The New Normal? It’s Rude and I Don’t Like It!

 

This week in my Twitter feed, I saw Stormy Daniels and comedienne Kathy Griffin posing and “flipping the bird”; their caption using an obscene hashtag directed towards Donald Trump. Now, both women have been in some hot water for past vulgar criticisms of the sitting President, but this particular act went without reprimand and even received praise.

Earlier in the week, I opened my Twitter app and immediately had a picture of a man with a bearded face staring back at me with an intense glare, raising his middle finger. That man was Pennsylvania House Representative, Brian Sims, and his gesture was not towards me personally, but to Vice President, Mike Pence.

While I felt as if I had to choose between the lesser of two evils in the 2016 election, I would not go as far as to say I am a “Never Trumper.” I certainly have my reservations about him; however, I have been pleasantly surprised with some things, too. This is not my point, and I do not have a problem with criticism towards any political figure. My problem is with the lack of tact in recent years. Perhaps I am old-fashioned, but since when has it been acceptable for women such as Daniels and Griffin, to earn praise for acting like … well … “Nasty Women?”

I am not saying I am perfect, in fact, I do swear often, but there are times and places where the language and gesticulations are disgusting, rude, and uncalled for. I am 36 years old, and if my mother heard me talk like that, or make an offensive motion – let alone in the public square – she would be mortified and very angry with me. Mr. Sims’s act is even more egregious, as he is supposed to be a representative for the people. I obviously do not live within his district, but if I did, I would not want him to be speaking for me even if I agreed with him politically.

The number one place where I do not want to hear copious amounts of profanity and political criticism? The office.

I work in a legal office, where tempers and frustrations run high. I have been in this career for about a dozen years, and am no stranger to hearing someone drop an expletive now and then. It is possible I am more aware of it now that I am older, or because I am working on a postgraduate degree and trying to “increase my word power,” or because I have always been of the mind that there are millions of other words one could use in place of that one. Nevertheless, it seems like the filler word “like” has been replaced with an obscenity most, if not all, of the time.

Further, I was taught throughout my life (and again, I am not that old) that politics and religion were “taboo” outside of the home. While I do understand that more people have an interest in the political atmosphere, and I think that is a good thing, there is still a time and a place where it is highly inappropriate.

For example, the day after the election, I was in the kitchen area putting my lunch in the shared refrigerator, when two attorneys were getting coffee. One said to the other, “It is a sad day, today,” and went on to say that anybody who voted for Trump was an “idiot” and “had no critical thinking skills.” Of course, I took offense to this because it was my demographic he was talking about, but I did not want to out myself. I strongly feel that my political affiliations are not my coworkers’ business (nor do I want to know about theirs). Regardless of my leanings, it was still uncomfortable for me and the other attorney in the kitchen. I simply said, “I really do not think this is an appropriate topic for the office.” I knew that was going to give him a hint, but frankly, I just was tired of hearing his monologue. Surprisingly, the other attorney (who I know for a fact was a huge Hillary Clinton supporter) agreed with me, saying, “That’s actually a good point, let’s get back to work.” This only further proved to me that there is still a notion that we should keep opinions to ourselves in certain settings.

In a meeting on Tuesday, we were jovially talking about the weather and the delicious lunch, among other things, when the same person began talking about his recent vacation to see his grandchildren. He said that his granddaughter had a doll she named “Donna Trump.” Another coworker made the comment, “Is that the doll that kills all the other dolls?” I could have made a snarky comment like, “No, that’s her Hillary doll,” but why should I? Again, it draws attention to where I stand, which is nobody’s business, and it has nothing to do with the meeting. Furthermore, I am certain that if I had made a comment like that, I would be the one reprimanded in the boss’s office later, like I was for sending an officewide email out to collect magazines for the troops (but I digress).

My long-winded point here is that we are faced with classless remarks regardless of whom it is aimed towards. Nobody acts with an ounce of decorum anymore, and I for one am sick and tired of the free for all. Not only does it appear to be a double standard for Conservatives, it is just plain tiresome and unpleasant constantly these days.

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  1. CarolJoy Coolidge
    CarolJoy
    @CarolJoy

    Dorrk (View Comment):

    About 15 years ago a friend of mine brought his girlfriend to dinner to meet our social circle for the first time. I’m fairly sure he — a despondent Nader voter in 2000 — told her beforehand that most of us were moderates-to-conservatives.

    She wore a big black button on her sweater thad said “F@#K BUSH!” (Character substitutions mine. The button was in plain English.)

    They’re married now, but, thankfully, have moved to a different state.

    It’s hard to offend me, but I’m often surprised at the lack of filters some people have in situations where I would never dream to say anything profane. This same friend once volleyed a series of F-word laden reprimands at his mother, in front of me, for no good reason whatsoever.

     

    One last little anecdote, which happened recently: my daughter just completed 8th grade. She has a fun group of friends who are all boys. I know what boys are like at that age (well, maybe not post-millennial boys), but they all have nice parents and are extremely respectful toward our daughter. Occasionally we hear an off-color joke from one of them, but it doesn’t bother me at all.

    They had some school projects due near the end of the year and one of her male friends made a video presentation. She helped him out by acting in it. His dad sent us the video file a few days before it was due. I don’t think he had watched it. While there was nothing questionable in the content of the video, the very opening title said, “Sex Candles Presents…” with porny music playing behind it.

    While I might well have made a similar joke at age 14 I would NEVER have put that title on something that a teacher or parent would see. This kid is so quiet and reserved that it came as a double surprise. We pointed this bit out to his dad, and I think it was changed before it was turned in, but, really. The floodgates appear to have opened to the point that there is now no general sense of appropriate settings.

    Please be sure and enjoy all this. (Sure sounds like you do!) If I could somehow have frozen my son’s fun times in HS I would have. Still have fond memories of one of his girl buddies who was bowling with a gang of kids and me. And she “forgot” to take her finger out of the ball before she served it, so she, the ball and her fanny did this amazing dance down the bowling lane. Talk about laughing til you cried.

    • #31
  2. DrewInWisconsin Member
    DrewInWisconsin
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Jules PA (View Comment):
    What if the impending blue wave is just buffoonery, because people start reacting to the hatefulness of the left.

    That certainly seems to be the case. There will be no blue wave this fall, and the behaviors and fixations of the Democrats suggest they are intent on making it not happen.

    • #32
  3. Jules PA Inactive
    Jules PA
    @JulesPA

    DrewInWisconsin (View Comment):

    Jules PA (View Comment):
    What if the impending blue wave is just buffoonery, because people start reacting to the hatefulness of the left.

    That certainly seems to be the case. There will be no blue wave this fall, and the behaviors and fixations of the Democrats suggest they are intent on making it not happen.

    Good. I hope that happens. I’m embarrassed to say I will enjoy their apoplectic response should that happen. Quietly of course.

    There is no need for violence. Let their behavior be your guide. 

    Laughably, I remember in 2016 the circulation of that poem First they came for…

    The Left simply proves, every day, that no-one is safe from their hate. It’s just a matter of time until you aggrieve their despotic need for compliance.

    Off with your head, so to speak.

    👑💕

    • #33
  4. Rocket Surgeon Inactive
    Rocket Surgeon
    @RocketSurgeon

    ErinGoBoro: In a meeting on Tuesday, we were jovially talking about the weather and the delicious lunch, among other things, when the same person began talking about his recent vacation to see his grandchildren. He said that his granddaughter had a doll she named “Donna Trump.” Another coworker made the comment, “Is that the doll that kills all the other dolls?” I could have made a snarky comment like, “No, that’s her Hillary doll,” but why should I?

    An approach that may work to handle that would be to innocently ask that co worker “why in the world would you say that?” and depending on their reply, keep asking why…; how do you know that…; until it becomes uneasy for them to admit their prejudice.  Won’t always work – depends on the crowd. With only questions, I’ve managed to get a whole group of people like that mad at me. 

    • #34
  5. Rocket Surgeon Inactive
    Rocket Surgeon
    @RocketSurgeon

    ErinGoBoro (View Comment):
    I feel like I’m in a room with a bunch of children who never got one iota of discipline in their lives.

    You got it – that says it all.

    • #35
  6. Jon1979 Inactive
    Jon1979
    @Jon1979

    PedroIg (View Comment):

    BTW, this behavior is not coming only from Progressives. I’ve seen several Libertarian (and even some conservative) FB posts rife with uncivil language and the accompanying vulgarisms. I think it’s just the current state of our political discourse. Or should I say discourse, full stop? I don’t know what happens when some people get behind a keyboard, but it seems to transform otherwise decent people into feral creatures.

    On the ‘angry libertarian’ side, a lot of the angry people who backed Ron Paul in 2008 and 2012 more for the anger than the libertarian economic policy gravitated over to Trump in 2016, because he was the angriest candidate in that GOP field, as Rand Paul tried to moderate his persona in order to expand the base of voters his father had in the previous two Republican primaries.

    As it turned out he didn’t gain all that much outside of the pure libertarians and lost the (larger, as it turned out) angry crowd to Trump, who was able to build up a larger coalition than Ron Paul ever did because he had been in the spotlight for 38 years before then, and felt more familiar to enough people to take the nomination and then the election. But the larger coalition also was due in large part to more people on the right deciding the were tired of the double-standard that Mitt Romney and even John McCain faced, where too many big media outlets served as attack dogs for Barack Obama without Romney or McCain fighting back (and where now, those same attacks against Romney and McCain have been flushed down the memory hole, as the same media types wish the GOP would go back to nominating candidates like them, instead of Trump).

    • #36
  7. Bethany Mandel Editor
    Bethany Mandel
    @bethanymandel

    Erin I’m so glad you’re blogging here! Welcome to Ricochet!!

    • #37
  8. AltarGirl Member
    AltarGirl
    @CM

    Rocket Surgeon (View Comment):

    ErinGoBoro: In a meeting on Tuesday, we were jovially talking about the weather and the delicious lunch, among other things, when the same person began talking about his recent vacation to see his grandchildren. He said that his granddaughter had a doll she named “Donna Trump.” Another coworker made the comment, “Is that the doll that kills all the other dolls?” I could have made a snarky comment like, “No, that’s her Hillary doll,” but why should I?

    An approach that may work to handle that would be to innocently ask that co worker “why in the world would you say that?” and depending on their reply, keep asking why…; how do you know that…; until it becomes uneasy for them to admit their prejudice. Won’t always work – depends on the crowd. With only questions, I’ve managed to get a whole group of people like that mad at me.

    Ha ha. I would’ve gone the Hillary doll route. It would shut them up and think twice before saying something like that again.

    I wasn’t ever vulgar until my senior year in college. I have always had a distaste for my peerage, but I was trying to collect sorority dues from my sisters well into the summer. My advisor was calling and I had already left several professional messages. This time, I was vulgar. I got the check in the mail a week later.

    Another girl told me she hoped I would choke in my sleep (unprovokedĺ. I replied with a crude comeback and she never said anything to me again. Still had the reputation of being ladylike by the end of the year…

    • #38
  9. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    How about this. Delete Twitter. Is there anything there that you simply cannot live without? I am not on Twitter or Facebook, and I think I am happier for it. There is probably nothing you can do to change those peoples’ behavior, so just deny them your piece of the audience.

    I take your point, but unlike choosing not to buy Starbucks coffee because of their positions, leaving Twitter, etc., means that we abandon the field. Things might be even worse for us if Twitter becomes a pure liberal bubble that prevents vast swaths of people from even realizing that some people see things differently. 

    • #39
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