(Tip came from Twitter, but it came by DM so I won’t identify the tipster)
If you write for Oxford University Press, you can’t write the word ‘bacon’. Nor will they touch Peppa Pig with a bargepole.
In a ridiculous fit of political correctness, they have declared –
‘Among the things prohibited in the text that was commissioned by OUP was the following: Pigs plus sausages, or anything else which could be perceived as pork.
So if you write erotica, no ‘pork swords’ please. No ‘pulled pork’ either. I’ve never been able to buy ‘pulled pork’ because I don’t think I could keep a straight face while the till operator scans a packet of wank. In fact, if I could get into the computer at Local Shop and change what shows up on the till screen… no, best not. Can’t afford to get sacked just yet.
Presenter Jim Naughtie (I am so glad that’s not my name. I’d never hear the end of it) goes on to say…
‘Now, if a respectable publisher, tied to an academic institution, is saying you’ve got to write a book in which you cannot mention pigs because some people might be offended, it’s just ludicrous. It is just a joke.’
Well of course it’s ludicrous. That’s just normal for academia these days. Some religions forbid their followers from eating bacon which means there’s no chance of me ever getting religious with those people, but no religion bans people from talking about it. A Jewish or Muslim child can have a Peppa Pig toy because it isn’t really made of pig. Even the associated sweets don’t taste like bacon. Which is disappointing, really.
So what’s the reasoning behind this insanity? Predictably, it’s nonsense too.
A spokesman said: ‘Many of the educational materials we publish in the UK are sold in more than 150 countries, and as such they need to consider a range of cultural differences and sensitivities.
‘Our editorial guidelines are intended to help ensure that the resources that we produce can be disseminated to the widest possible audience.’
Oxford University Press have been publishing books and selling them worldwide for a very, very long time. They must know by now that not every country buys every book they produce. That nobody, anywhere, can buy every book produced. Of course they want as wide an audience as possible but take out anything that could even remotely be considered ‘offensive’ and you have a collection of the blandest books on the planet. Eventually nobody will want them.
I’m trying the opposite angle. I have more and more characters smoking and drinking these days. Next I’ll include a bacon sandwich or two. In fact, I’m pretty sure that in Samuel’s Girl, Romulus ate ham once. Might have been lost in editing, but I think it’s still there. Nobody has taken offence so far.
So who is really taking offence? Muslims? Well here’s a Muslim MP on the matter:
Muslim Labour MP Khalid Mahmood said: ‘… That’s absolute utter nonsense. And when people go too far, that brings the whole discussion into disrepute.’
He is right. To Muslims, eating pork is a seriously sinful thing. Talking about pork or looking at cartoon pigs is not. Taking the matter to the brink of absurdity and then tipping it over the edge does not ‘consider a range of cultural sensitivities’. It makes them a laughing stock. It invites ridicule and derision. That’s hardly going to help with integration – but that’s not what the politically correct want.
They want multiculturalism. Not integration. They want us all separate and distrustful of each other. Makes it so much easier to stay in control.
If the Muslims aren’t offended, maybe it’s the Jews?
A spokesman for the Jewish Leadership Council added: ‘Jewish law prohibits eating pork, not the mention of the word, or the animal from which it derives.
See that, Oxford University Press? Muslims and Jews are not offended by these words nor by the images. Neither is anybody else. So whose bright idea was it to blandify every title you produce? I think some serious questions need to be asked of someone, don’t you?
Even ISIS haven’t tried to ban these words. Although that lot are mad enough to try, now the OUP has given them the idea.
The comments suggest that some people read that article and were shocked and outraged. I suspect my reaction is a sad indictment on our modern world.
I wasn’t even surprised.