I’m confused. We live in a bully-boy, mean-girl society. Name calling is what we do now. Right?
Ad hominem attacks are all the rage. Literally. Crooked Hillary. Little Rocket Man. Apes. The N-word. Now, the C-word. It’s clear that the adults may have gone to college, but, when it comes to the basics of decorum, respect, and class, they’ve failed kindergarten. Sad.
Insults are now not just something you scream in your car about the incompetent driver in front of you, or yell in the phone as you call the cops on the black guy barbecuing at your lake or mutter under your breath about the person who’s trying to refinance a mortgage at the ATM when you just need a fast $20. This loud and proud, shoot-from-the-hip, tell-it-like-it-is code of conduct comes from the tippity top of the executive branch. The people who displease His Majesty are fat, stupid, little, crooked. Sad.
So I was confused when Samantha Bee (I love you, Sam! Can I call you, Sam? Can I write for your show? Or maybe we’ll start slow with coffee? I’ll meet you at Starbucks. I’ll get there early, sit quietly, and not buy anything until you get there, just to make sure the diversity training has taken hold) …oh, where was I?
Oh right. So I was confused when Samantha Bee got called out for calling Ivanka Kushner a feckless cunt. I was surprised because if you’ve been watching the show I don’t think this is the first time The “C” Word has been whipped out. But kudos because it means more people are watching Sam’s show, Wednesday nights on TBS after Big Bang Theory. (The porno version of that just writes itself, doesn’t it?)
When I first heard the offending phrase, I completely misunderstood what all the fuss was about. I thought, “Wow! Feckless is a pretty strong word.” It means lacking in feck or initiative. Hmm, I dunno. It takes quite a bit of initiative to keep showing up to the longest running Take Your Daughter to Work Day ever. Or maybe I’m confusing initiative with hubris.
And The “C” word. For reals, white people? That’s the word that makes you clutch the pearls and have a meltdown? I don’t get it. I guess because this word wasn’t a part of my lexicon during my formative years. I didn’t even hear the word until after I’d graduated from college. So I understand what it means intellectually. Personally? Nada. No meaning. No power.
And so when a random white guy on Facebook — because it’s always a random white guy on Facebook — called me a racist cunt, I was un-phased. It’s just one more thing to check off my bucket list.
To be blunt about cunt, it’s not a “Black” word. If Random Facebook White Guy really wanted to hurt my feelings, he should’ve called me bougie. And to be clear, I’m not racist. I’m prejudiced. The difference being my opinion won’t affect your credit score, job opportunities, or rapacious urban redevelopment plans.
What was infinitely more troubling was that, according to Facebook (before we blocked each other), Random Facebook White Guy and me have 275 friends in common. I hope you’re not one of them. I guess the music group Bowling for Soup got it right in their song, “High School Never Ends.”
If there’s a silver lining to this story it’s that American’s have learned a new word: feckless. And if the feck fits, wear it like it’s a first daughter designer dress.
Leighann Lord is a veteran stand-up comedian, author, and podcaster.