“Wussification” | Wash Your Mouth Out Wednesdays

Just look at those scared kids. What a bunch of wusses.  Graphic courtesy of Prawny / freedigitalphotos.net

Just look at those scared kids. What a bunch of wusses. Graphic courtesy of Prawny / freedigitalphotos.net

Sometimes this word begins with “P”, but I ran across it yesterday in its kinder, gentler form. It happened to be on the internet, so there was no one’s mouth readily available to wash out; I did, however, briefly consider squirting oven cleaner into my eyes so I would never have to read that word again. How did this hideous word become such a catchphrase (and at this point, a very hackneyed one)? I thought it might be a good idea to actually look it up before I wrote this post, and here is what I found in the online Urban Dictionary. It means just what we all know it means – softening, being too PC, de-emphasizing being tough. Interestingly, the three examples used to demonstrate ideas of wussification were children, society, and men. So let’s proceed.

The Wussification of our Children

Why are we so worried about the world turning our children into wusses? The world is crouched outside our collective front door, just waiting for our children to emerge, so it can tear them apart, teach them hard lessons, and turn them into jaded old folks like we are. I don’t see anything wrong with protecting my child from this as long as possible. I do tell and remind him about what’s out there so he isn’t taken off guard, but I don’t think he will be less of an adult one day just because he had been spared the pain of having to play dodge-ball once a week. It’s time for dodge-ball, kids.  Here, Timmy, you throw this as hard as you can, as many times as you can, at the person you think is the biggest weenie in the class. Go ahead and humiliate him a whole weeks-worth, because we won’t be playing again until next Tuesday. Dodge-ball is not now, nor has it ever been a competitive sport, but now that schools are removing it as a play-time option, parents are acting like we’re removing an American coming-of-age tradition. It is not going to help our kids toughen up or slim down. It will only give them a license to pick on someone publicly, to take out their frustration and anger on other kids in a violent way that is sanctioned, if not encouraged by the school.

The Wussification of Society

Oh yes, here’s a good one. There is, once again, controversy this week over the Washington Redskins. Their trademarks have been canceled. Why? Because having a mascot that is an actual “race” of people, if you will allow me to make that stretch, is offensive to said people. Being politically correct is not a crime – it’s called being sensitive to others’ feelings or points of view. It’s why we don’t say “retarded” any longer. Say that casually in front of a parent of a child who has a learning disability or has Autism, and see what kind of look you get. If we are all more sensitive to others’ feelings or points of view, then we will grow as a race of humans, united by all that we have in common. Those who wish to ignore society’s new intricacies and ways of dealing with each other will inevitably be left behind, and become outcasts, or perhaps band together as a new class of society that just can’t seem to change.

The Wussification of Men

As I said at the beginning of this exposition, sometimes this word begins with “P”. When doing my research on this particular word, I had hoped to discover that wussy is a euphemism for that more controversial P-word. Even though I was unable to confirm this, I suspect it is true. Afterall, just look at the examples given in the Urban Dictionary – children, society, men.  No women?  Oh, right, WE ARE the embodiment of this word; we are the true wusses. It makes me sad to see the world’s lament that men adopting some of women’s better qualities is a bad thing. While some women prefer to partner with a real man’s man, who farts and belches loudly, who scratches his crotch in the most inappropriate of places in front of anyone, or who has a caveman brow and weilds a stick to enforce his will, I do not. Any well-rounded person, male or female, will nurture his or her opposite nature, so that none of us is simply a man or a woman who cannot understand the other sex. Men have daughters and women have sons, and our children would be better for having a father who has a sensitive side, can mend scrapes, bruises, and hearts, or a mother who can also slap high-fives with her son when he has a victory.

The word “wussification” itself has been softened in order to reach a wider audience. If you are the person saying “wussification” instead of the real, expletive-derived word, “pussification,” then aren’t you part of the problem yourself? If you, man or woman, don’t have the balls to use the real word, then just avoid the term altogether. I think we’ve used it quite enough, and will be glad when we refer to it as yesterday’s catchphrase. For myself, however, I am glad that we are becoming a kinder, gentler society, where gender roles are not so black and white. People are people, and if a man cries at a funeral, I don’t think he’s a wuss.

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