Ah, the holiday season. Is there anything more special than spending time with family, enjoying the bounties of the season, and listening to the traditional holiday carols that have lifted our spirits every December since we were children?
As it turns out, the answer is YES. Yes, there IS something more special than singing Christmas carols, and that thing is called BEING POLITICALLY CORRECT.
It turns out your little carefree musical ritual has actually been steeped in ideas, policies, and behavior seen to cause social and institutional offense in occupational, gender, racial, cultural, sexual orientation, certain other religions, beliefs, or ideologies, disability, and age-related contexts. Not feeling so holly jolly now, are you?
Don't believe me? Here's a list of just 5 incredibly offensive holiday songs you've probably been mindlessly humming every time you visit a grocery store lately, clueless in the hurt you're causing others:
"Jingle Bells." Oh, do those bells on bobtails make you feel bright—like laughing and singing a sleighing song tonight? Well, I can assure you that the poor horse whose tail has been bobbed isn't enjoying this festive little moment nearly as much as you are. Do you even know what goes into a tail docking? It's done with elastrator bands within two weeks of birth, after which point the foal's tail necroses and falls off. As if that's not bad enough, in adult horses, the tail is surgically amputated. It's a barbaric practice that's banned in the British Isles, Norway, parts of Australia, and 11 states in the USA. If you're against circumcision, you certainly have no right to be singing this little song, much less putting bells on the poor horse to remind him of his tail which is NO LONGER THERE.
"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." What a profoundly horrible message for children. Rudolph was bullied and ostracized for being different ... until he did something for Santa. So by singing this, you're basically telling your child that if other kids laugh and call him names and refuse to let him play their games, he just needs to figure out what favor he needs to do to make it all go away. Because abusers always stop when you do something nice for them, right? WRONG. This song is all about oppressing the victim and increasing the likelihood for further bullying by failing to talk with a trusted adult and/or reindeer.
"Do You Hear What I Hear?" Um, schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, and disabling brain disorder that affects about 1.1 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year. Not cool.
"Santa Claus Is Coming to Town." Where do I even get started with this creepy song? Some guy named "Santa" is apparently on his way, and bad things are going to happen if you don't make him happy. He's putting your name on a list, according to whether or not your behavior adheres to his disturbingly moralistic point of view, and apparently he's keeping you under 24/7 surveillance. "He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake"? Excuse me, but if this is supposed to be a joke, it's totally not funny. Stalking is a very serious life-threatening crime.
"Deck the Halls." "Don we now our gay apparel"? Way to be stereotypical, dehumanizing, and homophobic.
In conclusion, I strongly suggest these carol be banned in favor of more appropriate non-exclusive, non-offensive songs such as "We Wish You a Merry Non-Religious-Specific Winter Day" and "Let Your Favorite Weather Pattern Occur, Let Your Favorite Weather Pattern Occur, Let Your Favorite Weather Pattern Occur."
Image via myklroventine/Flickr