Monday, October 26, 2009

Political Correctness, or rather Opinionated Appropriateness?


Mao Zedong (Tse-Tsung) a revolutionary and political theorist, also one of the Top 100 most influential people in the world, coined the term “Political Correctness” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_correctness . As defined by any student’s trusty but underground source; Wikipedia, this term refers to language which attempts to minimize social offense. Okay, now that doesn’t sound like a bad idea in theory. We most certainly should be aware of our body language, behaviour and language in order to promote peaceful social organisation. The problem, however, with this grand idea is that “political correctness” has become merely a euphemism for censorship, sanctioning and social suppression of the individual http://ourcivilisation.com/pc.htm . In a world where the term “hermaphrodite” is smothered with “political correctness” thus becoming “intersexual” or a even the term “maid” is transformed to “domestic technician”, one must question whether we might be taking it a little far. As a learner, not a student of course, entering into a discourse about Journalism, not a “lesson” by the way, with educators (God forbid I call them “teachers” or “lecturers” – that is far too taboo) I am constantly struck by this odd endeavour towards total “objectivity” and “political correctness”. I thought we were here to form opinions, to have them challenged and shattered, to rebuild more informed opinions regardless how biased or inappropriate. Isn’t that the point of higher education? Quite frankly, if someone were to refer to me as a “womyn”, “female human”, or as a “gender specified human organism of lighter complexion”; I would sum up every ounce of “political correctness” within me, and tell them to piss off.

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