Celia Rivenbark

From the Belle Tower | Humor isn’t supposed to be politically correct, people

Target has a you-know-what on its back now that the megastore has decided to embrace “gender neutral signage.” All of this after a fed-up Midwestern mom tweeted a picture of an aisle labeled “Building Sets” and “Girls’ Building Sets.”

“Just stop,” she tweeted politely but firmly. I’ll bet her kids never get the big pretzel there before supper.

Thousands of retweets later, Target has not only changed that tone-deaf sign but also has vowed to phase out the signature wallpaper that denotes the boys’ department (blue and green) and the girls’ (pink and yellow).

In the toy department, Target will no longer stock monster trucks in the boys’ section and makeup in the girls’. Football and princess sheet sets will be sold side by side to “encourage children to choose what they want” without all that labeling.

Naturally, this has completely undone Fox & Friends and other conservative pundits who wonder, about every six seconds by my count, “Have the P.C. Police gone too far?”

It’s meant as a rhetorical question. Of COURSE the answer is supposed to be yes. Why, before we had political correctness butting its nosy self into our lives, you could call an overweight woman “fat” or a bald man “chrome dome.” Good times.

The “P.C. Police” has become such a popular phrase for conservatives AND liberals (more on that in a bit) that one half expects Target to add toy P.C. police cars and P.C. police officers to its freshly gender-neutral toys and games department.

I have no idea what a P.C. Police officer looks like but I’m guessing he or she or trans would wear a uni sewn from fair trade cotton that has been locally sourced and earnestly loomed. The P.C. Police car, electric of course, should be built entirely out of recycled soda bottles and old LIVESTRONG bracelets.

Political correctness has been a favorite target (there’s that word again) of the conservatives for years, but liberals have embraced it now, tossing it around with the casual insouciance we normally reserve for namedropping our latest well-priced Pinot Noir find or defending the rose’ as a legitimate summer choice, particularly if served with quinoa. Which, let’s be honest, needs all the help it can get.

How did being “P.C.” get co-opted by liberals?

Well, it all started with Jerry Seinfeld, who complained that he, and other Big League comedians, can’t play colleges anymore because the kids think their humor is “not politically correct.”

And here is where my ox gets gored. (Settle down, PETA, it’s just an old Southernism).

Humor isn’t supposed to be politically correct. It shouldn’t be “sanitized for your protection” like the toilet in an ‘80s Howard Johnson motel. I worry about a humor-impaired generation that makes boycotting comedians an actual cause, demanding that they be more sensitive and a whole lot less funny.

When your biggest cause is getting Kathy Griffin to stop greeting her audience with “Where are my gays?” you might want to reboot. Seriously.

CELIA RIVENBARK is the New York Times best-selling author of “Rude B****** Make Me Tired.” Visit www.celiarivenbark.com.

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