(NaturalNews) If you're an American, chances are much better than average that you've been engaged in a conversation with someone recently and have said something that one person in the group has found "offensive." That "something" is usually just one word, and before you know it, you're getting that familiar look of disapproval, accompanied by the admonition, "You shouldn't say that."
Your response was probably one of two: shock and disbelief that a word you regard as harmless could have such negative connotations (especially when it never used to have them); or anger and frustration that someone is choosing to make such a big deal out of nothing.
Welcome to America 2014, where left-wing political correctness has turned rationality on its head and common sense is no longer common.
A case in point: The way liberal thought police are reacting to coverage of Hillary Clinton, widely expected to run for president and win the Democratic Party's nomination. If you use the wrong word to describe something she did, said or believes, you're going to get pilloried.
[I]n a town hall style interview with the former secretary of state Tuesday night, CNN's Christiane Amanpour chuckled that Clinton "got quite feisty" in a prior interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC News. After the CNN interview, commentator Wolf Blitzer also said approvingly how "feisty" Clinton had been.
"Feisty" is one of the words that sets off alarms for the Women's Media Center, which released a guide to gender neutral coverage of female candidates and politicians during the 2012 election cycle.
Say what? Feisty is a no-no? Sure, because, according to this woman's center group, feisty is "normally reserved for individuals and animals that are not inherently potent or powerful."
For the record, as noted by the Washington Examiner, a number of news outlets, including The Washington Post and ThinkProgress itself, have described President Obama, on various occasions, "feisty." Guess it's okay because he's not a woman.
Here are six other words the Women's Media Center says are a no-no in our vernacular:
1. Aggressive: This word, and its more negative synonym, "pushy," are said to be used very often to disparage women -- oh, and Jews, the Center says. "Deborah Tannen (Gender and Discourse) suggests that the 'stereotype of Jews as aggressive and pushy results in part from differences in conversational style.'" Okay.
2. Balls: This metaphor is only okay when it is used in reference to a man's testicles, says the Center. "For inclusive metaphorical use, substitute with: guts, moxie, courage, nerve, bravery, self-assurance, confidence, determination, stamina, spunk." You bet.
3. Bitch: This one is of course described as "one of the most loaded of the sexist words." The Center says it "tends to be directed at women who are 'active, direct, blunt, obnoxious, competent, loud-mouthed, independent, stubborn, demanding, achieving, overwhelming, lusty, strong-minded, scary" and brassy, among others. Fair enough; we'll give 'em this one.
4. Blonde bombshell: This term is perceived by the lefties at the Center as being "militaristic," "violent," and, of course, "sexist." It supposedly "portray[s] women as destructive to men." Really? I thought it meant, "Man, is that blonde good looking!" which, of course, is a compliment.
5. Childcare: This is a no-no because, the Center says, "childcare issues do not belong uniquely to women," unless, of course, they do in a particular family. And let's face it: Historically, American women took care of the children while men worked outside the home. That isn't the case anymore, of course, but for a group to see this as a "disparagement" of women is a stretch.
6. Clotheshorse: Leftists at the Center says this term "invariably refers to a woman." Only in their world; in our world, men can also be clotheshorses, and frequently are.
Others include "family man," "feminine word endings," "female," "irrational," "girlie" and "ladies and gentlemen," which the Center says should be "gentlemen and gentlewomen."