Political correctness—what does it mean exactly? The first recorded use of the term ‘politically correct’ in the modern accepted sense was by Toni Cade Bambara in her 1970 anthology, The Black Woman.
There are numerous definitions of political correctness, all with a common theme. The Thought Co. website describes it as …
The term political correctness describes written or spoken language that’s intentionally phrased to avoid offending or marginalizing groups identified by certain social characteristics, such as race, gender sexual orientation or ability. Beyond the obvious avoidance of overt slurs, political correctness also includes the avoidance of terms that reinforce preconceived negative stereotypes.
That’s all very acceptable, but we have already passed that point. During the past half-century, and more so during the past decade, the concept of political correctness has been corrupted to a previously unimaginable level of absurdity whereby almost every statement is being analysed, ad nauseum, to detect if there is even a hint of impropriety. This is reducing conversation and communication to its lowest common denominator since our cave-dwelling forebears communicated by grunting.
One university in the United States requires its students to choose alternate names for gender. For example, instead of ‘his’, ‘hers’ and ‘theirs,’ it is to be replaced with ze/zir/zars. Another alternative if you don’t like that one is xe/xem/xyrs. What idiot thought that one up? All it achieves is changing three universally accepted pronouns with three contrived alternatives that do not appear in the English language and therefore cannot be classified as pronouns. If ‘ze’ were to become the accepted form for ‘his,’ it too would have the same sexual connotation as its predecessor and would likely have to be changed. What will it be next time … x&%? Do these people ever pause to consider the consequences of the actions? Apparently not.
In my book, WTF Is Happening To Us? I include many such quotes, which I’m sure will have you shaking your head in disbelief—some of which I construe as being more insulting than the alleged politically incorrect phrases they were designed to replace. Here are a couple of examples:
- A school in Seattle in the U.S. has changed the name of Easter Eggs to ‘Spring Spheres’ to avoid insult to non-Christians.
- Some other schools in the U.S. refer to ‘holiday trees’ every Spring Sphere period, instead of Christmas trees at Christmas.
- Princeton’s Human Resource department in 2016 issued a four-page memo banning the use of ‘man’. So instead of the phrase, ‘man and wife’, faculty members are expected to use ‘spouses’ or ‘partners’. ‘Manmade’ becomes ‘artificial’; ‘workmanlike’ becomes ‘skillful’, and ‘layman’ should be replaced by ‘non-specialist’.
- In Sydney, Australia in 2007, Santa Clauses were instructed not to say ‘Ho Ho Ho’ because it closely resembles the American slang term for prostitute. [Or is that three prostitutes?]
- Believing the term ‘brainstorming’ could be offensive to those suffering epilepsy, one council in the U.K. has replaced it with ‘thought showers’.
- Washington State prisons now refer to inmates as students. [Of what—crime?]
- Seattle Police Department officers who fill out reports can no longer use the word ‘suspect’. Instead, they must use the term ‘community member.’ [Try possible offender!]
- The British Medical Association told its members in 2017, that the term ‘expectant mother’ should be avoided because it might offend transgender people. Instead, the preferred term is ‘pregnant people’. [Transgender females—former males—can’t fall pregnant].
We are confusing political correctness with politeness. Politeness is the term used to describe those who display good manners and are caring, especially towards another who is perhaps less fortunate. Slurs and terms that reinforce preconceived negative stereotypes should be avoided and leave it at that, but of course, that is not enough for our masked crusaders who are plundering everything in their wake for no ostensible reason other than creating chaos.
There once was a Germanic tribe who called themselves Vandals. They stablished Vandal kingdoms in Poland, the Iberian Peninsula, on the Mediterranean islands, and maintained a kingdom in North Africa from 429 to 534 CE. They weren’t farmers or traders—they were warlike and just took what they wanted, even sacking Rome in 455 CE. Their modus operandi was the wilful destruction of property and the slaying of innocent people, the source of the terms vandal and vandalism we use today.
The name has remained synonymous with wilful desecration or destruction, but those who espouse political correctness have taken it beyond graffiti and cutting the cords on public telephones. They are destroying the most precious commodity on this planet—your inalienable rights to personal freedom.
They have to be stopped!