Good manners

This US election cycle has been depressing. One of the more depressing things is the constant refrain from one side that they are sick of “political correctness”.  That’s some upset privilege talking. Political correctness needs to be rephrased as what it is- modern good manners.

Oh, member of a group (an identifiable group) you would prefer we don’t use a pejorative name for that group! That’s reasonable and good manners. 

Oh, we would like active consent before engaging in sex and sex-related activities! That is simply good manners.  

Both genders should receive equal opportunities and there shouldn’t be any bias.  I don’t what to call it but good manners.

So now when I hear people say that they don’t believe in political correctness and they want to be un-PC, I am going to mentally replace that with manners and rudeness. ” I don’t believe in political correctness ” becomes I don’t believe in good manners” and I am un-PC” becomes ” I am rude”.  It doesn’t sound so good then does it, but that is what they mean! 


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2 responses to “Good manners”

  1. Chickadee Avatar
    Chickadee

    torthuil says:
    17 October, 2016 at 1:02 am

    I agree about good manners. Very necessary. And I can’t say that an alteration in the terminology I use has ever caused me much stress, so as far as that goes, I’m with you. The criticism of PC (which I think is justified) comes from when it is used to shut down discussion of certain aspects of public policy (eg immigration and cultural integration) because the *discussion itself* is called racist, or whatever. It’s wielded as a tool of censorship (not to mention infuriating self righteousness by certain political classes). Yes we can agree (I think) that good manners are important part of civilized society. But are they the MOST important part of civilized society? Do you think we should avoid discussing certain topics because some people consider it rude? I prefer loud, angry, rude discussion over silence and avoidance, even though I find loud angry rude discussion uncomfortable.

    Beyond that, I have some philosophical objections to the notion that altering language alters reality, which apart from good manners and sensitivity is the other goal of the PC altering of terms. I agree that it can to some extent alter lived reality, but I would disagree with many of my progressive friends as to the degree to me which it alters reality. I think the actual lived result is deception, confusion, and failure as often as it is success.

  2. Chickadee Avatar
    Chickadee

    Chickadee says:
    19 October, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    True, but I have seen the accusation of being too PC used to shut down discussion from the other side as well, and used as a tool to discount non-majority participants. I like neither tactic and do prefer robust discussion, but I think there needs to be a fundamental underpinning of a recognition by all sides of the humanity of the others. For me, a lot of the anti-PC argument deny their opponent’s personhood by refusing to refer to them in, the manner that they have asked, by refusing to recognise their experiences as equally valid.

    Changing the choice of words can create changes in perception. Sometimes at the beginning, it can be superficial, but over time it can shift perception. And I think it is important to allow people to choose how they are referred to. I do not like being called a “seppo”. Seppo=septic tank which rhymes with yank- so it’s a name for Americans in Australian. Charming. I can extrapolate that to understand that other groups with equally offensive nicknames might not like it either.

    The idea behind political correctness was to create an equal space for civil discourse. And if creating equality means removing the additional benefits that more privileged groups have, that others don’t, then then it should. It would be better that all groups had their positions raised, but sometimes that isn’t possible- but taking away the invulnerable right of the majority to call the less powerful names shouldn’t be an issue.

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