That Time Political Correctness Landed on Its Ass

They say it’s best not to write something when you’re angry.  How about when you’re perplexed, confounded, immersed in the phrase – WTF!!??

I’ve had plenty of discussions around the idea of political correctness over the last year, in particular for how it’s been used in various topics on Aboriginal issues.  In these cases, I believe the correct usage of the P.C. definition applies.  That is, as defined as this, the result of a simple Google search:

po·lit·i·cal cor·rect·ness

  1. mad donkey 2the avoidance of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.
  2. … Or the more urban version:  when the desire to be offensive at the expense of someone in a weaker position socially, economically, or in health is taken away thereby making your own offensiveness day less easy or fun.

It’s a short diatribe, but to me it’s one loaded with worthy points to ponder, particularly for the idea of feminism, and women’s rights to complete equality with an equal dose of general respect. And please, haters of the word feminism, please stop equating it with a request to ignore simple manners and common courtesies that everyone should be employing regardless of gender.

The story that began this moment of umbrage is also short.

I had to change a password used for a national alarm security company. I had to change the password that I’ve had for eight years up to this point because it was recently declared offensive. The word(s) of offense was: fat ass.

Like many people, I grew up understanding that donkeys are asses, and that’s what we called them.  However, for the purposes of this note, I don’t think the other version helps their case either.

The reason the alarm company thought it was offensive?

“Because if a ‘woman’ had to call me to check on a possible security breach ‘she could’ take it the wrong way”.

Let that sink in.

‘Cause you know, we women are just that much more sensitive about farm animals and our personal associations with them.

Regardless of that, have we really been found such a delicate gender that we all would automatically adopt that word as a personal affront?  Especially in answer to an innocuous request for one’s password?

I spoke with three different employees at that alarm company. They were all unmoved by my thoughts. They simply reaffirmed that they must take care of their female employees and they have determined that the word ass is harmful, particularly if the word fat precedes it.  Apparently their male employees have larger ass shields and are more able to handle the ‘ass•ault’.

They insisted I change my long-held password, and so I capitulated, stomped down by the hooves of cloven sensitivity.

Or could it be that I am just unaware of my own new level of insensitivity?


 High five 2P.S. I just want to send a quick high five thank you to my new followers.  I really appreciate your support, and I endeavor to meet all of you at your own sites at some point, however I admit to being a slow reader.  Please take no offense.


36 thoughts on “That Time Political Correctness Landed on Its Ass

  1. Great balls of fire – as they say in “Gone with the wind”; a phrase that I personally find more offensive than “Frankly my dear…” That’s a fairly mind-blowing event and worthy of your eloquent “rant”. I hope you changed the password to “hairy armpits” or something acceptable.


  2. Did you change it to “small balls”? I mean, certainly their thick-skinned male service reps wouldn’t be offended by the mention of children’s toys, would they? Of course they may think “little dances” and take it as being against introverted people who don’t like large social gatherings.


  3. What you went through was worth it. Trust me on this. When the outcome is getting to write gold like “stomped down by the hooves of cloven sensitivity” then even tramping through the fires of hell is a trifling inconvenience. (I do agree with you though. Such PC, nannying, hand holding nonsense, isn’t it?)


    • …And this is why I love the world of blogging. The writers in this realm see, hear, and guide at a level no other social medias can touch. Thank you for that perspective reality check! It was great to get!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Agreed! Such clever turn-of-phrase as “stomped down by the hooves of cloven sensitivity” never would have seen the light of day had it not been for the company insulting their female employees with this ridiculous preventative sensitivity diagnosis.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I can’t get over the fact that you are even more awesome that I already had you pegged for. Anyone with the password “fat ass” rocks in my book. In fact, I’m changing mine tomorrow. That said, I need to capitalize and add numbers and symbols to be compliant. How about: #Imafatass2??
    Oh my, I need to get caught up on my reading. You are good for my soul 🙂


    • Ha ha ha…. You are very good at skipping around ‘the man’. I may have to consult with you for future passwords.

      Wow, who doesn’t dream of getting a comment compliment like yours?! You couldn’t have made my day any better. Well, unless you called to say you have the equivalent of a lottery win to give me. Do you??

      Really, thanks so much for this, and it was great to see you again!


  5. Wouldn’t said female already have seen the password prior to your confirming it in order to know if you confirmed the correct password, therefore knowing it was a password and not an insult directed at her for interrupting your day?


    • Yes, and yes, at least 8 times over the years they have had to confirm it fully armed with the knowledge of the words. I don’t get it, and three of their employees couldn’t make me see it either.


  6. Ha! Great Rant Robyn! Yeah, the P.C. factor gets annoying sometimes. From the top down, though, it looks a little different. I used to manage in various environments and 20% of the actual work is stupid shit and it takes 80% of your time. Trying to avoid that can really go a long way to making things go smooth. Which makes no sense but, hey, ya gotta do what works, sensible or not. Here is an issue I’ve run into a few times. In Canada our harrassment laws clearly define harrassment as in the eye of the beholder. So, if I say your blouse in a bright color today, you can view that as harrassment and can file a complaint. This is critical especially in a multi-cultural society, to keep the peace. What I find normal you may find abhorrent. So, the first step in complaint resolution is for the harrassed person to tell the harrassor (my word) that they find the comment offensive and to please stop – this is often done in the presence of a witness. A file has to be made of this. About 90% of the time, this is all it takes. If that doesn’t work, then it goes to the next stage and so on.

    The key point here is that harrassment is decided by the individual – there is no other test or criteria. That is important and necessary and creates some of the most absurd situations you can imagine when it is abused. But like all important stuff, freedom always has a flip side of abuse. So, to get back to our conversation, as a manager, I would go out of my way to prevent frivolous claims as they occupy way too much of my time and if I can save that time by getting ahead of the complaints with preventative action, I will every time. In short, change the password if you think ANYONE will complain. Not if it makes sense or if it is logical but if anyone will complain. That’s the criteria because that’s the law – a good law but an abused law. There are nuts out there, so sometimes the resulting actions have to be nuts too.


    May the force be with you Robyn. Take a deep breath, and realize the basis of the stupid rule is a good law used by stupid people.


    • THANK YOU, Robert! – for both points.

      Keeping my fingers crossed that your appt. tomorrow shows continued good progress. I will be on a big jet plane, which I believe will fly over Niagara Falls or somewhere nearby. I will wave like mad to you. You won’t see it, but maybe you’ll feel the well-wishes.


  7. So interesting! I’m someone who is very aware about PC nuances and respecting women but I have to say that whole incident seems like overkill on the other side’s part. I love that you wrote about this. I’m wondering if your own rights are the one being impinged upon in this one.


    • Thanks Diahann – yes, I did wonder about my own rights in this. In my discussions with the company they made it very clear that in this case, within the context of the issue, I had no rights.


  8. REALLY? Wow. I can’t even imagine a scenario where a company asks me change my password. I kind of want to test our security company now. I could change mine to “hairy chin” or “flappy arms”.

    I feel pretty certain that if I worked somewhere and had to ask a person’s password and heard “fat ass” I would literally guffaw in laughter. But I guess not everyone has a sense of humor. Tbh, I feel sorry for managers sometimes. People look for any reason to be offended these days. My husband is in management and it BLOWS MY MIND what he has to deal with day-to-day.

    Excellent rant. Incidentally, my best friend is named Robyn and spells it the same as you. 🙂


    • Ha ha ha Beth, if you do, do a test of your security company’s P.C. limits, for sure let me know how that turns out. It’s still pretty hard to believe anyone would take something like this that much to heart, or rather, the heart of a policy. Of course, we do read rather regularly how nutso the world can be at times.

      And hey, thanks so much for the re-tweet too Beth.


  9. Now, wait a minute… I think their ANSWER is offensive to women! Who’s to say than MEN don’t have fat asses? For all they know that could be your pet name for your husband! If your password was BEER GUT would they block it as well? And if so, would THAT be because it offended their male employees, as if women can’t get a beer gut? It would be one thing if they said they considered the word ass to be “profanity” (despite it being used everywhere on television), but even then, if that were the case, it should have been stated eight years ago when you made your password. And if they only changed that rule, then you should have been grandfathered in. (Or grandmothered in…I don’t want to be accused of gender inequality. LOL!) Once again, my friend, you have blessed us with another excellent post! ❤


    • …And that my friend, is why we are kindred sisters. All thoughts pretty much identical to mine! LOL.

      I am far, far away from home at the moment, holidaying on the east coast and enjoying it so much I haven’t been able to do much reading, so don’t be surprised when I go on a binge read of your stuff soon.

      Oh, I also recently had my first egg and olive sandwich, it was, as promised, so delish!! 🙂


      • HA! I just made some last week and I thought of you and wondered if you’d really try it. 😀

        I hope you are enjoying your vacation! One day we need to vacation at the same place and give them hell! LOL! 🙂


  10. Robyn, I am in the process of having to change my password as well. Not because it’s currently inappropriate (it’s a boring one), but because its something we need to do yearly. You have inspired me though to test this out and see if they come back to me with a complaint on how sensitive women can be on these matters. Honestly, the most potty mouthed folks around here are the women, so I dare anyone in I.T. to complain about how delicate this matter would be. And I like Trentpmcd’s suggestion of “small balls”. I will have to add a number to that, so it’ll look like “2smallballs”. I will let you know what comes of this. Thanks for the laugh.


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