Is ‘Cowboy’ The Next Mascot To Die A Politically Correct Death?
Is one of the time-honored symbols of American freedom and spirit of adventure about to be sucked into the bottomless pit of political correctness? Is it time that we did away with the term "cowboy"?
You've probably asked yourself like I've asked myself, "What is politically incorrect about a cowboy"? They work hard. They play hard. They honor their parents. They respect women. They ride horses. They opened the American frontier. What in the name of Roy Rogers could be wrong with being a cowboy?
Just ask the University of Wyoming. They recently commissioned a marketing firm to come up with a new slogan for the school that incorporated the university's mascot, Pistol Pete, who just happens to be a cowboy.
The slogan the university unveiled recently is this. The World Needs More Cowboys.
Apparently, those words have chapped the backsides of those who don't understand the need to wear chaps. According to some, that is a totally sexist slogan. It's okay you can exhale your heavy sigh, I'll understand.
The Committee on Women and People of Color at the University of Wyoming as well as some student groups are suggesting that the term cowboy evokes an image of a heterosexual white male. God knows the world doesn't need any more of those. Just like this piece doesn't need any more sarcasm I guess.
Look, I am not totally out of step with the wishes of those who can't get comfortable with the cowboy stereotype. It's true. When I think of "cowboys" I do conjure up an image of a white guy on a horse not being sexually attracted to another guy on a horse.
I also understand the need for a public institution to make all people of all beliefs and ideals comfortable in their association with that institution. We need a solution to this problem and I believe I have one.
I suggest the term "cowboy" be changed to "person of cattle". You didn't think of a straight white guy when you read that, did you? Neither will anyone else. Which is what you want out of a mascot.
You want people to hear the mascot's name and be confused like when we hear someone is a Hilltopper, a Boilermaker, A Ramblin' Wreck, a Shocker, a Gunston, click the link I went ahead Googled that one for you.
I know I am wrong. I am not being sensitive and I am making light of a subject that will no doubt affect the ability of students in Wyoming and around the world get a higher education and maintain a high level of self-esteem.
Just call me old and out of touch on this issue. My time, like the time of the cowboy and all the life lessons on kindness and virtue he taught, has come and gone. Maybe this should be where the cowboy rides away shaking his head and gritting his teeth.