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PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!

katlaughing 27 Sep 99 - 11:30 AM
Peter T. 27 Sep 99 - 12:09 PM
MMario 27 Sep 99 - 12:15 PM
Lonesome EJ 27 Sep 99 - 12:22 PM
sophocleese 27 Sep 99 - 12:36 PM
Easy Rider 27 Sep 99 - 12:48 PM
Rick Fielding 27 Sep 99 - 01:05 PM
katlaughing 27 Sep 99 - 01:14 PM
Jon W. 27 Sep 99 - 01:37 PM
Rick Fielding 27 Sep 99 - 01:44 PM
Jack (Who is called Jack) 27 Sep 99 - 01:48 PM
Davey 27 Sep 99 - 01:54 PM
lamarca 27 Sep 99 - 01:56 PM
Melodeon 27 Sep 99 - 01:57 PM
Joe Offer 27 Sep 99 - 02:02 PM
Peter T. 27 Sep 99 - 02:05 PM
Alice 27 Sep 99 - 02:16 PM
Tiger 27 Sep 99 - 02:17 PM
Splenky 27 Sep 99 - 02:54 PM
Alice 27 Sep 99 - 03:45 PM
katlaughing 27 Sep 99 - 03:47 PM
katlaughing 27 Sep 99 - 03:52 PM
bseed(charleskratz) 27 Sep 99 - 03:52 PM
katlaughing 27 Sep 99 - 04:00 PM
Joe Offer 27 Sep 99 - 04:24 PM
Joe Offer 27 Sep 99 - 04:51 PM
JedMarum 27 Sep 99 - 04:58 PM
Alice 27 Sep 99 - 05:20 PM
katlaughing 27 Sep 99 - 06:09 PM
Bob Bolton 27 Sep 99 - 06:43 PM
JedMarum 27 Sep 99 - 07:06 PM
Rick Fielding 27 Sep 99 - 07:10 PM
katlaughing 27 Sep 99 - 07:14 PM
Banjer 27 Sep 99 - 07:31 PM
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JedMarum 27 Sep 99 - 09:49 PM
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Subject: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Sep 99 - 11:30 AM

I have had with hearing people use the acronym "PC" for political correctnes, as though it is a dirty word or somehow wrong. I know there are a lot of you who think it has gone overboard and that may be in some instances.

When I think of pc, when I speak or write, I believe it to be an issue of equality and respect for diversity. I consider it an improvement that my mixed race grandsons will not automatically be called a derogaroty term just because of the colour of their skin, nor will they have to drink from separate water fountains than their mother, my daughter.

I contend that it does not hurt anything or anyone to use a less than hurtful term in place of those of the past.

Becasue we've discussed this a little bit way back in, I think it was the Xenophobia thread, let me be clear before you jump in: I am not talking about changing words to folk songs, esp. those used by reenactors. And, we've also discussed including, or not, some possibly offensive songs in the Song Appropriateness Thread.

It is not wrong to care about others feelings and I feel that is what pc is about, or at least should be, as well as respect.

So, I am proud to say, I am PC!

kat


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Peter T.
Date: 27 Sep 99 - 12:09 PM

I'm a MAC person myself, but I am prepared to reach across the great divide and embrace you Kat, anytime.

Seriously, I think that political correctness is a useful term when it is focussed on absurd moral rigidity. For instance, at the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada, there was an exhibition in good faith about the imperialist policies of the Museum and the "vision of empire" that led to the stealing of trinkets from all over the world. There were posters and quotations from various imperialists. It was the first time the Museum ever acknowledged that it had acquired things in a very different cultural situation, and was an honest attempt to start a discussion about what its future policies for acquisition.
The result of this brave attempt to look at its past?

The Museum was picketed during the exhibition for racism. The person who mounted the exhibition lost her job because of protests against imperialism by a coalition of the "official ethnic spokespeople" in the city. They simply protested against any representation of imperialism at all, as if any such representation was dangerous.
According to them these things should be expunged from the records of human history: no one should ever learn anything about them in order to fight them in future, because there is a chance that someone might be convinced the wrong way by the portrayal of these things. This is political correctness at work. It leads to the idea that people are fragile creatures who cannot be exposed to bad ideas, and can be permanently infected by these words, ideas, images, rather than be allowed think about them for themselves, weigh them, and make their own judgements.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: MMario
Date: 27 Sep 99 - 12:15 PM

KatL - if only your definition of political correctness were the one in widespread use....
but for many, political correctness is being harrassed at work for sexist attitudes because one DARED use "chairman" in a memo rather then "chairperson"; or being suspended from work because one happened to call a co-worker "dear"; and many, many similair circumstances.

YES - Political correctness SHOULD be about caring about other people's feelings and respect for them and their feelings. Too often it goes far beyond that point. And THAT is why people use PC as if it were a dirty word.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 27 Sep 99 - 12:22 PM

Kat- I think "politically correct" is one of those perjorative terms applied by the opponents of reform to it's proponents, much like the term pro-abortion. Outlandish examples of political correctness are used to damn what would otherwise be a fresh way of examining old problems. For example, calling a thief "ethics-deficient", calling a cowboy a cowperson, etc. I don't think I would want to lump myself in with the type of people who would use ridiculous or laughable terms like these. I also find that there is such a thing as a "fad" term. When I was a kid, African-Americans were called "colored" or "Negro" people by others who didn't use the less enlightened terms. When I entered college, I remember saying that a teacher was colored, and having a fellow student reply in a very patronizing manner " Oh, REALLY...and what color is he?" The preferred term was now "black", a term which had once been a negative one, but was now reckoned a reasonable alternative to "white." I eventually developed the habit of calling black people "black", to now find that that word is again becoming perjorative, and now it should be "African-American."

Let me assure you that I am with you as regards ignorance, prejudice, and hurtful names and terms, Kat. I just think that "politically correct" may actually be one of them; a term that fits more comfortably in the mouths of the Rush Limbaughs of this world than it does in the mouths of the Martin Luther Kings.

LEJ


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: sophocleese
Date: 27 Sep 99 - 12:36 PM

Politically correct was originally a decent enough term to describe people who were trying, sometimes a little too earnestly, to learn a different world view. As it entered the popular lexicon the term was quickly pre-empted by the right as a pejorative term in order to prevent intelligent, compassionate discussion about necessary issues. Thus it's use was poisoned fairly early on. When being politically correct means investigating the origins of the things I buy to be sure that they were produced in fair conditions and the workers are getting a decent wage. When politically correct means re-using and recycling everything possible in the house then I am politically correct. But like the word feminism it means different things to different people. All I can do is live the way I live and call it politically correct when I think it is and know that I am being lead from decent motives not derogatory ones.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Easy Rider
Date: 27 Sep 99 - 12:48 PM

"Politically Correct" has become a derogatory term, meant to accuse someone of insincerity. It is used by bigots and bullies to insult their opponents and critics, and, as such, it is verbal abuse. It neither enhances the bully's argument nor discredits his/her opponent's, when understood for what it is.

EZR


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 27 Sep 99 - 01:05 PM

In Ontario "PC" means the Progressive Conservative Party which rules our little corner of the world. In "that" context it's a dirty little two letter word in our house, 'cause they may be conservative but they ain't progressive!

Rick


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Sep 99 - 01:14 PM

I love you guys! Mudcatters are the greatest! Peter, I am appalled at what happened to the museum and esp. that the woman lost her job. When we lived in Northampton, MA, that kind of exhibit would have been embraced for the exposure that it was, and Noho was a very pc town at the time.

I guess what I would like to see, then, since pc has been preempted by the right, etc., is for a new term, perhaps pc in extremis? Of course, we'd never get those of the Rush variety to use such a term. Oh, fock, it's just such an inexact language sometimes! I guess I could say I am "enlightened correct". I like sophocleese's statement. Actually, I like all of your statements.

Thanks, kat


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Jon W.
Date: 27 Sep 99 - 01:37 PM

"Politically Correct" was never a complimentary term in my opinion. Its origins are from totalitarian societies - Orwellian societies really - where having the "correct" political point of view is or was considered just as empirical as having the correct scientific point of view, as if a political point of view could be proven correct by application of political theory. Therefore the connotation of one person telling another thet the second person's viewpoint isn't "politcally correct" is that the first person is going to force some bit of politcal dogma on the second person until the second person begins to profess a different viewpoint - simply because the diffent viewpoint is that which is adhered to by the authorities. Politically correct is not the same as morally or ethically correct.

When I say, as I have in various postings in the past, that I hate political correctness, it does not mean that I like to use or do use pejorative terms for people of other ethnicity, sexuality, or ability. It means that I dislike the "absurd moral rigidity" that Peter T. so eloquently describes above, although I believe I would have said "absurd ammoral rigidity" as I see nothing moral whatsoever in people saying only what they have been carefully coached to say rather than thinking these things through for themselves and putting themselves in the other's position.

Up with true kindness and consideration of other's feelings and dignity, down with mindless political correctness.

Jon W.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 27 Sep 99 - 01:44 PM

Bravo Jon W. Well put and historically accurate. I think Kat's mention of the language deficiencies make a lot of sense as well. New words (or phrases) are not that hard to throw out on to the playing field. I should know as "blue clicky thing" haunts me to this day. From now on I'm going to try and use the term "ethically correct" (EC) wherever I can. It accurately represents how I feel and appears not to be stigmatized as yet.

Rick


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Jack (Who is called Jack)
Date: 27 Sep 99 - 01:48 PM

As an idea, political correctness is OK. And yet the problems with it in application are not insignificant. Perhaps the greatest problem is this, that it creates litmus tests for an artificial boundary between people. It creates a 'code of language' to determine ideological dividing lines instead of fostering ideological dialogs (You used the word 'Indians' instead of Native Americans, ergo YOU are on that side of the line with the other bigots). If you don't think that its being used that way, look at the guy in Washington who almost lost his job because he used the word niggardly.

When something that is designed as an aid to personal, internal moral guidance instead becomes a technique for analyzing and sorting out others into good or bad at an individual level, its always a disaster. It contains an inherent rejection of the individual. You cannot look at people through such a lens and still believe in them as complex, richly textured, intelligent, moral beings on a personal path through a difficult and challenging world. When that happens, sympathy is replaced with patronization, or worse, with contempt.

And yet the seductive power of that view is undeniable. That is why prophets for millenia have warned against it. Jesus' admonition about 'the speck in thy neighbors eye vs. the beam in thine own' is but an example. It is not an idle warning. Again and again history shows what lies at the end of that path.

There is a passage from an author I admire greatly that repeats that warning, in words far more eloquent than mine.

"It is said that science will turn people into numbers, but that is false, tragically false. This is the crematorium at Auschwiz. This is where people were turned into numbers, and that was not done by science, it was not done by gas, it was done by arrogance. When people think they have access to truth with no objective test in reality then this is how they behave. ... We have to cure ourselves of the itch for absolute power and absolute knowlege. We have to close the distance between the push button order and the human act. We have to touch people." - Jacob Bronowski.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Davey
Date: 27 Sep 99 - 01:54 PM

I think the intent of being 'Politically Correct' in the terms you describe, KatL, and as described by sophocleese, are laudable, and I also ascribe to do my part in that respect. We can be heartened by the fact that, when something worthwhile is happening, and is beginning to be accepted and embraced by more and more people, the 'right' will attempt to co-opt it and undermine it by ridiculing it, making it into a joke. The mainstream press is the vehicle most frequently used. This is an indication that we are being effective and making a difference. An example is the number of articles in the press and various magazines suggesting that 'feminism' is dead, or that it has outlived it's usefulness, or other such terms. I'm glad that I'm a left-wing, socially aware 'PC' feminist. I like to think of myself as being in transition, from a sexist male to a less sexist male, and I still have a long way to go. And if anyone detects anything in my attitudes or behaviour that's not in keeping with that, they would be doing me a big favour by discussing it with me.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: lamarca
Date: 27 Sep 99 - 01:56 PM

Kat, the term "PC" as derogatory is not only used by conservatives, but also liberals (like me) to protest acts of censorship done with a liberal bias. It's appallingly contradictory to call one's-self a defender of human rights and advocate removal of "Huckleberry Finn" or "inappropriate" folksongs so that weak minds will not be exposed to the supposedly offensive material in them. There's a columnist for the Washington Post, Nat Hentoff, who writes about free speech issues a lot. While I disagree with some of his views (he's strongly anti-abortion), I admire his efforts to point out that college and school administrators who stifle "uncivil" speech by students are just as wrong as a right-wing fascist who would try to stifle our liberal viewpoints. One of the drawbacks of Freedom of Speech is that it needs to be applied to all speech, not just that speech we agree with.

Our responsibility as caring people who appreciate diversity is not to censor offensive or hateful speech patterns, but to make sure that our views are also heard, and quietly try to make an impression on people who are offensive inadvertantly rather than deliberately. People not only won't change the mind of a bigot or sexist, but also won't win too many supporters who are basically decent folks if they insist that everyone embrace awkward gender-neutral or "euphemistically-challenged"-type speech patterns.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Melodeon
Date: 27 Sep 99 - 01:57 PM

I couldn't agree more, the term PC is a derogatory term and while we are on the subject, could I mention one of my pet hates. The term "do gooder" is a form of abuse here in the UK and I a still trying to work ouy why doing good should be a reason to be vilified, after all wouldn't William Wilberforce,, Martin Luther King, Florence Nightingale et al have been described as "do gooders". I'm sorry Kat if this is thread creeping, I do respect your views and agree that we should all live our lives having respect for all other ethnic groups and anyone who may be different from us. Melodeon


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Sep 99 - 02:02 PM

Hi, Kat - I suppose it's a matter of semantics, but I don't think you're going to be able change the term "politically correct" and get rid of the negative connotations.
Here's the definition from the Third Edition of Webster's New World College Dictionary (1997):
politically correct conforming or adhering to what is regarded as orthodox liberal opinion on matters of sexuality, race, etc.: usually used disparagingly to connote dogmatism, excessive sensitivity to minority causes, etc.
If it has that sort of connotation in the dictionary, I'd say you're better off not using that word to describe an ideal you'd like to strive for. I'd say it might be better to use a term like "avoiding offensive language" (or attitudes, or whatever).

From personal observation, I'd say that the connotation of the term is that "political correctness" is an attempt to cleanse our language and culture of words and ideas that might cause somebody to have a reason to become indignant. Although the goal of "political correctness" is to decrease prejudice, it has a tendency to create a certain intolerance and indigation that can increase the strife among various groups.
While we may have lofty ideals, we liberals have a nasty tendency toward obsessive rule-making, "thought control," and paternalism. We have to be aware that our high-mindedness can be every bit as intolerant as the bigotry we seek to destroy.
There are also many unforeseen and undesirable byproducts of this attempt to cleanse our culture. I noticed in another thread that you called several verses of "Cotton-Eyed Joe" racist. I see those same verses as a valuable reminder of the difficult life that people lived under slavery. If we remove those things from our culture, we may also shield ourselves from the lessons we need to learn from past mistakes (of course, I have to admit that I banged heads with Dick Greenhaus in another thread by being reluctant to post the lyrics of a "John Chinaman" song - we all have our limits).
As a student of theology, I have trouble with the current effort to refer to the Deity in feminine or neuter terms. For at least the last thirty years, I have contended that the Deity is not masculine, feminine, or neuter - but how do you refer to God without using one of those three genders? Traditions that go back thousands of years have used masculine terms to refer to God, and I'm not so sure we should be quick to deny those traditions, and the wisdom that has built up over all those years. Otherwise, we end up worshipping a god/goddess/cosmic spirit that we created just yesterday. I'd prefer to worship a loving God who has been with us since the beginning of time, even if the words I use to refer to that Deity are less than perfect.
I also think we need to examine the value of going to all this effort to change our language and culture. Is it really important to change words like "manhole cover" and "chairman" (and "woman," perhaps), or are we better off living with the reality of speaking a language that can be a quaint and interesting and colorful reminder of days gone by? Might it be better to just learn not to take offense at words that lack a perfectly "politically correct" pedigree?
While the goals of "political correctness" are admirable, I think there are lots of problems connected with this sort of thing. Rather than trying to legislate attitudes, I think we need to do all we can to gently encourage people to develop a genuine respect and concern and tolerance for one another.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Peter T.
Date: 27 Sep 99 - 02:05 PM

I cannot tell you, Rick Fielding, how hurtful it is to me, as a helpful piece of HTML design, working all the time to bridge the distances between people, to be called a "blue clicky thing". I am not a "blue clicky thing"!! I am a vehicle to improve choice! I am a portal on the body electronic! I am a door onto a world of diversity! I am not a thing, I am a cyberspatial process!! I am not clicky, it is what people do to me that is clicky! I am being described according to the noises of other people's machines. I prefer to think of it as humanity pressing itself into my glorious linkyness.


Oh, Rick, Rick, if you only knew what heartgrief you have caused me, and many like me, innocent cyberworkers for the human good.

If absolutely necessary to refer to me at all, please refer to me as "indigo a go go".

yours in agony, Azure Gently (ex. exotic dancer, currently HTML command)


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Alice
Date: 27 Sep 99 - 02:16 PM

bravo, Joe. -alice flynn


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Tiger
Date: 27 Sep 99 - 02:17 PM

This thing of ours, this Mudcat, is truly a rarity in today's "me-first" culture, whether or not we're all PC. In fact, what we DON'T need here is definitions of PC or PC-extremism, or whatever.

This group obviously cares about people and how they feel, and wouldn't say s**t if they had a mouthful. We need to recognize how lucky we are to have such a place to visit, where feelings are sincere, people care, and we worry more about shape notes than the shape we're in. No matter how we learned it (I'd hope through happy family situations), this group demonstrates personal values that the PC and anti-PC folks should wish they had.

I don't care if you're black/white, liberal/conservative, God-fearing/heathen, or can't sing a lick. You have those values, and I'm glad you're my buddies.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Splenky
Date: 27 Sep 99 - 02:54 PM

Seems to me that the attitude of politically correctedness is to simply stop using hurtful terms. Since we are all offended by different things, the PC movement was doomed before it started. But hey, it's the right idea; do we really need to offend anybody?


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Alice
Date: 27 Sep 99 - 03:45 PM

kat-
I have the same problem of being fed up with the way people use the term 'mysticism', since popular culture has started using it in its corrupt meaning of the pseudo-mysticism of occultism and superstition.

I don't mean to start some serious thread creep here, but my point is, as Joe described, the ideal that you hope people strive for is not the same as the term "politically correct". So, being a writer, I am sure you can come up with a phrase that more clearly communicates your admirable ethics.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Sep 99 - 03:47 PM

THANK YOU, RICK! Ethically Correct it is! And, Peter, I always knew you were "blue". Tell me how was the transition for exotic dancer to indigo a go go?

Joe, you wrote: we liberals have a nasty tendency toward obsessive rule-making, "thought control," and paternalism.
Fuuny...that's what I thought the conservatives were trying to do when they try to legislate what I can or cannot do with my body or what consenting adults can or cannot do in the privacy of their own bedrooms, or when they try to ban music & books!

You also wrote: I noticed in another thread that you called several verses of "Cotton-Eyed Joe" racist.
I only said that about the one and only version which is in the DigiTrad. I also have said, in various threads that I do NOT advocate changing those original verses, I just question why anyone would sing them, outside of reenacting to educate.

And, finally, you know I have to respond *bg* to this: As a student of theology, I have trouble with the current effort to refer to the Deity in feminine or neuter terms.
Certain disciplines of spirituality have always had a dual or female/male diety, throughout milennia. That the Christian era became one of extreme patriarchy leading to subjugation of women is no secret. I see the ongoing, since it started at least 25 years ago, I wouldn't call it just "current", effort to be inclusive of women as an issue of not just equality but also of the recognition of a diety which is in balance with her/his own Creation. I agree with you that god or whomever just is and also would like to get away from ascribing any kind of gender, but, after almost 2,000 years of women getting the short end of the stick, I think the change is helping us towards a more balanced view and world and I welcome it.

I have written many times, in editorials, that the Picean Age, which gave way to the Aquarian Age in the 1960's was a very patriarchal age, thus so was Christianity. The Aquarian Age is purported to be one of equality and balancing out, thus we have women coming into their own, hopefully, released or freed from subjugation because of their biological makeup. (We still have a long way to go in certain parts of the world, such as Afghanistan.) I've also said some who embrace the old patriarchal views will be dragged kicking and screaming into the new age of Aquarius; thus we have the likes of Pat Buchanan, etc. who really are trying not to maintain the staus quo, but to regress to the days before civil rights and women's rights.

I know you are not of that crew, Joe. I am just pointing out some of my beliefs and viewpoints. It's always been the Great Spirit or the Cosmic to me; but I do recognise the pervasiveness of the male image of god and the effect that has had on women, lo these many thousands of years.*g*

lamarca: I read Nat Hentoff, too and agree with some of what he says in that regard.

Davey: good on you!

Jack: I know some Native Americans, one who wrote a book, but I can't remember which one it is at the moment, anyway he and others use the term "Indian" because they scoff at the "white man's invention of the term Native American" and believe it a sorry attempt to assuage their guilt over the past.

Joe: I guess whatI am trying to say is it is a matter of inclusiveness. During the last 2,000 years women have not been included much as full members of society. Hell, we just got the right to vote in this century. If we didn't speak up when we are offended or hurt, things would never change; injustice would be served and none the wiser or better off.

Tiger: ain't it great?! Thanks to you all for responding so passionately and with such diverse eloquence.

Now...I think I'll go be a "do-gooder". **BG**

katlaughing


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Sep 99 - 03:52 PM

Ah, Alice, thank you. Our paths crossed in the threads and I didn't see your words until now. Thansk for the vote of confidence, I am not sure what I'll call myself when it comes to this, but for now, I really like Rick's "ethical correctness".

Also, I understand, totally, about the mysticism thing. They keep calling it the "new age", when the Truth principles which are in some of the older disciplines are not "new" at all! (sigh)

Thanks, again,

kat


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 27 Sep 99 - 03:52 PM

Peter, you summed it up brilliantly. LMAO LMAO LMAO --seed(whowishesallyouwonderfullyeloquentandhighlyliterateposterswouldleavetheapostropheoutofthepossessivepronounits)

And Davey--KatL (pronounced cattle? definitely not pc, or rather ethically correct--I prefer to call her Gigglekitty)

And Rick: The Progressive Conservative Party? The oxymoronic party. Almost as self-cancelling as "compassionate conservative."


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Sep 99 - 04:00 PM

...seed, I AM LMAOWROTF!


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Sep 99 - 04:24 PM

I was hoping to get your goat, Kat. I wanted to make you think. I think it's essential for us to have a respect for what has happened in the past, both good and bad. The movement toward "political correctness" is like trying to edit the family tree. Latching onto some trendy, manufactured "goddess" denies the wisdom of faithful women and men who have gone before us. While the people of the last couple of millennia made many mistakes, they also did a lot of good. It is foolhardy to attempt to cleanse our culture of their contributions, and to think ourselves wiser than they. We ned to build upon their wisdom and learn from their mistakes. Open your mind and beware - just because an idea is currently fashionable, doesn't mean that idea is correct.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Sep 99 - 04:51 PM

BSeed, I'm glad you brought that up. There are a number of very offensive apostrophes in this thread, and I wish people would refrain from using them in polite company like this. Gee, now I'm starting to feel guilty and wondering if I'm responsible for any of them....
Hell, if we can't be politically correct, at least we could be apostrophically correct.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: JedMarum
Date: 27 Sep 99 - 04:58 PM

Kat - knowing how you use the term 'polically correct' - it is not an offensive word. But I believe the expression was not coined to refer to the policies and behaviors of reasonable, open minded people like yourself, but rather it has been used to poke fun at the excesses of bigotted people who use an issue or a label to prevent points of view opposing their own. While such bigotted behaviors are typically attributed to the conservative political side of the fence, there are plenty of excesses from the other side, as well; Peter T supplies a good example.

We must guard against bigotry from all points of the politcal specturm, and in a society that values free speech and diverse cultural influences, the best way to take the wind out the sales of bigotry is to lampoon its absurdities.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Alice
Date: 27 Sep 99 - 05:20 PM

Kat, I think the word "correctness" in this term is part of the problem. Think about it. It implies self-righteousness that goes too far.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Sep 99 - 06:09 PM

Joe, "goddesses" are not manufactured. They've been around forever and I have thought about all of this, very deeply, for a long time, as well as studied the history of it for over twenty years. It is the Christian church which denied their existence. If they are now being "rediscovered" perhaps that makes some a little uncomfortable. I hope so. Maybe they are a little threatened at the loss of control or their "feminine side". I would also tell you it is important that we respect, not just the so-called "good & the bad" (that is after all subjective)of the past, but also those things which were repressed in the past, i.e. women's history and spirituality.

Lima, thank you. I think you are right.

Alice, I don't know who coined the term. I know what it has come to mean. I still like Rick's version, though, I guess something else, such as ethically conscious, might work better.

Also, Joe, I do not feel I need to "respect" a lot of things which have happened in the past. Perhaps acknowledge them, but not necessarily respect.

My favourite bumper sticker is relevant: "My goddess gave birth to your god."**BG**

So.....okay, I am proud to be ethically conscious!

kat


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 27 Sep 99 - 06:43 PM

G'day all,

I hate to say this but, as one interested in language and the way it changes, I fear that no term can ever remain accurate and useful. All words elevate or degrade in use and the area of most movement is that of euphemisms (or any words which try to be euphemisms).

The problem is that words are only labels for ideas, attitudes, fears and desires. No matter what word you choose, people eventually know what you mean and treat the new word as if it was the old, unacceptable one - putting their own spin onto it and corrupting all your good intention in avoiding the old, bad word(s).

We see this all the time in words that try to deal in an adult manner with all the old taboos: "race" (after all, we are all the same race - a race is a group that can breed together and, much to the disgust of 'racists', humans do!), religion, sex and death ... and that topic really beyond the pale - politics.

What we really should do is not to offend others - but that makes us inoffensive ... and that has become an insult.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: JedMarum
Date: 27 Sep 99 - 07:06 PM

Lima?


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 27 Sep 99 - 07:10 PM

Alice, you're right. The word "correct" feeds the same problem, time and again. I think I had a bit of my tongue in my cheek when I suggested it anyway.
I do "dialects"..East Indian, Scottish, Jamaican, many varieties of English and American and so on. It's fun and on occasion has been a marketable skill for commercials. By my own definition it is not "politically correct" or probably even "ethically correct", as it's often done to get laughs. I still do it though, as I'm confident that my motives have never been malicious. Some might see it as being "racist", and other than using those same "motives" in my defence, I wouldn't have a leg to stand on. The best I can do, being a member of a pretty priveledged group (white North American guy) is to try never to be offended when someone pokes fun at commie pinko lib-left aging adolescent folk singer types, like me. My sense of humour is as important to me as my love of alternative music, and often it crosses some lines, but I need it to survive.

Rick

Peter, I'm so sorry for maligning "Blue Clicky". It would not have even existed for me were it not for you. Besides I now call it "clunk here".


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Sep 99 - 07:14 PM

Oh, gawd, how un-PC of me!**BG** Sorry, Liam!

katlaughinginanethicallyconsciouswayatherself!


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Banjer
Date: 27 Sep 99 - 07:31 PM

It's a shame that folks just can't ALL co-exist without having to hang a title on it. We are all people, members of the human race, we all evolved from the same original life forms, Adam and Eve or whatever YOU perceive those original life forms to be. My wife has what I think is a valid argument. While we do NOT deny the special privileges and respect accorded (or those that should be accorded) to what we know today as Native Americans, should not someone born on American soil also be known as a Native American? Who is the clod that thought to hyphenate everything (XXXX-American)? It is thinking like that which tends to put everyone in different categorical groups and lends itself to creating rifts and strife among people. Let US ALL be PROUD of our own HERITAGE, whatever it may be. There is a sign on the lawn of the church down the road from me, it says: BUILD A BRIDGE, AND GET OVER IT!! Let's all work on building that bridge and get over it!


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Big Mick
Date: 27 Sep 99 - 08:17 PM

NOW, THAT IS WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT!........................................................................(How's that for apostrophe's). This is how a discussion of controversial subjects is supposed to go. I am very proud of my town right now. If we could do this on other subjects, I would be very pleased.

Great thread, glad you started it Kat. I am not going to restate what has already been said. I would say Peter T., Jon W., Joe Offer and Alice have pretty well captured all the elements of what I would say.

All the best,
Big Mick


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: JedMarum
Date: 27 Sep 99 - 09:49 PM

Lima, Liam - it's all the same to the typographically challenged!

;-)


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: _gargoyle
Date: 27 Sep 99 - 11:36 PM

Ahhhh.....laughcat...

The lash stung deep....("little liberal wannabe")

Thanks for the "jackpot-payoff"


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Jeri
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 12:19 AM

Ooohhh...GG...

You are so...

Boringly predictable

Oh damn, now I'm talking like the little stone putz. Anyhow, it's a good discussion, despite the fact that it was prompted by the king of hypocritical anti-bullshit bullshit. I've always seen PC as a derogatory term. I know this is my own interpretation, but I see the words "politically correct" as referring to the way you should say things to avoid harming your image. PC is what folks who want to get along with others have to be if they don't have enough common sense to figure out what's hurtful, mean, or just plain stupid.

I wouldn't use the term to describe people who are just being considerate and concious of others' feelings.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 12:28 AM

Kat, Goddeses were not just denied by the Christians. With regards to Christainity, the belief in 1 supreme being, who rightly or wrongly was taken to be male, starts in the Old Testament and therefore applies to other religions.

I am a Christian and don't have too many problems with the idea of God being "my father" but God being the father, son and holy spirit - 3 persons in one I can't get to grips with.

Jon


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: paddymac
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 12:52 AM

'Tis a joy and a privilege to "lurk & learn" on threads like this one. Somebody used the phrase "political correctedness". Whether intentional or inadvertant I know not, but powerful nonetheless. Those two little letters, "ed", seem to capture the essence of the problem: one person or group seeking to impose their view on another. I find it helpful to remind myself that we do not live in a linear world. My favorite linear absurdity is the notion of a political spectrum. There is/are indeed political spectrum/a, but I believe such things are more usefully considered as circular. Thus, the most ardent libertarian can be simultaneously and accurately seen as ultra-left, ultra-right, or both. I can't help but think of the fun we could have had if Mudcat had been available during the heyday of the great "flat-earth" debate. Are we not actually replaying that debate with a different phraseology. And, finally, Dear KatL, highest praise for your synthesis of "ethically conscious".


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: catspaw49
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 12:53 AM

Pardon me Jacques......What did you say?...Oh....

"The people will fancy an appearance of freedom. Illusion will be there native land."

Okay, I got it.....I don't like it, but I guess the biggest deterrent to free speech is the fragility of the human ego. But Mr. Ellul, it works very nicely here at the 'Cat when we all show common respect, courtesy, and sense ..................... What?..........Katellegatte?...I thought that was the biblical term that YahWeh used t..........say what?.....Yes sir, I know it means Be Reconciled, but...............Yeah, I guess the 'Cat is our own little corner. Wish the outside world was more like we all are here......Yeah, I know its not..........Be reconciled huh?.........Kinda' goes against the grain with me.....and a lot of these folks too........

Spaw


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Stewie
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 01:23 AM

Big Mick, when you write 'How's that for apostrophe's', there is no requirement for an apostrophe in apostrophes; a simple 's' plural will do. And isn't there something missing - a question mark perhaps?

Yours, without prejudice, Stewie.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: catspaw49
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 01:50 AM

Naw Stewie, the question mark is Mick.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Jules
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 03:29 AM

PC here in New Zealand is used as a shotgun by academics in universities to blast their point of view and thus keep ttheir jobs. We (the peasants) are made to feel guilty for not agreeing with them. Because like anything if it sticks around for long enough it becomes a subject in university. Just look at how many people make a living out of feminist studies or the abuse industry. You wait we will be locked up for saying Taylor instead of Martin soon.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Jules
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 03:38 AM

You guys... sorry non generic persons all asleep over there. I'm sitting in the sun over here!


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 03:49 AM

In my youth (long ago!) we used to say 'ideologically unsound', which just about instantly ceased to be an expression you could use seriously: people who have ideologies, sound or otherwise, are slightly ridiculous in everyone else's eyes. Maybe the problem with (non-)PC is there are no comparative forms, like 'a bit non-PC' , or 'rather non-PC'? I think if I wasn't meaning to be ironic (as when talking to Americans, for example!) I'd prefer to say 'thoughtless' or 'inconsiderate' or 'rude', which would convey what I really meant to say.

Incidentally, 'chairman' is technically not gender-specific, like 'mankind', but maybe that's a bit pedantic in post-PC times?

Steve


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 04:12 AM

The corporate universe has a favorite ploy. If they can't come up with a new idea, they just rename an old one and convince everybody it's brand-new. It's so much easier than thinking.

The move toward political correctness is much the same. Since we can't seem to rid ourselves of our prejudices, let's change the names of everything, and the problems will disappear.

In both cases, the emphasis is on the language, on what we name something - not on the actuality that the name is supposed to describe. Whether Joe is colored, negro, black, or African-American - Joe is still the same person. Whether the person in charge is chairman, chairperson, or chair - that person is still the boss. Whether a person is called handicapped, disadvantaged, or challenged - the person still has the problem. Whether the Deity is he, she or it - the Deity is what it is, not what we name it. Whether the person who imposes rules on me is "liberal" or "conservative" - I'm still stuck with the stupid, arbitrary rules.

Making this earth of ours a better place demands serious thought and serious effort. Changing names doesn't change anything. It just moves the hot air around a bit.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: catspaw49
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 08:41 AM

A good post Joe. And too, it shows the fragility of the human ego and our total inability to legislate respect. Will "hate crime" legislation finally make us face the truth. We truly do not have freedom of speech,nor many of the other "freedoms" we often delude ourselves into believing are ours as a birthright. We can debate all day, but as the night closes in we are left with the certain knowledge that changes of attitude take place slowly and only through the individual effort and consideration of kinder and caring people like yourself. Even the most well meant legislation will not stand up under constitutional review, but you can't overturn the human spirit.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Big Mick
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 09:08 AM

Damn Joe, I just might have to recruit you. You are right on the mark. Bravo. I tried to write that 10 times and kept deleting it. Right on.

Mick


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 09:28 AM

Well, as one who has studied the power of the spoken word for a long time and worked on bias crimes legislation for the past six years, I disagree, in some respects, Joe. Woman instead of "girl"; black, African American instead of "nigger"; Asian instead of "chink". If we don't change what people hear, there will surely be no steps towards change. Especially what children hear.

Our subconscious is not objective. Like a computer it takes in anything we feed it and believes it to be the truth. If we say, "I feel sick", the subconsious will work diligently to manifest illness for us. That's why advertising works so well.

Whether one still harbours hate for a race, gender, or whatever, if they are expected to use less hurtful language, then, even if they aren't taking it in themselves (which they really can't help but do, at least their subconcious), at least the object of the hatred is not hearing, in most general society, the hateful terms, etc. which lead to degradation of spirit, feelings of despair, etc.

Yes, we need to work on things and no, it doesn't do to deny the feelings of hate, etc., but we can demand a more enlightened rhetoric to pervade our daily, mass consciousness. It does have an effect. If you don't believe it, try for a day using the most deragatory terms you know for any variety of what you encounter during the day. Then see how it makes you feel about yourself.

Thereis power in the spoken word.

kat


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