On numerous occasions (usually on the Ubuntu Forums, but sometimes in person as well), I’ve been accused of being “PC” (politically correct), as if that’s a bad thing. As if the mere fact of being PC is something to be ashamed of. Why? What’s so bad about it?
PC has gotten a bad name of the past decade and a half. But simply being PC shouldn’t be anything to be ashamed of. The only behaviors related to PC that one should be ashamed of are
- Policing others’ speech without explaining why the speech is inappropriate
- Using “political correctness” as an excuse for indulging in euphemisms
For the most part, I am PC only for myself. I do not dictate that others use the same terminology I do. I’ll make rare exceptions for extremely outdated / offensive terms such as nigger or chink. I’ll also frown upon people under fifty using the term negro when not speaking Spanish, or using the term oriental to refer to people. I do find it ridiculous to call short people “horizontally challenged,” as the term “short” is not offensive so much as it is descriptive.
But I also believe that language is political. And if you have to be political about language, might as well be “correctly” political… in whatever sense “correct” means to you. Your politics do not have to agree with my politics, but I refuse to believe there exist people who are non-political with their speech. Everyone—whether she is aware of it or not—is political with her speech. Your choice of words reflects your values and views. Be deliberate. Own it. I do. I’m PC. So what?