It’s not politically correct, but…

Just after Christmas I was at a bbq and it took all of my self-control to not get into an argument with someone. It was at someone else’s place, and I don’t know this guy very well, so I made a few careful points and then changed the subject. But what I really wanted to say was, “listen mate, is it that you haven’t bothered to think about what you’re saying, or are you just an arsehole?”. I was going to just brush it off, but it’s gotten under my skin – and not in the good way, like when you put slices of chorizo under the skin of a chicken and then roast it.

Apparently “They” say we can’t use the word “postman” anymore.

Yep, this is what he was having a rant about.

Now, I’m pretty across the feministosphere and the politically-correctosphere and I’m not aware of anyone in Australia saying that we now have to use “postperson”. Seriously? This is what this guy actually believes?

He was outraged because he wanted to use the word “postman” because that’s the word he’s always used and it’s political correctness gone mad dontchaknow. Which is a profoundly ignorant way of saying “I don’t want to have to think about how the words I say might be offensive to someone else because the most important thing in the whole wide world is that I shouldn’t have to think about how my behaviour might affect others”. Because what he’s saying is that women who deliver the mail should be called postmen. Huh? He’s offended by that?

When people start sentences with, “It’s not politically correct, but…” what they really mean is, “It’s not politically correct, but I’m about to use someone’s gender/race/religion/ability as an insult because I’m either too intellectually lazy to be able to make my point without insulting someone, or I’m too selfish to give a shit about anyone but myself”.

31 responses to “It’s not politically correct, but…

  1. Over here, we just call them posties.

    Here’s a fun game. Any time someone uses the terms “politically correct” or the “PC brigade” in a derogatory manner in the comment section to a news article, take a shot. Pissed as.

  2. But you see NWN, the majority of the population does not want to think about other people. Ever.

    God forbid that someone should want to sit next to you on a rush hour train when you have the most exhausted bag in the entire universe.

    Heavens forfend you should have to work out your sternocleidomastoid muscle to look behind you before you slam a door in someone’s face.

    Who on earth should be expected to think that something, anything coming out of one’s mouth or typed by one’s fingers might possibly offend someone.

    The answer to the foregoing is, of course, anyone who actually wants to live in a pleasant society. This chap wants to live in the parallel “Don’t Give a Shit World”. He and his comrades in curmudgeonliness should be dispatched there by wormhole forthwith.

    • I think I’m just shocked that someone in my social circle – albeit, someone I know only vaguely through ManFriend, have nothing in common with and only see a few times a year – is so ignorant. He feels put upon by the Big Bad They because he wants to call everyone men, even if they’re women? It doesn’t even make sense.

  3. Right on. “it’s not politically correct, but…” seems to typically be followed by a wildly offensive statement, but because “being PC” is framed as being namby-pamby and over the top, people who say they aren’t being PC don’t see what they’re saying as offensive: “I’m just saying what everyone’s thinking”, they say after people object to whatever they said after saying “it’s not politically correct, but…”.

    Obviously this guy will never have thought about what it would be like to be in a job where the title is gendered in a way that excludes him- and why would he need to, really, because things like postman or businessman are often the default. With regard to the postman/postwoman, it’s easy to abbreviate to “postie” like we Kiwis do and avoid the whole thing, haha. (Although obviously you still shouldn’t use postman across-the-board for men and women if you have to use the non-abbreviated version).

  4. I was quite annoyed today at reading a fb status update that went along the lines of; ‘factiod – right handed people live, on average, 9 years longer than lefties. Must be because they are satanic devil spawn’.
    What the fuck???
    Firstly, it took me all of 60 seconds to find information on the Internet that refutes this ‘fact’ as complete fucking eyewash.
    Second, is it still ok to say that shit? Or is it like hassling gingers, sort of ok because it isn’t based on race or sex?
    I might be less mean to gingers (who I secretly love) now.

  5. “Its not PC but…” is the same as “I’m not racist but….”
    In both cases you can expect to hear some seriously offensive crap.

    In part the media is to blame as “PC gone mad” stories are common usually interpreting something sensible as insane and misquoting people.

  6. I get pissed off that we now call both women and men actors…when did it become wrong to acknowledge the female?

    Same with attendants in the air…what is wrong with air hostess. Why is it that when we correct language the female is lost?

    • In many cases it’s not that the female is lost, it’s that women weren’t allowed to do something, and when they finally were the dudes had to come up with a new word for it. Clearly a woman couldn’t be an author, because that’s a man’s job! She had to be an authoress. Language reflects society’s structuring of male as the default.

      Additionally, having non-gendered nouns means that language is inclusive of people who don’t identify within the traditional gender binary.

      • Hi tree, welcome to the News with Nipples. That’s a good point, but it comes back to what Jayne was saying, in that the words author, actor, etc are gendered but we don’t think of them as such.

    • Whereas Waiters is non-gender-specific and therefore I think that both men and women should be waiters – which avoids the awful ridiculousness of ‘wait-person’ or worse, ‘waitron’ which makes the user-of-the-expression sound like they think that the person serving them has no brain and is some kind of automaton.

    • Oh, that’s interesting. I didn’t think of it like that. I don’t like the word actress – why do female actors have to get a different job title? – and prefer to use actor for everyone. But you’re right, it is always the female version that we drop.

  7. I still personally prefer to drop it though! My mother-in-law is the only person I have EVER heard describe someone as an ‘Editress’. Goodness – even the spell-checker doesn’t like it.

  8. I admire your restraint. Sometimes a person just needs a swift kick in the pants and to be told they are an asshole when they’re being one. Should their ever be a next time, you could always deflect his rant back on himself by politely asking how on earth calling Lidia, the woman who delivers your mail to you a post person, postie, or postal worker- infringes on his own identity and sense of self?

  9. Heard the best rant fom this lady at the caltex in Neutral Bay yesterday. She was outraged at this new song she heard called ‘We will rock you.’ On and on she went so I suggested she write the singer a letter of complaint.

  10. Out of interest,What do we call male midwives?

  11. Hmm, I don’t know. Accoucheurs?

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