I just watched the episode of Explained on Netflix that’s about “Political Correctness” and so it inspired me to write my own post about it. Now, in this changing, ever-growing age that we live in, it can be hard to be politically correct. But the way I see it, as long as you’re open-minded and kind, you’ll do just fine.
If you use a word or phrase that someone takes offense to or calls you out on, don’t get upset or angry or defensive, instead ask for more information about it. See it from their point of view. Be kind. Don’t be ignorant and then let your ignorance offend people when you don’t even mean to! This is the easiest way to be politically correct and an overall kind person!
Here is a list of words and phrases that you should NOT use or should at least be careful with in today’s society:
(No offense is meant by these words, of course, I’m just listing words that I know of – by no means is this an extensive/complete list, and not for every country – that have caused offense or are outdated today)
- Faggot or Fag
- Nigger (ER is a definite no and yes, people can tell the difference)
- Half cast
- Man up
- Don’t be such a girl
- Girls (when used on grown women)
- Boys (when used on grown men)
- Illegal immigrant
- Spaz or spastic
- Real man
- Real woman
- He or she (some would prefer them or they or another pronoun)
- Where are you from?
- Man-kind, Manpower, Fireman, Policeman, Postman (etc.) due to the “man”
- Dual heritage
- White people
- And many more…
(These were so hard to write)
Of course, it’s hard to be 100% correct when the world and the people in it are changing, evolving, and trying to be more inclusive. Keeping in the know, and understanding the words you’re using and their implications is a start, though. None of us will ever be 100% correct, I don’t think. It’s hard to never offend anyone. And, perhaps, there are some people who take “correctness” too far.
But just because something doesn’t offend you personally, doesn’t mean you have the right to dictate what does or does not offend other people.
Listen to their side, be kind, be understanding. You can agree to disagree, then simply not use those words in public or social media or to those people you know are offended by it.
Just, be a kind person and you should never have a real problem with political correctness.
In no way do I pretend to be an expert – I’m not. I’m just trying to be more inclusive, understanding, and fair myself and I feel we all should too. It’s all of our duty to help everyone feel at home in our world. Words can be enough to make others feel unheard, undervalued, shunned, or downright rejected and hated.
So, use your words wisely and knowingly.
Especially if you are a writer like me – your words are even more important.
“…speak no evil…”
Any more that I’ve forgotten? Leave them in the comments to help others understand.