R.L. Crabb: Walking a minefield in clown shoes | TheUnion.com

R.L. Crabb: Walking a minefield in clown shoes

R.L. Crabb
Columnist
R.L. Crabb
Laura Mahaffy/lmahaffy@theunion.com | The Union

Navigating humor in the 21st century has become much the same as walking through a minefield wearing oversized clown shoes. You’re bound to step on someone’s feelings and set off a chain reaction of criticism.

As a society, we’re divided into smaller and smaller tribes, creating more toes to step on.

I recently got called out for sharing a meme on Facebook, not something I created, but something that struck me as humorous. It was a photo of a police officer struggling with how to describe a suspect who is a gender-fluid male who identifies as a female but considers her species to be a mountain panda.

The humor was based on how we identify ourselves now that even our driver’s license can be gender neutral, if one so wishes. The only thing that might help in such a case would be the suspect’s appearance, if the individual truly had gone panda.

The comments that followed were aimed at the species aspect, and a few that wondered how such gender cases would be handled in the real world. There wasn’t anything I would call trans-bashing.

But Adela Wilcox did take offense, even though I tried in my feeble mansplaining way that my profession was contingent on pointing out the absurdity of the human condition, and that this meme seemed to fit the bill.

At that point I moved on to other absurdities. There are so many it’s hard to keep up. But since Adela has called me out, I feel I must answer her accusations.

I apologize for being insensitive to the transgender community. I’ve removed the offending post from my Facebook page. I value all human beings, no matter what path they choose to follow. I’ve always stood up for the rights of the individual, be it he, she, neither, both, human, vegetable or mineral.

As I write this, I’m looking at a beautiful piece of art created by my friend Catherine Collins, who was known as Arn Saba before his/her sex change.

I’ll be good, unless you want to argue about politics. That’s a whole other minefield.

R.L. Crabb is a cartoonist for The Union and a member of The Union Editorial Board. His opinion is his own and does not represent the viewpoint of The Union or its editorial board.


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