Social progression is something we should all welcome with open arms. It marches our society forward and gives voices and equality to groups that previously were shunned, thought as second class citizens and quite often worse: They were victims to violence.
Many bills later and the years of protests are beginning to have a domino effect, knocking down obstacle after obstacle. This is great, and despite knowing we have a long way to go, we are still going strong. But in a society that I’ve noticed loves to give itself a pat on the back, lately I’ve found myself thinking how many take being politically correct too far. Can we take it too far? How many use equalities for their own personal gain? Isn’t all progression good progression? It sure is, but we are now living in a world where you have to watch what you say at risk of offending someone – regardless if it were said with malice or not.
Do you think we can go too far the other way? Where uttering a single world innocently can be misconstrued as a racist, sexist or homophobic? It’s been bothering me lately. As a writer I am firm believer that words are only as powerful as you let them be. They can only cut you if you let your guard down; can only offend you if you’re say like me, overly sensitive. In this respect I feel we should always take the consideration of others into account, and choose wisely the words we use. However, I’ve noticed lately that I’ve been met with a lot of cavil objections over my word choices or the passing sentences I’ve muttered .
This particaurly annoys because I’m made to feel bad by elitist, pretentious bags of sheer douchery. Those people who strut around armed with a sense of self-entitlement; those who draw their ‘righteous-blade of fury’ every time someone says something they deem to not be politically correct. Basically my beef is with those who argue for the sake of arguing and get offended by everything simply because they can – even when it has no correlation to their happiness.
We all know people like this. The self-proclaimed gender-neutral-neo-hipster-only-drink-their-coffee-out-a-tin-of-dolphin-friendly-tuna types. The ones that haven’t endured an ounce of hardship yet act as though they carry the weight of the world on their poor worn down shoulders. Those who won’t go and see certain movies because they are insensitive towards what ever pretentious bollocks they are foaming at the mouth about this week. I don’t care if the movie is degrading towards the particular breed of hamster you had a child. Plod on, pretentious wankers. Plod on.
I know it seems a fairly feeble thing to get irked about, as everyone has their beliefs, but seriously? For example: If you’re vegan that’s great, really, but don’t ram your ideas down my throat – not unless they come with chicken. I hate being made to feel bad for eating anything that casts a shadow. It got to the point I was having clandestine rendezvous with a Big Mac out of fear of judgement from some friends.
You get offended because a song I listen to uses the ‘N’ word? I’ve been told that makes me racist; because I enjoy a lot of rap music. Surely though, the fact you’re offended by my liking of said music and its artist’s use of the notorious ‘N’ word makes you more racist than I am? I wouldn’t ever use it in polite conversation or whilst addressing someone, that would be ripe with racism. But don’t make a fuss when someone enjoys another culture.
Actually it saddens me that people still see a separation between races. I don’t see in race, nor do I associate certain styles or genres of music to a particular one. People that tiptoe around social situations that involve people from different parts of world are surely more racist? I mean, you’re consciously pointing ‘differences?’ Whereas all I see is the bar and a group of humans standing in the way of me and the next vodka.
I would never, ever allow use of any derogatory terms towards any one from anywhere. I’ve heard it done recently and immediately shot the person down. Ignorance is not something I stand for. As I said early, words only have sway and power if you let them. Just like when someone uses the word ‘gay’ to describe something negative “don’t be gay!” and so on. If I lunged into a conniption every time someone did this, I’d be in a perpetual state of rage.
Racism, homophobia, sexism, transphobia… All these are what we should focus our efforts on tackling, but at the same time not use our tolerance to elevate ourselves to a moral high ground. Equality isn’t about you getting a divine kudos, it’s about helping shape a better world. A world where labels aren’t required and equality isn’t used as a social status.
So congratulations, you’ve got a friend of African-American descent; a friend that is trans and you’re living with a level-five vegan. Don’t expect me to pat you on the back for being a decent human being.