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If you are politically wrong, you are actually right

PC as it is popularly called now is for the avoidance of language or behavior that can be seen as marginalizing, or insulting to groups of people disadvantaged or discriminated against, particularly groups defined by ethnicity, sex, gender, or sexual orientation.

‘Don’t ever call me mad. I am not mad I am just differently moraled. That is all.’ – Jasper Fforde

Today we are a very guarded, hush-hush society. We guard ourselves even against ourselves! We want to mean something and even be mean without saying it. We are great at mincing our words so that you don’t know what is being served- mutton, chicken, crow, shark meat, crab, or even dog meat – all should look good- and similarly we can create a smoke screen around our statements too.

Political correctness (PC) is an expression with intent. It is used to describe language, policies, statements, or measures that are intended to avoid offense or disadvantage to members of particular groups in society. No wonder politicians never speak straight or even commit. ‘Log Bal ki khaal nahin, bal ke saath khaal bhee nikal leti hai’

If you are offensive and you want to convey it a little better or toned down you say ‘I am offensive defense’.

It is like Cosmetic Surgery of Offensive Expressions– CSOE

For the last three decades or so, the term has been used to describe a preference for inclusive language – ‘(inclusive) was a word that itself was alien to people in the sixties and seventies and nobody felt cheated or excluded’- everyone was happy. PC as it is popularly called now is for the avoidance of language or behavior that can be seen as marginalizing, or insulting to groups of people disadvantaged or discriminated against, particularly groups defined by ethnicity, sex, gender, or sexual orientation.

The dichotomy is that we have ruined our families, marriages are breaking apart may be one per minute on this planet of 8 billion people, the environment has been murdered by us, animals butchered, jungles have been cut rampantly, we have made glaciers disappear, wildlife charred to death, many birds and species have been wiped out from this planet, we are threatening each other with nukes and chemical warfare yet we want to be politically right- we don’t want people to get offended? Oh really? 

Billions are hungry and/or homeless and we have started struggling with words, juggling with words as we do not want to call a destitute poor a poor we are finding dignity in words- as if he cares. Huh. Two hoots to you for that.

“There is a distinct difference between having an open mind and having a hole in your head from which your brain leaks out.” ― James Randi

We have invented words like physically challenged to replace handicapped. PTSD (post-Traumatic Stress disorder) to replace stress. Thank god in Golf it is still a handicap and you are not asked on the golf course ‘Hey, what is your physically challenged Index Score- PCIS?’ And I respond by saying ‘I am 18 physically challenged.’ I am happy as I am not handicapped but I am now ‘Golf-y Challenged’.

As someone says in the First World War If a soldier in battle was bursting up with the rush of adrenaline, his nervous system shutting down, unable to understand orders, unable to move he was said to be ‘Shell shocked’. During the Second World War, Americans renamed it to ‘battle fatigue’ as fatigue sounds better and hallowed, and during the next war in Vietnam it was termed nicer as ‘Operational Exhaustion’ (Observe the word Battle has been omitted to feel good), you may lose a leg though, and after the wars in the Gulf, we call it ‘PTSD’- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder- well-cushioned stress to feel nice.

“You’re not allowed to call them dinosaurs anymore,” said Yo-less. “It’s speciesist like sexist. You have to call them pre-petroleum people.” ― Terry Pratchett

Today terrorists are not killed they are ‘neutralized’. Climate change is called global warming even if it snows in the Middle East or Japan, or rains cats and dogs in Chennai. 

We must look nice is the bottom line, we should not hurt someone (you may starve him to death but don’t hurt). You don’t tell someone, especially a child that he has failed, you say, you have taken a drop.

In the last three decades, I have become so much smarter and have seen new words popping out (They existed, but were seldom used earlier) like misogyny, sexist, racist etc.

Asking a person about his or her ‘partner’, instead of using gendered terms like ‘girlfriend/boyfriend’ or ‘husband/wife’. Asking someone what their cultural or ethnic background is, rather than asking them where they are from.

I had never seen one-page disclaimers before every movie or OTT series just two decades ago. Authors have to give disclaimers in books. These are like anticipatory bail. Political Correctness can now be called PP Political Politeness- to become a little more politically correct!

A diplomat is a person who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you actually look forward to the trip– Caskie Stinnett

Transgender can be called ambisexual, bisexual, or even epicene – whatever it means- it means just the same. No?

It doesn’t end here, Facebook, in its own efforts at tolerance, has made a list of 71 genders from which its users may choose to identify, including genderqueer, neutrois, and bi-gender. This is farcical and arguably trivializes the very real struggles that transgender individuals face.

Roosters don’t mind if you call them a bird, Goose, chick, hen, or a cock. So what greatness about politeness? A pig is a pig. It can be called a boar, piggy, or swine! Its biological name is still weirder.

“Sus Scrofa Domesticus” sounds more sophisticated and polished than swine. So saying you dirty Domesticus may not sound as accurate to vent your feeling as ‘you dirty swine’ to say the same thing. No wonder a Rasmussen poll found that 71 percent of Americans think political correctness is a problem today.

Fight hunger, don’t just relabel it sitting in a five-star hotel in a seminar having a five-star meal sipping champagne with nicely decked up men and women smelling of expensive colognes- talking of hunger and figuring out cozier words for the same thing like famished, puckish or undernourished to look politically correct. As Chimamanda Ngozi says, “The truth has become an insult.”

Today, editors of Newspapers and anchors on TV and radio are under undue stress because of PCS, Political Correctness Syndrome. ‘Bhai koi bura na maan jai’– lest someone is hurt, there are billions out there, who all will you worry about? You cannot be always right in ‘thought policing’.

“Those who are determined to be ‘offended’ will discover a provocation somewhere. We cannot possibly adjust enough to please the fanatics, and it is degrading to make the attempt,” says Christopher Hitchens

So call a spade a spade and not a shovel. Amen.

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Virender Kapoor
Virender Kapoor
Author, inspirational Guru. 'What you can learn from military principles' 'Excellence the Amitabh Bachchan way' 'Speaking the Modi way' 'Winning Instinct - decoding the power within' 'PQ - How it matters more than IQ'

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