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Heroes Community > Other Side of the Monitor > Thread: Political Correctness
Thread: Political Correctness This thread is 3 pages long: 1 2 3 · NEXT»
pandora
pandora


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The Chosen One
posted September 06, 2006 10:31 PM
Edited by pandora at 22:34, 06 Sep 2006.

Political Correctness

I personally think that Political Correctness is becoming way more dangerous than any slur we might utter. People are no longer able to speak freely without worry about how their words might affect someone - and we don't just have to worry about how what we say effects the person we're actually speaking to - we now have to consider the feelings of anyone within earshot. Sure, being considerate and mindful of others is a good thing, but it becomes truly unfair when we consider the fact that we're breeding a population of completely hypersensitive people.

When I was a kid the old saying was "sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me" - where did that go?! Now it seems like every day there is a new word out there that we must fear, and cringe at whenever we hear it - why? The same word could have been perfectly acceptable before but suddenly anyone who utters it is a monster...I just don't see how it's good for us.

The way I grew up, the fat kid was the fat kid - and he knew he was the fat kid. We still played with him, he was funny as hell - we never considered calling him big boned, or maybe skinnily challenged? We used to watch "All in the Family" at home, I laughed my *** off at Archie Bunker - it never occurred to us that he was a hate monger and should be locked away, he was just a funny old guy...

Where I live we have a very large population of ... uhm, people who were here before the Europeans showed up. While I was growing up we called them Indians, then at some point that wasn't right anymore - so we called them Natives - then someone decided that it was truly offensive to say natives, so they switched it to Aboriginals - but Aboriginal didn't last terribly long at all and soon it became First Nations. I think that's the right term now, but I'm not sure - so as a rule I call them all Fred, and hope that soon "Fred" doesn't get blacklisted and I find myself in trouble for saying it... *sigh* But the point is, the words would switch up, and I remember vividly sitting in journalism class and saying something about "natives" and having the whole class swivel around in their chairs to look at me as if I had just dropped the "N" bomb - and I swear that was the proper term just a day earlier.... I just missed the memo I guess, and became the racist villain for a day

I really think there is something really really wrong with people nowadays, and it scares me to see the direction we're going in. We're not allowed to say what we feel anymore, and people pay much less attention to what we mean as they do to how we are saying it. Basically thanks to the PC movement we're less honest and more judgemental. It's becoming easier just not to say what we're thinking sometimes, than to say it and deal with all the people just waiting to dissect and twist your words into meaning something you never intended.

They used to say that by now we would all have robots living with us and helping us with our daily chores, I'm starting to wonder if we're just becoming the robots ourselves.
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"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

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kookastar
kookastar


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posted September 06, 2006 11:00 PM
Edited by kookastar at 23:04, 06 Sep 2006.

I can understand your points, and they are valid.  PC for PC sake is just a farce.  But if you don't label people in the first place then there is no need to worry about being politically correct.

Why do we feel the need to persistenty differetiate and label people?  Well there are many reasons for this.  GAH my brain isn't working right now, but it is a means of control and manipulation over people.  I will go more down this track when I have had more than 3 hrs sleep Social conditioning. {Foucault}

I think that we should be able to talk about people without having to put them in boxes. These boxes are full of stereotypes that become attached to the person whether or not they are true.  Everyone knows this.  It is also the context that it is used.

If people use labels in a negative way then they are insulting that person as well as the entire group.  If they are using the word as a description with the intent to acknowledge the cultural/personal traits of the person than this is different again.  If a group or a person states that a word offends or hurts them - for some reason or another, then you should respect this and them.  I don't see any harm in this.

I guess if we don't insult people at all then there is no need to worry about it  Friendly banter is only that if it is friendly.  If you are not a member of a minority group, then you really cannot understand what this would feel like.  The difference is there everyday - why does it need to be shoved in their face?  Does it make them less than the majority groups.

Also as most minority groups are not native language speakers of the countries they live in - or they were invaded and this language became dominant over their own langueage/languages, then the labels used to describe them are words that have been forced onto them.  MOst of the time these words hold negative connotations because they were intended to when they were created.

Anyway, this is a long enough blah for now

Two last points - why pick on someone for something they can't change?

Negative language and stereotypes have been used for centuries to keep minority groups 'where they belong', words are powerfull.  What is wrong with trying to get people to question the words that they use, think about what these words really mean, and think about why they are using them?

BTW Like Russ I didn't see different races until I was 14/15 - I therefore didn't use these words.  Once these words become ingrained in your thoughts - the labels are born, and with that the stereotypes, whether you like it or not




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russ
russ


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blah, blah, blah
posted September 06, 2006 11:06 PM
Edited by russ at 23:31, 06 Sep 2006.

I'll use this opportunity to describe what I saw in Cuba when I was there that was really surprising for me after living in Canada for 9 years, yet very nice at the same time.

So, imagine a setting - a bunch of "white" Cubans are at their house, having a drink (from what I saw, they don't actually have a term "white Cuban", all of them are just Cubans, but I may have overlooked something, of course ). Their black neighbor must have felt something in the air, so he decided to drop by for a drink (same as some of their white neighbors). They call them "negros", btw (i.e. "black" in Spanish). So, we were sitting there for some time, then someone points at the black guy and informs me: "negro africano!", the black guy says: "hey! I am half white!!!", the same guy points at the black guy again and says "cannibal!" At this point of time I started to imagine what would happen if this was said in Canada, but since it wasn't Canada, everyone including the black guy was LOL, which was followed by some more rum. Noone got shot, noone was called a racist, noone was offended, noone was trying to offend anyone. Their black neighbor was their good friend, exactly the same as their white neighbors. Btw, they call fat guys "gordo" (fat), or "gordoculon" (fatass ) and noone seems to be offended by that either, even if someone they don't know calls them that.

All in all, I think Cuba is one of the most non-policically correct places that I've seen so far, yet at the same time, that was the place whith the least amount of hate or aggression.

@Kooka:
I DID see many Asian Russians (there are quite a few of them), but I never thought of the differences from the racial point of view. Like I said, for me seeing Asian features was similar to seeing different hair colors, different builds, etc.

Edit:
Come to think of it, I've seen many people using 100% PC language whose intent was CLEARLY to offend, to annoy, to belittle someone, or to make them feel bad. Like pandora said, unfortunately, people pay more and more attention to words rather than to their meaning.

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kookastar
kookastar


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posted September 06, 2006 11:21 PM
Edited by kookastar at 23:23, 06 Sep 2006.

Yeah, this is a good example of friendly banter

It was also a private conversation  The same words can have different power and meaning for different people though depending on their personal experiences - these can be both negative and positive, take sour ram testicles, used farm tractors, or mommy heehee

'nuff from me... Late for work again...

@Russ yes I know exactly what you mean.  I felt the same way EXACTLY - the stereotypes that come with these features/ labels is what is taught/learned by us.  

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pandora
pandora


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posted September 06, 2006 11:43 PM
Edited by pandora at 23:44, 06 Sep 2006.

To clarify, I wasn't saying that making all the racial slurs you like etc should be fine. I am not in favor of hate - or using words to try to hurt someone.

I'm talking about how something can be said in complete innocence - and someone else can find a way to twist it to make you look bad. In the example I was talking about in class - the individual I was speaking about was a prominent member of the First Nations community - and it was in that sense that I said "Native" (and then was eyeballed to death for it)

My whole point is that by banning words - or making them unacceptable, we're creating a fear of it and giving them the power to be hurtful words in the first place. I dislike when someone is vilified for using a certain word - when it is very clear that their meaning isn't hurtful.

*sigh* I don't think I'm conveying what I'm thinking very well
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angelito
angelito


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posted September 06, 2006 11:47 PM

Nice example there Russ, reminds me of some own experiences. But cubans aren't that friendly to each other all the time. They talk calm, but their action can be terrible. Cuba is just every extreme. You will rarly see 2 cubans hiting / fighting each other in public. Why? Because of the punishment they have to expect. For the matter of fact, there is rarely a "monetary penalty" (because they don't have much money), but jail term. You get into prison for very small delicts. So before they hit others' head 2 or 3 times and get in jail for that, they stab with a knife in the dark. Very common in Cuba though!
Blacks and "Hispanos" have their rivalty, but maybe not in an extremely manner like in the states for example.

And one more info....
If the cubans want to express something like "I am not an idiot / I am not retarded", most of them say: "I am not from Indonesia!"
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Lord_Crusader
Lord_Crusader


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UHU!! supreme!
posted September 07, 2006 12:00 AM

Russ's example is nice, of what the ideal world would be, but I think in this case the difference is the friendship, and they have something in common all of them were Cuban, that create some unions between them, that also happens in Mexico, the problem comes when something bad or negative is related to a race.

I do not have any problem in being differentiated, or indicated like a Mexican guy, it is the place where I born I am proud of being it, the problem comes when somebody thinks that for be Mexican I am  hostile or a thief.

And I'm not saying that Russ think this... but we contribute to the sterotypes with jokes and comments about other races... no matter if we don't mean to be racist or not...
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pandora
pandora


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posted September 07, 2006 12:20 AM
Edited by pandora at 02:37, 08 Sep 2006.

Maybe I shouldn't have used the "Native" example - because I really wasn't speaking about racism

Now if you guys want to go ahead and talk about that - its fine by me, I'm not trying to redirect you - I just don't want anyone thinking that what I'm saying is  that we should all lighten up on racism.

What I was really getting at is it bothers me how much we worry ourselves over certain words - as if the words themselves could harm us.

Heres another example - my husband is a huge fan of the show Deadwood - if you don't know what this is, its a show about an old west mining town where the common term for every man is **** sucker, and women are referred to as that dreaded C word. During the first few episodes of season 1, I used to cringe when he'd watch that show - every second word is one of the most foul you could imagine - and its not censored. Since we had our first kid, I completely stopped swearing because I didn't want to have my son't first word start with F - and I really hated having to hear it (especially that one that starts with C) One night my husband told me to stop complaining about the languange and just sit down and watch the show - so i did, then I watched the next one and the next and became completely hooked. (I also made sure to watch all the ones I'd missed too ) I think its quite possibly the best thing I've seen on TV in ages - and I'd really like to thank all the **** suckers over at HBO for making it

But the point is that I let words dictate my reaction to something - as opposed to finding out what it was actually about - and that was a giant mistake. Not only that, but those words that used to bother the heck out of me before - I really don't notice anymore - after all, they're just words
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"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

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russ
russ


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blah, blah, blah
posted September 07, 2006 12:20 AM
Edited by russ at 00:23, 07 Sep 2006.

Quote:
And I'm not saying that Russ think this... but we contribute to the sterotypes with jokes and comments about other races... no matter if we don't mean to be racist or not...
No, I really doubt that most jokes contribute to stereotypes. I think jokes contribute to exactly the opposite. Unless something is seriously wrong with you, it is difficult to hate and laugh at the same time.

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Aculias
Aculias


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posted September 07, 2006 05:45 AM

Deadwood huh.
I guess whenever you have a pair of 8's & a pair of Aces in your hand....
You might want to follow the basic rule & play with your back towards the wall
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kookastar
kookastar


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posted September 07, 2006 08:11 AM

I loooooove Deadwood

Now there's a show that doesn't try to be political correct lol

It doesn't pretend that minority groups weren't treated in the same way either

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russ
russ


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blah, blah, blah
posted September 07, 2006 05:19 PM
Edited by russ at 17:20, 07 Sep 2006.

I was just thinking about "dropping the N-bomb" (I love that term, btw ).

"Negro" is black in Spanish, and I think it comes from Latin, so its deviations represent black people in most languages (we call them "Negr" in Russian, btw, and in Russian that word is not meant as a racial slur). I guess the situation is slightly different in USA because of the past. But then, again, I've watched "Pulp Fiction" and it had the N-bomb all over it. I would assume that would mean it wasn't quite the N-bomb at the times this movie took place in (70-s?) and neither was it THAT bad in the early 90-s when the movie was made, or it would have been edited out or bashed to bits as soon as it came out. (Correct me if I am wrong, please as I wasn't around in 70-s )

Now, I don't have a problem referring to black people as "black" as that seems to make sense to me , but apparently, that is starting to become "not as PC as it used to be". So, now we have a term "African Canadian" or "African American" to represent people who've never been to Africa, yet we have white or arab Africans who can't be referred to as "African Canadian" even though they lived there for generations

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kookastar
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posted September 07, 2006 08:42 PM
Edited by kookastar at 20:55, 07 Sep 2006.

Why do we have to automatically label people?  Why do you have to refer to people by their race, disability, or level of obesity rather than their other attributes?  I guess the Internet is a place where this is reduced, if you are going to describe someone you haven't seen  you have very little choice than to use their personality traits, or their actions.

This is often stated by people with disabilites as a big beef.  It is not just that people call them 'names' for it - which are true labels - it is that this is the first thing people call them or associate with them.  They are more than just this.  If you have ever watched a child that is 'different' be bullied, or just constantly be labelled by people - whether they mean any harm in it or not - you would understand.  When you hear the same things over and over and over by everyone - including your friends, it becomes a huge part of your self concept.

Also, if only an eighth the people who call you a 'name' do so with malice - you can still have very real negative feelings and reactions to this even if you know the others mean no harm.  It is the constant bombardment thing.  It is the 'it is ok if I say it about my mum, but no one else should' thing.  

What am I trying to say here...

I just don't use these politically incorrect terms because I don't want to.  I don't like calling people things that upset them {that are not based on their actions, e.g. lazy, cunning, etc}.  And I try to understand why these people don't like being labelled with these words in the first place.



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pandora
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posted September 07, 2006 09:07 PM

I understand what you're saying, especially about how being constantly labeled will effect a person's self-image. In fact in my son's case the Psychologist wanted to have someone come down and explain to his classmates what Tourette's Syndrome and Aspergers were so that things would be easier on my son - but I completely disagreed with that. My son is what they call "High Functioning" there is no reason for him to be labeled with something like this to those kids - because that will follow him forever. And I don't want my son feeling that he's separated from the others. I am very much against any type of discrimination for whatever reason. I also don't believe in the idea that anyone's whole person can be defined by one or two characteristics.

The thing that bothers me is the way we're making the decision now to consider words that weren't offensive before - offensive now. In the example I gave about First nations people - all my life they were "Indians" it was never said with malice, kids played cowboys and Indians - sports teams were called redskins and Mohawks etc and no one batted an eyelash. there was no hate there, no disrespect meant and it was all just fine. Now its different, now sports teams are fighting petitions to change their names, people who support those sports teams keeping the names they had for 20+ years are being called racist and that is what I object to.

Here in Manitoba - our museum was called the "Museum of Man and Nature" forever, but now its the "Museum of Manitoba" ... I'm wondering how long I will be living in Manitoba, maybe soon it will be Personitoba, maybe Humanitoba? I find that stuff ridiculous
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angelito
angelito


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posted September 07, 2006 09:17 PM

And what was the reason for that name changing? Because it doesn't include woman?
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pandora
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posted September 07, 2006 09:25 PM

Officially it was just said to be time for a change. the Museum corporate name was always the Manitoba Museum - but publicly the museum itself was always the museum of man and nature.

But there had been talk for years about the name being sexist - and feminist groups were lobbying for the change for quite some time. So even though it wasn't stated - everyone knew that they changed the name because they'd been under pressure for so long.

At least they didn't go with "The Museum of Man, Woman and Nature" lol
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"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

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russ
russ


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blah, blah, blah
posted September 07, 2006 09:28 PM
Edited by russ at 21:55, 07 Sep 2006.

Quote:
Why do we have to automatically label people?  Why do you have to refer to people by their race, disability, or level of obesity rather than their other attributes?
Not necessarily. But usually those are the features that can define someone quite unambiguously. Say, you need refer to the only fat guy in the crowd. How would you do it?

Are you going to say: "that guy in the blue t-shirt that is standing beside that old lady dressed in red"? But to be consistent with what you are saying, you can't use their gender or age to describe them either.

So, you should say: "the person in the blue t-shirt that is standing beside the other person with long gray hair who is dressed in red and is carrying a yellow purse"? However, there is yet another inconsistency here, as you are using their hair to describe them - some people may be bald or may have other issues with their hair, so that is also not completely PC.

Etc, etc, etc

Well, either way, I'll just say: "the fat guy" because that is the most noticeable trait that distinguishes him from the rest of the crowd without spending hours thinking about the PC bull**** and confusing the **** out of the person I am talking to.

I don't quite understand why do we need to pretend to not notice something that is blatantly obvious and is the first thing that jumps to our attention when we look at the person, no matter how hard we try to do otherwise.

Edit:
Btw, I used to be quite insecure and sensitive about some things that I won't describe here. That was until I've spent a couple of months in a company that seemed to have an unspoken motto: "if a joke isn't cruel, it isn't funny". Although, in general, everyone in that company was very nice and friendly. At first I was extremely offended and insulted, but strangely enough, after having enough jokes directed towards me and after listening to them try to kill each other with words, I got very comfortable with those things and they stopped bugging me. In the end I was much more confident and less sensitive to what the others are saying.

I think people need to be more comfortable with themselves. And their parents and friends need to make them think smth like: "I have one arm, so ****ing what?" as opposed to being quiet about it and pretending to not notice it (even though it is obvious to everyone around them and they themselves realize that).

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angelito
angelito


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posted September 07, 2006 09:50 PM

Quote:
...But there had been talk for years about the name being sexist - and feminist groups were lobbying for the change for quite some time....
Those feminist groups do their "work" here in germany aswell. Only one example:

This is how our traffic lights for pedestrians look like, since "millions of years":



It is called "Ampelmännchen" which would be something like "Little trafficlight man" in english

But for sure this brought some feminist groups up and they said it would be sexistic to only have male guys on those traffic lights. What happened is this:



Not that this doesn't look good either, but imagine the amount of money it needed to change about half of all traffic lights into "female" ones...:S
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russ
russ


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blah, blah, blah
posted September 07, 2006 09:59 PM

Hey, Angelito, have anyone mentioned yet that it may not be very PC to draw women in skirts because skirts can be associated with the traditional roles of women in our society (i.e. housewives)?

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Aculias
Aculias


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posted September 08, 2006 01:49 AM

Well if we put pants on the women, then we might get confused with Snoop Doggy Dogs pig Tails
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