To Be PC, Or not PC
by The Cynic firstname.lastname@example.org
Have you noticed you haven't met any stewardesses lately? How about a
janitor? Maybe a midget? I doubt highly that you have met anyone in the last
few years or so that refers to himself this way. They all have new titles.
People can no longer be deaf or retarded, they are now hearing impaired or
mentally challenged. Your garbage man now works in the field of waste
management (or book making if you're in Jersey). It seems that there are more
new titles in the English language then in Aisle One at Barnes and Noble.
While it takes awhile to adjust to all these new titles, it can be fun and to
your advantage. You can now say, " I have sexual fantasies about vertically
challenged flight attendants." You won't offend anyone and you get a good
chuckle at the same time.
In order to be accepted these days you must master the new language. It is
much like the old language except for what used to be taboo isn't and what
used to not be is. Confused? Read on...
The intent of Political Correctness (PC) is to avoid offending people because
of race, gender, etc. The thinking is if we change the words we use and
think before we speak, we would offend people less often and everyone would
be happier. This is an example of good intentions gone awry. Disregarding the
Orwellian feel to PC speech, we need to understand it's basic structure and
proper usage. Let me show you the way.
PC classifications seem to take place to change the image of a group of
people or a profession that may be suffering from some sort of bad
reputation. The above stated "flight attendant" is a classic example of this.
The stereotypes that the word stewardess would conjure up were at best "air
waitress," or at worst "airplane whore." While changing the name doesn't
change the fact that they are air waitresses, or whores for that matter, it
changes the perception. In a today's America, perception is reality.
Perception is the rule. (While I don't really believe that all flight
attendants are whores, easing up on the makeup would help ladies.)
While you may be inclined to dislike PC and dismiss it, you are missing the
point. Being Politically Correct has many great advantages. First of all, no
matter what you say, you are saying it with the best possible intentions.
Take the following examples:
Non PC Statement: "Black people are good dancers and singers."
Problem: You are grouping a minority. You further insult by using the
non-preferred term of Black people. You can easily be deemed a bigot here,
regardless of your intentions.
Proper PC Statement: "The African culture is rich with rhythm and song and
African American's have incorporated this into our society through dance and
This phrase is not only PC, it seems insightful. By using the word culture
you sound worldly and educated. You also used the proper terminology when
referring to black Americans.
Non PC Statement :" I wish all the damn Mexicans would go back where they
Ouch! That's a harsh statement. I hope you don't mean it. Not only did you
cite a specific group for your ire, you also swore in front of a term for a
group of people. I will talk to you about swearing a little later.
Proper PC Statement: " The problem with immigration is that it hurts not only
our job market but it hurts their own economy by not providing productivity
for their native land. We should tighten up our borders."
OK, I still don't agree with you, however I don't hate you now. I'll just
think you are misguided and we can remain friends. You used the word
immigrants instead of Mexicans. This makes it seem like you're not just
citing one group. Bonus points for using the word native in any context.
Non PC Statement: " All flight attendants are whores."
OK, PC is not magic. There is no PC way to put this. This is evil and mean
spirited. (The writer is ashamed for attempting to beat every last laugh out
of the tired stewardess/whore connection)
You see folks, the beauty of being PC is it makes people, particularly women,
think you care. Again, perception is reality. Even if you can give a rat's
a** about the plight of custodial engineers, the fact that you say custodial
engineer is enough. It's like getting credit for nothing. I thrive on getting
credit for nothing.