Sometimes I marvel at people. People who can take something, anything, and twist it and make it ugly. Even gardening.
In another garden group I belong to that one of my favorite purveyors of plants sponsors had a discussion on invasives. Invasive plants can, and are also referred to as “thug plants”. A thug plant chokes out the neighbors with aggressive growing habits. Like Garlic Mustard. Or Bishop’s Weed. Or Poke Weed. It takes over. It’s a bully plant, i.e. thug.
Well people, the political correctness police have set their sights on gardening. See the screen shots above? What the feezy? Calling an invasive plant a thug is racialized and represents injustice and oppression? I covered up their names but these women have too much freaking time on their hands. I said to one that she was talking about a common term attributed at times when discussing invasive plants. I asked if she really thinks the plant is going to have hurt feelings? I did tell her in my opinion she and the other woman are utterly ridiculous. Especially when one went on to say we should be “grateful” we were instructed about it. And that using the word thug when referring to invasive plant species means I am suddenly a racist?
Ummm….in a word…NO.
These women both are missing the salient point that it’s not their personal group, it’s someone else’s group. Therefore it is up to them and I found their comments equal parts offensive and ridiculous. If they want to have that conversation regarding potentially racial plant terminology, they can have elsewhere.
If they had posted this in my gardening group I would have removed the posts and removed them.
Oh and the reference to the Linnaean system of classification refers to the botany system developed by the 18th century Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus (Carl von Linné) who was a botanist, zoologist, taxonomist, and physician who created or formalized binomial nomenclature, AKA the modern system of naming organisms. He was also one of founders of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm.
I am not going to apologize or sugarcoat how truly absurd this whole suggestion that people are bad for using commonly acceptable plant terminology, etc. And I am not going to buy into the preposterousness of botany itself being completely sexist and racist. I mean come on. Just stop. History has all sorts of peaks and valleys.
Gardening is my happy place. I have little respect for drama queens who have nothing to do with their time other than to pollute gardening groups. Do I personally call invasive plants plant thugs? No because to me it reminds me of 19th century bullies roaming cities in the US and Europe…you know like organized gangs of robbers and worse? But I have heard the term applied to invasive plants and who in the Sam Hell really cares? And I thought gardening was one thing the political correctness police didn’t visit. I thought gardening was a safe space, a happy place….but for these sad sacks, everything has to be as dim as their world view, I suppose.
Here are some articles about thugs….of the plant variety:
The Spruce: How to Deal with Plant Thugs
Aggressive Plants to Avoid Growing
Written by Marie Iannotti
Dave’s Garden: Friends Don’t Let Friends Plant Thugs: Tips for avoiding aggressive plants
by Sally G. Miller May 23, 2014
Hartford Courant: Gardener: The invasion of the garden thugs!
By JOE LAMP’L SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE
MAY 22, 2011 AT 3:00 AM
It’s all about context people when it comes to language. We’re using the word thug with regard to plants, not people. So keep gardening and if you are a gardener who can’t find a happy place and wants to play political correctness police, at least get your context on correctly. Better yet, take the discussion out of a communal gardening group.
HAPPY GARDENING…and oh by the way for Earth Day 2021 I did two things: potted a palm for future life on the back patio once it’s warm enough and I also covered some containers up again because brrr chilly is happening again this evening.