If you're a Millennial, you've probably heard a thousand times that our generation is far too sensitive and we're contributing to the "wussification of America." And whether you agree or not, the idea that we're far too easily insulted is being pointed out by one of the most well known comedians ever. In a recent interview with ESPN, Jerry Seinfeld said he stopped performing at colleges because students are too politically correct for his comedy, and he doesn't want to risk the can of worms he could potentially open by accidentally offending them. And according to Seinfeld, this is a practice that a lot of comedians are beginning to adopt. In the interview, he said,
I'll give you an example: My daughter's 14. My wife says to her, "Well, you know, in the next couple years, I think maybe you’re going to want to be hanging around the city more on the weekends, so you can see boys." You know what my daughter says? She says, "That’s sexist." They just want to use these words: "That’s racist," "That’s sexist," "That’s prejudice." They don’t even know what the f—k they’re talking about.
Don't get me wrong — I definitely see where Seinfeld is coming from, but I don't necessarily agree with him. Yes, people are super quick to call something sexist or racist even when it might not necessarily be as serious as the terms indicate in some cases, but I think it's awesome that as a society, we've become so much better at pointing out injustices that might have just gone ignored before. That's pretty cool, right? Besides, there have always been people who are crazy sensitive, and those people are not made up exclusively of our generation.
Comedians definitely have more of a challenge now than ever if they want to be funny without offending people, but if a comedian is truly talented, they can find a way around that. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to be edgy and make people laugh without causing a controversy, even if it might take more effort.
Besides, I'd rather have people taking jokes the wrong way and being careful not to hurt others' feelings and perpetuate stereotypes, than have them live blissfully unaware of how their words can be damaging to entire groups of people. Yeah, it can be super annoying when people are offended too easily, and it is a bummer that college students will have to go without Seinfeld's comedy act, but at least Seinfeld is coming to Hulu this summer, right?