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...a sweatshop of moxie

Friday, April 15, 2005

The Death of Political Correctness

On 31 March of 2005, the EU Parliament pushed forward legislation to ban all references which might be construed as racist or sexist.

Not bad, right? Something any civilised human being in the 21st Century realises is a good thing, myself included.

But wait. It's never that straightforward in life. Alas...

You see, one country which is affected is Scotland, where many place names are deemed by these Belgian-based bureautrats to be sexist and/or racist.

Traditional, beloved and hitherto innocuous place names like:

  • Motherwell -- sexist
  • Blackburn -- racist
  • Helensburgh -- sexist
  • Fort William -- sexist
  • Campbeltown - sexist
  • Lewis -- sexist
  • Peterhead -- sexist, possibly pro-penis
  • Fraserburgh -- whatever
And instead of the usual British reaction of "you must be joking, sod off", Edinburgh City Council for one have promised to attack the problem and change the names to conform with the EU strictures.

Already suggestions for changing Motherwell to Parentwell have been received. *

No, I'm not kidding. But my good baby Zeus, how I wish I were. And don't you laugh. Your country is next, my friend.

Teresopolis, San Francisco, even Paris. Sexist, pro-religious, pro-Western mythology all.

But why are we so surprised?

We shouldn't be. This is the logical conclusion to the Politically Correct movement now in play in the West for the past 35 years.

How I loathe racism, intolerance, and insensitivity -- because their existence has made Political Correctness take root in this world. Instead of common sense and the natural evolution of society, we now get gag orders, government-led speech directives, and worst of all, double-standards galore.

Although I've heard many theories as to how it came about, the Politically Correct movement is an offshoot of the Lévi-Strauss school of cultural relativism.

Cultural relativism allows values from all peoples to be treated in their own context, not as we perceive them in our own cultures. In other words, it removes all value judgement.

In the post-Vietnam era, when the world underwent a monumental shift in societal attitudes, similar to the post-WWI decade, cultural relativism became applicable to one's own society as well. Since self-restraint was out, something else had to take its place, and when the personal breaks down, the official will always take over lest chaos ensues.

In its purest form, political correctness is simply respect. Which is fine.

Then it became respect for "the other". Still, okay.

With special sensitivity for the "oppressed". Right, starting to worry me.

And the "non-dominant". Hold it.

Finally, before we knew it, it transformed itelf into a minefield of do's and don'ts of speech.

Men are out, women in. White is out, colour is in. Judeo-Christianity is out, religion is definitely out, atheism/agnosticism/other religions are in. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

We in academia especially can't breathe for the -isms which guide our life. Agism, sexism, racism. You name it, there's an -ism for it.

You can't say fat, you must say overweight. You can't say short, you have to say vertically-challenged. One of my professors, a rabid feminist, insists on spelling female, femayle. God help the student who forgets that in his or her patient evaluation.

Me, I'm just waiting. Waiting for this movement to implode. Waiting for people to come to their senses and say, we understand sensitivity but changing the Isle of Man to the Isle of Human Beings is just nutty.

It well may be I have to wait for my parents' generation to die before we see that happen. And that's not a prospect I relish.

I end with a sentence likely to give the politically correct a myocardial infarction:

Please, may God in His wisdom change the hearts and minds of Man.

*UPDATE: A reader states that she read it was an early April Fool's article. Thank heavens for that! Now maybe I can forward this to my "femayle" professor.


  • I have good news! It's an April Fool's article. 'German Commissioner Arlo Pilaf', 'L.I.L. Proof A', legislation through by April 1 2006.
    Although I'm sure there are those who think it ought to happen for real...
    in which eventuality I'm with you, 100%


    By Anonymous Sarah, at Sat Apr 16, 03:47:00 am GMT-4  

  • Sarah, you delightful myth-buster you!

    Thanks for clarifying that, since being with politically correct people all day long at school has made me so downhearted, I was able to believe this without skipping a beat.

    BTW, I thought of you and JSU when I heard Rod Gilfry on television the other day. :)


    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sat Apr 16, 05:24:00 pm GMT-4  

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