Has Political Correctness Gone too Far

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bibbouk
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Has Political Correctness Gone too Far

Post by bibbouk » Sep 24th 2002, 10:03 am

This came up yesterday at work. A guy I work with says that PC should be abolished completely because it's not society's place to tell people how to think or what to say and that PC infringes on freedom of speech.

I didn't say anything to him but it made me wonder if there are others who feel the same way.

I believe that some PC has gone too far such as people getting offended over small things like being called "hearing impaired" over "auditorily (I'm not even sure how you would spell such a word!) challenged."

I actually heard this conversation in the mall one day between a man and woman (I wasn't trying to eavesdrop, but they were at the table next to me in the food court) and she was all bent out of shape because one of her friend's boyfriends had called her hearing impaired.

So what do you think? Has Pc gone too far? If so, how do you think it can be stopped? Is there not enough PC in the world?

Your thoughts please.

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Natasha (candygirl)
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Sep 24th 2002, 2:35 pm

I think that there is a balance - we need to be sensitive to other people yet we can't expect everyone to be up on the latest greatest PC term for every single little thing and then get offended because someone says "blue" instead of "robin's egg." See what I'm getting at?

I do understand that semantics are significant and that we need to avoid words that have negative connotations, but some of this PC stuff is ridiculous. For example, there is a great Christmas thing at Balboa Park in San Diego every year - lights, Santa Claus, reindeer, the whole bit. This year they are renaming it the December Festival. Although I went to Catholic school (as well as a Lutheran school) in my youth, Christmas to me (as to many people in our modern world) is NOT about Jesus, the three wise men, the nativity, etc. It's about crass commercialism. I find that more offensive than any religious holiday symbols. But so as not to offend or exclude anyone, the Santa Claus thing in the park is now the December Festival. That's when I think PC has gone too far. My non-Christian friends take no offense at the Santa Claus setup being called a Christmas Festival and they go check it out every year too.

I think that as long as people are making an effort NOT to use obviously offensive and derogatory terms, that's close enough for me. And I'm saying that as a person who is considered a minority several times over and has worked with the homeless, the elderly, the disabled, etc.

When people get THAT worked up about words (and we're not talking ethnic slurs or anything here), I wish they would put that energy into helping someone instead of yelling at someone.

That's my two cents. :)

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Post by somamoon » Sep 24th 2002, 3:19 pm

I kind of find it amusing that your friend wants being PC to be "abolished," since being PC is a choice. There aren't any laws that really command people to be PC. The closest you could get would be hate crime legislation.

As for renaming stuff the "December Festival," I think that's a great idea. There are at least two other holidays that fall in December, Hannuakah(sp) and Kwanza. The name "Christmas Festival" sets up one holiday, Christmas, as the "recognized" holiday and subverts the other two. By calling it "December" instead of "Christmas," no holiday is privileged over the other.

I think for people that move outside of certain cultures, like Deaf/Hard of Hearing culture for example, it is hard to keep up with all the different labels that exist. But I don't think that abolishing "political correctness" is the answer. In fact, I don't recommend even thinking of labels as "political correctness." I just prefer to listen to people and if they get upset about something you call them, there's going to be a legitmate reason. Listen to their reason, store it in your brain, and don't make the same mistake the next time.

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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Sep 24th 2002, 5:33 pm

somamoon wrote:As for renaming stuff the "December Festival," I think that's a great idea. There are at least two other holidays that fall in December, Hannuakah(sp) and Kwanza. The name "Christmas Festival" sets up one holiday, Christmas, as the "recognized" holiday and subverts the other two. By calling it "December" instead of "Christmas," no holiday is privileged over the other.
I understand what you are saying, which is why we now call December the holiday season and have cards that say Seasons Greetings for people who celebrate Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, Hannukah, or nothing at all. That said, when there is a nativity scene and a Santa Claus - that's Christmas stuff. I'm not saying that Christmas is right or wrong, but I like to call a spade a spade. I guess we'll see if they add other seasonal stuff to the displays at the December Festival this year.

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Post by dTheater » Sep 24th 2002, 10:21 pm

somamoon wrote:As for renaming stuff the "December Festival," I think that's a great idea. There are at least two other holidays that fall in December, Hannuakah(sp) and Kwanza. The name "Christmas Festival" sets up one holiday, Christmas, as the "recognized" holiday and subverts the other two.
The Christmas Festival was created with the intention of celebrating Christmas, not to subvert non-Christian holidays. Why would the two holidays not being represented be offended? Someone who celebrates Christmas decides to set up this festival and invites others who celebrate Christmas to come celebrate together. Anyone who doesn't celebrate Christmas can just walk right by it and go down the road to the Kwanza festival.

That's like saying St. Patrick's Day should be revamped to celebrate all nationalities or all those million man/woman/mom marches should include all people everywhere and lose it's uniqueness.
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Post by somamoon » Sep 25th 2002, 2:39 am

dTheater wrote: The Christmas Festival was created with the intention of celebrating Christmas, not to subvert non-Christian holidays.
Totally true, and you bring up part of the point I was trying to make. Often people do things that unconsciously priviledge one culture (or in this case religion) over the other. Which brings me to my next question - you said they could "just walk right by it and go down the road to the Kwanza festival." IS there a Kwanza Festival? If so, then I would say that the name change is not necessary and agree that festivals should hold their "uniqueness" and live together side by side.

But if there are not any other festivals, then I think it should be open to include everyone. I would also want to know how the festival is being paid for? Is it city run and paid for by tax dollars? If so, then it SHOULD be open to all religions because everyone is putting money into the pot. It wouldn't be fair to single out one religion over another. But if it's privately sponsored, then the festival has the right to do whatever they want.

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Post by dTheater » Sep 25th 2002, 8:32 pm

somamoon wrote:Which brings me to my next question - you said they could "just walk right by it and go down the road to the Kwanza festival." IS there a Kwanza Festival? If so, then I would say that the name change is not necessary and agree that festivals should hold their "uniqueness" and live together side by side.
I don't know any of these fetsivals; I'm just speaking hypothetically. My point is, if someone is, for some reason, offended by another person publically celebrating their holiday, then the offended person should go and do the same; start their own Chaunakkah celebration.
somamoon wrote:I would also want to know how the festival is being paid for? Is it city run and paid for by tax dollars? If so, then it SHOULD be open to all religions because everyone is putting money into the pot. It wouldn't be fair to single out one religion over another.
Well, they say "separation of church and state" so I would hope it's privately sponsored.
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A Politically Correct Alphabet*

Post by Nostradamus » Sep 26th 2002, 9:56 am

(From Politically Correct The Ultimate Storybook by James Finn Garner)
  • A is an Activist itching to fight.
    B is a Beast with its animal rights.
    C was a Cripple (now differently abled).
    D is a Drunk who is "liquor enabled."
    E is an Ecologist who saves spotted owls.
    F was a Forester, now staffing McDonald's.
    G is a Glutton who says he's "food-centered."
    H is a Hermaphrodite skirting problems of gender.
    I is an "Ism" (you'd better believe it).
    J is a Jingoist--love it or leave it!
    K is a Kettle the pot can't call black.
    L is a Lifestyle not bound to the pack.
    M is a Mindset with bias galore.
    N was a Negro, but not anymore.
    O is an Oppressor, devoid of self love.
    P is the Patriarchy (see "O" above).
    Q is a Quip that costs someone a job.
    R is the Reasoning done by a mob.
    S is a Sexist, that slobbering menace.
    T is a Teapot that's brewing a tempest.
    U is for Umbrage at the slightest transgression.
    V is a Valentine, tool of oppression.
    W is for "Woman", however it's spelled.
    X is a chromosome we share in our cells.
    Y is a Yogi for the easily led.
    Z is a Zombie, the differently dead.
*The traditional order of the letters in an alphabet is, of course, completely arbitrary. In spite of its association with excellence in archaic, competitive, literacy-obsessed school grading programs, A is no better or more deserving a letter than X, Y, or Z.

Therefore, to deflect any criticisms of a noun-centric bias, I employed a random-letter generator before working on this new alphabet. Believe me, I was as surprised as anyone that, despite the tremendous odds, the random-letter generator spat out the alphabet in the exact order shown above.
I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.
-- Clarence Darrow

I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.
-- Mark Twain

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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Sep 26th 2002, 3:00 pm

Thanks for that Nostradamus!

It made me laugh on a generally crappy day.

:D

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Post by So-Called Loon » Nov 1st 2002, 9:04 am

:shock: Whew! There's a serious can of worms!

"Political Correctness" has gone several light years beyond anything which makes any kind of logic or practical sense!

It's creating far more conflict than it prevents. It stomps on free speech. It makes simple conditions into dire emergencies and serious issues into euphemized malarky. It can't control what people think.

The way it's intended to try to make things more civil and "fair" is ludicrous. It's mostly laughable if it weren't taken to the extent of really pissing people off or having serious concsequences.
somamoon wrote:There aren't any laws that really command people to be PC. The closest you could get would be hate crime legislation.
...may be true, but there are certainly times and places when choosing not to be PC can get one into serious doodle. For instance, on certain campuses where not only racist or sexist statements can get you keesed, but even having potentially offensive posters, or drawings where others come across them.

The "hate crime" concept is idiotic too. If i take a handgun and shoot somebody's brains out, that person is dead and i've committed murder. WTF is the difference whether i hated the person because of his race or religion, or not? He's still dead and i still did it. I can't see any reason for the punishment to change since the actual crime is the same. What kind of crap is this trying to punish people for their thoughts?!

As far as...
bibbouk wrote:...PC should be {abolished} completely because it's not society's place to tell people how to think or what to say and that PC infringes on freedom of speech.
...substitute "ignored" or "discarded" for the forcible "abolished".

I'd go with this when it comes to just being a good person...
candygirl wrote:I think that as long as people are making an effort NOT to use obviously offensive and derogatory terms, that's close enough for me.
BUT, i say the USA is supposedly a free country, and that should include the freedom to be an ass if you please. I don't recall any constitutional language which specifies that anyone has the right not to be offended by the words of others. If somebody is referred to with derogatory language and there isn't some tangible damage inflicted, the "hurt" is only a product of the victim's mental interpretation.
somamoon wrote:There are at least two other holidays that fall in December, Hannuakah(sp) and Kwanza. The name "Christmas Festival" sets up one holiday, Christmas, as the "recognized" holiday and subverts the other two. By calling it "December" instead of "Christmas," no holiday is privileged over the other.
Sorry, but that's BS. It does NOT subvert anything. The people who don't celebrate Christmas are free to call the holliday Kwanza or Hannukah and, of course, they are going to celebrate whichever they subscribe to. If it just so happens that the number of folks celebrating Christmas is larger than numbers celebrating something else, or not at all, and so the term gets used more, c'est la vie.

All this sort of stuff ammounts to is the people who feel slighted playing victim and trying to convince others that they're somehow being injured or put at some tangeable disadvantage by simply hearing about something they don't participate in. Personally, i do not celebrate "the holiday season" or some type of "december festival". I'm from a Christian background and so i celebrate Christmas. Jesus wasn't born during the "december festival". It was on the specific date (or at least the date chosen to represent it) when he popped out of Mary's womb. Calling them simply the holiday season or december festival, if anything, homogenizes and negates the significance of all three hollidays.

-----------------

A final personal peeve or two about annoying euphemisms: I'm going to put in my will that my obituary is to say something like "...who died of {insert cause}" I hate all the stupid sayings like "passed away", "passed on", "rejoined his heavenly father", "left this earth", "finally succumbed", "went to meet his ancestors", blah blah blah. I don't see what's so terrible about "died".

One of the silliest euphemisms i've ever heard is "differently abled". If i lose my hearing i'm going to be reading peoples lips to make sure they're calling me deaf. If i lose my sight and i hear somebody callling me "visually impaired" or "sight impaired" or "visually challenged" i'm gonna whack'em across the shins with my fold-up cane! :lol:

And now i'm going to shut the hell up, :wink: because i've already jabbered my head off, and if i get started on the money wasted and the general acts of utter idiocy committed in the fight to ensure the so-called separation of church and state, this is going to turn into a novella. I've already drilled that topic into the ground in various more appropriate forums on too many occasions.
Been a member since sometime BR (before Ross)

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So-Called Loon
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Re: A Politically Correct Alphabet*

Post by So-Called Loon » Nov 2nd 2002, 5:56 am

Nostradamus wrote:(From Politically Correct The Ultimate Storybook by James Finn Garner)
  • A is an Activist itching to fight.
    B is a Beast with its animal rights...
...generator spat out the alphabet in the exact order shown above.
Didn't actually read this all the way through before.
Very amusing. :lol:
Been a member since sometime BR (before Ross)

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Re: A Politically Correct Alphabet*

Post by Nostradamus » Nov 2nd 2002, 7:22 am

So-Called Loon wrote:
Nostradamus wrote:(From Politically Correct The Ultimate Storybook by James Finn Garner)
  • A is an Activist itching to fight.
    B is a Beast with its animal rights...
...generator spat out the alphabet in the exact order shown above.
Didn't actually read this all the way through before.
Very amusing. :lol:
Isn't it? I'm working on another relevant quote, this time from Terry Pratchett, but I don't have the book handy. This is a good topic for discussion, but people can really get worked up over it so I'm trying to keep a humorous perspective. :)
I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.
-- Clarence Darrow

I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.
-- Mark Twain

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