2011
My guess is that in the late 70s and 80s while we in the US and UK were agonising about whether to say Chairman, Chair or Chairperson, women in Spain were celebrating the return of democracy after 40 years of having no rights whatsoever. Different priorities! But the recent trend of using @ in plural words to indicate people of both genders, instead of defaulting to masculine (e.g. "l@s ciudadan@s" for "citizens") might indicate that we just haven't got there yet?
Alcalaina - Fri, 22nd Jul 2011

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