The Early Learning Centre got political correctness a little wrong this week.
They removed the pig from HappyLand Goosefeather Farm – not the sty or the oink button – just the pig. In case it offended Muslim or Jewish families.
I have to admit that it made me laugh. Of course, I am not out to offend people – in fact I have family members in the Jewish faith – but the politically correct insanity of it made me laugh. Especially the bit in The Sun, quoting Siobhan Freegard, the founder of Netmums, saying, "Removing pigs from farm sets is like introducing 'Baa Baa White Sheep' and calling Christmas 'The Winter Holiday.' Please let common sense prevail."
Oddly enough, ELC removed the pig after customer feedback from “some parts of the world”, assuming that it would be a problem everywhere, no doubt. Fortunately for us though, we live in quite a diverse community, and even the Muslim mums seem to agree. Says Natasha on Netmums: "If you don't want your kid playing with a pig toy, simply throw it in the bin. Other kids should not have to suffer."
I asked my elderly (practising) Jewish neighbour who eats no pork and participates in Shabat every week what she thought of it. Her words?
“Totally ridiculous. Never heard of such nonsense in my life. We weren't offended by that “Babe” movie or the Three Little Pigs either.”
I don't like my daughter playing with cheap plastic toys – I'm BPA-phobic – but I'm not going to stop yours from playing with them. I don't like my daughter drinking juice – but I'm not running around trying to ban juice. I don't like my daughter in the company of smokers – so I avoid their company when she's with me.
My preference make enforcing it my responsibility and I think the same applies to parents who might not want a toy pig in their home. Don't buy the toy. Or throw it out.
But live and let live. And let others enjoy the freedom or benefits of their beliefs – or lack there of.
And while we're at it, can we take pictures of our own children in the soft play areas again, and in the baby swim too, please.
P.S. ELC will be adding the pig back in for UK customers!
What do you think of this? Where else has political correctness just gone too far?