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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
Big Mick 27 Sep 99 - 08:17 PM
JedMarum 27 Sep 99 - 09:49 PM
_gargoyle 27 Sep 99 - 11:36 PM
Jeri 28 Sep 99 - 12:19 AM
Jon Freeman 28 Sep 99 - 12:28 AM
paddymac 28 Sep 99 - 12:52 AM
catspaw49 28 Sep 99 - 12:53 AM
Stewie 28 Sep 99 - 01:23 AM
catspaw49 28 Sep 99 - 01:50 AM
Jules 28 Sep 99 - 03:29 AM
Jules 28 Sep 99 - 03:38 AM
Steve Parkes 28 Sep 99 - 03:49 AM
Joe Offer 28 Sep 99 - 04:12 AM
catspaw49 28 Sep 99 - 08:41 AM
Big Mick 28 Sep 99 - 09:08 AM
katlaughing 28 Sep 99 - 09:28 AM
Peter T. 28 Sep 99 - 10:00 AM
catspaw49 28 Sep 99 - 10:15 AM
katlaughing 28 Sep 99 - 11:10 AM
JedMarum 28 Sep 99 - 11:40 AM
GeorgeH 28 Sep 99 - 11:53 AM
Joe Offer 28 Sep 99 - 12:49 PM
catspaw49 28 Sep 99 - 01:55 PM
Harvey Gerst 28 Sep 99 - 02:28 PM
Joe Offer 28 Sep 99 - 02:39 PM
katlaughing 28 Sep 99 - 03:22 PM
catspaw49 28 Sep 99 - 03:24 PM
Peter T. 28 Sep 99 - 03:42 PM
katlaughing 28 Sep 99 - 03:47 PM
Joe Offer 28 Sep 99 - 04:11 PM
Larry B. 28 Sep 99 - 04:24 PM
Rick Fielding 28 Sep 99 - 04:55 PM
katlaughing 28 Sep 99 - 05:02 PM
northfolk/al cholger 28 Sep 99 - 05:05 PM
Davey 28 Sep 99 - 05:10 PM
katlaughing 28 Sep 99 - 05:11 PM
Rick Fielding 28 Sep 99 - 05:27 PM
katlaughing 28 Sep 99 - 05:49 PM
Peter T. 28 Sep 99 - 06:21 PM
catspaw49 28 Sep 99 - 06:45 PM
Joe Offer 28 Sep 99 - 07:17 PM
katlaughing 28 Sep 99 - 08:01 PM
lamarca 28 Sep 99 - 11:14 PM
Larry B. 28 Sep 99 - 11:33 PM
katlaughing 28 Sep 99 - 11:43 PM
JedMarum 29 Sep 99 - 01:51 AM
Joe Offer 29 Sep 99 - 04:52 AM
GeorgeH 29 Sep 99 - 07:11 AM
Peter T. 29 Sep 99 - 09:00 AM
JedMarum 29 Sep 99 - 10:07 AM
Larry B. 29 Sep 99 - 10:41 AM
katlaughing 29 Sep 99 - 11:05 AM
katlaughing 29 Sep 99 - 11:06 AM
GeorgeH 29 Sep 99 - 11:42 AM
JedMarum 29 Sep 99 - 11:54 AM
JedMarum 29 Sep 99 - 11:57 AM
Lonesome EJ 29 Sep 99 - 12:00 PM
JedMarum 29 Sep 99 - 12:16 PM
Peter T. 29 Sep 99 - 12:36 PM
Lonesome EJ 29 Sep 99 - 12:46 PM
Jeri 29 Sep 99 - 12:50 PM
Joe Offer 29 Sep 99 - 01:06 PM
JedMarum 29 Sep 99 - 01:37 PM
Larry B. 29 Sep 99 - 01:43 PM
katlaughing 29 Sep 99 - 02:15 PM
Joe Offer 29 Sep 99 - 03:05 PM
Lonesome EJ 29 Sep 99 - 03:19 PM
Jon Freeman 29 Sep 99 - 03:27 PM
paddymac 29 Sep 99 - 04:30 PM
Jack (Who is called Jack) 29 Sep 99 - 04:48 PM
30 Sep 99 - 12:45 AM
Rick Fielding 30 Sep 99 - 01:35 AM
GeorgeH 30 Sep 99 - 10:30 AM
GeorgeH 30 Sep 99 - 10:39 AM
MMario 30 Sep 99 - 11:15 AM
Larry B. 30 Sep 99 - 12:00 PM
GeorgeH 30 Sep 99 - 01:29 PM
Larry B. 30 Sep 99 - 02:58 PM
Lonesome EJ 30 Sep 99 - 05:10 PM
Joe Offer 01 Oct 99 - 01:50 AM
Lonesome EJ 01 Oct 99 - 02:12 AM
Joe Offer 01 Oct 99 - 02:46 AM
GeorgeH 01 Oct 99 - 06:45 AM
Joe Offer 01 Oct 99 - 03:58 PM
Peter T. 01 Oct 99 - 04:52 PM
Jeri 01 Oct 99 - 05:46 PM
Rick Fielding 01 Oct 99 - 07:07 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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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Peter T.
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 10:00 AM

Actually, I think you are on to a great dividing point, kat, which I struggle with, but have not come to terms with at all. Most of the free speech arguments, derived from John Stuart Mill and John Milton (dead white guys) assume that while words are powerful and occasionally hurtful, they should be allowed free rein, because they are not as hurtful as suppressed speech. The model is one of strength through conflict: that the truth depends on being able to withstand whatever is said -- essentially to develop the truth over time in spite of hurt. If you repress it, it does not go away, but festers, and makes people more frightened of the power of what is not being said openly.
The alternative model, which you espouse, and with which I am somewhat sympathetic, is that continuous use of repulsive language is not just hurtful, but actually alters the world, or freezes it in systems of domination. What is interesting to me is that as a white male, I am constantly subjected to hurtful language against white males, which no one (including me) takes seriously, and against which I don't seem to be able to object, and the reason is that I am perceived to be powerful and thereby invulnerable to those kind of insults. In that sense, Mill and Milton are right: a sign of strength is to be able to laugh off this kind of insult. But what if you are not in such a position of strength? What if you are not a white male, or already in a position of personal strength? Do we alter our language to protect the most vulnerable, or ask them to be stronger in order to protect a larger truth? Easy to say if you are on top. But where do you stop when you start protecting people from speech?
All my instincts go with Mill and Milton, because I believe that the truth is more important than hurt feelings, but I am very possibly completely wrong because of who I am -- a self confident (well, in theory) male. Yet, if I believe in the truth, I have to be prepared to admit that this central belief of mine is just wrong. It is very, very deep.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: catspaw49
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 10:15 AM

Well, yet another treatise on the central dichotomy of "freedoms".....well done but it gets down to the same thing, we live in the illusion of freedom of (fill in the blank). Ain't happenin' though....and we're becoming in a lot more of a hurry than we were in the days of Mill. Problem is, we wouldn't have reached this point were it not for the continuing defense of true freedom of speech. And now, like Peter, I ask, "is it time to chuck the whole thing?" Can't have it both ways.........that's the problem today.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 11:10 AM

FOCK! FOCK! FOCK! I just typed in a long reply, accidentally brushed a key wiht the tip of my pinkie and it just disappeared! Don't have time to retype it all right now. I shall return. Sorry! kat


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: JedMarum
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 11:40 AM

There is power in the spoke, but it is not all powerful. The spoken word is still a representation of a thought or feeling. I have word the word 'nigger' used (rarely) without malice ... where the speaker had no understanding of its hateful connotations. Likewise regarding race, I have heard respectful words spoken from people who I know harbor hate and malice. We have to remember that words are just words, and the meaning behind them is much more important. As one who does care about eliminating racial (and other) prejudice, I practice political correctness, if you will - that is I use care in the language I select, and the behaviors I exibit, when addressing these kinds of sensitive issues. When it comes to 'political correctness' I choose to lead by example.

This leads me to another point, and it has been addressed eloquenty by both lamarca and Jack (Who is called Jack) above. We are sensitive and indignant toward the excesses of the people we consider 'right wing' - while we are intollereant of their point-of-view? We profess to be open minded and free thinkers, yet we have no problem ridiculing these people.

Why is it perfectly accepatble in these threads, to say that conseratives are hatelful, ignorant, selfish bastards who keep the rest of us down? Why is it OK to assume that everyone knows that a corparate VP is a power hungry, money grabbing snake and his corporation the cause for all the inequity in the world?? These are the prejudices I see perpetuated in this forum, and they continue relatively unchecked.

What if I were to say that 'Jews were power hungry, thought control freaks who want to tell us all how to behave?' I would be justifiably labeled hateful and Anti-Semetic - but if I replace the word 'Jews,' in this statement with the word 'Conservatives' I wouldn't raise an eyebrow.

What if I said 'African Americans hate people who are not their color, and will always do them harm at every available opportunity?' I would correctly be called a racist, but if you substitute the words 'Right Wingers' for 'African Americans' the statement would probably go unchallenged.

What if I were to say that 'Planned Parenthood is an oraganization dedicated to imposition of an unacceptable morality?' I would be called a sexist pig and, at best; a minder of other people's business - but substitute 'Christain Right' for 'Planned Parenthood' and my comments would probably be accepted.

I am not a right winger, I am not a racist or an anti-semite, I am not a pro-lifer ... I simply point out the prejudices we exibit ourselves, here in this setting, from time to time. If we are to be polically correct (as redefined in positive light within this thread) we need to remember that means tollerance of opposing persepectives, and the individuals who hold them.

I don't smoke, and don't particularly care for smoke, but I will fight for your right to smoke in reasonable conditions. I don't particpate in what many call pornography, but I support your right to do so. I don't like the neo-nazi and militant organizations, but I support their right to operate as they see fit within the constitution. The people who participate in these activities will be treated by me as their individual behavior warrants; not as I may feel about their philosophy.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: GeorgeH
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 11:53 AM

A quick thought (unlike me, I know). "PC" in its non-perjorative sense, has never been a useful concept. 'Cause "all" it amounts to is common decency, courtesy, respect for one's fellow beings (oops, nearly said "fellow man"!!) and sensitivity to others. Beyond that it becomes mere posturing.

G.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 12:49 PM

Kat, I don't think you'll find anyone here who will object to the removal of truly hateful or pejorative language from common usage. That's not the point. What people find aggravating is the frequent and arbitrary changing of language, making once-acceptable language unacceptable.
"Nigger" was clearly an unacceptable term and "colored" was kind of a transitional word (still used in the name of the NAACP), so decent people willingly changed to "Negro." It took a little longer to change to "black" as the acceptable word, but it really wasn't that big a step because the word had been used in some situations in the past. Now, the move is to require clumsy, bureaucratic-sounding "African-American." What's that - four or five changes to a term in 40 years? I think that's ludicrous. I'll hold onto "black" until they can come up with a better term than "African-American."
I have no idea what are the polite terms to use for handicapped people any more, so I've essentially been removed from any meaningful discussion of issues relating to the handicapped because I just don't understand what's being said. The terms have changed too quickly, and many are ludicrous, especially the "xxx-challenged" series of euphemisms. Somebody here was throwing around a four-letter acronym the other day, and I had no idea what they were talking about.

Certainly, language is powerful. So is logic. If you put the two of them together, you can do wonderful things. If there is no logic behind your changing the language, people may start to look on those changes as ludicrous, and that defeats your purpose.

-Joe Offer-
ludicrous so absurd, ridiculous, or exaggerated as to cause or merit laughter.
op. cit.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: catspaw49
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 01:55 PM

Uh, that would have been me Joe? I assume you mean MRDD? You'll be happy to know we've gone back to mentally retarded/developmentally delayed.(:+)

But in truth, Liam speaks it. As does Peter. Sorrowfully, respect, decency, and courtesy, are not requisite to free speech. Removal of hateful language? Free speech? Hmmmm.....Tell me how you can have both? Rights and liberties and the like cannot be exclusionary, but they often are. Are children granted a lberty interest under the 14th amendment? Should they have one or not. It doesn't exclude them, but they are excluded at this point in time. Can we grant free speech then only to courteous and respectful people?

Sometimes I long for a benevolent dictator......as long as he/she/it agrees with me..........

Spaw


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Harvey Gerst
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 02:28 PM

A lot of this bothers me, but I can't put my finger on exactly why I'm bothered. In the 60s, I hung out with a lot of blues musicians who didn't differentiate between "Nigger", "Negro", "Black", "Colored", or "Whitey", "Honky" and a number of other colorful terms during a typical conversation.

They used all these terms to add nuance to their speech and it didn't seem to bother anyone present as I recall, perhaps because the terms were being used with both sarcasm AND affection by both races. If anything, it drew me closer to the problems that Negros faced in the 60s and helped me realize the vast chasm that separated our two cultures. Music seemed to be a bridge that spanned them.

I'm not sure the homoginization of all these terms into "African-American" is necessarily a good thing. It eliminates the wonderful nuances that even African-Americans used to describe themselves in the past, just as a "dumb redneck" or "trailer trash" creates certain instant mental images today.

Is it painting with "too broad a brush"? Perhaps, but simply placing everybody into a category that can be described with a hyphenated two word description is possibly not the answer either.

I guess the problem arises when hate groups get hold of a term and use it in a derogatory sense to incite others. At 62, I still don't have many answers, just more and more questions.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 02:39 PM

Hi, Kat - these comments of yours were in the "Hummer" thread, but my response fits better into this one.
Annap, it's because, in the patriarchal world of old, and even of today in some places, enjoying sex was against the control of the church. It meant women, might choose to be free, instead of subservient wombs.
In all cases, the church wanted to have complete control of its "sheep", esp. the women. By making sex, for anything other than procreation, supposedly dirty, evil, and abhorrent, people lived in fear and under the thumb of their priest or church elders. Some still do.
Some are so rigidly into the only for procreation bit that they actually never experience the pleasure of it; they approach it as a necessary duty; then, if they are brave hypocrits, they fly in the face of their convictions and go have sex with a "filthy whore" without ever admitting any pleasure. All the while, their women at home remain "pure" in the eyes of them and their "lord".
The Puritans were great at such self-denial; effectively cutting themselves off from any physical pleasures. I believe our country still suffers from such a legacy.
katonasoapbox'causeitsalwaysbeenwonderfulforme,too!
Gee, Kat, it seems to me that you may have swallowed some propaganda. I guess you don't realize that what you've been saying over and over this week is full of bigotry against men and against traditional religious beliefs. There is truth in what you say, but you've taken it to an irrational extreme.
I can't believe that it's all that simple, that men and church were so totally evil in the "unenlightened" age of our ancestors. Certainly, there was sexism in our culture and in churches, but that does not totaly negate the value of the wisdom of the last two or three millennia.
In the past, there were many corrupt leaders in our culture and in our churches. Well, by golly, the same is true today. I think there may be something about the essence of leadership that invites corruption. Maybe it's because you often have to sell your soul, your ideals, to become a leader. On the other hand, many leaders in the past, and in the present, did not compromise their ideals or their integrity.
I believe there's a difference between the leaders and the thinkers in any organization or culture. It's the thinkers who maintain the ideals and who have the more profound effect on us. You sometimes have to look to find them, but every age and every culture has had inspired writing and thinking from both both women and men. It's the leaders who cause suffering - the thinkers give us hope. If you look at the sacred writings of most major religions that have endured though the ages, you will find much beauty and idealism and truth. Traditions endure because of the truth they embody. If your goddess beliefs provide a valuable and valid perspective on that same truth, then those beliefs will also endure the test of time. Religious beliefs that endure are those that express truth and love and beauty and a spirit of wonder for the mystery of life. When people do evil things in the name of religion, what they do is usually in direct contradition the the religious beliefs they claim to espouse.
Yes, it's true we are coming out of an age that was dominated by men. It's true that women suffered greatly in that age. Nonetheless, there were many men in that age who were good, loving husbands, fathers, and friends. There were many women in that age who overcame male domination and accomplished wonderful things - both on a large scale and within their families and communities. Women were oppressed, but they certainly were not powerless.
If you study literature, you will also find that there were women in past ages who had good sex.
So, I'm asking you to stop and think a moment, and don't be soo quick to condemn.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 03:22 PM

Spoken like a true and patronising patriarch, Joe! I don't swallow for anyone, first of all. And, I've read plenty of literature of both men and women.That was a really cheap shot. I would suggest you open your mind and get outside of the theological box from which you are pontificating. I am NOT a separatist and anybody who has been on here and read most of my postings will not be so facetious as to assume so or claim that. I always advocate for balance. And that is what this has all been about; the need for the world of ALL people, to balance out, in a slow plod towards equality. If I have sounded like a bigot against men and religion I am sorry, but what I relate has been facts of the past and present and I do not apologise for that. The fact of the matter is that our world has been male-dominated for over 2,000 years and it is time for the pendulum to swing back towards a middle ground of sharing and caring. I don't care for your condescending holier-than-thou tone, Joe, you know me better than that.

Right now, in Afghanistan, women are not allowed out of their homes for any kind of work.

They are not allowed to leave their homes without a father, brother, or husband.

They are not allowed to interact with male shopkeepers.

They cannot be treated by a male doctor. Ironically there are no women doctors allowed to practise.

They may not study at schools, universities, or other educational institutions.

They have to wear the Burqa, long veil which covers them from head to toe.

If a woman dares to go out without her male relative or without her full cover, she will be whipped, beaten and verbally abused, in public. One woman was beaten to death because her ankles showed.

A number of lovers have been stoned to death for having sex outside their marriages.

No makeup is allowed. Several women have had their fingers cut off for wearing fingernail polish.

They are not allowed to talk to or shake the hands of any male who is not their relative. Nor are they allowed to laugh out loud.

All in the name of religion by the dominate gender.

And, lest you accuse me of spewing propoganda, please see the website of women in Pakistan who have lived to escape from such a hell and are working with men and women of the world to try to end the oppression and murders of thousands of women. They are at www.RAWA.org.

Of course women weren't powerless, in some cases. If you will get Barbara Walker's Encyclopedia of Women's Myths and Secrets you will find she cite her hundreds of sources for a lot of the herstory I am talking about. You might especially pay close attention to what happened to land-owning women when the early Church decided they had too much autonomy and power and stripped them of their lands, including abbesses.

kat


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: catspaw49
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 03:24 PM

So what is the meaning of the words "Folk Music?"

Spaw -- "Equal Opps" --- for an Answer to either.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Peter T.
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 03:42 PM

And is a matronizing tone characterised as replying to an argument about tradition by insinuating that all past societies in general, and Joe (Ayatollah Offer) in particular, are Afghanistan?
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 03:47 PM

I used it as an example, only, that there is still much work to be done while we still have such oppression going on, Peter. If that's matronising, so be it.

kattheirrationalextremist


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 04:11 PM

Kat, you have a pure heart and a lot of wonderful passion. Much of what you say is true, but you tend to speak in broad generalizations and you give very little respect for those who have different perspectives. Your goals and mine are very much the same, but we cannot accomplish those goals if we run roughshod over all that has gone before us, or if we we try to impose those goals upon others without presenting them gently, logically, and convincingly.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Larry B.
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 04:24 PM

Folk Music and Philosophy on the same web site! I'm in Heaven!

Seems like eveveryone can give you "their definition" of a word or phrase; I hope this doesn't go on to its (no apostrophe) logical conclusion, because it's (not the posessive) impossible to communicate unless symbols are universally understood.

When people try to bend meanings to their own uses, you have "African-Americans" who have never been to Africa, and whose ancestors have been here longer than many others. People whose ancestors entered the country in historical times are not Native Americans, but thank God and Mr. Webster, the child of immigrants can still be a Native New Yorker.

-A native Earthling and proud member of the Human race


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 04:55 PM

Welcome to Heaven Larry B. Folk music and philosophy on the same thread ain't news at the Mudcat. It can be extremely informative about all aspects of the music, but is equally revealing when it comes to folks' amazing and complex personalities. An aditional bit of excitement crops up every five weeks when some folks can hold it in no longer and explode with rage that their former "heaven" is turning into a living "hell", what with discussions like this. (or possums, or top ten lists, or birthday threads, or Irish folk who wanna march) As in the (very) old Theresa Brewer song, they want "Music, Music, Music! More often than not, they'll participate in both though, so don't worry about it.

Rest assured that Katlaughing and Joe will never come to blows, because I suspect that the articulate thought and caring shown in their debate is a lot harder to find down at the local coffee shop.
Welcome,

Rick


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 05:02 PM

So...I am a loud, brassy woman, who refuses to be quiet and demure. Oh, well....I guess in all the thousands of words I've put in the Mudcat, I've just been speaking in a general sort of way and been full of intolerance. Is that kind of generalisation you're talking about, Joe? I am only paraphrasing your words about me.

Gentle, logical, convincingly...sorry, those may work in some situations, but they didn't get women the vote, or bring about civil rights in the USA. It took loud protests and physical sacrifices, as well. Or, am I rewriting history, again?

This isn't going to get us anywhere, because we will never agree. I think you are being close-minded and patronising. You think I am being an over-emotional extremist. Change is uncomfortable.

The only other thing I have to say is from the earlier post of mine which was lost, without getting too long winded: the spoken is word is full of power. Our subconscious is like a computer; it takes anythng we "feed" it as truth and will work to manifest that "truth"; this if one says, "I am ill", it will automatically begin to manifest illness. Yes, that IS a generalisation and a simplistic example, but an example nonetheless.

It is important to remember that is a powerful reason for changing the language to reflect less hurt and malice. IT is esp. important in what children hear. Take a child and use negative language around him, day and day out, and it WILL have a detrimental effect.

If someone wants to be called a Native or African American, who cares? It would be disrepectful NOT to. I believe one of the beauties of language is that it can change and be added to. There are plenty of educational resources available to be sure everyone learns of the haetful words and actions of the past; but we also have to lead by example and that means, I hope, that my grandsons will never hear themselves refered to as "nigger babies".

kattheirrationalextremistwhogeneralises


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: northfolk/al cholger
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 05:05 PM

I was recently flamed in one of the other postings, for stating my belief that the "appeal" of our music must not be "expanded" by making it more like what I call corporate music...it was suggested that my tired leftist analysis was irrelevent, and that there is no war going on.... I think that there is little difference in the accusation of PC'ness or recent vilification of "liberalism" from any other kind of baiting that many of us have witnessed, in the last 50 years. While I make no pretense that the left is ever, often or occasionally, right(correct),I do know that there is an ongoing struggle between those with wealth and power, and the rest of us. In that struggle, folk music has been a source of comfort, a source of motivation, sometimes a source of education, and always a source of recounting and passing it on. While this is not necessarily true of all folk music, I think that I could make a fairly strong case that much "pop culture" serves the other side, promulgating feelings of despair, isolation, angst, and in some cases, complete divisiveness based on age, race, sex. Who controls the culture, is a question we should ask, and discuss...and what are the effects. kat has made a passionate appeal for that kind of analytical questioning, much different than we are usually challenged with, via TV radio or newspapers. I applaud.... I also caution, that many of us watched the movements for social justice, which accomplished so much, but needed to do more, self destructover minor differences, but, we ended up fighting one and other, harder than we fought for our original goals.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Davey
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 05:10 PM

I can't reply to everyone on this thread, but certain comments have provoked feelings in me that I have to express. Liam, I can't agree with your 'free speech' attitude, if free speech means allowing bigots and racists to produce and disseminate hate literature, falsehoods and lies to those who haven't had the opportunity to engage in intelligent, reasoned discussions such as are taking place here. Sorry, but I won't put up with it when I'm around.... KatL, I can sense your outrage and frustration at the patriarchy prevalent throughout the world today, and I'm also appalled at the extent. The situation of women in Afghanistan is one of the more extreme examples in our time, and the fact that the rest of the world sits by and does nothing is a further crime. Joe, while I can agree that much has been done and accomplished during the past two or three hundred years, it's not enough, and much of the advances that have been made is now in the process of being rolled back.. We are losing ground to the almighty quest for profit. We have to remember that virtually all governments around the world are run by MEN, virtually all religions are run by MEN, and under either of those institutions little is being done to address the problems women face daily. Wife abuse is common, and the number of women killed annually by their mates, in the US and Canada, is on the increase. The authorities treat it as 'domestic violence' and penalties are small and of no deterrence. Women continue to earn 70% of what men earn for the same work or work of equal value. This is going to look like one big paragraph, can someone tell me how to put in line breaks (sigh...)... I'd like to add one positive note to this posting, there is a group in Toronto called Metro Men Against Violence, who are actively working to educate boys and men about the effects of the violence neing done to women. There are similar groups in other cities across Canada and the US, working for similar ends. With few resources and scant access to mainstream media, however, it's almost like trying to stop an oncoming steamroller by throwing a pebble at it. 'Nuff ranting, I'm getting too worked up.....


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 05:11 PM

"If your goddess beliefs provide a valuable and valid perspective on that same truth, then those beliefs will also endure the test of time"........they already have, since time immemorial, they are the feminine side of what you call "God".


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 05:27 PM

Davey, well spoken. I'm not familiar with the group, can you e-mail me some info?

Rick


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 05:49 PM

Thank you, Davey and Northfolk/Al, well put and thoughtful. The other thing I had talked about earlier, which was lost, was the fact that so much hate is so much more accessible than ever before because of the Internet. This is another reason I feel so strongly about common language and the need for it to reflect an enlightened consciousness.

In an article by Lars-Erik Nelson, copyrighted by the New York Daily New on 9-17, entitled Hate Is Easy To Find Online he explains how a search for info on "a leading American industrialist, Henry Ford" brings one directly to, for one thing, a listing for the book "International Jew"; Amazon.com then kindly informs one that people who've ordered that book, have also enjoyed The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and White Power by "George Lincoln Rockwell, (the late American Fuhrer)." (Quoting Nelson, here. Also, he does note that "Old Henry was an anti-Semite, at least for part of his life, and International Jew is still in print."

His article includes a quote from Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, who testified before a Senate Committee: "For the first time in the history of our democracy, those promoting hate, racial violence and terrorism have been able to do so directly into the mainstream, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Many of these groups, once isolated geographically and marginalised to the fringes of society, have succeeded in creating an online subculture of hate."

The article also quotes Joseph Roy of the Southern Poverty Law Center (just a quick note, I found out, yesterday, that I will have the privilege of dining with the head of the SPLC, Morris Dees, next Tuesday night, along with other "locals", before he gives a lecture, right here in little ole' Wyoming! I am thrilled!) Anyway, Roy said, "A few years ago, a klansman needed to put out substantial money and effort to produce and distribute a shoddy pamphlet that might reach 100 people. Today, with a $500 computer and negligible other costs, that same klansman can put up a slickly produced Web site with a potential audience of millions." Noting that young poeple who wouldn't dare go to a klan rally can now sit at home & easily enter a world of hate, he added, "The Net, with its promise of privacy, lowers any social inhibitions they might have had about consorting openly with racists and other haters. And, nobody will disagree with them. There is no real exchange of ideas on www.whitepower.com."

Nelson also points out that a couple of years ago, if one went looking for info on the French chemist, Joseph Gay-Lussac, one was led mostly to gay pornography. He says, now, due to publis pressure, you "no longer get flooded with gay pornography" when looking for references to Gay-Lussac.

Curiously, none of the Internet Service Providers who were invited to the Senate Committee hearing chose to attend.

This was an excellent article, which was republished in the Liberal Opinion Week of 9-27-99. Again, it illustrates to me why 1) the Mudcat is so important because of its general tone of civility and openness, and 2) that it is most important for us to lead the way in using terms that are no denigrating and hurtful.

kat


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Peter T.
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 06:21 PM

Apart from the Roy quote, which is worth pondering, I would argue that hatred is about as accessible as it ever was, certainly in my lifetime. Kids got all kinds of pornographic and vicious hate literature all the time in my happy American high school. They especially liked it because it was banned and dangerous.


While these quotations should be read with care, this sort of argument is often used with panicking people in mind, so they will do something drastic. Hitler was quite adept at using the threat of Jewish terrorism to suppress Jews. Some of these statements are not arguments: they are just opinions. For example, with great respect, Rabbi Abraham Cooper is completely wrong historically. The history of democracy in the West is one in which hate, racial violence, and terrorism have flourished quite happily in the mainstream. You only have to read Southern (and Northern) newspapers before the American Civil War to read exhortations to all kinds of racial hatred. After the war, newspapers were quite happy to keep at it, and add the Irish and Chinese to the mix. Henry Ford was a good example: he was not exactly out of the mainstream! In Quebec 55 years ago, flagrant anti-semitism was widespread in the media. Widespread racial jokes and stereotypes flourished. In many cities public figures, streetside speakers, and organizations promulgated hatred. The mainstream was saturated in hatred.

I am not unconcerned, but I think we can relax a little: the Internet is not going to drag us down to perdition. We are already there.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: catspaw49
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 06:45 PM

hey Joe....How come you don't want to take on the free speech issue? Thank you Davey for at least addressing the other central problem here. I keep asking for an opinion but evidently it's hard to address of I'm such a general fockup that no one takes me seriously....probably just as well come to think about it.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 07:17 PM

Dunno, Spaw, I thought you said it pretty well. I don't disagree with what you said, but I don't have much to add that hasn't been said already. Both the liberals and the conservatives want to control our speech. Kat wants to cleanse our brains by forcing a new vocabulary upon us.
I think we need to allow our opponents to speak their minds without setting rules for the vocabulary they use. Then we should respond without verbally battering them, so they will feel free to rebut our response.
But I don't accept the arbitrary rules set by those would wish us to be politically correct. Kat doesn't seem to understand that point. Why should somebody be able to dictate that I must use the word "black" this week, but "African-American" next week? Heck, I already changed my languuage at their request a couple of times - now they're demanding that I change again.
Yes, speech should be free. Yes, speech should be civil. There's a balance - speech should be free, but not cause harm. Generally, I'd prefer to err on the side of freedom. Attempts to control speech get me worried.
But if I say much more, Kat's gonna bop me on the head. I think I already have more words than she has in this thread....(grin)
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 08:01 PM

Wow! I had no idea I was so powerful and original! I can cleanse minds and force vocabularies??? Hmmmm....so all-powerful, must be the gawdess personified. Yes! At last!*g*

Joe, I think what 'Spaw is concerned about, as am I, is the dogged stance regarding free speech and harm. First you say that those who spew hate should be free to spew, which would imply, no matter how much it might hurt others. Then you say speech should be free, but do no harm. Which is it?

I am not advocating control of anybody's speech or mind. In their clubs, homes, etc. anybody is free to whatever they want to declare. What I am concerned about is in general society. There are people nowadays who would welcome the ability to be so free in their speech that they would post "no niggers allowed" signs in their windows.

If we don't work towards a change in mass consciousness, towards the upliftment of all humankind, then what are we even doing here? If that means using a new term to refer to someone's skin colour, what harm is there in that? BTW, my son-in-law, whom you know is from Antigua, does NOT like the term black, as he doesn't feel that is a true term for his skin tone. He is a gorgeous mahagony and when with family or when we refer to him, that is his choice and ours. People of colour seems to be more accurate, in general.

PeterT, I didn't mean that as an alarmist post and I don't think Lars-Erik Nelson did either. In fact in his article he said censorship is not the answer. I do not agree with you that hate hasn't changed in its accessibility, though. While there may have been hate flyers etc. available where you grew up, there is no denying the fact that the Internet has opened up the entire world to millions and millions of people. Just as an example, before the Internet, anyone of us may have been able to see a few pictures of the Sistine Chapel or access information through inter-library loan programs. Now, anyone of us with Internet access can take a virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel and visit other sites directly with access to archives that are unbvelievable in their scope and that were available to only a limited few in times past. There is one site I go to which has direct translations of ancient writings of the saints, with direct quotations of their last words, etc. It is incredible. In the same way, hate and the violence it can beget are much more available than ever before.

kat


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: lamarca
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 11:14 PM

Sorry, kat, but I have to side with Joe on this one. You say
I am not advocating control of anybody's speech or mind. In their clubs, homes, etc. anybody is free to whatever they want to declare. What I am concerned about is in general society. There are people nowadays who would welcome the ability to be so free in their speech that they would post "no niggers allowed" signs in their windows.

Think back to the 1950's, when those same arguments were used against the left wing, and used to silence Pete Seeger and others by "blacklisting" them to prevent their "dangerous" views from being made available to the general public.

Currently there is a debate in our area whether "The Washington Blade", a local gay newspaper, should be in the periodical section of the library. The social conservatives are afraid that the "dangerous and immoral" views in the paper will persuade our vulnerable children (and adults) to perhaps consider that the publishers of this paper might have views worth thinking about. How is this censorship different from wanting to prohibit publication and distribution of a tract saying the world's ills are caused by blacks and Jews?

The distinction that needs to be made is one between speech (and writing) that is offensive, and speech or writing that incites violence (which is what I think Joe meant by "hurt"). The recent court case that declared the anti-abortion web site that had a "Hit List" of abortion providers and their addresses crossed this line. The offensive sign you mentioned would be illegal - not for the content of its speech, but because of the illegal action it proposes. Case by case, the American judicial system is trying to make those distinctions and still preserve our First Amendment rights.

I believe that most "hate" speech doesn't really persuade many people who aren't already converts to that perverse way of looking at the world. I think that the most effective way to fight hate is to evangelize for tolerance by the way you live, by showing respect for people you deal with in person, no matter how skewed you think their views are, and by countering inflammatory arguments made by ignorant people with calm, love and rationality. I'm not saying we have to love Rush Limbaugh, but rather than getting into a shouting match with one of his supporters, drive them nuts by being civil to them and countering their more outrageous pronouncements with more rational arguments.

All of us need to periodically examine our own beliefs and try to figure out how much of what we believe has basis in fact, how much is based on blind prejudices (and, yes, we liberals have them, too) and how much is based on faith. It is my personal religious belief that no matter whether there is a Divine Being or not, the greatest morality is to respect others and treat them as you would like to be treated; in short, the Golden Rule. Remember, also, that one's right to swing one's arm ends BEFORE it hits the next guy's face - which also applies to trying to impose your personal views and beliefs on someone else. I know I fall short of this more often than not, but I think it's as good a rule for moral behavior to strive for as any.

Finally, I am upset by the personal animosity some of the arguments on this thread are showing, and would like to request that folks take a deep breath and count to 10 before firing off replies to each other, and remember how we've tried to keep Mudcat more civil than many chat groups. I've enjoyed being able to debate issues here, and would like to see that we can occasionally agree to disagree and not have "debates" turn into raging arguments. I enjoy all of your company, and don't want to see us hurt eachother needlessly.

Mary


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Larry B.
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 11:33 PM

The verbal contention in the U.S. is only to be expected. It was designed by a group of men who could not change the status quo with words, so they did it with guns. They tried to set up a system to prevent a repeat performance of the American Revolution, and it has worked indifferently well, with a notable exception in the mid-nineteenth century.

I can't remember where I read the following, and it is probably not an exact quote, but "Democracy was never intended to ensure good government, it was intended to insure against bad government."

Davey: I insert line breaks with the [Enter] key. If your browser interprets this as a command, maybe you can change your browser defaults.

LB

Line Breaks look like this: <br> You can double-space by hitting the enter key twice, but for single-spaced line breaks, you have to use the HTML <br> tags.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Sep 99 - 11:43 PM

Sorry, Lamarca, I agree with soem of what you say, but I do not consider the tracts of the racist white power groups, who are free to say what they want, to even be in the category as Pete Seeger or the Washington Blade. While I am not familiar with what exactly Pete had to say back then, I do believe that he and the paper you referred to neither one probably advocate annihilation of other groups of our society.

I have been working with a human rights org., here in Wyoming, for about 5 years now. We have studied, presented, studied, organised, and worked hard towards educating people, and welcoming anyone who wants to dialogue with us, those who don't agree wiht us and those who do. We recognise that, yes, before there can be any progress, we have to be able to talk to one another and try to work out some common ground.

The main thing I was saying (I wish people wouldn't just take one thing I've said and go with that. I've said a lot more.) was it is mean, hurtful, demeaning, and should no longer be acceptable in society, for someone to use the old terms which put people down, whether they are a person of colour, an MRDD, like Pat's son, or any of a number of other things, including gay.

Don't worry about the animosity. Joe and I know where we stand and once in awhile a heated debate can clear the air and bring about all kinds of further discussion. It is possible to have an argument such as this and still bend an elbow afterward in the Tavern.*g*

And, sometimes, I get tired of being the sweetness and light, contemplate your navel, resident "woo-woo", as WW dubbed me, recently. Sorry if you were offended.

kat


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: JedMarum
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 01:51 AM

Thinking back to the 50's, as lamarca invited us to do ... in those days Pete Seeger was so shamefully 'silenced' (as much as he could be) by our legal watchdogs ... so were the KKK. I agree that Pete, and other gentle souls of his day who spoke/sang their messages of importance, can in no way be compared with the hate mongers of the KKK ... but the point is, our society was more successful in those days, at its attempts to repress the points-of-view it found unaccepable. Today communism and socialist theory are discussed openly and without the Nationalist paranoia, (and even hysteria) it produced in the late 40's and the 50's. In those days, even at the cost of our freedom of speech - it was not allowed. This cost Pete his unfair treatment.

Since the freedom of speech in the US is more liberally applied today than it was back in the 50's, we have an increase in the availability of the less desireable stuff as well. We have seen an increase in the availability of the hate stuff, and I find it disturbing, but I know it is the price of my freedom of speech. The hate mongers are governed by the same laws that govern the rest of us. If we fight them, and we must, we do so within reasoned law application, diligent law enforcement and organized social pressure. I believe this last means of combatting hate was Kat's original point - social pressure; we must all practice responsible, considerate behaviors. Our words and deeds must be those of sensitive adults who display acceptance and open minds to all people, not just those from our own little demographics group! I not agree with this notion, I practice it.

When we have free speech and we apply the same rules to all within our society ... we will have people who say and do things we don't like. Even those 'hateful bastards' with messages we find abhorrent, are entitled to speak their opinions ... as long as they voice them under the same rules we do ours.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 04:52 AM

Freedom of speech is a sticky question. I think that government should not legislate against speech unless it causes actual harm to another person. If it's physical harm, then I think criminal prosecution might be appropriate. If it's economic or other harm, then I think it should generally be a matter for the civil courts. Fear and emotional harm? - I dunno.
On the other hand, it I were an Internet Service Provider or the publisher of a newspaper, I would be very reluctant to allow my publication or service the be the vehicle of hateful propaganda. I don't know what the law says, but if somebody wanted me to run a hate ad in my newspaper, I'd go to extremes to prevent it.
If my car mechanic were a hate monger, I think I'd find another mechanic - but I'd first do my best to try to lead that mechanic in the right direction. I guess you could say that's economic pressure against hate, and I'd generally say that's a good idea.
I'd like to day I'd do my best to speak out against hate. I'm not all that sure rhetoric works. Kat and I like each other pretty much, although we often have different perspectives. Usually, I keep my mouth shut, but today was a slow day at work so I decided to I decided speak my piece. My logic and rhetoric were admirable, I'd say - but maybe you noticed that Kat didn't budge an inch. So, did my rhetoric do any good? Did Kat change my mind? If I can't sway my friends, how will a affect the opinions of my enemies? Well, I plan to speak out, anyhow. I have in the past, and I ain't quitting now.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: GeorgeH
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 07:11 AM

Jo O: So if your words merely terrorise others without causing them actual harm that's OK?? I beg to differ!

The problem is we're all talking broad generalisations, and at that level each of us probably holds irreconcilable believes. We probably all support "free speech", oppose censorship, and believe everyone should be able to live their lives in resonable comfort, safety and lack of fear . . That circle can't be squared. All we can hope to do is arrive at the best, most pragmatic compromise in each set of real circumstances.

Just my 2p.

G.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Peter T.
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 09:00 AM

Kat, I think my response about the Internet was a muddy way of saying that although there is much more of it, we are already learning to cope. It is a pretty ugly sight, but we are. People thought that television was going to destroy us, beaming into our homes. They were completely right, but we go on. We bounce around for awhile, but then the safety nets of sense and tolerance get woven around a new set of boundaries. Democracies do that -- we assume that most people will cope, or look at the stuff once and move on -- the important thing (if you buy this) is that things are challenged (with which we all seem to agree here), and put in their rightful place as irritants. One tough part (of course) is that all this is based on a bunch of reasonably strong, well-adjusted people (Mill's Victorians), when we know that there is at least a minority that isn't (anywhere), with (in your country) easy access to handguns. Do we change the rules to protect ourselves against the thoughts that they might have, and the things that they might do, or not? Is the tradeoff worth it? And is the assumption that all citizens are able to make up their own minds independendtly worth hanging on to, even if we all know that that isn't true?

I have an Internet pornography story which exemplifies this. I was talking to one of my male students about pornography on the Internet, and he said, "I expect that after the ten thousandth picture of a naked woman, you might begin to lose interest.""Yes?" I said. "Naaaah", he said.
A good story, but it has nothing to do with the disgusting child pornography, etc., you can find easily on the Web. We could joke about it.
As I said, deep questions. yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: JedMarum
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 10:07 AM

Peter T. -

I think Internet story on porn exemplifies how free speech limits are imposed reasonably. Simple nude photos are not typically judged to be 'obscene' but most US legal standards. Photos of consenting adults performing legal, sexual activities, are likewise not often judged to be obscene, in US communities. But child pornography is explicitly illegal, in several enforceable ways. We have the ability, in the US to prosecute purveyors of such material. I hope you are wrong about it's being available to US Internet viewers, but if you aren't I hope that US law enforcement is going after these merchants and viewers.

I think someone put it best, in this thread when they said, analgous to free speech ... you have the right to swing your fist as widely and freely as you like, right up to the point that it strikes my face! Now where is the point that your swinging actually infringes on my right to be unmolested - is a question to be answered by responsible legislastion, and diligent law enforcement.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Larry B.
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 10:41 AM

Now all we have to do is find people who both want to run for public office, and are capable of producing responsible legislation, as well as more citizens who are willing to pay for diligent law enforcement.

LB


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 11:05 AM

It would help if we had citizens who were willing to actually exercise their right to vote.

And, I still don't think free speech should protect someone from using derogatory language towards children.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 11:06 AM

Arrggghhh! That should read "their right to vote"!


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: GeorgeH
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 11:42 AM

liam: Of course child pornography is available to US citizens via the Internet. And - unless draconian changes are forced on the net - it always will be. And IMO the more general loss of freedoms that those changes would bring make them unacceptable.

As for tracking those who access such material - I would have thought your constitution made that almost impossible, although there I could be wrong . .

Don't get me wrong - I'm not supporting the sites or those who access them.

G.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: JedMarum
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 11:54 AM

kat - I couldn't agree more with you, about voting! I am appalled by the small percentage of people who understand and accept this responsibility.

george - well perhaps I am a bit naïve, but I thought kiddie porn was being successfully controlled on the Internet. I am sure that our laws could be enforced though, without circumventing the constitutional rights of others though.

Sites that disseminate the material could be prosecuted, users who access those sites could be tracked and prosecuted, people who create the material could be tracked and prosecuted. I suspect we already have enforceable laws on these matters. Maybe Law enforcement technology hasn't caught up with Internet dissemination technology yet, but it will. It must.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: JedMarum
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 11:57 AM

hmmm - serious thread creep, from Politically Correct to Kiddie Porn. Sorry Kat!

liamdevlinwhohasnodisciplinewhenitcomestothreadcreep


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 12:00 PM

The concept of words having the potential to damage or weaken an individual can be extended to society in general; thus, pornography has been interpreted in the past as an attack on the larger construct of individuals known as a Nation or State. This was the logic that has been used to make child pornography illegal, but it is also the motivation behind the suppression of speech by such diverse individuals as Lenny Bruce, Pete Seeger, and Ernest Hemmingway in this country, and the stated cause for the book-burnings in Nazi Germany. The slope that supports both freedom of individual expression and censorship is indeed a slippery one. A reasonable balance is the foundation of true democracy, but movement too far in one direction or another leads to either anarchy or repression.

Kat- re your argument that Christianity is a patriarchal religion that has an inherent interest in the oppression of women: How do you account for the fact that a woman was the central focus of Christianity for most of it's history? That,indeed, she was perceived as the central arbiter on behalf of mankind with a creator that was otherwise unapproachable? Just curious.

LEJ


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: JedMarum
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 12:16 PM

Bingo, Lonesome EJ. Exactly my point in a previous post above liam_devlin . But in the case of Kiddie porn, we are talking about activity which is illegal to begin with; child abuse. The laws surrounding these activities can be enforced, easily, and have a long history of successful prosecutions. If I knowingly particpate in, and film a murder or an armed robbery and then publish the film of those illegal activities, I am guilty of several crimes. Enforcing these laws has not been viewed by our courts as an infringment on freedom of speech. Back to my previous analogy; if you are practicing your right to swing your arms, that's fine, but when you strike me on the nose, you have violated my right to be unmolested.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Peter T.
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 12:36 PM

If this thread has to creep, I would rather it creep towards the Virgin Mary! I'm not kat, but I can do this one!! Surely every religion that is going to survive has to incorporate some resonances from every part of human life, including the female. So what happens in this case. It is not that contentious (unless you are the Pope) that Christianity, from just after the very outset, did what it could to marginalise women. We have the spectacle at the beginning of Jesus being primarily supported by rich women, and consorting with them. It is obvious the women see this as a chance to break out. We have these women sticking by him when things get rough, while the guys head off in all directions. We have the Marys who are the only reliable witnesses to the resurrection (all reputable Biblical scholars recognise that the additions to Mark where Peter shows up are later). We have reports of women celebrants and deacons from the very outset. And what happens: within 200 years they are no where in the evolving hierarchy. But what to do about the basic feminine impulse? -- give them the Virgin Mary, the Vice-Presidential supplicator to God for humanity. Thus we keep them in the tent, but keep them humble (the humble handmaid of the Lord). There is a lot more in the tradition that is positive, but this part is pretty straighforward. Over to you, Kat.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 12:46 PM

Liam- (just to play Devil's advocate) we can easily agree that certain portrayals of child sexuality are and should be illegal, but what about tasteful or beautiful photographs of children naked? Pictures of my daughter which I took when she was three, and which I cherish, would probably be considered prurient by some. If they were displayed on an internet site, yes they would probably seen as pornographic. In many cases, the crime is not in the content, but in the context. Again, the situation is rarely black and white, and cannot always be placed in such a neat descriptive phrase as child abuse. What's more, we deal with a sliding scale- nudes done by Impressionist painters were considered by many at the time to be titillating. Today, we may consider them sensuous, but rarely pornographic. They were seen by many as harmful to the society then. Now we agree that they enrich it.

The question of freedom of speech and of expression goes to the heart of how we perceive ourselves and our society, and how we structure our personal and societal moral codes and ethics. I would not live in a society where the degradation and abuse of children is accepted. But neither would I welcome a system that denies personal freedom in the attempt to ferret out these abuses.

LEJ


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Jeri
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 12:50 PM

LEJ, I think that depends on which form of Christianity you're talking about. As far as I know, protestants don't pray to Mary the way Catholics do.

Organized religions to a large extent reflect societal norms. Problems occur when a society adopts new attitudes about right (and rights) and wrong and the religion doesn't change. Some people argue that the bible was written with divine guidance, and therefore change and adaption of the religion are impossible. People base their beliefs on what makes sense to them, and if a religion doesn't make sense, it will lose believers.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 01:06 PM

* alert: logic error * alert: logic error * alert: logic error *
Jo O: So if your words merely terrorise others without causing them actual harm that's OK?? I beg to differ

Caught ya, George! I think you fell into a Kattrap on that one. Did I say that speech causing terror is OK??? No, sir, I certainly did not. I don't know where you're from, but I find that's a common error in American thinking - to believe that anything not specifically prohibited by law is "OK." I think I stated my strong opposition to hate propaganda, and the efforts I would take to restrict it. My question is whether it should be considered a matter for criminal or for civil legal action. I also think that there has to be strong proof of the harm done, and the intent to cause harm. When it comes to restricting speech, we have to be very careful.

Next error: this patriarchal church issue. Seems to me that until the very recent past, all institutions were patriarchal. That was the nature of our society. Labor unions were patriarchal, too - and still are, to an extent. Are you antipatriarchs opposed to labor unions? I think that's changing in all our institutions, and I am very pleased that women are finally coming into leadership roles. Still, I cannot condemn all past institutions, simply because they were dominated by males.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: JedMarum
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 01:37 PM

Lonesome EJ - once again I find us in fierce agreement. I do not advocate a prohibition on nude photos of anyone. There is a clear distinction here. Abusing a child for sexual gratification and/or financial exploit is illegal - and it has nothing to do with the care and love a parent gives a child. I am sure that nude photos of your daughter or my son, have nothing to do with abuse. Small minded people may howl all they want to the contrary, but they do not have a legal leg to stand on, and common sense will prevail, in this arguement. I can't imagine why I put those photos up on a website, but I don't expect that we can legislate good taste. Abuse, on the other hand, is a clear distinction.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Larry B.
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 01:43 PM

Liam:

I suppose you mean you can't imagine why you would put those photos up on a website. (Or rather why someone else would.)

LB


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 02:15 PM

LeeJ, Jeri's answer made a good point. I don't have much energy for this, today. I am working on an editorial and jewelry.

Basically, from my studies, the early church co-opted the goddess of the pagan people, which really just means those who were slow to give up their old ways or beliefs. She became Mary and has served a very good purpose in that pagans found they could go along with the new religion because they still had a familiar "deity" to petition. Women still became subjugated and treated as lesser class, thought of as without brains, and good mostly for service and procreation.

I would refer anyone interested to the book I mentioned before, Encylopedia of Women's Myths and Secrets by Barbara Walker. Others I would highly recommend for a different perspective on things include one Sandy Paton recommended, God of the Witches by Margaret A. Murray; The Mystical Life of Jesus; and, The Secret Doctrines of Jesus, both written by H. Spencer Lewis, Ph.D. The last two are a little archaic in rhetoric as they were written in the 1930's.

I think it is safe to say, some of us are never going to agree with each others beliefs. Personally, I am with George on the part of speech. The kind of speech, I think Joe means to protect, I would consider terrorising in certain circumstance. One important thing I would liek to point is, that when one person of a certain group is singled out for hatred, spoken or otherwise, simply because they are perceived to be a part of that group, it doesn't just effect them, it effects the whole group. A simple example is one African American family having a cross burned in front of their house. The hatemongers not only terrorise them, but the entire people of colour community. People don't usually decide to go burn a cross on someone's lawn without it being discussed and spurred on by hatefilled speech. Amongst themselves, I feel they ahve that right to speech, but when it spills over into the community is where I'd like to see the line drawn. Not an easy task no one with easy answers.

And, that is the last I intend to say on either of the subjects for now. Thanks to all fo you for posting.

kat


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 03:05 PM

Well, I won't do another logic alert banner, but I can't let my words be twisted like that. Let me say it in bold print, so that there's no question: The type of free speech I seek to protect is the freedom to speak out about what's wrong with our society, and to propose ways to correct those wrongs. I think it is absolutely essential that this freedom be protected. In protecting that freedom, it may be that we will impair government's ability to restrict speech that is hateful or that causes fear. That is an unfortunate consequence of protecting our freedom of speech. I do believe in the need for government and for law and order and all that good stuff, but I'm afraid to give too much power to government when it comes to controlling speech. As I said above, I prefer to err on the side of freedom - with full realization that there are some very serious consequences to that error. The alternative, I'm afraid, is worse.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 03:19 PM

Peter, your point is well taken. But a distinction must be drawn between the belief systems of a religion, and the practices of it's church. The Christian belief is based upon the life and teachings of Christ, and I find little in these teachings that authorize an anti-woman bias. In fact, as you yourself have said, women played a significant role in most of the major events of Christ's life. The patriarchal nature of the church built upon these teachings has little to do with belief, and everything to do with tradition and power.

I don't agree that the figure of Mary is a token icon. Her significance is more far-reaching. Where Christ has often been portrayed as the gentle redeemer in Christian Tradition, he is also portrayed as the Harrower of Hell, and as Son in the Holy Trinity. Mary's representation is much more approachable . She is the human face of Christianity. In representations, she is also the life-giver, and the bearer of sorrows, and carries much of the power and strength of the Earth Mother. My belief is that Mary may have become a popular figure in the medieval church not because the church fathers needed a token female figure, but because there was an easy transfer of devotion from adherents of earlier pagan, probably female, deities to her.

LEJ


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 03:27 PM

IMO freedom of speach and knowingly being offensive are very different matters and as an example, while I would totally disagree with the use of the word nigger, I think that when PC has reached the level where you should say chalk-board rather than blackboard (if the thing was white and chalk was black - I wouldn't feel offended if it was called a white board) the whole situation has got ridiculous.

I am more concerend about labeling of people in sosciety than the words used. In 1987, I was "diagnosed" shizophrenic - I dared to mention hearing a voice when I visited my doctor and spent a week in a mental hospital. I didn't take the tablets and still do not as I believe that the diagnosis was wrong and contary to the psychiatrist belief I am coping very well.

I worked through this with the company who employed me (and although it may be hard to believe with some of my grammer these days) throsh all this, I wrote documentation that helped to get my company BS5750 approval (I was the only author in my department) and was good at my job. I left partly to follow a couple of musical interests and partly over a difference of opinion over workloads - I can prove this: after I left, my job was split between 2 people (and argueably 2.5) - a supposedly sz person was doing more than they deemed was reaonable for a "normal" person.

The trouble came when I wanted to go back into my previous career. It makes no difference whether the term "mentally ill", "schizophrenic" or even "madman" is used, the fact is that that label remains on my record and I can not use the company that I did well with for a reference because of it. 2 weeks and the ensuing label managed to destroy my working life.

Jon


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: paddymac
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 04:30 PM

Well, I think Joe wins on points. Meanwhile, think I'll hav a pint and wait for the next wild thread to start.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Jack (Who is called Jack)
Date: 29 Sep 99 - 04:48 PM

In order to believe in freedom and democracy you have to be willing to accept defeat for while.

For what you get with democracy isn't the right to win, but the right to stay in the game even when you lose.

In practical terms, that means were only allowed to battle against (for example) the KKK. We aren't allowed to muzzle or outlaw them. They always get to come back tommorow and have another go at us. Democracy rejects ultimate victory no matter how worthwhile the cause. This is the great sacrifice democracy demands. Whenever you hear about proposed restraints on politically provocative speech its usually rootied in an unwillingness by the proposer to make that sacrifice. The fantasy is that they can have democracy and simultaneously deny the offending party their chance to win.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From:
Date: 30 Sep 99 - 12:45 AM

Very well said, I agree.

Mary herslef acknowledged her need of a Saviour, for she said:

My soul doth magnify the Lord,
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior" (Luke 1:46, 47)

Note particularly Mary's words, "my Savior." No one other than a sinner needs a Saviour, for no punishment or evil in any form can be inflicted upon a sinless person. Roman Catholics will have to take Mary's word or accuse "Our Lady" of lying. For in those words she confessed that she was a sinner in need of a Saviour. That should settle once and for all whether or not a Christian should pray to her. Mary was an admirable character, to be sure. But she was not sinless, and she was only human. It was, therefore, necessary for her to be born again of the spirit and to participate in the redemptiion provided by her Son.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 30 Sep 99 - 01:35 AM

Gil, you're one heck of a contradiction. Sorry 'bout the chords.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: GeorgeH
Date: 30 Sep 99 - 10:30 AM

Jo. Love the red flashy bit. However there's no fault in my logic. You said that you would only legislate against speech which causes actual harm. My opinion (clearly one you don't share) is that the ultimate consequence of that policy would be to leave the victims of hate campaigns without any protection. OK, I didn't go to great lengths to express that opinion in the most carefully couched and unambiguous of terms.

At the risk of getting into still deeper water, I'd suggest that both freedom of speech and the right of individuals to a free, untroubled existence (ok, dream on on this last point) are absolute rights. By which I mean they can't be curtailed. Until you reach the point where they are incompatible with each other - which is exactly what we are talking about here. And IMO at that point it's the free speech which has to yield.

At least this approach (until someone points out further flaws in it) doesn't allow government to curtail my freedom of speech for its own ends.

Regards

G.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: GeorgeH
Date: 30 Sep 99 - 10:39 AM

[Now entering pedantry mode] LonesomeEJ; did you really say "the suppression of speech BY such diverse individuals as Lenny Bruce, Pete Seeger . . ". Hey, you've just swapped which side those guys are on! [End of pedantry]

Jack (wicj): good point, well made. Still believe the protection of individuals is even more fundamental than the right to free speech, though.

G.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: MMario
Date: 30 Sep 99 - 11:15 AM

the blank person above posted: "for no punishment or evil in any form can be inflicted upon a sinless person. " --- makes me wonder. Scourging, public humiliation and death on a cross are not "punishment or evil"? and I can think of a great many evils that have been done to infants, who haven't had TIME to sin.

But THAT discussion belongs on another forum.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Larry B.
Date: 30 Sep 99 - 12:00 PM

George-

There are no absolute rights; rights are given (as opposed to priveleges, which are earned), and are only valid while the giver remains in power. As to the right of freedom of speech giving way to the right to a free and untroubled existence if they conflict with each other--who determines when they conflict? That person or entity (and yes, it would probably be the government) would be able to curtail your freedom of speech for his, her, or its own ends.

LB


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: GeorgeH
Date: 30 Sep 99 - 01:29 PM

Larry B: I disagree, utterly. I believe the concept of inherent and inalienable rights is of crucial importance; it allows us to emphasise the denial of rights rather than their "gift". Also there seems a strange imbalance in your insistence that rights are given (by whom??) and then (seemingly) wishing to deny the possibility of anyone determining which of two conflicting rights should have precedence. Actually, I disagree that privileges are necessarily earned, too - but I guess you're not familiar with our House of Lords . . .

G.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Larry B.
Date: 30 Sep 99 - 02:58 PM

According to Webser's New Collegiate Dictionary, a right is "something to which one has a just claim...the power or privilege to which one is justly entitled...something that one may properly claim as due...." Claims and entitlements are determined by a system of laws (i.e. the government) and are valid only while that government is in power. Certain rights were held to be inalienable by a group of rebels a couple of centuries ago in this country, and as long as the government they set up remains in power, those rights are inalienable.

In your post, you acknowledged that two rights could come into conflict. If I decide that a certain type of speech offends me, my complaint will only have weight if it is enforced by the government. By being able to decide what constitutes an infringement to my free and untroubled existence, the government is given the powert to limit speech.

LB


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 30 Sep 99 - 05:10 PM

George, you are right. The subject of the phrase was ambiguous. But I'll bet you followed my meaning.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Oct 99 - 01:50 AM

Well, George, I think you're reading stuff into my words. The problem with restricting speech that causes fear is proving how harm was done, and writing legislation that will outlaw harmful speech while protecting the freedom of those who do no harm. You will note that my official comment on speech that causes fear and emotional harm is "I dunno." That does not mean I believe this type of speech should be protected or allowed - it means I don't know how to deal with it, and I'm open to ideas. I do think it's an issue we need to deal with very carefully.
But heck, you guys are putting a nasty spin onto what I said and making me into some kind of libertarian monster or something....
Although many of my fans and supporters have urged me to do so, I am NOT running for President this year, or any time soon. Therefore, you guys aren't supposed to be allowed to put a negative spin on my words like that.
I may accept a draft, however....
Is the pay any good?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 01 Oct 99 - 02:12 AM

Well, Joe, they just doubled it to 400,000. Although it would mean a return to a role as Civil Servant, you know. If you're serious, I have a great campaign slogan for you: " Honor! and Offer!"


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Oct 99 - 02:46 AM

LEJ, can I "offer" you a job - in my opponents' campaigns???
You think they'd let me hang out at the 'Cat if I were president?
Four hundred grand a year sounds pretty good, but since I'm a federal retiree, I'd be a "reemployed annuitant," and I'd have to work for peanuts. No, thanks.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: GeorgeH
Date: 01 Oct 99 - 06:45 AM

Lary B: Thanks for the Websters quote; however either your or my interpretation of it is equally valid, and I stick with mine. In my view, your constitution, and the universal declaration, RECOGNISE those rights which I believe are inherent; they don't create them. But at the end of the day this argument is academic.

And sorry, Joe, no nasty spin was intended; I apologise if it seemed otherwise. I'm quite sure when it comes down to specific examples of what's right and wrong, where things have a clear effect on people we'd all agree what was right and proper (probably regardless of what the law had to say on the point!). But if only you WERE running and I was eligible to vote then the draft would most certainly be in the post!

So, to repeat, my apologies to ANYONE I may have offended - that wasn't my intention.

G.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Oct 99 - 03:58 PM

It is something we should be careful of, George. We all have a temptation to demonize our opponents when it's to our advantage. If we take the time to properly nuance an argument, we often lose the readers' interest, so we tend to take shortcuts and steamroll over our opponents. Another thing is that it takes courage to respect an opponent's point of view, because your so-called friends may call you a traitor.
U.S. Republicans demonize the other side when they refer to Democrats being "soft on crime" or "tax and spend" liberals. Democrats/liberals have similar tactics, like accusing people of being sexist or racist for a simple slip of the tongue. Honorable people usually aren't in favor of crime, and there's really nothing wrong with making sure you collect enough money to pay the bills. And while we all come from a culture that is racist in may ways, most of us try our best not to be bigots and only occasionally slip and say something we shouldn't.
As for me, I consider myself to be a Democratic Socialist, in agreement with most positions taken by people who call themselves liberals. I prefer to think for myself, and not espouse any particular ideology.
Within the Catholic Church, I consider myself part of the "loyal opposition." That means I get flak from all sides.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Peter T.
Date: 01 Oct 99 - 04:52 PM

Joe, have you ever slept with Julie Christie? That is my current criterion for Presidential, er, timber. Anyone who has slept with Julie Christie has been closer to divine truth that I have, and who knows, Warren might have learned something..... (naaaaaah. Joe Offer for President). yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Jeri
Date: 01 Oct 99 - 05:46 PM

***************Mudcat Party Announces Candidate ***********************************************An Offer You Can't Refuse ***************************************************Offer Only Good Until 2000


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Subject: RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 01 Oct 99 - 07:07 PM

Peter, how bout if someone has slept with Christie of Oahu?


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