Damien on… Political (shudder) Correctness
Speaking as a Child Of The Sixties, we were indirectly RESPONSIBLE for this phenomenon. Except all WE sought to do was remove from the World the scourges of racism, sexism – in fact ANY “-ism” that people could use as a WEAPON against others. But it has become a weapon that P.C. looneys use against EVERYONE.
Let’s get one thing straight, right from the start. No person is better or worse than any other. EVERYONE is entitled to the same respect as a human being, the same opportunities, the same rewards and benefits as everyone else. This is not an opinion – it is FACT.
And no person should EVER use another person’s race, creed, colour, sex, sexual identity, age or profession to harass, belittle or abuse them. That’s just plain WRONG. THAT is what we were trying to stamp out, back in the Sixties. But successive generations have taken these honest ideals and DISTORTED them.
In their eagerness to make the world fair for all, they went too FAR. Whilst proclaiming that all people were “EQUAL”, they told people they were the SAME. And THAT’S just plain wrong as well. We are NOT the same. Hell, it would be a boring world if we WERE. We all have a unique identity.
BUT – and this is where it all hits the fan – we all fit a number of STEREOTYPES. Not TOTALLY – we’re individuals – but there are TENDENCIES. And we all know what they are, but try to ignore them – and in doing so, deny our identities. Furthermore, we blinker ourselves from humanity’s diversity.
Understanding stereotypes aids us in communication. It helps us to tolerate each other’s “strange ways”. I myself fit several stereotypes. They define a fundamental PART of who I am.
And by DENYING that these characteristics exist, we do ourselves a disservice. We should REVEL in them. LAUGH at them. They’re WONDERFUL! But P.C. looneys spoil our fun. And in PUSHING their cause TOO FAR, they have thrown out the baby with the bath-water. Let’s take a few examples…
Sexism. In My Day, male standup comics used to tell the most APPALLING sexist jokes – to mixed audiences. And any woman who failed to laugh at them, was labelled a “bad sport”. These men had no quarrel with women – it was merely the fashion. Then in the post- ironic Eighties, comediennes (I’ll come back to that word) began a fashion of role-reversal sexist humour, where MEN were the butt of the joke.
Great! For a couple of years, I enjoyed endless sexist jokes against men – and any man who dared to do sexist jokes against women was booed off the stage. But after about TEN years of this, I began to think HANG ON. Women have quite rightly gotten their REVENGE for DECADES of sexist humour aimed at them, but isn’t it time to balance things? I mean, either you HAVE sexist humour – with BALANCE – or you don’t.
It occurred to me that YOUNG people weren’t even ALIVE in the days of sexist humour against women being the norm. Surely it was time for a moratorium? But no – man-bashing humour continued for decades. It still exists today, albeit to less of a degree.
Racism. Probably the worst “-ism” of all. It strikes at the very ESSENCE of a person. But in trying to eradicate prejudice based on ethnicism, racialism and skin tone, the P.C.-ers made everybody in the WORLD afraid to recognise stereotypes, discuss genetics or even appreciate nature’s diversity, for fear of being labled a NAZI.
Indeed, even Your Humble Scribe is affeared to discuss this subject too deeply. I once tried to provoke a sensible, human and reasonable discussion on the subject of genetics and barely escaped with my LIFE. But I will risk two points…
One: as discussed above, no person is better – OVERALL – than any other, but they DO have their differences and stereotypes.
Thus most names in front of and behind the camera of any US sitcom ARE Jewish. Barack Obama does gully-shots in the bowling alley, but shoots hoops like a CHAMPION (I’d like to see McCain try THAT!) and most clothes designers ARE gay (Hi guys!)
And in addition to these obviousities (I’ll bet the WordPress SpellChecker rejects THAT one) one’s job, age, “class”, socio-economic grouping, etc., DO play a huge part in who we are. They just don’t make us BETTER – or worse – than our fellow men – or women.
Indeed the qualities of any group that some see as creditable, others see as execrable. One man’s meat, etc. Thus a strong nation could be described as arrogant. A peaceful one as wimpish. It depends on the personality of the describer.
Two: I.Q. This writer JUST scraped into Mensa and thus describes himself as “a borderline intellectual” and he has witnessed people blessed – or cursed – with a high IQ, using it to batter those with brains less nimble than their own. However, in this world, most people – this writer included – would say that understanding, compassion and hard work count for a lot more than an ability to do hard sums.
But I bring this up to illustrate another point. Black people do badly at IQ tests. But who designed them? Ray Cattell, that’s who. A WHITE GUY!
If a number of black intellectuals got together and designed an IQ test, BLACK people would do better than white. Why? Because black, white, Asian and INUIT people THINK differently, that’s why! Not better or worse, just DIFFERENTLY. I used to CRINGE watching black people lose EVERY time, in Seventies British game shows. It was the damn QUESTIONS that were to blame – they were TOTALLY slanted in favour of white folks.
Language. P.C nuts are even trying to destroy our language. I’m not even going to START on the laughable “politically correct” terms that have invaded it (the WordPress SpellChecker REJECTS the term “bachelorette”). But there are some that are just SAD. Again, I’ll try just a few…
“The ‘N’ Bomb”. Bombs KILL people – words just niggle. As far back as the Fifties, the Grandfather Of Modern Standup Comedy, Lenny Bruce (a Jew) did a regular routine where he picked on a black member of the audience and proceeded to berate him with every nasty anti-black epithet that existed (and in Fifties America, he had plenty to choose from) and JUST as the guy looked like he was going to climb onto the stage and CRUSH him, he’d stop him. He’d point out that he hadn’t stolen anything from the black guy. Hadn’t physically TOUCHED him. Just used WORDS. And then went on to say that if EVERYONE used the “N” word in everyday speech, the word would become DISEMPOWERED and little black kids wouldn’t come home crying ’cause someone had called them a (“N”-word).
Fifteen-odd years later, Mel Brooks (another Jew) would do the same thing in “Blazing Saddles”. By now, the word should have become SO disempowered that I could use it in these scribblings without having to resort to calling it the “N” word at all. But thanks to idiot P.C.-ers (some of whom ARE black) inventing the term “The ‘N’ Bomb”, this stupid word now has more power to wound than EVER.
On a lighter note – Ms. Now anyone can see that for a woman to have to declare her marital status while a man does not, is sexist – a woman is a person, not a chattel. But when the P.C.-ers moved to have Ms put on forms, they didn’t think it through. Ms is fine in PRINT – but how do you PRONOUNCE it, without sounding like an angry wasp?
You CAN’T. Ms, like Miss and Mrs (pronounced “missis”) is only an ABBREVIATION. Miss and Mrs are derived from the Old English word “mistress”. Thus Ms too is short for Mistress. But therein lies the rub – in the 21st century, the term mistress has a somewhat different CONNOTATION, compared with three hundred years ago.
Mr – Mister – comes from Master (which until recently, was used as a form of address to male children) and is a WORD.
Therefore, when coming up with Ms for women, the P.C. brigade should have come up with a WORD for it to be SHORT for.
And then there’s this business of neutralising titles – boiler-person and suchlike. Why? A comedienne is merely a woman who tells gags. A man is a comediAN. The superior one is the one who gets the biggest laughs. The woman’s skills are not diminished by including her sex in her job-description. And why choose the male version? That ALONE suggests that man is superior to woman – the very thing the device was designed to negate.
The thing is, all of this is really about ATTITUDE. P.C was designed to HELP people – but now all it does is cause FEAR.
In My Day, bosses were free to coerce employees into their beds. Adults were free to interfere with children knowing that no-one would believe a KID. But now, the pendulum has swung too far. Nowadays, if a workmate is crying and you try to help them – even if they’re the same SEX – you can be accused of sexual harrassment. If a divorced man is accused of sexual abuse of his children, nobody considers whether this might be a ruse by his wife to aid her custody battle. Sex crimes are unique in that the accused is guilty till proven innocent.
So, in summing up – yes, in The Old Days (working backwards) there were abuses of power, there was institutionalised racism, sexism, ageism and FORGET about the treatment gays received – you could be LOCKED UP for it – with 500 MEN – I don’t think THAT was thought through either. But in trying to combat that sorry state of affairs, the P.C. brigade has replaced ONE set of fears with ANOTHER.
Why can’t we all just understand, appreciate and even have FUN with the differences between our various groupings? No-one can like everyone, but for crissake let’s just try to be CIVIL to each other and AVOID having to be FORCED to be so, by P.C. morons.
Okay, I don’t claim this piece to be a concise work on the subject – that would take a BOOK – SEVERAL books – just a few points at random that MIGHT make someone THINK.
I’m not even going to open it for discussion. Inevitably, some will think I’m a Nazi for even SUGGESTING that racial stereotypes exist. Others might BE Nazis – and I don’t want to hear from THEM, EITHER. So if you have views on this one – start your OWN blog. And if you have already, discuss it there.
These are WORDS, people! Respect them. Don’t be one of those people who is prepared to fight to the death to preserve free speech – so long as it agrees with YOUR views.