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I just feel that the whole concept of PC is flawed because that it is extremely selective in application and only to certain issues or certain groups of people who are, for the lack of a better term, more powerfully offended by the usage of certain terms than others.
Take the example of the recent race row in India's Cricket tour to Australia. Harbhajan Singh was accused of calling Andrew Symonds a "monkey", which is supposedly a racist taunt (I wasn't even aware of this before the issue arose). Now how do you decide whether "monkey" is more offensive than say "bastard" which is a deadly insult in India where we hold family traditions sacred? Or how do we, as Indians, explain that "monkey" is a term of endearment used commonly to describe a naughty child and with no offensive intent? Yet, the other side hardly bothers to understand the cultural differences and prefers to wallow in indignant self-righteousness.
Another example of meaningless political correctness is using the term actor used in both masculine and feminine contexts. That's just a ridiculous practice adopted by the media. The funny thing about it is that even the same newspaper doesn't adopt this usage consistency and columnists frequently revert to the feminine form "actress."
Even though it's simply not in my nature to use crass or vulgar language, I feel that if every group of politically sensitive people start lobbying successfully to ban specific words or phrases, very soon dictionaries will shrink to half their size. And of course, Political Correctness will remain an exclusive weapon of the group with the largest voting power because they can and will impose their version on the others.
Let me just say I'll accept Political Correctness the day when you accept my list of offensive words/phrases/language usage in the same way that you want me to accept yours...
Posted on Sat, Feb 9, 2008 at 09:06 IST (last updated: Wed, Jul 16, 2008 @ 21:12 IST)