The Perpetually Offended, east and west: Dresses, saris, diapers and square-root signs

February 22, 2018 • 1:15 pm

When I woke up this morning there was one notice of how the Perpetually Offended were acting, and then it multiplied through today, so now I have four instances and no time to write about them. I’ll just give brief notices about these four episodes, which combine to show that people are looking for any reason to call other people out. It’s sad that forgiveness can’t obtain in innocuous cases like these.

First up, actress Jennifer Lawrence, who wore a revealing dress at a photoshoot in the cold.  Apparently she was publicizing her new movie, “The Red Sparrow” Here it is:

It’s a lovely dress on a lovely woman. So what’s the beef? The beef is that it was cold and she had her picture taken with men who wore coats against the cold. That has to be sexist, either on her part (objectifying herself), theirs (refusal to give her a coat), or the moviemakers (forcing her to show skin in the cold):

Jennifer Lawrence poses with her bundled-up colleagues, from left: director Francis Lawrence and actors Matthias Schoenaerts, Joel Edgerton and Jeremy Irons. (John Phillips/Getty Images)

More reporting:

An article in Jezebel had the headline, Please Give Jennifer Lawrence a Dang Coat, showing the actor’s co-stars, Joel Edgerton and Jeremy Irons among them, wearing large coats and scarves.

Similarly, Metro wrote that the men in the image are “nicely wrapped up bracing themselves against the chill of a bracing London winter, while Jennifer Lawrence is wearing a plunging thigh-split gown”. One tweet that called it “quietly depressing and revealing” received over 12,000 likes.

Other likes were accrued by intersectional tweets, like these from Helen Lewis, deputy editor of The New Statesman:

And Lawrence’s response:  GET A GRIP, PEOPLE!


On to Canada’s beloved Prime Minister. Well, maybe Justin Trudeau overdid the Indian clothes on a trip to India, during which he and his family not only wore Bollywood style clothes, but made the “namaste hands”

Pictures from the BBC, which also dominates the reaction of people (I haven’t yet seen any claims of “cultural appropriation,” though of course they could easily be made here). Most of the reaction seems to be that these clothes are over the top, and they are. I dress in Indian clothes when I visit the country, but wouldn’t wear stuff like heavy gold-embroidered coats, which are more suited for either a Bollywood movie or an Indian wedding. But leave the poor family alone!

Still, Trudeau is wangling a Canadian-Indian trade deal, and may also be trying to get Indian movies filmed in Canada. He’s just trying a wee bit too hard; so we get stuff like this:

That’s funny, but some of the commentary was more offended than funny. You can find it with a bit of Googling. Let’s move on.


This isn’t quite as funny. As several venues report (e.g., here, here, here, and here, and yes, one of them is The Daily Fail, but other sources substantiate it), a smiley-faced cat adorning a package of diapers from Pampers (“nappies” to Brits) has enraged Muslims in India because the cat’s nose and whiskers look like they’re spelling out “Allah” in Arabic:

Vector of arabic calligraphy name of Prophet – Salawat supplication phrase translated as God bless Muhammad; Shutterstock Purchase Order: –

You have to be a Pecksniff looking for offense to even see a resemblance!

As reports:

The lines of the whiskers, nose, mouth and left eye of the smiley cat, which appears on each nappy and on the brand’s packaging, allegedly bear close resemblance to the Islamic prophet’s name when written in Arabic or Urdu.

Members of the Darsgah Jihad-o-Shahadat group lodged a formal complaint with police in the Indian city of Hyderabad on Tuesday over the alleged “insult” to Islam, as video footage emerged of activists burning packets of Pampers Baby Dry Pants in the streets.

In a formal letter to police, the group claimed that “name of Prophet (PBUH) can be seen printed” on the packet in Arabic “even with the bare eye”, adding that it had “hurt the feelings of the entire Muslim community”.

“Therefore we request your goodself to kindly immediately intervene into the matter forthwith and stop the sale and distribution of Baby Dry Pants of Pampers Company and take action against its manufactures [sic], arrest them and punish them,” the letter said.

One of the complainants, Shahnoor Khan, told Indian newspaper the Deccan Chronicle the group believed the company had “deliberately printed” the word on each nappy to “hurt the Muslim community” and spark community unrest.

Muslims in Hyderabad burned the diapers. Don’t they know that Muhammad loved cats, had a favorite moggie (Muezza); and that cats are especially revered in Islam?

Proctor and Gamble responded:

“We are aware of the issue that some people are seeing the name of the Prophet on Pampers diapers, leading to unsettlement for some members of the Islamic community.

“We would like to clarify that this claim is not true. Our intent was never to hurt any individual or group’s religious sentiments or beliefs and sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused.

“We would like to clarify that the diaper shows an innocent animated representation of a cat. It shows a cat’s mouth and whiskers like it is commonly portrayed in drawings and cartoons across the world, especially by little children.”


Finally, I’ll drop this here and move on. It’s from in Louisiana (click screenshot to go there):

The world is going mad, I tell you!

h/t: Brian, John (whose comment was, “Is anybody left who isn’t nuts?”

85 thoughts on “The Perpetually Offended, east and west: Dresses, saris, diapers and square-root signs

  1. I remember once in grade school the teacher describing Africa on a map that it looked like a gun if turned 90° CCW and Madagascar looked like an ejected cartridge.

  2. I’m pretty sure J-Law’s every bit as capable of lookin’ out for herself as was her character in Red Sparrow.

    1. My opinion of J-Law just skyrocketed after reading that tweet of hers. Would that everybody subjected to a pointless Twitstorm was as assertive.


  3. There are lots of people out there with nothing to do. I found myself asking why CNN would waste lots of time on live television this morning giving us a speech by Wayne La Pierre. Now that is mad.

      1. +1 and apparently Trump just spouted high praise for the NRA🤢. What the hell is there to praise?? And don’t you love his brain fart about giving bonus pay to armed teachers? I suspect all the decent teachers would resign.

        1. It’s rediculous statement of trump to hand over guns to the school teachers.I think that teachers are appointed to teach in the schools.Let them do their work and it’s government’s job to ensure the protection of the students as well as the teachers.

  4. Good grief with the diapers.

    And please with Jennifer Lawrence. Maybe she liked her dress and didn’t have a nice coat to go with it FFS.

    1. There is a Species of Fish who’s tail markings look like the Arabic for there is no god but god .

      Or some other nonsense along the same lines ,the Koran Angelfish is the fish in question.

  5. I, for one, love what jennifer Lawrence is wearing and would never, ever think of criticizing her choice of dress.

  6. That’s what a designer dress is for, putting a coat over it.

    It’s similar at the Oscar’s, men wearing a fair amount, most of the women wearing something little, flimsy, and expensive. Gee, I wonder why.

    Sorry if Jennifer Lawrence was cold and oh so hot for five minutes in order to publicize her movie, but at least she didn’t mind.

    Glen Davidson

    1. It’s similar at the Oscar’s, men wearing a fair amount, most of the women wearing something little, flimsy, and expensive. Gee, I wonder why.

      Clearly the fact that the men are – almost without exception – wearing full tuxes with cummerbund, bowtie, and coat in the nice 60 degree Southern California weather means they’re being socially objectified.

      For god’s sake, somebody get them a t-shirt!

      1. My feeling too.

        I can’t remember the last time I wore a tie, and anyone trying to get me into a suit will have to kill me first. Why do they wear that ridiculous clobber? It doesn’t look comfortable, it doesn’t look interesting, all it does is make them all look like each other.

        While the women are free to wear whatever dress they like.

        There’s definitely an assymmetry but I think the women win that one.


  7. But the square root sign does look like a gun! How exactly is it poor judgement by a child to mention that? They searched his freaking house on the strength of that comment? Wtf is wrong with these people?

    This got a search, but the kid in Florida was not checked out? But Florida is different. There they won’t even discuss guns in government, but ordinary porn is banned because it might harm children.

    1. When I was in kindergarten, I was put in timeout for noticing I had gobbled up part of my PBJ to the point where it looked vaguely like a gun, and holding it as if it was for a moment. Today, I might be expelled!

  8. A gay culture critic website called “datalounge” which is politically in synch with WEIT has coined the phrase “Sisters of the Perpetually Offended”, no doubt a riff San Francisco’s drag queen often-dressed-like-nuns group “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence”.

  9. Lawrence’s photoshoot reminds me wierdly of an MMORPG: the guys are dressed for the weather and she’s dressed for a party. At least she’s not fighting dragons in that though.

  10. I suppose that the student made a faux threat based on the “gun” on the paper. I don’t know what else would “justify” a house search.

    Well, out of context it could sound like a threat. Why would they take it out of context?

    Glen Davidson

  11. The student used extremely poor judgement? That’s a lie.

    I don’t know much about J Law, but I love her response to the wearing a revealing dress in the cold controversy.

    1. These are all eye rolling, but that’s the one that’s really worrying. The cops were called. His home was searched! And then as you observe, the cover up lie, blaming him.

    1. I thought the same – don’t think for yourself dear, let us tell you that your clothing choice is wrong.

      1. It isn’t that her clothing choice is wrong–it’s that her choice is wrong because of the context of the picture.

        She’s a very smart person, but the picture makes her look stupid. That’s why she’s defensive and angry.

        1. I don’t think it makes her look stupid. And her tweet certainly wasn’t ‘defensive’, it was a full-on counter-attack.


  12. Jennifer Lawrence can wear anything she wants, and if that means she wants to wear her underwear on her head, that’s fine by me.

    She looks beautiful in that picture.

    And stupid.

    She can define feminism for herself any way she wants, and that’s fine by me.

    If her flavor of feminism includes standing around like a prop and then whining because people are pointing out that she’s exploiting her own damn self to be a prop, that’s fine, too.

    But she looks stupid.

      1. She said what her reasons were, didn’t she?

        She doesn’t like it, that people think she looks like a prop in that picture?

        What a shame.

      1. That so?

        11/12 of America couldn’t name her if her picture was in their own wallet, so it’s for damn sure they don’t know she’s wearing Versace. I don’t think you’d know, either, unless you’ve got some serious fashion chops. Which I doubt.

        To the 11/12’s of us who are simply looking at a woman in a revealing dress pictured with a bunch of white, middle aged men wearing coats, she looks like she just popped out of a cake.

        1. OK, so you don’t like Jennifer Lawrence. I think we just about managed to figure that out by now.

          But how does someone ‘exploit herself’? The concept makes no sense whatsoever.


        2. 11/12 of America couldn’t name her

          I think citation needed for that alleged factoid. Even if it is true, it does not mean she isn’t extremely successful at her job. Nor does my ability or otherwise to spot a Versace dress alter her ability to afford and wear them.

          1. How about half of us? Are you good with that?

            My point was not that she wasn’t good at her job. Who cares?

            Nor was it that she’s wearing a designer that neither you, nor the rest of us can identify by sight. Who cares?

            My point was, as I’m sure you knew, that an average person who sees that picture will see what there is to see: a woman in a revealing dress, surrounded by white men wearing coats.

            That’s what she wanted, apparently, so she gets to live with critics like me who think she looks stupid.

            1. Pretty much agree with you, Marta. Versace, Verschmace. Who cares?? I personally think the dress is ugly, but if Jennifer wants to freeze her ass off in it, that’s her business.

            2. Agree with Marta and Merilee.

              People here are carefully ignoring that women, esp. young, attractive women in show biz, are marketed for their looks–face and body. It’s so common one scarcely thinks about it anymore–until a blatant shot like that shows up.

              I’m not criticizing Lawrence, just saying that photos like that clearly portray a fact of life that makes life difficult or uncomfortable for many women. If some can’t grasp why it looks stupid to go outside in frigid weather only half clothed, they’re not appreciating the sacrifices some women have to or chose to make in order to meet certain expectations.

              BTW, Merilee, I, too, think the dress is ugly. 😉

  13. True equality is forcing women to wear less revealing clothes if the men around them are bundled up. It doesn’t care what the woman in question thinks about it.

    Stop showing respect and admiration for foreign cultures by adopting their practices when you visit them, even if it makes them happy and doesn’t offend anyone there. It offends certain people back in your home country, who are only trying to protect those poor foreigners. Foreign people simply don’t understand the protection they need, so you can’t take their words about anything. Ask your local offense-taker.

    Do not see visual patterns suggesting any object that can cause offense, no matter how stupid that offense may be. If you do see patterns of potentially offensive objects, keep your mouth shut.

    1. Oh, well summed up! (Assuming that’s all sarcasm, of which I’m fairly certain 😉

      Patterns causing offence are all over the place. Swastikas, guns, Allah, male dangly bits…


  14. Wear a hijab, Jennifer.

    Please Give Jennifer Lawrence a Dang Coat, showing the actor’s co-stars, Joel Edgerton and Jeremy Irons among them, wearing large coats and scarves.

    I see one scarf. Large coats, all but one is open.

    It probably was on the cool side, but it certainly doesn’t look like it was very cold. Jennifer was probably happy enough to get inside afterward, but probably was barely chilled.

    But why get the facts right when you can try to signal your virtue?

    Glen Davidson

    1. With all the hubbub I thought it was seriously cold, but as it turns out the London temp two days ago was 6c/42f. Hardly coat weather if you’re only outside for a few minutes.
      Im left wondering why the men in the pictures are wearing coats, that’s barely cold enough for long pants but I guess basketball shorts aren’t appropriate for a fancy dinner.

        1. Maybe for you, it’s shorts for me and maybe a hoodie if I’m going from the house to car or car to store and I’m from Chicago.
          Give it a try, shins don’t get cold, there’s not enough meat. 🙂

      1. I kinda assumed it was a professional or semi-professional photoshoot. So my initial expectation was (a) sure JL was probably cold (b) all of them – not just her – were probably told what to wear and how to wear it, and (c) whatever you might think about the sexism of the choice, it wasn’t her sexism, it was the photographer’s or shoot organizer’s, since that’s the person who decide how it would look.

        1. Yes. I don’t think the feminist criticism was aimed at her but at the blatant example of how women are expected/acculturated to appear in certain circumstances.

          Calls to mind the time, years ago, I was watching Katie Courac on The Today Show interviewing someone serious (a politician, I think) while she was wearing clothes expected of women in her position then. I remember thinking how hard it would be to take Tom Browkaw seriously if he had to sit there in a short skirt, what we used to call Go-go boots, lips smeared with red grease, etc…

  15. Never mind Jennifer Lawrence’s attire. Check out the way the photographer has lined up Jeremy Irons’ head with the London Eye to make it look like he has an enormous halo-like headdress.

  16. What’s wrong is that nowadays everybody wants to be in everybody else’s business. Hence we see the emergence of en masse public mourning over celebrities we might not even know, social media pile-ons, whining about cultural appropriation, revealing attire and all that crap.

    So now the Olympic athletes are all greeting and thanking and bowing, Namaste-style. So what? The stupid pecksniffers need to let it ALL go, as PCC(E) suggests.

    1. It’s social ape instincts coming in to play. If I can’t climb the hierarchy in my job, or with my RL friends, well then dammit I’m going to flex my ape power by pretending I just won a victory over the social alpha I see on TV, twitter, etc.

      1. You have a point there, and I realize that. However, we need to give some benefit of the doubt to these people. For instance, I would think that J Law knows what she’s doing.

        1. Oh, absolutely!

          I know I knew it was stupid back in the day when I had the youth to do similar stuff. I just wish the whole male/female dynamic wasn’t so blatantly lookist, but what can you do?

          To be fair, sometimes women themselves drive wilder and wilder expectations. But ultimately it’s for the guys. In a female only group they wouldn’t be trying to attract attention by seduction. Well, most of ’em, anyway…

          1. Good point about the lookism aspect, Diane. It’s not just male-female, but all combinations thereof.

            With the speed of news dissemination and turnover across the internet, many people are being driven to new levels of absurdity to market themselves or their products or their sponsors’ products. (Orangeness is the current absurdity. ;)) I do have qualms about the example we’re setting for still-developing young minds. Where does it end?

  17. Jennifer can absolutely make her own decisions. I do wonder if that was really her own decision. Even a pop culture idiot like me knows how publicity interviews and photo shoots are directed by the powers that be. And if it was her own decision, I still have to wonder whether her decision was influenced by knowing that successful women in Hollywood are often only able to achieve that success because of their sex appeal.

    This is not an open and shut case of “offense culture overreaction”, imo.

    1. She has spoken up about a lot of things. Why is she not to be believed about this?

      I don’t really have a problem with believing that she enjoys looking fantastic in some promotional shots taken over a few minutes (5 minutes might be slightly minimized, IMO). It’s good for the movie, it’s good for her image.

      Anyway, she wore a coat to the place, not surprisingly. Take it off for a few minutes of shots, back on, then go indoors. It’s not that onerous in the high 40s, if there’s little wind (looks fairly still). I suspect that movie making is often rather more uncomfortable than that.

      Glen Davidson

    2. May I point out that a lot of the models one sees in fashion shots are probably shivering in front of that scenic backdrop (or baking in the sun). They uncover for the shot, look glamorous (which is their job for which they are, if they’re successful, well paid) for a few minutes, then revert to more sensible attire while the photog sets up for the next shot.

      They and their photographers don’t all sit in a hotel room for a week waiting for the climatic conditions to be just right for the chosen outfit.

      Now, if you want to debate why movie stars get roles because of sex appeal, that’s a whole other story. As Glen said, movie making – particularly action movies – is often highly uncomfortable for the stars.


  18. Now if only people would mind their own business; even the boy king can look a little ridiculous while on vacation, if he wants.

    1. LOL. Thanks for disarming us all.
      Does anyone remember when Angelina Jolie stuck out her leg and thigh (similar black dress with navel-high slit) while presenting an Oscar? She knew it looked ridiculous and there was a lot of irony in her action.

  19. A bit more on the radical story:

    According to officials, the student was drawing a math problem on the board when a classmate pointed out that the radical sign, or square root symbol, looked like a pistol.

    Doucet says the student drawing the problem made a comment like “Let’s just get to work before I shoot you with a pistol.”

    Rumors spread quickly of the student planning a shooting at the school, which lead to his suspension and a search of his home.


    I can see how rumors might raise concerns.

    Glen Davidson

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