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Old 10th Oct 2007, 2:18   #61
Beth
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Default Re: Political Correctness

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Originally Posted by Kimberley View Post
The word feminism itself was something they seemed to find, if not offensive, then somewhat embarrassing. I realise this is only tangentially related to the topic, but I do think it is something gone mad.
I'd say you're spot on the money, Kim. The rabid right has taken the femininity and the fun out of the word and conjured up verbiage making feminism sound like a career in ball-busting and strident behavior. And who squawks the loudest about the evils of the f word? Conservative women! Eegads!
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Old 10th Oct 2007, 2:42   #62
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Default Re: Political Correctness

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Originally Posted by Beth View Post
I'd say you're spot on the money, Kim. The rabid right has taken the femininity and the fun out of the word and conjured up verbiage making feminism sound like a career in ball-busting and strident behavior. And who squawks the loudest about the evils of the f word? Conservative women! Eegads!
Not just the rabid right, here, Beth. Most radical feminists have made a career of ball-busting. That's the problem with the movement as I see it. And I'll bet at this point, most of our male members will be yawning and changing threads, if they even bothered to get this far.

It (the Feminism-capital F intended) has polarized the debate so much that the other side has switched off. And once you lose the interest of the other side, you've lost the debate. What you end up with vicious infighting- as we witnessed here not so long ago. That was not a set to between feminists and conservative women. Feminists don't have a monopoly on what the right stance is-they just think they do.

Clearly, I don't identify with Feminism with a capital F. I am a feminist to the extent that I believe that women should control their own bodies, that they should be paid equally for equal work, that they should have equal access to education and job opportunities, that they should have a right to expect to participate equally within both public and private institutions, that they should be free from violence, both physical and psychic. But I expect this for every person on earth. And it is because of this that I rather shy away from the label of feminist-it wants to polarize the debate and frame human society as a zero sum game between men and women.

And I suspect, or hope, that our young people see it this way as well. we need to reframe the question, not in terms of men vs woman, but in terms of what works best for all.
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Old 10th Oct 2007, 9:23   #63
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Default Re: Political Correctness

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I think you might be. Treating others as you want to be treated yourself only works as long as everyone wants to be treated in the same way. In reality, people want and expect to be treated very differently.
True, so I think the job of Political Correctness is to make people at least try to see things from the other person's perspective. A concrete example - the Campaign against Political Correctness contains a forum where one of its contributors complains that he has been advised not to ask work colleagues if they are married, have a girl/boyfriend etc, in case they are gay and are offended.

OK, so it's not exactly offensive, and could be seen as a normal part of everyday chit chat, but not every gay man or woman chooses to come out at work.

Hekatarine's story about her Ghanaian friend struck a chord with me too. I remember asking a black friend whether she still heard the word "nigger". "Oh, hardly ever now. Just once or twice a day", was her reply.

Little things, little words, little questions, but over time they can press down like lead weights.
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Old 10th Oct 2007, 19:19   #64
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Default Re: Political Correctness

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Treating others as you want to be treated yourself only works as long as everyone wants to be treated in the same way. In reality, people want and expect to be treated very differently.
This is so true. You will always get bigots like Jim Davidson saying that it's OK for him to use terms that many people find derogatory (such as the one he used on national TV recently about gays when he knew the person he was addressing was gay) because it's all 'just good fun' and HE wouldn't mind if people made jokes about HIS sexuality/colour/etc. But similarly belittling terms for heterosexuality or whiteness don't exist, and if they did, I doubt anyone would want to use them.

In the same vein, I'm horrified when people here in Scotland refer to 'Paki' shops or 'going down the Chinkie'. They defend themselves by saying the terms are useful abbreviations of 'Pakistani' and 'Chinese', but the point is that no similarly contemptuous shortening of 'British' exists - the few that do (such as the French's 'rosbifs' ) are affectionate and not threatening and superior.
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Old 10th Oct 2007, 23:58   #65
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Default Re: Political Correctness

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not threatening and superior
The word 'superior' is particularly interesting in this debate I think. I sometimes get the impression from people who think it's acceptable to campaign in favour of the right to use offensive terminology that they think they are superior to the people they want to insult.

In the same way, I often hear people arging 'but black people are racist'. For discimination to exist, there must be an imbalance of power.

Changing the subject very slightly, I was in a meeting last week, carrying out an equality impact assessment on a work policy and someone said 'we'd better be careful we don't positively discriminate. I heard of someone who applied for a job but didn't get it because she wasn't a black lesbian.' Interesting person spec that must have been! Grr! Makes me cross.
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Old 11th Oct 2007, 0:45   #66
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Default Re: Political Correctness

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Originally Posted by leyla View Post
but the point is that no similarly contemptuous shortening of 'British' exists - the few that do (such as the French's 'rosbifs' ) are affectionate and not threatening and superior.
I would disagree here as I and many others on both sides of the wall (that would be Hadrians Wall, for those of you who live furth of civilisation) use the term "Brit" as an expression of contempt. It is not used in any affectionate form - it is a term of disapprobation.
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Old 11th Oct 2007, 0:47   #67
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Default Re: Political Correctness

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...but the point is that no similarly contemptuous shortening of 'British' exists...
Trust me, the term "Brit" is no compliment in Northern Ireland. It is a potentially very scary term of abuse indeed.
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Old 11th Oct 2007, 1:54   #68
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Default Re: Political Correctness

I haven't been called a 'Feb' for a long time. Either the term has gone out of fashion or I'm blending into the woodwork around here. 'Feb' is an acronym for Fucking English Bastard, a term which got applied to anyone whose accent sounded as if they came from anywhere south of Ayr no matter what their colour or sexual orientation.
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Old 11th Oct 2007, 4:45   #69
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Default Re: Political Correctness

but the point is that no similarly contemptuous shortening of 'British' exists - the few that do (such as the French's 'rosbifs' ) are affectionate and not threatening and superior.

It's also NOT a flattering term here in Canada, where the English/French thing is still a major subtheme. Of course, us English have our own perjoritive language, Pepsi being a big one that continues to insult.
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Old 11th Oct 2007, 11:38   #70
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Default Re: Political Correctness

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Originally Posted by Oryx View Post
but the point is that no similarly contemptuous shortening of 'British' exists - the few that do (such as the French's 'rosbifs' ) are affectionate and not threatening and superior.
You've never been called a "feb" , or more correctly though tautologically, "Ya fucking feb bastard!" on Sauchiehall Street at 1am. Trust me. It's threatening.
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