Saturday, March 22, 2008
A heated debate was going on over at Grandad’s blog and continued at Nick’s, and others’ too, perhaps!
It inspired me to write both a lengthy response to what Grandad wrote but also to write a post of my own.
The pen is mightier than the sword. I would say the pen, or keyboard, has razor edges to it.
Some people are anti-PC, that little “politically correct" adjective that has insinuated itself into our language. Some have it all mixed up with the right to use any words they choose, words like “golliwog”, “mick”, “paddy”, “redneck”, etc. Derogatory, horrible words that go far behind the few letters I put down here. I don’t need to spell them out for anyone.
Us women have fought long and hard to have generic words like chairperson, fisher and firefighter put into the language to make all these jobs accessible to us. (I’m old, they weren’t you know. You’re welcome.) You call that PC? Terrific!
They say the PC police are out to take Christmas away and St. Patrick’s day away and even Easter. Well no one’s out to take anything away but there is certainly a need to recognise other cultures in our midst who do not have their special feasts recognised. What about thinking of PC as adding something to all of us! An enhancement. Try Ramadan just once! Or Hannukah! Just think about it.
For isn’t this how most of the trouble in the world begins? The lack of tolerance for others’ beliefs, customs, gods, women, gays?
There are no easy answers to any of it. I don’t know what it is like to live in a country where the Christian traditions are not honoured. I would probably feel extremely alienated (and alone) in Israel or India. I would miss Christmas (even though I know longer call myself a Christian).
I was brought up in a household where the most appalling words were thrown at children on a regular basis. Words I had to look up in the dictionary. Words that damaged and wounded to the core. Words that still live on fifty years later. There are no expiry dates on words like those.
I have beloved gay friends that can’t walk down a street without some epithet being flung from a car or a passerby while I walk down a street in freedom.
"Handle with care" should be written on every word before it leaves the keyboard or mouth.
Call me a bitch. It’s the new black.
And to read more insight on words, please go to Jenny at South Belfast Diary for a great post.