Revisiting “Politically Correct”
Revisiting "Political Correctness"
Your first instinct might be to dismiss words like “womyn” and being asked not to use “gay” as an insult as “that PC crap”. If so, sit back and think about that. Your privilege gives you the power to dismiss the decisions of non-privileged groups, and further deride them by turning “politically correct” into a slur. Part of engaging in a language of respect and equality is in recognizing the validity of a person’s choice to use language, and “politically correct” terms, even if you may not understand or agree with them.
Um… did I miss something here? Women, a “non privileged group” apparently, decided that “women” is unacceptable and that it needed to be spelt “womyn” instead? Really? I mean, if there was a vote where all women in English speaking countries had to say which they preferred, I’m pretty sure the outcome would be 99% in favour of “women” over “womyn”.
And herein lies the problem of “privilege” theories within the social justice community. They are essentially a group of fringe nutcases. Most “oppressed minorities” go about their day to day lives like people with supposed “privilege”, being perfectly happy and doing well, sometimes coming across bigoted wankers who thankfully most people hate and disapprove of.
Making people paranoid about fictional ponies not being black, or fictional ponies being “smart shamed” because a teacher told one of them to stop studying and make some friends, or fictional ponies being “homophobic stereotypes” because a “butch” one has rainbow hair, is not helping anyone.*
In fact, the groups who hold these radical, weird, fringe views are in fact promoting bigotry. A schizophrenic person uses the allegedly “ableist” word ‘crazy’ in the sense of “this game is crazy good”? The “social justice” police jump on him/her with accusations of “internalised ableism” and lectures about how his/her words are damaging to “the oppressed people who are hurt and dehumanised by this word”.
A gay guy uses the word “gay” in what may or may not be a pejorative manner? He’s usually just told to “check his privilege” if he’s cisgender and white, as “he’s probably an oppressor” himself. Where does this “consensus” come from, where people with any kind of mental disorder (I myself have been diagnosed with ADHD and OCD) apparently “decided” that words like “stupid” and “crazy” should be banned from use and that they’re hurtful?
It seems that it’s a tiny tiny minority of people who are calling all the shots in these communities, dissecting words to try and find “problems” in anything (like the word ‘muggle’ being ableist and racist apparently) and the minions don’t want to be labelled “oppressive douchefucks” so they go along with it and try to impose it on everyone. I despise the word “quirky” and it makes my skin crawl. I’ve been described as “quirky” by quite a few people and every single time I’m thinking, “Oh fuck, not again… What did I even do to be “quirky”? All I said was ‘hello’ and I’m wearing really normal clothes and gaahhhh everyone thinks I’m weird, what do I have to do for people not to say this?” But then rather than trying to tell everyone not to use the word because it might be “problematic” or “ableist” or “kyriarchist” I just ignore it and assume they meant it as a compliment and that I’m paranoid, because I realise I shouldn’t have the power to try and dictate others’ language.
Everyone is different and I’m sure different things annoy them, but by catering to the whims of a tiny minority of an oppressed group (as most women are fine with the spelling as it is, most “neuroatypical” people aren’t all bent up over someone saying “that tv show was stupid”, and most east asian people aren’t offended by the word oriental) you are creating an unpleasant “call out” culture where everyone is suspicious of everyone and our language is constantly monitored. It also gives tiny minorities of nitpicking oppressofiles disproportionate power over the majority of the people in their “oppressed group” and distracts from doing something about actual issues.