TheÂ controversy regarding the Onion andÂ QuvenzhanÃ© Wallis is a perfect example of how people can look at the exact same thing and come away with completely different takes, as it has served as a bit of aÂ RorschachÂ test for people’s opinions about satire, social media, race, gender, and the use/usefulness of outrage.
Even with these myriad divergentÂ opinions, there is one point everyone seemed to agree on: The Onion’s tweet crossed the line.
Some feel The Onion’s attempt at satire was inappropriate, but notÂ egregiousÂ Some still want heads to roll. And, the rest feel somewhere in between. Rorschach test or not, though, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who thinks what happened wasÂ perfectlyÂ fine.
Also, this story serves as an example of how, in the blogosphere/media, there are certain demographics you just can’t say negative things about without expecting swift and harsh pushback. We’ll call them “untouchables.” Some of these people are protected for obvious reasons (children, the physically impaired, etc) while the protection given to others may be more politically-minded. Either way, the list of who you “aren’t allowed to” joke about and/or criticize seems to grow by the day.
Despite this, there remains some people who you can still shit on with impunity. Certain demographic groups who can still safety be the butt of jokes without anyone giving a damn, and here are a few people it’s still perfectly okay to make fun of.
1. Short Men
The perpetual redheaded stepchild of the human race (not that there’s anything wrong with being a redheaded stepchild), men who are a few inches shorter than the average man are routinely discriminated against, bullied, and used as punchline fodder by everyone. What separates them from others who experience the same thing is that shitting on them never goes out of style, never becomes politically incorrect, and neverÂ receivesÂ any criticism other than “Awwww. Leave the midget men alone.”
While the “protection” given to other groups maybe be seasonal, “shitting on short men” is like a pair of Levi’s—safe, comfortable, versatile, reliable, timeless.
2. Women With ConservativeÂ SociopoliticalÂ Leanings
“Make sexually repugnant remark about a woman” = “misogynist!!!”
“Make sexually repugnant remark about a woman who happens to be a conservative” = “Oh Shit!!! LOLOLOLOLOL!!!!”
3. Light-Skinned Black Women and Men
One specific to the Black community—there’d be some furniture moving if Rush Limbaugh dared say something bad about Jurnee Smollett—it’s never not okay for Black people to disparage light-skinned Black men and women. Why? Well, that’s obvious. Lighter-skinned people are—by virtue of their lighter skin—assumed to have a level ofÂ privilegeÂ that regular ole’ Black people don’t.
And, since “privilege” basically means “we can talk about your ass, and you have to sit there and take it,” you can say anything from “Light skinned men all smell like texturizer” to “I mean, really. Light skinned women are Black, I guess, they’re not really BlackBlack” when speaking of them and no one will bat an eye.Â Shit, you can even start a thousand petitions about why a light-skinned Black actress isn’t actually BlackBlack, despite the fact that she’s come out and said “I’m BLACK!!!!” numerous times.Â
(Note: This only applies to light-skinned Black people with two Black parents. Biracial Blacks now have Obama, Drake, and empty bottles of Mixed Chicks to protect them.)
4. Stupid People
It’s not very politically correct to make fun of physically underwhelming men or women. It (obviously) still happens, but if you do this in front of certain audiences, you will get called on it. Why? Well, it’s not fair (or fun) to pick on someone for something they can’t control, and it reeks of bullying.
Interestingly enough, this doesn’t seem to apply to people who weren’t blessed with above average or even average intelligence. You can argue that it’s because there’s the idea that a person can always get smarter if they want to. If you’re stupid, you’re willfully stupid and deserve whatever’s coming to you.
But, this isn’t true. Some people are born dumb, live dumb, and will die dumb, and there’s not much they can do about it. Still, this doesn’t stop us from making fun of them. I mean, they’re stupid, so it’s not like they’re going to “get” any of the jokes anyway, right? No harm, no foul.
5. Bisexual Men
You’d think bisexual men would get the same type of “protection” gay men receive. But, its hard to be protected when most people (well, most Black people) don’t even believe you really exist.Â
Honorable mention: Attractive women, skinny men and women, fat men. men with small penises, Christians, people not from “important” cities, sexually inexperienced men and women, athletes (high school, college, or pro), White men
—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)