“Now, I don’t want to sound insensitive…”
“I hope I don’t offend anyone, but…”
“I know I can’t say the word because I’m [insert race]…”Everyone says it. Everyone does it. And everyone doesn’t do it. What is it?
As our world has grown more tolerant of diversity, people have slowly realized that certain words have the power to offend or emotionally harm others.
Every race has countless derogatory names. When it was just race that was at issue, being politically correct wasn’t a big thing to ask for, though many people still failed miserably.
Today, it’s even more complicated. Not only can you not say [insert racial slur] unless you actually are of that race, but you can’t say “firemen” or “retarded.”
I know, I know. I’m a terrible person for suggesting that promoting feminine equality is such a big deal. But honestly, what’s the difference between “firemen” and “firefighters”?
Historically, “men” was the term used for two reasons: 1) mostly men did that type of job; 2) “mankind” is kind of a thing. Most extreme women’s liberation people like to forget the second part, or at least try to lump it in with the first.
And that’s the other issue. Did you notice that I said “extreme”? Because that’s really the only people who get offended by certain words.
When did we start caring so much about semantics? We murder the English language countless times on the internet every day, so why do we suddenly get up in arms over insignificant phrases?
I’m not even going to talk about the ridiculousness of arguing over whether to say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays.” And there are plenty of other area of political correctness that I didn’t touch on either.
Of course, there’s a flip side to this. Phrases like “that’s so gay” or “you’re retarded,” can actually be emotionally harmful to others. If the other person is homosexual or has a sibling who is mentally handicapped, saying either of those things is definitely insensitive. But just because some phrases offend a fair amount of people doesn’t mean everything does.
My main point is this: the worst thing about PC terms is that a lot of people don’t get why they’re necessary, and a bunch of other people flip out if they aren’t used.
Ponder on that for a moment. And then, watch this phenomenal scene from Clerks II, which displays my point admirably [Warning: extensive cursing, racial slurs, and other unpleasant, but really funny, words]: Clerks II Porchmonkeys Scene
Image from Motifake.com