Whenever somone says the phrase politically correct, my ass begins to twitch. I can think of few things that bother me more than those words. In case you hadn’t guessed by now, I am not a terribly PC person. I smoke, curse, laugh at inappropriate jokes, and occasionally drink to excess. I also write horror. Few genres are less politically correct than horror, other than possibly romance. I mean seriously, all those big, strong men, smelling of horse flesh and man sweat (Have you been near a horse lately? They stink! And man sweat? Well we ALL know what that smells like!) sweeping the helpless damsel off her feet. I imagine that every time a romance novel is penned, a hardcore women’s libber feels reduced to tears, but doesn’t cry for fear she will look weak. I am not a women’s libber. I have one gal pal who regularly says that I set women’s rights back fifty years every time I open my mouth. So I would rather be a stay home Mom and wife. Sue me! There’s no shame in taking care of a household. I think we’ve earned all the rights we wanted. Now I’m not bashing strong women, of course not, I AM a strong woman. But I am not one of those women who insists on changing my own tire simply because I can, while a perfectly capable and much stronger man sits idle. It just seems smart to have him do the heavy lifting, and if I have to bat my eyes to get it done? I’m okay with that. He gets to feel big and strong, and I get to save myself some back strain. It’s a win/win situation.
Back to my twitchy ass. So several months ago, I was having a conversation with a customer about a pretty mulatto woman, when another customer overheard and pulled me aside. She said she was a sociology major and was concerned that I might inadvertantly offend someone with my use of a taboo word. Mulatto. I was unaware that it was now a taboo and asked her what word I should use? She said bi-racial American. OOOOOKAY….so how do I get across what the two mixed races are? She says : You don’t. It’s not politically correct to single out the races. I thanked her and went about my night of bar wenching, the whole time thinking Are you shittin’ me? What do you mean I can’t establish what races they are? How the hell am I supposed to accurately describe them? I’m a WRITER! And herein lies the problem of our society today. Just when you think you have finally figured out which words are safe, someone comes along and tells you that you’re being offensive. Usually a sociology major. Now that phrase makes my ass spasm! Someone will probably come along and tell me that what I’m saying is offensive to people with spastic colons, and I’m putting five bucks down now on the fact that this person will more than likely be a sociology major.
We spend so much time as a society trying to be offended. So many wasted hours looking for ways in which we have been slighted. Now don’t go thinking I am defending racial slurs and hate speech. I most certainly I am not. We’re all adults here. We know which words are truly offensive and shouldn’t be used. I’m not talking about how Dave Chapelle can use the “N” word and be hilarious while I cannot. I get that. I really do. My gal pals can call me all manner of derogatory female names, but no man better even dare. I get all of this. Some words are just plain awful. I don’t use them in my personal life, and only in my writing if they are warranted by a character’s personality. Maybe the character is a bigot. Maybe they’re an asshole. It’s fiction, they should be free to be who they are, without concern that I, myself, feel as they do. I mean, come on! No one accuses me of eating people if it happens in a story.
I’m not politically correct. Never will be. I refuse to conform to some ridiculous set of rules that a bunch of oversensitive people sat around dreaming up. I don’t do well with sensitive people anyway. I don’t use hate speech and I shy away from racial slurs in real life, but I refuse to dilute my writing in order to be PC. I don’t know a single great writer or artist who ever gave a shit about offending people. What I and my twitchy ass suggest to you, is that we spend less time trying to figure out which words we can safely use and put that time toward actually solving a problem rather than creating one. I’m sure that I will have to apologize to sociology majors the world over after this rant, but I stand by how I feel. There are issues enough in this world to command ALL of our time, issues that are much more important than whether or not it is politically correct to accurately describe someone’s racial makeup.
Some scientists believe that we will eventually evolve into higher beings with no need for speech, communicating telepathically instead. I say, if we continue to evolve along politically correct lines, we will be silent only because we are no longer allowed to speak, overwhelmed and unsure which words in our language are still safe. What a scary thought.