Merry Christmas, dammit!
By Danielle O on November 28, 2013
I'm a blonde who loves blonde jokes. I’m not threatened if you think I’m dumb; you’ll figure it out eventually if I keep you around long enough. I’m not offended by the jokes, rather, I find them absurdly accurate and it is that accuracy that makes me laugh my ass off! In my day, that's exactly how blondes did act (frankly, too many still do)! So which came first: the stereotype? Or the label?
Today I wanna talk about how sick I am of being politically correct. It has become impossible to state what you really think and mean because it may be considered politically incorrect. I have an issue with this because it leads to the telling of half truths or the ultimate shut down of communication in general. Soon we may be too afraid to speak, lest we be slapped with a citation from the PC Police Force. I live in a country where soldiers actually DIED to preserve my freedom of speech! Dammit, I owe it to them to stand up for my right to speak as I choose!
I say no more bowing to the purveyors of PC ettiquette who are creating a culture of overly-sensitive people!
First, let me start by saying I understand the intention of politically correct labels: eliminate discrimination. I understand and agree that it is important not to create obstacles to communication and cooperation by making faux pas about race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc.
We don’t want to offend someone (maybe you do, but I don’t), but at what point do we push the responsibility for interpretation back on the listener? We cannot be held responsible for how every person will receive what we say.
Hell, even among people in the 'same group’ there is often no consensus on which term will be the acceptable politically correct term*. (For example: I'm a woman who doesn't care if you call me a chick or a broad or a ....well, ok maybe I am a bitch; see the asterisk footnote for a more intellectual example!).
I’ve made ludicrously politically correct statements and still offended people! We cannot control how another person will receive the message we send no matter how we tailor it. I believe these uproars say more about the person doing the uproaring than the person that innocently used a word on the PC taboo list.
Back to the chicken or egg parallel up there: Do the negative ideas and thoughts come first and we create the words now deemed “unacceptable” to describe and mean them?
Do the words themselves and the decision to put them on the taboo list actually do the creating of negative thought patterns and behaviours, such as the term policeman (man, being a root word in human - where is the sexism here)?
I think it poses an interesting sociological question that may force us to consider sanitizing words rather than banning them. In many of the more inflammatory cases, I would hope this could take away their power.
The good thing about sociology is that it’s open to interpretation: no two groups will be exactly the same. The bad thing is that it’s open to interpretation: no two groups will be exactly the same! Irony!! Unfortunately, it also means my question will forever be a great philosophical debate no matter how hard I try to force a consensus.
The terms, or labels, we use to describe each other often relate to gender, sexual preference, skin colour or religion. It is in an effort to maintain sensitivity to our differences that we decide a word, a phrase or an idea is now unacceptable in “polite” company. But I don’t understand why seeing our differences is bad. Difference is good! Besides, it makes life interesting.
But no one is, (or should be, in my opinion), immune from being poked fun of. This alarming trend of filtering our every thought and word to avoid offending someone is both unrealistic and naïve. People are different! To pretend I don’t see the difference is insulting to a person of another culture! Every culture is unique and should be celebrated for it. But every culture also has a tradition of making fun of its own and others. Why are we so fervently trying to deny it and stamp it out?