Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Politically Correct

Political correctness... It seems like it's everywhere. Some people seem to love it, others hate it. Then there's those like me who fall somewhere in between. When it comes to genuinely outdated racist, misogynistic, or discriminatory terms, I welcome updated terms into our lexicon.

But sometimes it just goes way too far. Words like 'manhole', 'freshman', and 'penmanship' have come under attack in recent years. Sometimes it's makes some sense to replace 'man' terms with new ones. Like when fireman became firefighter, and policeman became police officer. I am actually fine with both the new and old terms here, but can understand the desire to be more inclusive.

But has anyone ever known a woman that was offended by 'manhole'? What about 'freshman'? Or even 'penmanship'? I know I haven't. But some states have moved to replace these words with 'utility hole', 'first year student', and 'handwriting'. But I personally don't see the problem with these words.

To me they actually feel universal as they are. Sure, there are woman that work under the street for utility companies. And women definitely write and go to school. But I don't feel like those three terms exclude them.

My reasoning is that I get the impression of those 'man' words that they are references to mankind, rather than just males. I could certainly have the etymology incorrect, but they just feel different to me than fireman and policeman.

So are references to mankind sexist or exclusionary? I don't think so. Mankind is oft shortened to be just 'man' anyway... as in, dawn of man. That phrase is not just speaking about the dawn of males, but mankind... or humans as a whole. To me, there's not much, if any problem there... Unless someone wants to try and claim that mankind and human are also somehow exclusionary even though these terms equally apply to both sexes.

In my opinion, political correctness has done some good. A lot of hate speech has been weeded out by it. But it seems that it's served it's purpose, and now people are just taking it too far.


-Brain Hulk

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