Monday, January 23, 2012

New in PC: Cougars are Offensive

It's been said that the best defense is a good offense, but a new school in Utah is afraid of being offensive. Students of the school voted that their mascot should be the Cougars, but the school bored rejected the selection because it may be offensive to middle aged women. In case you didn't know an alternate definition of this term is "a middle-aged woman seeking a romantic relationship with a younger man."

Is this offensive? Not having been appointed to the PC thought police I guess I can't answer, but it would seems to me that the above definition has to parts to it. The first part is being a middle aged woman. Of course a person's sex and age are accidents of birth, but the second part is different. "Seeking a romantic relationship with a younger man" is an action, a desire, a choice. It requires volition on part of the subject. If a woman chooses something for herself, will she be offended by it? I would guess that not to be the case unless she had some sort of self loathing psychosis. Either way, I don't see it as any of my business. (Maybe that's why I was never appointed to the PC thought police.)

Offensive? It certainly is as suggestive as the Gamecocks or the Trojans, and somehow Santorum is mentioned all the time without being censored.

The author of the blog linked to above also offered some commentary that I found curious:
More significantly, why would the board even offer "Cougars" as a potential mascot choice if it wasn't prepared to accept it? That lack of logic is positively baffling. Surely everyone could have saved themselves a lot of face if they simply had not allowed prospective students to choose to be the Cougars in the first place.
In essence, the author claims that it's quite acceptable that the plurality of students didn't their desired choice. (In fact, the majority would not get their choice. "The Cougars" won with only 23 percent.) The author seems comfortable with those who are in control manipulating the choices so they get the result that they desire. My first reaction was that this was another example that the average person doesn't know what in his own best interest, but this reminds me more of electoral politics where you get two choices with only trivial differences between them. No one likes either choice so you vote for the lesser of two evils. Then the average person is told: "You had a choice. You made a difference. You're special!"

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