By this time next year, January 2012 will be known as “those few weeks when we laughed at all of the shit everyone except regular white men say,” and then abruptly stopped laughing. While some of the “Shit Girls Say” spinoffs were hilarious, and even a few were educational, the time has come for us to stop toeing the line of stereotyping specific groups through this device. I’d use the term “played out” to describe how I feel about this meme right now if “played out” itself weren’t a tad bit of a tired term itself. But that’s what it has all become.
Pigeonholing people by behavior based on race, gender, sexual orientation, or basically anything we can think of is nothing new. It’s such a reliable comedic device that there are no hopes of that particular tactic falling by the wayside even if it can best be described as “benevolent prejudice.”
But when I think specifically of the “Shit ____ Say” trend I first think of how embarrassing it’s been to black out the word “shit” and how no matter how awesome “Shit White Girls Say to Black Girls” was, I couldn’t show it to my mom because it had that curse word in the title. I think of how to stay tasteful we’ve all been employing a series of dashes and asterisks in posting (and re-posting) these videos — it’s just a word and all, but come on, folks…we should be a little classier, don’t you think?
There’s also something to be said for the need for originality. I have to wonder how the creators of the first “Shit Girls Say” video feel about all of these rip-off versions, because if I’d come up with such an original concept only to have it redone into the ground until it was no longer original I’d go from flattered to heated, and end up something on the angry side of bitter. Remember that television deal that the original was headed for? Do you think that’s still going to happen considering how tired the meme has become? Too bad and so sad for the original creators but…I’d say no. Dreams deferred.
People, I beg and implore you: if you are sure that you have the next brilliant “Shit ____ Say” video brewing in your mind, before you set up your camera and recruit friends in bad costumes to teach us what some demographic that you have mild disdain for says, please think again. Don’t even bother overthinking it so much that you wonder if you’re going to be racist or sexist because while you probably are about to be, that’s not the real problem. The world may be yearning for your comedic stylings but we’ll all respect you more for breaking out of the box and letting this tired meme rest in peace.
Clutchettes, are you tired of the “Shit People Say” videos or is it just me?