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On being politically correct

This is one issue that has been nagging me ever since I became aware of social propriety. Propriety demands that our words, actions and every facet of our living must be politically correct, that is, should minimize any offence in gender, race, religious beliefs, ideologies, age, and every other aspect where offence may be caused. The image below is an example of a politically correct image.

This is the issue with blogging. If my posts were to be politically correct, then they'd all be similar. They'd all have 0 words. So, we can assume that all my posts so far have been politically incorrect.

My intent however, has not been, and shall never be to give offence. However, the moment I express my views, which may be unique to me; and which are not shared by someone else, I have given offence to the person who does not share my views. In most cases, the offence is minor, and is hardly noticed. Sometimes, it is major. For example, my post on why I dislike the Harry Potter series caused massive outrage leading to me being blocked by "friends" on Facebook. This means that either I caused grievous hurt, enough for my friends to leave me forever, or that the very notion of friendship has been so trivialized, that it's just another god-damn word. I'm inclined to think that the latter is true.

My issue with the whole point of being politically correct is this: Being politically correct is just the same as lying, not by falsifying information, but by withholding it. However, I would hate to ever intentionally give offence to anyone. So, I wish to be politically correct, but I abhor the idea.

At the same time, I wonder: have we become too touchy? Have we so completely cut ourselves from the world that we live in our own plastic bubbles, or within our walls? I would welcome any viewpoint which differs from my own. I understand that my views may never be perfect, only by debate and discussion with those holding other viewpoints can I prove the veracity of my views or beliefs. I may disagree with what you say, but you still have a right to say it. In such a case, it is better to consider the person's intent. If the intent was to cause offence, he is a douchebag, and deserves every evil in the world upon him.

The obsession with being politically correct unsettles me. Being politically correct means that I cannot use certain words to describe certain races, but I can use alternatives. This point was driven home when I filled up ethnicity surveys. Question: are you

  • Black / African American
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Asian
So, I've been asked to name my race. These are the politically correct names (I'm not sure if "Black" qualifies as politically correct, but I'll let it pass). My question is thus: What's in a name anyway. If I used any other name, as long as the meaning was clear, how would it matter?

Yet, people take offence at certain names. I would not grudge them for that, but I grudge them for their actions, by means of which, they are destroying our entire modern history and literature. "Hhuckleberry Finn" was a classic I grew up with, as was "Tom Sawyer". Now, the language of these books has been destroyed completely, in an attempt to make these books politically correct. Gone are the words "injun" and "nigger", instead, we now have "Indian" and "slave". Seriously? These books were a representation of the times in which they were written, changing them is akin to murdering the author, plagiarising his ideas, and rewriting them in our new way. In other words, it is unacceptable.

Another author whose work comes under the knife of political correctness is Enid Blyton. Apparently, someone has a problem with the fact that Anne does most of the house work in the Famous Five, while Julian, Dick and George have adventures. That's ridiculous! Enid Blyton wrote of a certain time, and a certain culture. Who in hell gives any one any rights to brand her work sexist? Was she not of the same sex as the one now considered oppressed? Does she not venerate feminity in her works?

Further, I am amazed by the doublespeak. One one hand, feminists claim that women equal to men, and yet, they expect men to open doors for them, offer them seats, and all sorts of things which would be frowned upon by true feminists. Of course, I'm aware that this post has now gone far beyond being politically correct, but I hate being restricted by political correctness. However, the consequences of being politically incorrect scare me. Take the recent case of a professor at a reputed university... no, I shall not go any further. I prefer to end my post here, and leave it open for (an imaginary) discussion (check the number of comments per post to know what I mean). It's up to you to continue this post. What do you feel about being politically correct?

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