discrimination · offense · politics · racism

Political correctness didn’t just happen, we’ve been worrying about it forever

Political correctness seems new, I know, but it’s been around pretty much forever. Names, titles, words in general change. I mean, for a very glaring example, look at the history of how we (especially white people) have modified our words when speaking about black people. At the start of the U.S. we were complete assholes, and as we know, often used the derogatory term of nigger. Over time, due to political correctness, that became a word only used by nasty people and even nastier people. As this changed, the word negro took over. It was in dominant use for quite sometime, until again, because of political correctness, the generally used term was black person. This was general favored for several years until the current change to African American.

That is one of many examples. Irish people are generally not called Micks anymore. British people aren’t limeys anymore, and the use of the terms fag and flamer are falling out of use, even by many homophobic people.

Words change, and the way we reference people change, this is a constant over the long term. Languages evolve. The reason it seems like such a new and explosive idea is that we suddenly have many different groups of people all seeking to define themselves in their own way all at once right now.

This rise of the internet and subsequent ability to speak to so many others at once, and to be able to get together and talk has fueled changes in just about everything, including terminology, much faster than what we’ve seen before, and so, it’s only now that we see this “rampant political correctness”.

I don’t think it’s a problem though. I mean, I’m a pretty liberal person, but I do get frustrated and confused by some PC things, but I don’t disagree with them. Why should we have an issue with a group of people defining themselves? Who is anyone outside of that group to debate what someone in that group is allowed and not allowed to be comfortable with being called? Do we not have an ability to define ourselves? Why is this such a problem?
I know people get stuck in their ways, and having someone take what is considered societally normal and turn it on it’s head is uncomfortable, and this is true. It’s also something that people working for PC in any group does need to take into consideration. We are creatures of habit. It takes a while for things to change. The people who’s minds you are trying to change don’t have the same experiences. It takes a lot longer for them to change their minds. It’s so damn frustrating, and I know the utopian ideal is that people wouldn’t fight back and get annoyed with PC things, but they do, even fairly liberal people do.

It’s all a matter of lack of experience. I mean, even for me, as a liberal, open minded, trans, hippy chick, I still get confused, and admittedly a little uncomfortable, by this whole thing with new gender names. I don’t understand it, because I don’t live it. As I had pointed out in another post, I don’t have much for gender ambiguity, I’m a female, that’s about the end of it. So  I don’t have those experiences, and it makes it more difficult for me to understand. Here’s the key though:

What I do understand is that people have a right to define themselves, whether I understand this definition, or the reasons behind it. I have absolutely no right whatsoever to take the ability to define themselves from them. It is not mine to approve, nobody has to go through my ability to accept something for it to be right or respected.

I get that it’s confusing. I can even understand why it can be annoying and frustrating, but what I can’t understand is why people get so up in arms about it. It’s okay to get out of your bubble. It’s okay for the world to change. As the saying goes, that really is the only constant.

Thank you for reading, and have a beautiful day sunshines!

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6 thoughts on “Political correctness didn’t just happen, we’ve been worrying about it forever

  1. The way I look at it, calling people what they want to be called is a matter of basic respect. This only partially overlaps with political correctness. For instance, John prefers to be called English, even though British is seen as more PC. In my opinion, this is the exact circumstance in which to say “screw political correctness” and call John English. British might be the best term to use for a person from England whose individual preference you do not know, but John has clearly expressed a desire to be called English, and that ought to be respected.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for your reply Ivy, I only set up new blog today shortly before i read yours, so it would be interesting to see your views on what i write when i get going as you are happy to see dissenting opinions, i can be quite dissenting at times simply by seeing things in ways others don’t.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Absolutely! I’ll head over and see what’s up. Often, even if I agree with a point, I will play devil’s advocate simply because I think it’s just as important, if not more so, to pick apart and question your own thoughts and ideas as it is with opinions that do not match. ^.^

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  3. Though i largely agree with what you have said here, i do have the belief that PC is largely a load of BS. Political correctness is simple to understand really, it has been around for a long time as you have stated but it was never really known as political correctness until recent years, and really it has pretty much become a description of many things that have become law, such as this so called racism thing, making it illegal to say or speak certain words, simply because people have just become so offensive and disrespectful of others purely because they believe they entitled to be and have a right to be, instead of being polite. At the end of the day it is simply common sense, be polite instead of deliberately offensive and disrespectful, it doesn’t cost anything. The problem these days is that there will always be someone who is offended by something you say, and people are so easily offended today.

    You mentioned nationality and what they were called at one time, such as the British being called limeys. I have quite often been told i am being politically incorrect because when asked i say i am English, Apparently it is not PC to say i am English, i am apparently British. As far as i am concerned i was born and bred in England, that makes me English, Britain covers England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are correct that the term politically correct is only a recent thing but I would argue that, rather than being a vastly different ideology, it is itself an example of changing references and words.
      I do not know enough about the past to say that it’s happening any stronger now, but I do also know the past teds to be more than a little romanticized and idealized to fit a persons belief of what it was.
      I did not know that British instead of English was a rallying cry. That’s quite interesting.
      I think ultimately it is up to the particular group as to word preferences, and I don’t think it’s really been any different ever. I don’t see why others are so upset about changing they way they reference a group they do not belong to, to respect that group.
      As far as the British/English thing, that’s honestly fascinating, and I can see your reasoning. I’d be intrigued to know why the populous at large thinks that way, and is it possible that the idea is centralized to one particular area?
      A to certain words being outlawed, I don’t think I’ve seen any such thing here in the US. There are certain places where you can get reprimanded for referencing someone using certain slurs, but that is not a matter of outlawing anything.
      Thank you so much for commenting sunshine ^.^ I’m quite happy to see dissenting opinions!

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