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   Why We Should Get Rid of "Political Correctness"

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Why We Should Get Rid of ‘Political Correctness’

By Christa L. Floresca

As far as I am concerned, the only thing that being politically correct has accomplished is to exaggerate our differences, and serve as a constant reminder of them.
Sometimes you just have to roll your eyes and sigh. Our culture's sharp downward turn towards political correctness has ruined everything imaginable. We have become so sensitized to being sensitive, we can't even complete a sentence in less than 10 syllables. We have created new words and phrases to "more accurately" state what should be obvious. “Political correctness” has sent us off the deep end.

I am a woman, an educated, articulate woman. Much to the chagrin of today's "politically correct" crowd, I am not offended by gender specific words like mailman, mankind, and history. I am secure enough that it is not necessary to handle me with care. I balk at the PC extremists who feel that somehow the original and correct spellings of words are oppressive to a cause or a gender. In my opinion, you begin to lose some legitimacy when you demand things like, "woman" be changed to "womyn" to remove any reference to man. I also don't feel the need to change "man" to "person" to feel included or accepted. And, I don't buy into the theory that keeping original spellings of words or generic nomenclature somehow is oppressive to me. They are just words, they don't define me as a person.

Everything is like that these days. As a culture, we have taken sensitivity to an extreme. Once upon a time, the hope was to be able to get past our differences and accept them. As far as I am concerned, the only thing that being politically correct has accomplished is to exaggerate our differences, and serve as a constant reminder of them. What's worse, we have diluted our language, and the way that we express ourselves to such a ridiculous level, that we are beginning to sound like Jack Handy on Prozac.

People with handicaps are ‘differently-abled’. When you are lost, you are ‘locationally disadvantaged’. If you are balding, you are in ‘follicle regression.’ Drug addicts are ‘chemically dependent’. Housewives are ‘domestic engineers’. When your car breaks down, you have a ‘mechanically impaired mode of transportation’. Cheaters are ‘academically dishonest’. Dead people are ‘metaphysically challenged’.

You have got to be kidding me. Face it folks, we sound ridiculous.

It doesn't stop there. Now, for $19.95, you can by the book full of politically correct nursery rhymes where Jack and Jill, who are equal partners, fall down the hill together. We also have teachers who feel entitled to change entire curriculums and arbitrarily lower students' grades for not replacing ‘man’ with ‘person’. Perhaps the worse of all is the notion that historically accurate memorials must be altered to be ‘racially sensitive’. What has all of this politically correct jargon really gotten us?

Why do we assume that we are enlightened because it takes us twice as long to say the same thing? Let's put our hypersensitivity and our urge to elongate sentences aside for a moment. Is anyone better off because we skirt around the truth, spell words differently, or tap-dance around the phraseology? Are we creating awareness or resentment for having to acknowledge every idiosyncrasy of the politically correct crowd? Is all of this really necessary?

Let me be clear. I am not advocating racism, sexism or any other ism. But we have to draw the line somewhere. It would seem that no matter what you say, there is someone out there who will be offended. It's time we got back to the basics. If we continue to try to please everyone, we will ultimately please no one. To be honest, I am tired of constantly having to worry about the oversensitivity of today's PC society.

I am an American. I will not add a disclaimer or hyphenate it to include my ethnicity. When I get married, I will not be hyphenating my last name to create some false illusion of individuality.

If you are offended because I use the word deaf, want to keep the original spelling of womyn, or because I refuse to call myself an Italian-American, so be it. I am going to continue to fight against having to use phrases that mean absolutely nothing. Perhaps I will go down in history as a vertically challenged, testosterone-deficient, Italian-American organism who has had just about enough!


Christa L. Floresca is director of development at Frontiers of Freedom, a non-profit, non-partisan public policy institute “dedicated to protecting the constitutional rights of all Americans and restoring constitutional limits on the extent and power of government.” You may email the author at cfloresca@ff.org. Frontiers of Freedom Institute is at 12011 Lee Jackson Memorial Highway, Third Floor, Fairfax, VA 22033; call 703-246-0110, Ext. 101.

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This story was published on October 2, 2002.
  
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