Getting your knickers in a twist
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Getting your knickers in a twist

I don’t know when I realised that the whole world had gone bonkers, but the internet and my gargantuan consumption of it have certainly contributed to this unsavoury knowledge. I start the day reading the news and my entire day is punctuated with alerts and pop-ups about the latest tragedy to befall the world, however, nothing prepared me for the latest in snowflake crusading courtesy of a few armchair warriors with an axe to grind.

Being offended hasn’t just become a national support but a global one, with a very well-known high-street shop becoming the latest sacrificial lamb at the altar of the ridiculous.

The crime against humanity this particular shop committed was to put women’s underwear next to men’s suits in one of their Christmas shop-window displays. Apparently, this was not only deemed sexist but it actually succeeded in mortally offending a few people.

If we do believe in resolutions we should resolve to try to spend less time nit-picking

Now listen, anyone who knows me or who has ever read any one of my columns knows how I feel about gender equality but to be honest, it’s all starting to get a bit ridiculous. The problem with people seeing demons even when they’re not there is that when there is a very real issue, people will just stop taking it seriously.

Things which should be given prominence will simply be brushed under the carpet and many women will simply be branded as paranoid and hysterical in the same way we have been for hundreds of years.

It’s not just about picking your battles, but it’s also about knowing when there actually is a battle to begin with.

In response to the criticism, a company spokesperson said that the shop-window combination reflected two of the many Christmas must-haves that the retail giant offered, implying that they really didn’t mean to drop a steaming pile of manure on anyone’s feelings and to be honest, why wouldn’t anyone believe them? Shops are meant to sell things: why would anyone in their right mind seek to be offensive in our hypersensitive world?

It’s the New Year soon, and if we do believe in resolutions we should resolve to try to spend less time nit-picking the random and insignificant, and more time working on how to be better people in the real world where it actually matters.

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