I get very tired of the move to political correctness and banning the use of specific words. I tend to agree with the old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” Words are the way we communicate. Words present an image or a description. That image or description is not always nice, but that doesn’t mean a word should be banned.
Words have different meanings to different people depending on when and where they were raised. We should always keep this in mind, or we are being narrow-minded. I heard of a visiting college professor from England that asked his secretary (sorry if that is a sexist word) for some rubbers. She thought he was asking for condoms when he was asking for erasers.
The list of words that some people want to remove from our vocabulary is growing to the point of being ludicrous. I recently heard of a movement to not call young girls pushy as it was sexist and could emotionally harm the impressionable young girl.
My sister died after a long fight with cancer. She was one of thirty people in a cancer study at Mayo Clinic. She lived years longer than anyone else in the study. She was a survivor and a fighter. She continued to work after she had been sent home to die. She lived so long that the doctors at Mayo were stumped with how to treat her. I loved and admired my sister, and for many years, I referred to her as a “tough broad.” It was one of greatest compliments I could give her. Now I am told I should not use the word broad as it is derogative to woman. Says who?
The N word is the most negative word in our society. An individual’s career can be ended for using it. When I was in the army, I had several blacks that worked for me. I am not sure if blacks is an acceptable word anymore. I can’t keep up. They often referred to other blacks they held in low esteem using the N word, and it certainly was not meant as a compliment. They could and did use the word, but if I used it, I was a racist. I am not sure how that works, but I get confused easy.
Swear words also have a place in most vocabulary, but the use of most swear words are not considered in good taste. If you have every watched the TV show Dexter, you have noticed Dexter’s sister uses the F word in every sentence. Bad language is promoted in entertainment, but frowned on in social circles.
Politics has all kinds of labels. We have gotten to the point where anyone can be called a racist or a sexist for disagreeing with a political agenda. Politicians resort to name-calling when a political position cannot be supported by facts.
Being called a Republican or a Democrat can be both a compliment and a slam. Partisan politics is not complimentary for either party. Both clearly put the party, power, and getting elected ahead of doing what is good for the country.
I recently attended a commencement ceremony at the University of Wisconsin in Camp Randall stadium. The keynote speaker was Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. He and Senator Joe Manchin are co-chairs of an organization called No Labels. The goal of No Labels is to end the gridlock in Washington, stop the fighting, and start fixing. Nearly 100 members of Congress (both Democrat and Republican) and over a half million citizens have joined in this effort.
In my opinion, this is something that is long overdue. I don’t even like seating Republicans and Democrats on opposite sides of the isle in Congress. I support and have joined in this movement. I hope you will too.