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O/T PC (Political Correctness)
 
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There's an annual contest at the Griffith University, Australia, calling for the most appropriate definition of a contemporary term.


This year's term was "Political Correctness".

The winning student wrote:

"Political Correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rapidly promoted by a mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a piece of shit by the clean end."

  ((True story)) 

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I find that genuinely humorous, and I understand why this definition was proffered by the student and received such high acclaim. However, I think it's only accurate 50 % of the time. That is to say, there is often some real intention of kindness and non-judgmental recognition of differences behind the use of politically correct terms.

 

Yet, when something upsets me, I am not ashamed to temporarily abandon political correctness by condemning some ridiculous ideology.

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90% of the time when a talking head gets mad about having to be PC, if you change PC to stand for "polite and considerate", it really makes them look like a total jerk. Because most of the time, PC language is simple politeness, and those who get mad against PC are usually saying disrespectful, rude, and mean things to and about other human beings.
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lunaverse: 
90% of the time when a talking head gets mad about having to be PC, if you change PC to stand for "polite and considerate", it really makes them look like a total jerk. Because most of the time, PC language is simple politeness, and those who get mad against PC are usually saying disrespectful, rude, and mean things to and about other human beings.

  http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/woman-versus-female.aspx

Yeah! Don't be like this guy. 

 

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I think a lot of the political correctness is just nonsense created by people with a chip on their shoulder.  I mostly ignore the nonsense and the idiocy of it.  I agree that some things are changed for the better but I can't think of too many.
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lunaverse:
90% of the time when a talking head gets mad about having to be PC, if you change PC to stand for "polite and considerate", it really makes them look like a total jerk. Because most of the time, PC language is simple politeness, and those who get mad against PC are usually saying disrespectful, rude, and mean things to and about other human beings.

 

 This. 

 

When someone starts a sentence with, "I want to say something, but it's not PC," my immediate assumption is the person is a racist, misgynist, homophobic, fatty hating, bigoted asshole who has to complain because it's rude and disrespectful to blurt every single thought in your head out, regardless of whose feelings might be hurt. What it really says is, "I should be able to hurt any other person with my words, whenever the hell I want to, just because I'm entitled to." 

 

 

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         (Disclaimer: This refreshing and breezy read is NOT politically correct

 

What to give as a gift when anything not Mormon related, might help to weaken or even pop that fake LDS bubble.

 

Ahhh, The The Joy of Hate  by Greg Gutfeld.

 

                                           9780307986962

 

Greg Gutfeld hates artificial tolerance. At the root of every single major political conflict is the annoying coddling Americans must endure of these harebrained liberal hypocrisies. In fact, most of the time liberals uses the mantle of tolerance as a guise for their pathetic intolerance. And what we really need is smart intolerance, or as Gutfeld reminds us, what we used to call common sense. Funny and sarcastic to the point of being mean (but in a nice way), The Joy of Hate points out the true jerks in this society and tells them all off.

The Joy of Hate-By-Greg Gutfeld-excerpt

 

 

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PJ:
I think a lot of the political correctness is just nonsense created by people with a chip on their shoulder.  I mostly ignore the nonsense and the idiocy of it.  I agree that some things are changed for the better but I can't think of too many.

 

"Chip on your shoulder" is a thought-terminating cliche that makes it extremely easy to dismiss a person's valid argument or description of their experience. 

 

Most people are too busy in their lives to go around with a pointless grudge. If someone is complaining (about sexism, racism, unfair treatment, etc.), chances are they have a few valid points that you ought to take a moment to listen to. Just because you've experienced life one way, doesn't mean others don't have struggles that you will never recognize because you've not walked in their shoes.

 

The "Chip on your shoulder" cliche is also directed at us, as ex-mormons, again as a way to dismiss us without hearing us. Yeah, we're mad, and we sit around and complain about our horrible experiences in the Church... and guess what? We all have every good reason to have that chip on our shoulder. We just want to be heard. We want to fix things for ourselves and others. And we want to work through our process so we can heal.

 

Why would you assume that other people would be any different? 

 

Again, to me, PC means polite and considerate.. Give others the consideration to hear the legitimate expression of their difficulties in life without being so quick to judge. 

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lunaverse:
PJ:
I think a lot of the political correctness is just nonsense created by people with a chip on their shoulder.  I mostly ignore the nonsense and the idiocy of it.  I agree that some things are changed for the better but I can't think of too many.

 

"Chip on your shoulder" is a thought-terminating cliche that makes it extremely easy to dismiss a person's valid argument or description of their experience. 

 

Most people are too busy in their lives to go around with a pointless grudge. If someone is complaining (about sexism, racism, unfair treatment, etc.), chances are they have a few valid points that you ought to take a moment to listen to. Just because you've experienced life one way, doesn't mean others don't have struggles that you will never recognize because you've not walked in their shoes.

 

The "Chip on your shoulder" cliche is also directed at us, as ex-mormons, again as a way to dismiss us without hearing us. Yeah, we're mad, and we sit around and complain about our horrible experiences in the Church... and guess what? We all have every good reason to have that chip on our shoulder. We just want to be heard. We want to fix things for ourselves and others. And we want to work through our process so we can heal.

 

Why would you assume that other people would be any different? 

 

Again, to me, PC means polite and considerate.. Give others the consideration to hear the legitimate expression of their difficulties in life without being so quick to judge. 

 

 

 especially this quotable statement :

 

"Chip on your shoulder" is a thought-terminating cliche that makes it extremely easy to dismiss a person's valid argument or description of their experience. 

 

 

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I'm not using the expression "chip on the shoulder" as a thought-terminating cliche to somehow easily dismiss a person's valid argument or description of their experience.  I just think that many people are too caught up in silly name changes just to satisfy the too gooders.  I'm referring more to silly things like: You can't call a female who acts an actress it now has to be an actor otherwise it's considered sexist, or a waiter has to be called a seating hostess otherwise it's considered condescending.  This is the kind of thing I was alluding to.  Maybe we should take it further.  How about some of the following: Mute–vocally challenged; ugly–aesthetically challenged; short–differently statured; crooked–ethically challenged; dish washer–utensil sanitizer; bald–follicularly challenged; fat–gravitationally challenged; deaf–aurally challenged and so on and so forth.  Anyway, I think you get my point.

PS: I wasn't being quick to judge.  But why are you being quick to judge me? I've had many experiences in my life which has given me a personal insight to being called inappropriate names, etc.  I know what it's like being on both sides of the fence.

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PJ:

I'm not using the expression "chip on the shoulder" as a thought-terminating cliche to somehow easily dismiss a person's valid argument or description of their experience.  I just think that many people are too caught up in silly name changes just to satisfy the too gooders.  I'm referring more to silly things like: You can't call a female who acts an actress it now has to be an actor otherwise it's considered sexist, or a waiter has to be called a seating hostess otherwise it's considered condescending.  This is the kind of thing I was alluding to.  Maybe we should take it further.  How about some of the following: Mute–vocally challenged; ugly–aesthetically challenged; short–differently statured; crooked–ethically challenged; dish washer–utensil sanitizer; bald–follicularly challenged; fat–gravitationally challenged; deaf–aurally challenged and so on and so forth.  Anyway, I think you get my point.

PS: I wasn't being quick to judge.  But why are you being quick to judge me? I've had many experiences in my life which has given me a personal insight to being called inappropriate names, etc.  I know what it's like being on both sides of the fence.

 

 A female what? Chimpanzee? Dog? Human?

 

Note: In my experience, when a man, who isn't in the military or a cop, refers to women generically as "a female," that choice of words* reveals a bit of fear/hate/misogyny toward women. Your slip is showing. 

 

 

*Why? Because it's dehumanizing. It reduces a person, for whom "woman" is a perfectly adequate descriptor, to nothing more than gender. It's like referring to gay men as "Gays" generically. Without the "men," they're reduced to simply being a sexual orientation, not a person with feelings. People who are intimidated to get to know other people tend to reduce them with language so they don't have to be so scared. Makes you feel bigger and more powerful when you can reduce the name of something to make it seem like the something or someone is smaller and weaker than yourself.  

 

Then you know what this feels like and will remember that it's disrespectful to refer to women as "females," and that the problem isn't political correctness; the problem is you.  

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Sometimes political correctness can seem silly. In Spanish colonial times, the darkest skinned people were called Negros. ("Negro" means "black" in Spanish.) This got corrupted in American southern dialect to "N|&&ers;," which did not used to be an offensive word. Then the slaves were freed in the Civil War and this word took on a racist connotation which it did not have before. So the people decided they wanted to be called "Negros." Then for some reason in the 60's it was decided that it is racist to call people "Negros." They wanted to be called "Blacks." But then people decided that this was not politically correct, and that "African-American" is better. But now there is a bit of a backlash to this term. Like it doesn't work so well for colored people who live in Canada or Mexico or elsewhere. There are also Blacks who reject it because they argue that they are Americans through and through and know nothing about Africa and its culture. Some of them argue that Africa can be a pretty terrible place to live and that they don't want their politically correct hyphenated race to be named after it.

So I try to go by the golden rule and call people what they want to be called, but sometimes I get puzzled and confused and can't figure out what a particular group actually wants to be called.
 
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Heretic:
Sometimes political correctness can seem silly. In Spanish colonial times, the darkest skinned people were called Negros. ("Negro" means "black" in Spanish.) This got corrupted in American southern dialect to "N|&&ers;" which did not used to be an offensive word. Then the slaves were freed in the Civil War and this word took on a racist connotation which it did not have before. So the people decided they wanted to be called "Negros." Then for some reason in the 60's it was decided that it is racist to call people "Negros." They wanted to be called "Blacks." But then people decided that this was not politically correct, and that "African-American" is better. But now there is a bit of a backlash to this term. Like it doesn't work so well for colored people who live in Canada or Mexico or elsewhere. There are also Blacks who reject it because they argue that they are Americans through and through and know nothing about Africa and its culture. Some of them argue that Africa can be a pretty terrible place to live and that they don't want their politically correct hyphenated race to be named after it.

So I try to go by the golden rule and call people what they want to be called, but sometimes I get puzzled and confused and can't figure out what a particular group actually wants to be called.

 

 Think of it in terms of respect. I think the golden rule is extremely useful here. I tend to call groups of people whatever it is they call themselves. 

 

The PC term for natives to North America is "Native American." The American Indians find this offensive and call themselves "indians." So that's what I call them. 

 

When in doubt, take it on an individual basis. "How do you prefer to be identified?" For example, I find being identified as a female dehumanizing and offensive. I find being identified as a girl a bit demeaning and diminishing, but I can suck it up and not be too offended by it, depending on how its used. If you asked me, I'd simply tell you that "woman" is fine.

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The PC term for natives to North America is "Native American." The American Indians find this offensive and call themselves "indians." So that's what I call them. 

 

 

That is interesting that you have encountered Native Americans who are offended by "Native Americans" and not by "Indians." There are lots of Apaches and members of other tribes where I live, and I have encountered people who are offended by "Indians." They say, "I am not from India! There is no red spot on my forehead!"

Around here I would say they usually refer to themselves as "Natives", "Native Americans", or "Apaches." I never hear of anyone refer to themselves as Amerindians. That one just did not catch on. One Important government agency here is the BIA -- The Bureau of Indian Affairs. That agency did not modernize it's name to be PC.
 
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Dogzilla Joy:
PJ:

I'm not using the expression "chip on the shoulder" as a thought-terminating cliche to somehow easily dismiss a person's valid argument or description of their experience.  I just think that many people are too caught up in silly name changes just to satisfy the too gooders.  I'm referring more to silly things like: You can't call a female who acts an actress it now has to be an actor otherwise it's considered sexist, or a waiter has to be called a seating hostess otherwise it's considered condescending.  This is the kind of thing I was alluding to.  Maybe we should take it further.  How about some of the following: Mute–vocally challenged; ugly–aesthetically challenged; short–differently statured; crooked–ethically challenged; dish washer–utensil sanitizer; bald–follicularly challenged; fat–gravitationally challenged; deaf–aurally challenged and so on and so forth.  Anyway, I think you get my point.

PS: I wasn't being quick to judge.  But why are you being quick to judge me? I've had many experiences in my life which has given me a personal insight to being called inappropriate names, etc.  I know what it's like being on both sides of the fence.

 

 A female what? Chimpanzee? Dog? Human?

 

Note: In my experience, when a man, who isn't in the military or a cop, refers to women generically as "a female," that choice of words* reveals a bit of fear/hate/misogyny toward women. Your slip is showing. 

 

 

*Why? Because it's dehumanizing. It reduces a person, for whom "woman" is a perfectly adequate descriptor, to nothing more than gender. It's like referring to gay men as "Gays" generically. Without the "men," they're reduced to simply being a sexual orientation, not a person with feelings. People who are intimidated to get to know other people tend to reduce them with language so they don't have to be so scared. Makes you feel bigger and more powerful when you can reduce the name of something to make it seem like the something or someone is smaller and weaker than yourself.  

 

Then you know what this feels like and will remember that it's disrespectful to refer to women as "females," and that the problem isn't political correctness; the problem is you.  

*This is total rubbish.  I used the word 'female' as not only do women act but so do girls.  I don't have any fear, hate or misogyny towards women.  Fancy coming with such rubbish.  There is nothing wrong with using the word actress when speaking of a woman or a girl.  People who think there's a problem with that term are the ones with the problem.  They are the ones making harsh judgments when it isn't necessary.  So now there's also a problem with being called 'female'?  Next you'll have guys complaining with being called 'male'.  For f*cks sake how ridiculous is society getting?

*The problem is many times political correctness.  A lot of the time it's just people looking for a reason to complain.  That's where the problem lies.


PS: Maybe they need to change all the toilets in Australia where they have male and female written on them.  We wouldn't want to insult certain people's sensitivities.

 

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PJ:

I'm not using the expression "chip on the shoulder" as a thought-terminating cliche to somehow easily dismiss a person's valid argument or description of their experience.  I just think that many people are too caught up in silly name changes just to satisfy the too gooders.  I'm referring more to silly things like: You can't call a female who acts an actress it now has to be an actor otherwise it's considered sexist, or a waiter has to be called a seating hostess otherwise it's considered condescending.  This is the kind of thing I was alluding to.  Maybe we should take it further.  How about some of the following: Mute–vocally challenged; ugly–aesthetically challenged; short–differently statured; crooked–ethically challenged; dish washer–utensil sanitizer; bald–follicularly challenged; fat–gravitationally challenged; deaf–aurally challenged and so on and so forth.  Anyway, I think you get my point.

PS: I wasn't being quick to judge.  But why are you being quick to judge me? I've had many experiences in my life which has given me a personal insight to being called inappropriate names, etc.  I know what it's like being on both sides of the fence.

 

Language is an important tool for repression, as the Church demonstrates so often and so well. Words are loaded, and the implication hidden behind the obvious meaning can harm people.

 

While I'm not going to get all Radical Feminist on someone who utters the word "actress", I don't see anything wrong with instilling gender-neutrality in our words, when possible and appropriate. (Honestly, if we could only get a gender-neutral singular personal pronoun (he, she, they, ??) into regular usage, I will jump for joy.) I approve of moving towards these sorts of changes, as long as they aren't unwieldy and don't abuse the language in other ways (like "they" becoming our gender-neutral personal "singular" pronoun).

 

I'm sorry that what I said made you feel judged. I'm just detecting a pretty strong privileged voice from you, given that (whether you're aware of it or not) you used what is known as a dog-whistle phrase.. specifically "chip on your shoulder".

 

This is what I mean: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog-whistle_politics 

 

That's the thing about thought-terminating cliches... our usage of them, and their effect on people, is not obvious. The thing about privilege is, it is usually ignorant of itself. That is how it continues to exist, and how negative biases and blindspots continue to lurk in the minds of otherwise well-meaning, good-hearted people.

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Dogzilla Joy:
PJ:

I'm not using the expression "chip on the shoulder" as a thought-terminating cliche to somehow easily dismiss a person's valid argument or description of their experience.  I just think that many people are too caught up in silly name changes just to satisfy the too gooders.  I'm referring more to silly things like: You can't call a female who acts an actress it now has to be an actor otherwise it's considered sexist, or a waiter has to be called a seating hostess otherwise it's considered condescending.  This is the kind of thing I was alluding to.  Maybe we should take it further.  How about some of the following: Mute–vocally challenged; ugly–aesthetically challenged; short–differently statured; crooked–ethically challenged; dish washer–utensil sanitizer; bald–follicularly challenged; fat–gravitationally challenged; deaf–aurally challenged and so on and so forth.  Anyway, I think you get my point.

PS: I wasn't being quick to judge.  But why are you being quick to judge me? I've had many experiences in my life which has given me a personal insight to being called inappropriate names, etc.  I know what it's like being on both sides of the fence.

 

 A female what? Chimpanzee? Dog? Human?

 

Note: In my experience, when a man, who isn't in the military or a cop, refers to women generically as "a female," that choice of words* reveals a bit of fear/hate/misogyny toward women. Your slip is showing. 

 

 

*Why? Because it's dehumanizing. It reduces a person, for whom "woman" is a perfectly adequate descriptor, to nothing more than gender. It's like referring to gay men as "Gays" generically. Without the "men," they're reduced to simply being a sexual orientation, not a person with feelings. People who are intimidated to get to know other people tend to reduce them with language so they don't have to be so scared. Makes you feel bigger and more powerful when you can reduce the name of something to make it seem like the something or someone is smaller and weaker than yourself.  

 

Then you know what this feels like and will remember that it's disrespectful to refer to women as "females," and that the problem isn't political correctness; the problem is you.  

To say that calling a woman a 'Female' is dehumanising is the height of human arrogance.  It's basically saying that we, as humans, are so far above all other animals that we no longer should be using any term that might be associated with them.

Have we now become so high and mighty and above all other animals that we can't refer to ourselves as males and females?  That way of thinking is seriously flawed.

Being called a 'Female' is not dehumanising as it has nothing to do with specie but gender only.  And a woman and a girl are they not female?

Next you won't be able to refer to a woman as a human as the word 'Human' has 'Man' in there.

I guess next you won't be able to call a female sorry a woman's sexual organ a virgina?  Maybe I'll have to start calling my penis a 'Johnson'?  After all, the John part refers to a male name.  Then again, maybe I should just go with Herr Jensen?  Hmmm...decisions, decisions!

To me people who complain about these types of things seem to suffer from some form of inferiority complex.  We are animals - no more, no less so accept it.

If you think there's a problem being called a 'Female' when you are one of them, then I'm sorry but you are the one with the problem.  I have no problem being called a 'Male'.

I really feel sorry for people who get so hung up on something as trivial as being called a 'Female' instead of a 'Woman'.  Wow, what a major problem!  How about going out into the world and see some people with some real serious problems.

I also have to say that, I find it kind of strange that a person who doesn't mind being called Dogzilla Joy gets insulted by being called a 'Female'.  Yet I'm the one with the problem.  That's pretty funny.

 

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There’s a time for diplomacy, a time for plainness and then there’s a time to just let it rip.
- Peter Lindberg Jensen.

 

The most rewarding thing in life is to live authentically.
- Peter Lindberg Jensen.


There’s nothing like looking through the door of reality and seeing what’s there. How can this not be more interesting than looking through the door of ignorance and seeing nothing?
- Peter Lindberg Jensen.

 
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lunaverse:
PJ:

I'm not using the expression "chip on the shoulder" as a thought-terminating cliche to somehow easily dismiss a person's valid argument or description of their experience.  I just think that many people are too caught up in silly name changes just to satisfy the too gooders.  I'm referring more to silly things like: You can't call a female who acts an actress it now has to be an actor otherwise it's considered sexist, or a waiter has to be called a seating hostess otherwise it's considered condescending.  This is the kind of thing I was alluding to.  Maybe we should take it further.  How about some of the following: Mute–vocally challenged; ugly–aesthetically challenged; short–differently statured; crooked–ethically challenged; dish washer–utensil sanitizer; bald–follicularly challenged; fat–gravitationally challenged; deaf–aurally challenged and so on and so forth.  Anyway, I think you get my point.

PS: I wasn't being quick to judge.  But why are you being quick to judge me? I've had many experiences in my life which has given me a personal insight to being called inappropriate names, etc.  I know what it's like being on both sides of the fence.

 

Language is an important tool for repression, as the Church demonstrates so often and so well. Words are loaded, and the implication hidden behind the obvious meaning can harm people.

 

While I'm not going to get all Radical Feminist on someone who utters the word "actress", I don't see anything wrong with instilling gender-neutrality in our words, when possible and appropriate. (Honestly, if we could only get a gender-neutral singular personal pronoun (he, she, they, ??) into regular usage, I will jump for joy.) I approve of moving towards these sorts of changes, as long as they aren't unwieldy and don't abuse the language in other ways (like "they" becoming our gender-neutral personal "singular" pronoun).

 

I'm sorry that what I said made you feel judged. I'm just detecting a pretty strong privileged voice from you, given that (whether you're aware of it or not) you used what is known as a dog-whistle phrase.. specifically "chip on your shoulder".

 

This is what I mean: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog-whistle_politics 

 

That's the thing about thought-terminating cliches... our usage of them, and their effect on people, is not obvious. The thing about privilege is, it is usually ignorant of itself. That is how it continues to exist, and how negative biases and blindspots continue to lurk in the minds of otherwise well-meaning, good-hearted people.

 

My usage of the term "chip on the shoulder" had nothing to do with a dog-whistle phrase but was used in the context of someone who has a feeling of being treated unfairly or has a bone to pick or an axe to grind.

I think people get too caught up in political correctness and take it too far.  It starts to become ludicrous.  There's absolutely nothing wrong with he or she, or him and her, or as stated above about male and female.  Most people are either male or female.  Why do people need to build barriers around terms that are not negative?  Why make words into negatives?  I think it's stupid and self-obsessed.  This is the kind of thing that spoils society.

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The P.C. Police

  

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A Politically Correct Snow White

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvRzDOzEOMg  (Part Two)

 

 

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I've had a personal epiphany on this topic in the last year.  It started when I read this story (parable, if you will).  Of Dogs and Lizards

 

So, I see two different responses to Dogzilla's statement "When you refer to me using 'female' instead of 'woman', I feel dehumanlized.

 

Guy number 1:  How you feel is not important to me.  You shouldn't feel the way you do because I wouldn't feel the same way if our situations were reversed.  I choose to use whatever words I want, and you just have to change your feelings to fit my words.  If I have to change my words, it will ruin society.

 

Guy number 2:  I'm sorry.  Your feelings are more important to me than word choice.  I didn't intend to make you feel bad, and I'll choose to use a different word in the future.

 

I can't for the life of me figure out why I would want to be guy number 1.  In fact, I conclude that the people who bitch about PC-ness have things exactly backwards:  it's lack of empathy that ruins society.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Brad (ZeeZrom):

I've had a personal epiphany on this topic in the last year.  It started when I read this story (parable, if you will).  Of Dogs and Lizards

 

So, I see two different responses to Dogzilla's statement "When you refer to me using 'female' instead of 'woman', I feel dehumanlized.

 

Guy number 1:  How you feel is not important to me.  You shouldn't feel the way you do because I wouldn't feel the same way if our situations were reversed.  I choose to use whatever words I want, and you just have to change your feelings to fit my words.  If I have to change my words, it will ruin society.

 

Guy number 2:  I'm sorry.  Your feelings are more important to me than word choice.  I didn't intend to make you feel bad, and I'll choose to use a different word in the future.

 

I can't for the life of me figure out why I would want to be guy number 1.  In fact, I conclude that the people who bitch about PC-ness have things exactly backwards:  it's lack of empathy that ruins society.


 

 Add to Guy #1: Society's downfall will be when people show empathy and respect for one another.

 

Just wanted to thank you for this input and add that I think replies like Guy number 1's tend to underscore my point and prove me right. So I really enjoy it when someone comes in to "tear apart" a post. I learn a lot about that poster.

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It's not just a chip...it's a dang forest...a burden put on our backs because we finally figured out the scam.
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Guy number 1:  How you feel is not important to me.  You shouldn't feel the way you do because I wouldn't feel the same way if our situations were reversed.  I choose to use whatever words I want, and you just have to change your feelings to fit my words.  If I have to change my words, it will ruin society.

 

Guy number 2:  I'm sorry.  Your feelings are more important to me than word choice.  I didn't intend to make you feel bad, and I'll choose to use a different word in the future.

Guy number 3:  I'm sorry. I can't figure out what you want because what offends you does not offend some of the other people like you, and what you want likely offends some of the other people like you. Still trying to figure all of this out.
 
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PJ:


Next you won't be able to refer to a woman as a human as the word 'Human' has 'Man' in there.

I guess next you won't be able to call a female sorry a woman's sexual organ a virgina?  Maybe I'll have to start calling my penis a 'Johnson'?  After all, the John part refers to a male name.  Then again, maybe I should just go with Herr Jensen?  Hmmm...decisions, decisions!

 

This is a strawman. No one here is suggesting we rename words like "human", "vagina", "penis", etc. In the case of "human", I think some second wave radical feminists in the 70s wrote some academic papers about the inherent sexism in words like "human", "woman", "person", and suggested alternatives. To suggest anyone here, or that a majority of opinion in the feminist movement is to nitpick on that level, is the strawman. None of my feminist friends or any of the modern femininst writers I've read suggest going that far.

 

It is also a slippery slope fallacy, because again, there is no plot afoot to change nearly so much of the language as you suggest. If you're interested in hearing the real reasons behind words that are changing, and which ones are being changed, there's always Google... the wide world of feminist bloggers... or just ask one of us and we'll give our personal opinion which may or may not be representative of other women.

 

Language changes. For some reason, few people  seriously complain when we shorten it for texting (OMG, WTF).  Few go on rants when we change grammar for humorous purposes (I accidentally your cake.) Few freak out much when we change the meaning of words to express new ideas (internet, "I have so much feels", tweet, transhumanism). Yes, I've seen a few complaining in a humorous way, and a few grammarnazis, but for the most part, everyone's ok with this. ("Ok" is a great example of a word created by shortening). 

 

So why is it not ok for language to change because it is used to subtly keep people repressed? Why is it not ok for someone to inform you that, while your intentions may have been pure, you've accidentally offended them? If there's any good reason for language to change, it ought to be to help liberate our minds from confining thoughts that objectify, oppress, and hurt.

 

Your tone has continued to be extremely dismissive of me, Dogzilla, and all the other women reading this who agree with our points. Argument by dismissal is not only hurtful, it's also not playing fairly. It's not logical.

 

The Church programmed all of us to be anti-feminist, so I get you. Thirteen years ago, I would be agreeing with you. I'd be telling Dogzilla to get over it, to stop whining, dismissive in my own way and tweeting my own unheard dog whistle, because the Church demonized the women's movement. It's just a suggestion, but you may want to ask yourself if you've got some hold-overs as part of your deprogramming process. There's plenty of good writing out there on topics of "privilege" (The Dog and the Lizard is a great one, so is Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack) that help remove a lot of blindspots. 

 

 The Church programmed all of us to be anti-feminist, so I get you. Thirteen years ago, I would be agreeing with you. I'd be telling Dogzilla to get over it, to stop whining, dismissive in my own way, because the Church demonized the women's movement. It's just a suggestion, but you may want to ask yourself if you've got some hold-overs as part of your deprogramming process. There's plenty of good writing out there on topics of "privilege" (The Dog and the Lizard is a great one, so is Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack) that help remove a lot of blindspots.  

 

 "My usage of the term "chip on the shoulder" had nothing to do with a dog-whistle phrase but was used in the context of someone who has a feeling of being treated unfairly or has a bone to pick or an axe to grind."

 

The point of the term "dog whistle" is, that like a real dog whistle, no one can hear it unless you know what to look for.. Your statement means something to one person it doesn't mean to others.

 

In this case, you say "chip on your shoulder" to mean you think we complain too much over "trivial" things (your word). It's what most other privelged people hear as well. What I hear, when it's directed at me or someone espousing a point I would make, is that my feelings and opinions are not as important as I think they are. That I should shut up. That my struggles in life, which are very different from your struggles, are, as you said, trivial. And that we have no right to complain and should just get over it.

 

That's what makes it a dog whistle. The person uttering the dog whistle may not even hear their own whistle. It is very, very similar in concept to a thought-terminating cliche, again because those who use it don't necessarily understand its purpose or how that interaction is playing out with the person they're talking to.

 

The only way to truly understand how it's effecting certain people is to ask the person who is pointing it out.. And trust that we're just as intelligent and sincere as you, and that what we have to say is just as valid. In the end, you can still disagree, but at least you're arguing against the real point and not your strawman construction of it. It makes you a better debater. It makes you more rational. It expands your mind and your abilities. And it makes you more compassionate and empathetic.

 

"I think people get too caught up in political correctness and take it too far.  It starts to become ludicrous.  There's absolutely nothing wrong with he or she, or him and her, or as stated above about male and female.  Most people are either male or female.  Why do people need to build barriers around terms that are not negative?  Why make words into negatives?  I think it's stupid and self-obsessed.  This is the kind of thing that spoils society." 

 

Yes, sometimes people take it too far. But before I make that judgement, I at least give them a chance to persuade me. I listen to them, or research their points on the internet.

 

There is nothing wrong with he or she, but it gets awkward when I'm writing. (I get to speak from authority here, because I'm a writer... I've written four novels and something close to 50 short stories, and I'm now writing a non-fiction book. It is my job to understand language and learn skills as to the best way to use words.) If my protagonist hears a sound, and wants to refer to the hidden human being behind the curtain, neither "he", "she", nor "they" will adequately and accurately convey the sense of mystery about who is behind the curtain. e.g. "I thought that if [he/she/they] wanted to kill me, [he/she/they] could have done it by now." Using any of the available pronouns is misleading or grammatically incorrect. "They" is plural, which is fine when speaking, or for short passages, but if I wanted to write a long scene from a "mystery person" point of view, "they" becomes extremely problematic.

 

Personally, I don't get too upset when people use "female" as a noun, but I understand and will defend people who do. Yes, people "are" male or female, because that usage is an adjective. You are male. You are not "a male". "A male" and "a female" as nouns are both dehumanizing and objectifying. When a police officer says, "A white male in his late 30s", it's an objectifying phrase. (Institutions often objectify humans, which serves a certain purpose.) When Ferengi (Star Trek) refers to his "female" it is objectifying.  Saying "a female person" is not objectifying, because it's back to being an adjective, a descriptor of a human being who happens to be female.

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The emasculation of males marches on...

 

This thread is littered with nonsense.

 

OC 

 
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outclassed:

 

The emasculation of males marches on...

 

This thread is littered with nonsense.

 

OC 

 

Two questions: 

 

1. How, exactly, is it emasculating when some people explain why they would like to be treated conversationally with the same respect that you expect? Why does treating women like humans emasculate you? Isn't that a lot like arguing that gay marriage destroys traditional hetero marriage? 

 

2. I don't know to which nonsense you are referring. Please explain. Lay out your cogent, thoughtful argument as to why Luna and I and others are "littering" this thread with "nonsense." What, exactly, is nonsense and why is it nonsensical? 

 

 

BTW, Luna, that was a post of epic awesome proportions and I, for one, am delighted to see you posting here again. Love you girl! 

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Dogzilla Joy:
outclassed:

 

The emasculation of males marches on...

 

This thread is littered with nonsense.

 

OC 

 

Two questions: 

 

1. How, exactly, is it emasculating when some people explain why they would like to be treated conversationally with the same respect that you expect? Why does treating women like humans emasculate you? Isn't that a lot like arguing that gay marriage destroys traditional hetero marriage? 

 

2. I don't know to which nonsense you are referring. Please explain. Lay out your cogent, thoughtful argument as to why Luna and I and others are "littering" this thread with "nonsense." What, exactly, is nonsense and why is it nonsensical? 

 

 

BTW, Luna, that was a post of epic awesome proportions and I, for one, am delighted to see you posting here again. Love you girl! 

 

 Adding on to DJ's questions:  What aspects of masculinity do you think this thread removes or advocates removing?  What specifically is nonsense and why?

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lunaverse:
PJ:


Next you won't be able to refer to a woman as a human as the word 'Human' has 'Man' in there.

I guess next you won't be able to call a female sorry a woman's sexual organ a virgina?  Maybe I'll have to start calling my penis a 'Johnson'?  After all, the John part refers to a male name.  Then again, maybe I should just go with Herr Jensen?  Hmmm...decisions, decisions!

 

This is a strawman. No one here is suggesting we rename words like "human", "vagina", "penis", etc. In the case of "human", I think some second wave radical feminists in the 70s wrote some academic papers about the inherent sexism in words like "human", "woman", "person", and suggested alternatives. To suggest anyone here, or that a majority of opinion in the feminist movement is to nitpick on that level, is the strawman. None of my feminist friends or any of the modern femininst writers I've read suggest going that far.

 

It is not a strawman as it's just goes to show the sillyness of where people are taking it.

 

It is also a slippery slope fallacy, because again, there is no plot afoot to change nearly so much of the language as you suggest. If you're interested in hearing the real reasons behind words that are changing, and which ones are being changed, there's always Google... the wide world of feminist bloggers... or just ask one of us and we'll give our personal opinion which may or may not be representative of other women.

 

It's not a fallacy.  And I'm not suggesting a plot but there have been many changes made that I find are needless and just catering to the whims of oversensitive individuals.

 

Language changes. For some reason, few people  seriously complain when we shorten it for texting (OMG, WTF).  Few go on rants when we change grammar for humorous purposes (I accidentally your cake.) Few freak out much when we change the meaning of words to express new ideas (internet, "I have so much feels", tweet, transhumanism). Yes, I've seen a few complaining in a humorous way, and a few grammarnazis, but for the most part, everyone's ok with this. ("Ok" is a great example of a word created by shortening). 

 

So why is it not ok for language to change because it is used to subtly keep people repressed? Why is it not ok for someone to inform you that, while your intentions may have been pure, you've accidentally offended them? If there's any good reason for language to change, it ought to be to help liberate our minds from confining thoughts that objectify, oppress, and hurt.

 

I agree with making changes that are repressing people or discriminates against them, etc., but using a term like 'Female' or 'Male' does not.  These are just factual words as to what we are.

 

Your tone has continued to be extremely dismissive of me, Dogzilla, and all the other women reading this who agree with our points. Argument by dismissal is not only hurtful, it's also not playing fairly. It's not logical.

 

The Church programmed all of us to be anti-feminist, so I get you. Thirteen years ago, I would be agreeing with you. I'd be telling Dogzilla to get over it, to stop whining, dismissive in my own way and tweeting my own unheard dog whistle, because the Church demonized the women's movement. It's just a suggestion, but you may want to ask yourself if you've got some hold-overs as part of your deprogramming process. There's plenty of good writing out there on topics of "privilege" (The Dog and the Lizard is a great one, so is Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack) that help remove a lot of blindspots. 

 

 The Church programmed all of us to be anti-feminist, so I get you. Thirteen years ago, I would be agreeing with you. I'd be telling Dogzilla to get over it, to stop whining, dismissive in my own way, because the Church demonized the women's movement. It's just a suggestion, but you may want to ask yourself if you've got some hold-overs as part of your deprogramming process. There's plenty of good writing out there on topics of "privilege" (The Dog and the Lizard is a great one, so is Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack) that help remove a lot of blindspots.  

 

I'm not an anti-feminist and never have been.  But some people on here come across as the opposite.  Three paragraphs up this became about women.  And then it also became not logical yet that's exactly what it is.

 

 "My usage of the term "chip on the shoulder" had nothing to do with a dog-whistle phrase but was used in the context of someone who has a feeling of being treated unfairly or has a bone to pick or an axe to grind."

 

The point of the term "dog whistle" is, that like a real dog whistle, no one can hear it unless you know what to look for.. Your statement means something to one person it doesn't mean to others.

 

In this case, you say "chip on your shoulder" to mean you think we complain too much over "trivial" things (your word). It's what most other privelged people hear as well. What I hear, when it's directed at me or someone espousing a point I would make, is that my feelings and opinions are not as important as I think they are. That I should shut up. That my struggles in life, which are very different from your struggles, are, as you said, trivial. And that we have no right to complain and should just get over it.

 

That's what makes it a dog whistle. The person uttering the dog whistle may not even hear their own whistle. It is very, very similar in concept to a thought-terminating cliche, again because those who use it don't necessarily understand its purpose or how that interaction is playing out with the person they're talking to.

 

The only way to truly understand how it's effecting certain people is to ask the person who is pointing it out.. And trust that we're just as intelligent and sincere as you, and that what we have to say is just as valid. In the end, you can still disagree, but at least you're arguing against the real point and not your strawman construction of it. It makes you a better debater. It makes you more rational. It expands your mind and your abilities. And it makes you more compassionate and empathetic.

 

"I think people get too caught up in political correctness and take it too far.  It starts to become ludicrous.  There's absolutely nothing wrong with he or she, or him and her, or as stated above about male and female.  Most people are either male or female.  Why do people need to build barriers around terms that are not negative?  Why make words into negatives?  I think it's stupid and self-obsessed.  This is the kind of thing that spoils society." 

 

Yes, sometimes people take it too far. But before I make that judgement, I at least give them a chance to persuade me. I listen to them, or research their points on the internet.

 

There is nothing wrong with he or she, but it gets awkward when I'm writing. (I get to speak from authority here, because I'm a writer... I've written four novels and something close to 50 short stories, and I'm now writing a non-fiction book. It is my job to understand language and learn skills as to the best way to use words.) If my protagonist hears a sound, and wants to refer to the hidden human being behind the curtain, neither "he", "she", nor "they" will adequately and accurately convey the sense of mystery about who is behind the curtain. e.g. "I thought that if [he/she/they] wanted to kill me, [he/she/they] could have done it by now." Using any of the available pronouns is misleading or grammatically incorrect. "They" is plural, which is fine when speaking, or for short passages, but if I wanted to write a long scene from a "mystery person" point of view, "they" becomes extremely problematic.

 

Being a writer doesn't necessarily make one an authority.  I've been a writer myself for over 30 plus years so what.

 

Personally, I don't get too upset when people use "female" as a noun, but I understand and will defend people who do. Yes, people "are" male or female, because that usage is an adjective. You are male. You are not "a male". "A male" and "a female" as nouns are both dehumanizing and objectifying. When a police officer says, "A white male in his late 30s", it's an objectifying phrase. (Institutions often objectify humans, which serves a certain purpose.) When Ferengi (Star Trek) refers to his "female" it is objectifying.  Saying "a female person" is not objectifying, because it's back to being an adjective, a descriptor of a human being who happens to be female.

People today are just too oversensitive and need to grow thicker skin and a backbone.  people really need to chill out a bit.

 

 

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Heretic:
Guy number 1:  How you feel is not important to me.  You shouldn't feel the way you do because I wouldn't feel the same way if our situations were reversed.  I choose to use whatever words I want, and you just have to change your feelings to fit my words.  If I have to change my words, it will ruin society.

 

Guy number 2:  I'm sorry.  Your feelings are more important to me than word choice.  I didn't intend to make you feel bad, and I'll choose to use a different word in the future.

 

Guy number 3:  I'm sorry. I can't figure out what you want because what offends you does not offend some of the other people like you, and what you want likely offends some of the other people like you. Still trying to figure all of this out.

 

Guy number 4: I'm sorry you feel that way but most people I meet feel different.  And also what may not offend you offends them.  So in the words of a famous President "You can please some of the people some of the time all of the people some of the time some of the people all of the time but you can never please all of the people all of the time" (Abraham Lincoln).

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- Peter Lindberg Jensen.


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Heretic:
Guy number 1:  How you feel is not important to me.  You shouldn't feel the way you do because I wouldn't feel the same way if our situations were reversed.  I choose to use whatever words I want, and you just have to change your feelings to fit my words.  If I have to change my words, it will ruin society.

 

 

Guy number 2:  I'm sorry.  Your feelings are more important to me than word choice.  I didn't intend to make you feel bad, and I'll choose to use a different word in the future.

 

Guy number 3:  I'm sorry. I can't figure out what you want because what offends you does not offend some of the other people like you, and what you want likely offends some of the other people like you. Still trying to figure all of this out.

 

 I really think guy number 3 is overcomplicating things.    I call people what I think they would like to be called, and if they object, I apologize and move on.  It's really not that hard.

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PJ:
Heretic:
Guy number 1:  How you feel is not important to me.  You shouldn't feel the way you do because I wouldn't feel the same way if our situations were reversed.  I choose to use whatever words I want, and you just have to change your feelings to fit my words.  If I have to change my words, it will ruin society.

 

Guy number 2:  I'm sorry.  Your feelings are more important to me than word choice.  I didn't intend to make you feel bad, and I'll choose to use a different word in the future.

 

Guy number 3:  I'm sorry. I can't figure out what you want because what offends you does not offend some of the other people like you, and what you want likely offends some of the other people like you. Still trying to figure all of this out.

 

Guy number 4: I'm sorry you feel that way but most people I meet feel different.  And also what may not offend you offends them.  So in the words of a famous President "You can please some of the people some of the time all of the people some of the time some of the people all of the time but you can never please all of the people all of the time" (Abraham Lincoln).

 

 I'm having trouble distinguishing between guy number 1 and guy number 4, other than starting with a nonapology.  

 

I have a friend named Richard.  I once called him "Dick."  He said he didn't like that nickname and asked me to call him Rich.

 

I didn't say:  "Most Richards that I know like to be called "Dick" or "Calling other other Richards "Rich" may offend them" or "I'm going to keep calling you Dick because you can't please all of the people all of the time."

 

Instead, I just call him Rich.   

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Heretic:
Guy number 1:  How you feel is not important to me.  You shouldn't feel the way you do because I wouldn't feel the same way if our situations were reversed.  I choose to use whatever words I want, and you just have to change your feelings to fit my words.  If I have to change my words, it will ruin society.

 

 

Guy number 2:  I'm sorry.  Your feelings are more important to me than word choice.  I didn't intend to make you feel bad, and I'll choose to use a different word in the future.

 

Guy number 3:  I'm sorry. I can't figure out what you want because what offends you does not offend some of the other people like you, and what you want likely offends some of the other people like you. Still trying to figure all of this out.

 

That is definitely one of the problems with PC language - it's a moving target.  Terms like "Asian" and "African-American" make me feel old, because I grew up in a time when there was (as far as I knew at least) nothing at all wrong with "Oriental" and "Black" was actually the known preferred alternative to "Negro".  But society marches on, and I must march on with it.

 

A lot of that marching happens because there's something behind the words that changes, something we're trying to get away from.  Or to be a little more specific, something the liberals are trying to get away from while the conservatives are trying to cling to (using those words in not quite their modern political sense).  There's an underlying thought that isn't what we want associated with a term, but the taint is there so we choose a new term.  Unfortunately, the taint will just catch up, leaving a junkyard of disused words in its wake.  For example, I would guess that African Americans wouldn't at all care what they were called, if whatever label chosen wasn't used by a significant set of people to put them down.

 

Or to go with a current matter, perhaps women wouldn't care if they were caleld "female", if that wasn't usually done by people who don't care much for women.

 

tttt

 
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True to the Truth:

Or to go with a current matter, perhaps women wouldn't care if they were caleld "female", if that wasn't usually done by people who don't care much for women.

 

tttt

 

 This. It's a giant red flag. It tells me either 1) You're a cop, 2) You're in or were in the military or 3) You don't see women as people with feelings. 

 

Note, in the examples of 1. and 2., both the police force and the military train people to use this dehumanizing language because they are in very dangerous jobs where they might have to shoot someone. It's much easier to either clean up the aftermath of violence or commit violence (in the name of stopping it, nevermind the circular reasoning of that) if you can dehumanize the person on the other end of the weapon. Both are jobs where you are in a position of authority or power over your average everyday citizen.  And no, before anyone gets more confused, I am not saying that when someone calls me "female" that I assume they want to shoot me. I did not say that nor intend to imply that. I just see certain choices of words as very revealing markers. 

 

For example, when you hear someone use "recommend" as a noun and not as a verb, you can assume that person is mormon because mormons are the only group of people in the world who use recommend as a noun. That choice of words tells you something about the person who is saying the words. 

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PJ:

This is a strawman. No one here is suggesting we rename words like "human", "vagina", "penis", etc. In the case of "human", I think some second wave radical feminists in the 70s wrote some academic papers about the inherent sexism in words like "human", "woman", "person", and suggested alternatives. To suggest anyone here, or that a majority of opinion in the feminist movement is to nitpick on that level, is the strawman. None of my feminist friends or any of the modern femininst writers I've read suggest going that far.

 

It is not a strawman as it's just goes to show the sillyness of where people are taking it.

 

It is a strawman, because no one involved in this debate is suggesting what you are suggesting. Neither are a majority of voices on this topic in the larger debate. You are setting up an argument that I am not making, then attacking it. Hence, it is a strawman. 

 

It is also a slippery slope fallacy, because again, there is no plot afoot to change nearly so much of the language as you suggest. If you're interested in hearing the real reasons behind words that are changing, and which ones are being changed, there's always Google... the wide world of feminist bloggers... or just ask one of us and we'll give our personal opinion which may or may not be representative of other women.

 

It's not a fallacy.  And I'm not suggesting a plot but there have been many changes made that I find are needless and just catering to the whims of oversensitive individuals.

 

Slippery Slope fallacy is when one suggests that making small, reasonable changes will certainly lead to ridiculous changes. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slippery_slope

That is exactly what you just did by suggesting that because we're changing "actress" and "female" that soon we'll be changing "human" and "vagina"...    

 

 

So why is it not ok for language to change because it is used to subtly keep people repressed? Why is it not ok for someone to inform you that, while your intentions may have been pure, you've accidentally offended them? If there's any good reason for language to change, it ought to be to help liberate our minds from confining thoughts that objectify, oppress, and hurt.

 

I agree with making changes that are repressing people or discriminates against them, etc., but using a term like 'Female' or 'Male' does not.  These are just factual words as to what we are.

 

When someone argues that the use of "female" as a noun is objectifying to many people, then that is exactly what we are suggesting the word is doing: objectifation is a form of reinforcing repression by demeaning the person's value and their points. Many other words that are changing (like "actress") arguably do the same. Your view of the language isn't the only view, so explaining (mansplaining) that the use of "female" as a noun is not demeaning, as if you are the only arbiter and expert in the use of English, is simply wrong. Language is spoken, and then heard. If someone hears it a certain way... if fact if a whole bunch of people hear it a certain way, then that is what it means to those people. If you don't mean to convey objectification to a significant portion of English-speakers, then don't use the word that way. 

 

I'm not an anti-feminist and never have been.  But some people on here come across as the opposite.  Three paragraphs up this became about women.  And then it also became not logical yet that's exactly what it is.

 

You sound anti-feminist. If you don't intend to come across that way, perhaps you should examine your use of the language to try to come across more clearly.

 

Also, what exactly is the opposite of an anti-feminist...? A feminist maybe? I'm proudly a feminist, won't deny it, and if you don't like that I come across that way, perhaps that is why you seem awefully anti-feminist to me... If that's not what you meant by "opposite", please tell me.

 

Given that women are one of the many classes of people to which the term "politically correct" applies, then talking about women is perfectly acceptable. I'd be happy to talk about race, if you'd like. The examples you used were primarily about women and disabled people, so I went with it.  

 

 

There is nothing wrong with he or she, but it gets awkward when I'm writing. (I get to speak from authority here, because I'm a writer... I've written four novels and something close to 50 short stories, and I'm now writing a non-fiction book. It is my job to understand language and learn skills as to the best way to use words.) If my protagonist hears a sound, and wants to refer to the hidden human being behind the curtain, neither "he", "she", nor "they" will adequately and accurately convey the sense of mystery about who is behind the curtain. e.g. "I thought that if [he/she/they] wanted to kill me, [he/she/they] could have done it by now." Using any of the available pronouns is misleading or grammatically incorrect. "They" is plural, which is fine when speaking, or for short passages, but if I wanted to write a long scene from a "mystery person" point of view, "they" becomes extremely problematic.

 

Being a writer doesn't necessarily make one an authority.  I've been a writer myself for over 30 plus years so what.

 

Being a writer doesn't make me right, and it doesn't make me an authority in every topic. But it does, literally, make me an authority (author) on the use of the English language. So if I say, "In my job, I find that 'he' and 'she' aren't always useful tools", then I'm an expert at that. I have experience. If you have no problem with the lack of a gender-neutral personal singular pronoun, then that's cool. No problem. But I have a problem with it. Your opinion on that does not get to automatically trump my opinion just because you have no problem with it.

 

Personally, I don't get too upset when people use "female" as a noun, but I understand and will defend people who do. Yes, people "are" male or female, because that usage is an adjective. You are male. You are not "a male". "A male" and "a female" as nouns are both dehumanizing and objectifying. When a police officer says, "A white male in his late 30s", it's an objectifying phrase. (Institutions often objectify humans, which serves a certain purpose.) When Ferengi (Star Trek) refers to his "female" it is objectifying.  Saying "a female person" is not objectifying, because it's back to being an adjective, a descriptor of a human being who happens to be female.

People today are just too oversensitive and need to grow thicker skin and a backbone.  people really need to chill out a bit.

 

You seem just as oversensitive as I am.. I mean, you're complaining just as loudly.. on the opposite side. You seem very touchy about the fact that some people are offended about certain things. Why should I stuff my feelings and opinions for your sake? Sorry, but I refuse to. 

 

 

 

 

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Brad (ZeeZrom):

 

 I'm having trouble distinguishing between guy number 1 and guy number 4, other than starting with a nonapology.  

 

I have a friend named Richard.  I once called him "Dick."  He said he didn't like that nickname and asked me to call him Rich.

 

I didn't say:  "Most Richards that I know like to be called "Dick" or "Calling other other Richards "Rich" may offend them" or "I'm going to keep calling you Dick because you can't please all of the people all of the time."

 

Instead, I just call him Rich.   

 

That's a super awesome analogy, Brad. 99% of people who are in various repressed classes (women, people of color, immigrants, disabled, homosexuals, etc), are decent, reasonable human beings just like you. You can actually talk to us an interact and you don't have to get all defensive if we correct you or try to educate you about how life might be different from us. Just like the guy you accidentally called "Dick". 

 

Being accused of ignorance, or called privileged, or being called out for racist or sexist behavior or language does NOT make you a racist, a sexist.. I am not saying you are a bad person. I am not saying anything about you beyond the behavior I am pointing out. I don't even think those things...

 

But when you want to go on thinking your opinion and view of the world is more important than mine, persisting in using dismissive language, and acting entitled to say whatever you want (entitlement mentality, btw), then I'm going to start to get the opinion that maybe you are a bit of a jerk, and maybe a bit racist or sexist or at least so willfully ignorant as to start to look like one. Because I'm just as entitled as you are to say what I want and get outraged about what I choose, just like you can. Your rights are no more important than mine. (Which unfortunately some people see as emasculating... What do they call it inregards to race? de-whitifying? Geesh.)

 

P.S. Thanks Dogzilla for the kind words! :D I wouldn't be brave enough to prattle on about this difficult and scary subject if I didn't have some good backup. ;) 

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I agree with Luna'swell-reasoned points, all except "But it does, literally, make me an authority (author) on the use of the English language." The word-root connection is fun, but having a profession doesn't automatically lead to authority. Especially if one's profession is "general authority" -- but that's a different issue. 
 
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Lunaverse,

 

these are very difficult issues to discuss without somebody getting pissed off and stomping out of the room.   When you start talking about "privilege," people start to think:  "this person thinks I have something I don't deserve and they're going to take it away from me."  Or when you talk about use of a word being "sexist," they think "this person is calling me sexist."  (Pretty ironic, huh -- suddenly it's a word making them feel bad....).

 

Once one gets used to the notions that (1) having privilege isn't bad and (2) you shouldn't feel guilty about having privilege, it gets a little easier.

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Brad (ZeeZrom):
PuJ:
Heretic:
Guy number 1:  How you feel is not important to me.  You shouldn't feel the way you do because I wouldn't feel the same way if our situations were reversed.  I choose to use whatever words I want, and you just have to change your feelings to fit my words.  If I have to change my words, it will ruin society.

 

Guy number 2:  I'm sorry.  Your feelings are more important to me than word choice.  I didn't intend to make you feel bad, and I'll choose to use a different word in the future.

 

Guy number 3:  I'm sorry. I can't figure out what you want because what offends you does not offend some of the other people like you, and what you want likely offends some of the other people like you. Still trying to figure all of this out.

 

Guy number 4: I'm sorry you feel that way but most people I meet feel different.  And also what may not offend you offends them.  So in the words of a famous President "You can please some of the people some of the time all of the people some of the time some of the people all of the time but you can never please all of the people all of the time" (Abraham Lincoln).

 

 I'm having trouble distinguishing between guy number 1 and guy number 4, other than starting with a nonapology.  

 

I have a friend named Richard.  I once called him "Dick."  He said he didn't like that nickname and asked me to call him Rich.

 

I didn't say:  "Most Richards that I know like to be called "Dick" or "Calling other other Richards "Rich" may offend them" or "I'm going to keep calling you Dick because you can't please all of the people all of the time."

 

Instead, I just call him Rich.   

 Also, you're not expected to read the mind of every Richard you know and know what he wants to be called. You either just start with Richard and respect his wishes if he corrects you, or you politely ask him, he tells you, and you respect that. 

 

This made me think of a man I know named Leslie. He goes by Les. Good luck to you if you disrespect him on that.  

 

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Sometimes words can be useful even if others think they are offensive. Take the word "Male" for instance. Let us suppose I have a group of little boys, older boys, young men, adult men, and old men. I can't refer to this group as "men" or "boys." I can't think of a good way to describe them other than as "males." I imagine doctors often do this. Like there will be certain things which will apply to the men and boys they treat, but not to the women and girls.

I don't know if you are into gaming or not, but there are a lot of games where there are things like elves, dwarves, and orcs. There are other games with space aliens. If I had a group with a male troll, a male gnome, a male elf, and a male human in it, I could not refer to this group as a group of "men." The elf would be offended, the troll wouldn't understand, and the gnome might laugh. But I could refer to the particular members of this party as "males."

So I think sometimes it can be useful to have a term like "male" available for use.


@ Dogzilla Joy

It is probably inappropriate and unmannerly for me to mention it, but your image appears to be a pole dancer in a strip club. This is demeaning to women and likely to offend a lot of feminists and others. But I will choose to overlook your image and not be offended because your image does not offend you and I don't think you are trying to offend other people with it even if you are.
 
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Heretic:
Sometimes words can be useful even if others think they are offensive. Take the word "Male" for instance. Let us suppose I have a group of little boys, older boys, young men, adult men, and old men. I can't refer to this group as "men" or "boys." I can't think of a good way to describe them other than as "males." I imagine doctors often do this. Like there will be certain things which will apply to the men and boys they treat, but not to the women and girls.

I don't know if you are into gaming or not, but there are a lot of games where there are things like elves, dwarves, and orcs. There are other games with space aliens. If I had a group with a male troll, a male gnome, a male elf, and a male human in it, I could not refer to this group as a group of "men." The elf would be offended, the troll wouldn't understand, and the gnome might laugh. But I could refer to the particular members of this party as "males."

So I think sometimes it can be useful to have a term like "male" available for use.

<snip>

 

 Why, yes, I am big time into gaming.  

 

Me, I think using "male" as a noun to refer to "male humans" sounds awkward.  In the examples you present, I'd use "men and boys" or "women and girls."  I'd also refer to the group as "the party"  

 

But, we're not talking language in the abstract.  We're talking about how we choose to respond when a fellow human being says:  "Hey, when you use that term to refer to me, I feel hurt."  If you didn't intend to hurt them, how do you choose to respond?  Do you say:   "I'm sorry you feel hurt, but your feelings are not important enough to me to change the word I use when referring to you."  Or do you say: "I'm sorry.  I didn't mean to hurt you.  How would you like me to refer to you?"

 

It's all about how one chooses to respond.

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