I Need Your Help Understanding This Cancel Culture Thing (WARNING: Contains “offensive” material not suitable for minors)

I Need Your Help Understanding This Cancel Culture Thing (WARNING: Contains “offensive” material not suitable for minors)

The day before Dr. Seuss’ birthday, we started a sale at BookLocker to honor his birthday. The discount code was GreenEggs 21, and offered authors $125 off our most popular publishing packages. We ran the same sale last year, and the year before that. The very next day, on Dr. Seuss’ birthday, he was ALL over the news. A few hours later, Dr. Seuss Enterprises decided to pull six of his books from the market. For a brief moment, I wondered if we should “cancel” our sale. In the end, I did not. Nobody complained that our sale was offensive.

You might think it was the Dr. Seuss thing that started my brain buzzing but this has been on my mind far longer than that. To be completely honest with you, I just don’t get it. Maybe some of you can explain this cancel culture stuff to me.

Before you think that, by being white, I’ve never been a “victim” myself, read this.

The FIRST time I was sexually assaulted was at the age of 15. A stranger grabbed my breasts at a theme park, laughed, and ran away. The last time that happened was just a few years ago at a party. I was also assaulted by a medical professional while I was lying on a table (he pinched my nipples and laughed). I could go on and on about shame, and feeling disgusting, and all of that but, rather than miring myself in self-pity for months or years, I took steps to ensure that no man would ever get away with assaulting me ever again. I have a carry and conceal license now. My adult daughter has one as well.

I was flying first class (it was a free upgrade) to Washington, DC when I was in my 20s. I had to attend a training class for an accounting program. I found myself sitting next to a U.S. Senator. The stewardess had just served us breakfast. He was extremely flirty, and kept touching me and, by the time we landed, he’d given me his business card, wrote his assistant’s name on it, told me he’d give me a personal tour of the White House, and that we could go to his penthouse after. He then leaned close, and whispered, “My wife and your husband will never know.” Eeeewww!! He was so old! And wrinkly!! (He was probably only in his 50s at the time – he is still living, but is retired – but, to my young eyes, he was ancient. And gross!!)

I never called him. Had I been a weak and greedy young woman, who knows where that could have led? I was earning not much more than minimum wage at the time. I could have played that relationship to my financial advantage. But, I’m not that type of person. I wonder how many other women have refused the advances of rich and powerful (and old!!) politicians? I considered, for a time, compiling an anthology of stories from such women, and calling the book “Better Than Monica.” Say all you want about Bill Clinton but Monica Lewinsky had the choice to walk away, as so many women like myself have done. She did not. And, she said it was consensual…until the #MeToo movement started. Then, all of the sudden, it was not.

Back in the early 90’s, before I started BookLocker, I worked in corporate jobs. For years, I was paid far less than my male counterparts. I know because I was reviewing the payroll reports each week. The men got far larger salaries than the women. When my complaints were ignored, I simply worked harder. And, it paid off.

Men flirted with me, made physical passes at me, and even occasionally made disparaging remarks about me being a woman in a man’s world. Rather than letting myself feel like a victim, I simply worked even harder, maintained my professionalism, and moved up the ladder. One supervisor made public remarks about me being pregnant “again,” and said, “You know the fastest way to get that baby out of there? With a butcher knife.” Yes, he really said that in front of all of my co-workers. Did I hide my head in shame? Hell no. Soon after, I discovered he was stealing money from the company. I gathered the evidence, made photocopies, presented them to the CEO, and got my supervisor fired ON THE SPOT. As he walked out the door, he yelled, “Well, you got what you wanted!”

Damn right I did.

One guy actually showed me his junk in my office just to get a “rise” out of me. I pointed and laughed, remarking how “small” he was. I bet he never did that to any other woman! I didn’t report him. I simply resolved to be more successful than him. And, I am. I found him on Facebook a few years ago. While I am running a corporation, he is still “working for the man.” (Uh oh. Is that a sexist comment?)

My personal Facebook account was “cancelled” by that company without warning when I posted the cover of our Managing Editor’s book. Facebook “cancelled” him on the same day, too. I was then “cancelled” by Instagram for the exact same reason. (Instagram is owned by Facebook.)

Now that you know where I’m coming from with regards to “victimhood,” let’s talk about the original topic of this article.

Today, things are being cancelled that the “victims” don’t want cancelled.

People whose family members represented Aunt Jemima in ads are upset that Quaker Oats is “erasing” her.

Pepé Le Pew is offensive to women yet Dave Chappelle is allowed to laugh about it. And, don’t forget how awesome everybody thought Christian Grey was in Fifty Shades of Grey. Last I heard, that best selling book hasn’t been cancelled.

Mr. Potato Head shouldn’t be called a Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head shouldn’t be called a Mrs.

Numerous singers have been accused of racist speech and songs yet their careers didn’t end. Quite the contrary, in fact. Countless songs with racist lyrics are still for sale. I guess the cancel culturists haven’t added those singers to their lists yet. And, yes, there are anti-white songs as well. This guy got cancelled. Numerous black comedians make fun of white people. I LOVE watching stand-up comedians, even if they’re making fun of me. I’ve had blonde jokes lobbed at me my entire life and I always thought they were funny.

To be fair, I looked for songs with the word “honky,” but only found country songs about Honky Tonks. I’ve heard the term “cracker” more times than I can count since moving to Florida but it doesn’t bother me. Rather, it usually just makes me hungry. Remember that old margarine commercial with the Native American woman calling corn “maize?” Yeah, that always made me hungry, too.

The beautiful Native American woman on Land O’ Lakes Butter is NOT okay but Speedy Gonzales is just fine in Space Jam 2.

There are literally hundreds of other examples in the news online.

People are cancelling cultures of some people who don’t want the symbolism of their cultures to be cancelled. And, we are supposed to learn from history’s mistakes…yet many people want to cancel that history.

We’re watching book burning, celebrity burning, toy burning, cartoon burning, syrup burning, butter burning, and much more. Why?

One thing I have noticed, and perhaps you have, too, is this. Nobody is cancelling products, movies, cartoons, etc. that primarily represent white people. All of these people are screaming about stereotypes, and cancelling products that have actually promoted minorities, and made many of them money. If you get rid of all of the products, labels, etc. that represent only minorities, what’s going to be left? Think about that.

What am I missing? I seriously don’t get it. Please weigh in your wisdom and insights below.

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About The Author

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Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the author of 19 books, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).

Angela has lived and traveled across the U.S. with her kids in an RV, settled in a river-side home in Bradenton, FL, and lived on a 52 ft Irwin sailboat. Angela now resides on a mountaintop in Northwest Georgia, where she plans to spend the rest of her days bird watching, gardening, hiking, and taking in all of the amazing sunrises.

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