Let’s be honest: I have no idea when this thing about political correctness started. It was nonexistent when I was a kid in the 80’s, and by the time I was in high school in the 90’s it was making itself known. This is PC, that’s not PC. It began to guide the way America talked, the way they thought, the way they bristled at an infraction of the politic’s sensibilities.
To this day I’m still not sure what constitutes PC. I know I’m not supposed to say the n-word to describe a non-white person; the r-word for a person with intellectual disabilities; and several word for homosexuals. That’s fine, I prefer not to hurt feelings anyway. I don’t know if the use of PC language really gets in the way of getting things done. But is it possible that the whole PC movement is more of an umbrella for several non discrimination campaigns, some of which may have enjoyed more success up to this point than others? Then maybe we could just prune it a bit; we’ve been fairly successful in conforming a lot of language toward gender neutrality – they’re not mailmen, they’re mail carriers. They’re not firemen, but firefighters; and policemen are really police officers, and lawyers and doctors are still big-time pickpockets – no change there.
Let me change direction here. Who does find the concept of political correctness useful?
I wonder if the issues will ever go away, and so why should we care to constrain official language? It seems that in so doing, all we really achieve is to give politicians a cheat sheet on saying things more nicely. I say take away their crib notes and see if they start to come off like the sharks and psychopaths that most of them undoubtedly are. Then maybe we can get back to electing people who will work together across party lines to make this country sing as one again, instead of constantly falling apart like a house of cards over this little thing or that major infraction of privacy by Federal agencies.
PC? Do we really think this is about avoiding harming anyone’s feelings, or is it more likely that politicians threw themselves a safe script right under our noses? Is that how these guys are getting into office? Why can’t we all just get along?
This post was prompted by yesterday’s Daily Post prompt
- I May Not Be Politically Correct (PC), But I Am Pretty Clear (PC) (typemeariver.wordpress.com)
- The Facade of Politically Correct (josephrathjen.wordpress.com)
- Political Correctness: A small addition (alienorajt.wordpress.com)
- Daily Prompt: The Usefulness of Political Correctness (thelintinmypocket.wordpress.com)
- Wonderful term, this “Political Correctness” (calebdomain.wordpress.com)
- Political Correctness: No thanks! (alienorajt.wordpress.com)
- Political Correctness: Mean Girls in Charge? (joantwarren.com)
- Daily Prompt: P.C. (diaryofdennis.com)
- Without adjective (vivirquenoespoco.wordpress.com)
- Daily Prompt: P.C. | The Daily Post (thebloggingpath.com)
I really like the premise of this, but being PC means being accepted as a whole. Think of the animosity that makes certain (vocal) personalities either revered or hated. I HATE Ann Coulter, sorry but I do. But it is her inability to be PC that makes her loved by her followers and makes people like me want to turn her books around backwards as I pass them in a store.
I think about the news coverage of, oh, let’s go with the Kennedy assassination in the 60’s then the falling of the towers in ’01. Think of how different these events were covered, think about what we said and what we were thinking. It’s night and day!
Okay – end of sleep deprived rant.
But that’s exactly what I’m saying. Throw the book out the window and see how many people start to look like this Ann Coulter fellow you’re talking about, because PC or not, they have a set of feelings and attitudes that’s developed without regard to PC-ness. Having PC be a thing just gives them a way to hide who they really are while they undermine the end result we would seek in implementing the PC campaign in the first place. That’s kind of like a zebra handing a lion its stripes as a way to cut down on predation.
How to fix something so ingrained in us now though? Speaking without a PC filter would make us social pariahs.
Nah, it makes us real. Those of us who care to be sensitive will have our own filters in place. When we are corrected we make the effort to do it right moving forward, while those who don’t care are exposed. We don’t need to fix PC, I think, we just need to stop making it a thing. Let people make their mistakes and if they’re honestly sorry, let them apologize on their own.
Okay, I follow you but here is my honest to God question on that: how the hell can you decipher honesty in a world that is so good at covering their mistakes?
It’s tough, but why give them another advantage?
Advantage to what? The way I see it is the strongest in this argument are the best liars and manipulators. Or maybe I am being obtuse about the whole thing.
The language of PC gives them a way to hide their true leanings and feelings. That’s what I’m saying. If it weren’t for that lexicon’s invention, they would out themselves more readily or at least present themselves somewhat more genuinely.
Do you feel like you should be wearing a jacket with leather patches, a pipe and a combover being so philosophical and sophisticated? What the hell is the female equivalent to that?
My apologies, I am a bit sleep deprived.
If the language got much stronger, I’d have to cut you off – but there’s nothing wrong with a spirited conversation. The opposing argument neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg, and I’m better off tested than not.
Hear hear, Rob’s Surf Report. I quite agree. And I think your suspicions vis a vis politicians and scripts is bang on the nail. Not just politicians either, sad to say. I have never believed that it was purely about avoiding hurting others’ feelings. After all, you can – and people regularly do! – say all the right words and still have hatred and bigotry simmering in their hearts. You can refer to people by the latest agreed term and STILL be transmitting contempt, giving them the LOOK, despising them beneath your PC vocabulary.
As I said in my rant – er, post! – yesterday, treating others with decency starts in the heart, not in an agreed list of words!
Well put, Alienora, thank you for reading and commenting!
[…] Do I really think political correctness is necessary? | Rob’s Surf Repor […]
Political correctness drives me crazy, Rob. Nothing can substitute for human decency, for treating others the way we wish to be treated, for being considerate and thoughtful. If we all lived that way, PC would go out the window. Plus, I don’t like the way PC keeps calling attention to the very issues it tries to suppress.
Well said, Andra; I totally agree with you! Alienora
That’s what I’m talking about! (Except the last part – that’s a great point.) I’m glad I’m not alone in feeling that way. 😀