In the eternal war between "political correctness" and "religious and social conservatism" over who can be sillier with their use of censorship, the more liberal combatant has unveiled a weapon of mass absurdity. The New York City Department of Education has released its list of words and topics banned from standardized tests, specifically words that "could evoke unpleasant emotions in the students." And it's a doozy.
Let's take a look. "Bodily functions" is on there. Hmm. I understand that maybe fourth graders shouldn't have to do math problems involving calculating boners and farts, but what about other bodily functions? You know, like eating, cognition, and growing? Also, high-school-level math students are totally mature enough to calculate boners and farts. That's the Pythagorean theorem, right?
Also making the list are "poverty," "loss of employment," and really any discussion of money or class, which makes sense, because it's imperative that children are kept unaware that any other economic classes exist. Likewise, children mustn't know that there are people with other beliefs; "religion," "Halloween," and "birthdays" are also banned.
"Disease and death," and "dinosaurs" are also on the list, likely because they don't want to upset anyone who has lost a loved one to disease, or death, or pterodactyls. (RIP Uncle Pete. Never forget.) The possibly-closer-to-the-truth reasoning is that dinosaurs are banned because they "suggest evolution, which creationists might not like."
How about this: if you can't handle hearing the word "disease," maybe you're not mature enough to be in school. The same is true if you have some kind of philosophical conundrum with dinosaurs. Unless, of course, it's the Cartesian question of "If your arms are too short to touch your genitals, why bother living at all?"
Other banned words include:
- Junk food
- Homes with swimming pools