POLITICAL CORRECTNESS HAS NOT ‘GONE MAD’
It’s become a dirty word, but PC remains vital to protecting those whose voices are so often silenced
THIS is totally not PC … but I’m in favour of political correctness.
Which is somewhat ironic, given one of my nicknames is No Filter.
But see, when I humiliate, denigrate or make fun of someone - it’s pretty much always me (okay, or my husband). And I can take it (and he’s willing to live with it).
It’s one thing to shame yourself (my husband is my other half, right?), another to shame others. It’s the difference between uncouth and un-PC.
But if you’re making others your punchline, you don’t get to decide who gets offended. PC has become a dirty word, but lest we forget: it’s there to protect those whose voices are so often silenced – the minorities.
The precise definition of political correctness is: “the avoidance of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalise, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.”
So political correctness need not apply to me as a subject because I’m pretty well protected, politically speaking. You know: white, middle-class, straight and employed. I’m blonde, blueeyed and the mother of one girl and one boy – heck, I even have one dog and one cat plus an SUV. There’s barely a majority I don’t belong to.
So how on Earth is it my right – or that of any other hanging out with me in the majority – to bemoan political correctness?
Of course, many of the instances which fuel our hatred of the PC movement are also BS.
For example, the renaming of the blackboard to the more inclusive ‘chalkboard’. Ridiculous, yes. Primarily because who even uses a blackboard anymore?
Ridiculous also because it’s not actually true. It’s an urban myth that we love to share to get our blood boiling against the “PC brigade”.
However I’m sure both you and I can think of a thousand real and really annoying examples where good intentions have gone bad.
Cancelling Christmas celebrations in favour of “end-of-year” or “holiday” parties gets many an eye rolling. But not an eye crying.
Because do you know what’s worse than annoying? Having your disabled – hell, mentally or physically challenged if you prefer – child called “retarded”. Or your black friend called the N word. Or your homosexual brother called the F word.
What baffles me is that many of the same people who bang on about defending freedom of speech – any speech, hateful or not – simultaneously want others to shut up when it comes to subjects with which they disagree.
Let’s take the whole Same Sex Marriage debate as an example.
The ‘No’ campaign has argued that they are being silenced by moral fascists and shamed for sharing their opinion.
Yet part of their argument against a ‘Yes’ vote is that children might be taught “radical gender programs” in schools. You know, programs that might help the minority.
I’m pretty sure that no program could convince the majority to switch sexes.
But I’m also pretty sure that such a program could help more than a few children who feel alone, ostracised and abnormal. It’s the ones on the fringes we need to protect.
I’m not saying Safe Schools as it stands is something we should implement, it’s been too well tarnished to begin with. But teaching kids that different happens and that’s ok, could be a literal lifesaver.
And let’s not forget that not so long ago any sort of sex education was seen as a radical program. Until, of course, it became PC.