For PC police, dictionary spells trouble

Central Station | Nury Vittachi 30 Jan 2019

Uh-oh. Former University of Hong Kong boss Peter Mathieson, who was always being heckled by students, is in hot water again.

He is now principal of Edinburgh University - and again trying to calm students down.

It all started when mystery people put stickers up in his new university's grounds containing a dictionary quote: "Woman. Noun. Adult human female."

Many students were furious at this line, which they saw as an "outrageous attack on transgender people."

What to do?

Having learned his lesson in Hong Kong, Mathieson came down heavily in support of the student protesters.

He expressed outrage at the stickers, ordered security staff to review CCTV footage, and summoned the police to arrest the perpetrators for "hate crimes."

The stickers, it transpired, were put up by feminists.

Oops. This was tricky. Being politically correct requires support for feminists and transgender people.

The police declined to arrest anybody.

Feminists pointed out that Mathieson's view means that all dictionaries everywhere are now technically "hate crime" documents.

Watch out: this issue is going to run and run.

* * *

Just spotted another massive East-West difference yesterday.

Asia's biggest e-sports center opens in Hong Kong this week and the women's zone is entirely decorated in bright pink.

Asian reaction? "Kawaii! So cute!"

If you did this in the West, the place would be burned down before evening.

* * *

Meanwhile, Walt Disney Co has decided to make the most of Asia's a) outrageous lack of extreme political correctness, or b) realistic attitude to gender differences (choose one.)

The Enchanted Storybook experience has only been made available at Disneyland parks in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

You take your little girl into a special area where Big Girls dress them as Disney princesses and put adult make-up on their tiny faces.

The girls are then Photoshopped into a hardback book along with Kristof from Frozen and other characters.

The books are 12 pages long and sell for HK$1,980 a copy.

Now I see where I am going wrong with my own book sales. Way too long, way too cheap and not enough Disney characters.

* * *

Reader Doreen Jaegar-Soong yesterday forwarded this MTR poster (see picture) warning people not to "blow at chicken's bottoms."

It was also discussed on Reddit, where people from Hong Kong patiently explained that when we buy live chickens in market, we blow the lower feathers apart to check if they are virgins.

"That sucks," replied a Redditor named Greg. "About to be slaughtered and still being judged by society."

* * *

Children from Harrow school in Hong Kong were caught in a sudden hailstorm yesterday on their visit to the Netherlands.

The Hongkongers, never having experienced being pummelled by hard balls of ice, were astonished. "My face!" squealed one, trying to take cover.

"They're like mini-cannonballs!"

A Russian student didn't know what the fuss was about. "It's just hail," she said.

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