How dare you call me that?
I was at the doctor’s office the other day and get this, the INSERT POLITICALLY CORRECT NAME FOR THE PERSON THAT IS FORMALLY EDUCATED AND TRAINED IN THE CARE OF THE SICK AND INFIRM asked for my gender and gave two options: Male or Female. I couldn’t believe that in this day and age how sexist someone could be.
First, we have become so worried about sex that the word no longer is used to define our…sex. Gender is the term to define the societal and psychological characteristics you display while sex is used to define physical characteristics. Gender=Psychological. Sex=Physical. Somewhere along the way, sex became a bad word and gender has taken its place. Lesson for my son: Sex is evil. I know that’s how you came to be, but it is inherently evil and will destroy the world. Your body is filth.
Second and worst, male? I mean, c’mon. That term I associate with neanderthals. Every ad I see and the general impression of a male shows a knuckle dragging, butt scratching, fart machine. I am better than that. I don’t associate with that male and need to distance myself from it — it has picked up some negative associations. Lesson for my son: Don’t you dare let someone call you a man or a male or anything associated with that neanderthal term.
I have said it before: political correctness is nothing but an ugly truth dressed as a pretty lie. By simply changing labels, we are avoiding the core issue as to why we feel the labels need to be changed in the first place.
I recognize I am going over the top here — but it isn’t too far from the truth. We are politically correcting ourselves to death. Don’t get me wrong — some have been for very good reason since they were borne out of racism or sexism, but that is becoming less and less the case for change. Now, we are so afraid to be different, we strive to be the same. I think honesty with ourselves is long overdue.
What bothers me most about this whole thing is that the fight to “avoid labels” pushes us to a homogeneous society. Instead of a palette of countless colors, we all want to be one, unidentifiable blob. A label means I am different. But the same people that are crying out to stop the labels are in turn saying — “I am INSERT GROUP, hear me roar!”
I have no idea what to teach my son. If he needed to describe a person he just saw, how might he do it? According to all that is politically correct and right, he should say he saw a person — any other defining characteristic — derogatory. Overweight? Short? Tall? Blond? How dare you sir! We are trying to own both sides of an argument — I am proud to be daddy blogger — but don’t you dare call me a daddy blogger! Take HLN’s Mommy bloggers take on anti-obesity ads. Morbidly obese kids should be happy about their weight — but obesity is bad? Huh?
Octavia Spencer was criticized for saying “I am not healthy at this weight”. Did she say “I think I need to be thin to succeed?” — no! Might she feel that way — I wouldn’t doubt it — but that’s not what she said. We are so focused on offending fragile psyches that we are literally willing to die young to avoid it.
Even the term “mommy blogger” is causing some consternation. Take this article by Maria Bailey in MediaPost: Stop Calling Us ‘Mommy’ Bloggers. One bit of feedback she got when posting the question about use of the term “mommy blogger”:
Mommy blogger sounds condescending and doesn’t represent the professionalism of moms who own blogs.
The terms Social Media Moms and Power Moms that Ms. Bailey uses will become roadkill as “social media” and “mom” and “power” take on different meanings, but I do like the most popular term in feedback: “I am a mom and I am a blogger.” Fair enough.
Being different doesn’t create schisms — not being accepting of those differences is what creates schisms. I don’t pretend to think that racism, sexism, ageism and classism don’t exist. But at the same time, I don’t think we need to tack on the word “engineer” to every task ever created nor should we take offense at every single possible label. We can be different and proud without alienating.
Lesson for my son? Treat others like you want to be treated. Unless my son hates himself, I think this should work out.
Image courtesy of sixninepixel
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