It is almost not possible to go a day without the term PC’ being used on the news.
But does it have any meaning anymore?
In truth PC means different things to each person, just as the word ‘Feminist’ has no real meaning, and you can ask 10000 people what it means, and you will get 10000 different views.
This week in the news was Richard Ned Lebow was asked which floor he wanted while in a lift and replied “Ladies’ lingerie” – leading a colleague to complain. In truth I fail to see what the complaint was about as Ladies lingerie is I believe the top floor in most stores. I know in town the large store (sadly now shut), the top floor was Ladies lingerie, and the toy department. However this ‘joke’ was described by many as not being PC.
So what is PC?
Well to me its simply not being insulting to others. But that is not the same as being offensive. Often people seem to presume that being insulting is the same as being offensive. The two are different.
It is wrong to go down the street and made insulting, or indeed threatening remarks to someone because of there sexuality, age, sex, skin color and so on. One must be aware that calling someone a raspberry ripple to a stranger, to upset them (such as someone in a wheelchair) is not the same as two friends who may use it as a fun pet name for themselves. An example is a friend of mine who is a wheelchair user and has disabilities, his best friend calls him a raspberry ripple as a term of friendship. He was once asked if this upset him, and he said he loved it, and what offended him more was other people trying to ‘protect’ him and treat him like a baby, simply because he was disabled.
To offend someone is not the same as insulting. We will all be offended by something. I am a vegetarian (trying to be vegan) so I am offended by all cooking shows having meat on. However I can simply opt to watch something else.
Sometimes I am offended, but at the same time highly amused by comedians.
I would suggest that when one offends someone, it allows them to think about the subject.
Often the offence means that its hit your comfort zone. It challenges your ideas and feelings.
By the way, I believe in the UK we have some stupid law that says that its an offence to be offended. I myself am offended by this law. So this law in my mind is in itself committing a crime of being its own law (if that makes sense).
On this weeks The Wright Stuff (16th May 2018), they had Jordan B Peterson (@jordanbpeterson) who clearly offends people because he states facts that do not fit in with a modern belief that women are always worse off than men. This tends to ‘offend’ certain groups, who thus label him as alt Right and so on. As such, he may be seen by some as not being PC because he refuses to go along with a certain narrative that exists. Indeed I thought as he spoke, would I dare agree with him, in fear this would lead me to being called names.
The question is, has PC moved society to a much more liberal society than say 40 years ago (such as gay marriages, more people of ethnic backgrounds and sexuality on TV, and so on), or has society come to this regardless of a PC environment.
Indeed could it be suggested that PC has made things worse for people of different ethnic backgrounds and so on, simply because people are too scared to interact, simply because they may use the wrong words, and thus being accused of being a raciest.
In truth I do not believe that it matters if you refer to someone as a midget or a dwarf (as an example). By this, using the term midget or a dwarf (I think, the term dwarf is the correct PC term, but honestly I have no idea), it helps people who are born with the condition. By this I mean if I see someone with this condition, and I use the wrong PC term (for that month, as by next month it may be a new PC term) I will respect that person any less? Of course not.
And who are the ones who decide what the PC vocabulary should be for that day? As a student nurse years ago, I was handed an A4 page of words that I could not use. I asked who had created this list, and no one knew. I found it off that I was told by a middle class English lady what words I could use and others could use to describe me, and the country I was born in (Zambia). I thought it was very kind of someone to decide for me, what would offend me, as clearly no one had (and still has not) ever asked me.
It often amazes me that so many people feel the need to be offended for other people, and to speak for them. Yet often in most (if not all) cases, no one has ever asked them to do so.
- Professor slammed for ‘innocent’ lingerie joke says ‘frivolous’ sexism row is an attack on free speech
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