Are you scared of political correctness?

I was prompted by the posting of a fellow forum member to think about what causes offence these days and to consider if we gone too far. Maybe this very posting of mine will be too far for some people, but that is the irony of expressing my viewpoint.

I well remember the jokes and incredulous conversations we had at the advent of political correctness (sometime back in the seventies). The ideas proposed seemed laughable, as if one day we really would be talking of “chalk boards”, “chair persons”, “visually impaired”, re-writing or banning nursery rhymes and so on, but indeed here we are and it is a very serious and important part of our everyday lives.

Of course terminology is only one aspect of the now well-established, but vague set of rules and standards pertaining to political correctness which we must adhere to. As I see it, the ethos of PC is soundly based, in that it should ensure we all live together within an idealism of mutual respect, but over time this has gradually become self-defeating. We now actually live in some fear of making inappropriate comments or inadvertently insulting someone. We can be assaulted, sued, lose our jobs or even sent to prison.

The problem is that we don’t always know what is inappropriate or insulting, we don’t know who may take offence, or even why. We can’t always account for how someone may interpret our comments, so we choose to confine our real thoughts and remarks to within very close and trusted circles. Those who are well clued up on what to say and what not to say, can usually avoid the pitfalls but are nevertheless calculatedly capable of purposely causing offence albeit in a subtle or less obvious way.

We tend to steer clear of any perceived negative discussions concerning, race, colour, sex, sexuality, religion, disability ......... have I missed anyone out? If so, no offence intended.

I consider myself to be fairly au fait in PC philosophy and modern thinking, and am fairly confident that I do not cause unintentional offence, but what concerns me is that as a society we are now too cautious about addressing issues openly and honestly, in case, just in case we disrespect a minority group.

Most of us have heard jokes about the stand-up comedian called, Joe King, or the girl with one leg shorter than the other, Eileen Dover, or Sue Ridge, the toilet cleaner, but what about the one-legged Sikh called Balan Singh? A few years ago I uttered the latter joke to a work colleague only to be met with a disapproving response. I asked her what was offensive about it, like could it upset the disabled or was it insulting to Sikhs? Now this is my point - she replied that she didn’t know why it was offensive, but somehow it just seemed to be.

The ever present threat of terrorism is a frightening aspect of daily living, particularly for those living in cities, using airports and undergrounds. Although there are many terrorist groups, the Islamic ones seem to be the most prolific, and whereas I do not doubt that the perpetrators are a minority of radical fundamentalists, why is this indemnifying statement so regularly emphasised by politicians and television presenters during discussion? Is this an example of damage limitation should any Muslim take offence and complain?

The World Health Organisation is rightly concerned at the rampant spread of AIDS which is still mainly passed on by promiscuous homo-sexual males, but whenever I hear discussions on this topic, the speakers seem to draw disproportionate attention to the other less prevalent causes. Fear of upsetting or offending gays? On this subject and topically, why is it now acceptable to brand a critic of gay marriage “homophobic” as if such a person must be ill and suffering a phobia of sorts. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t a phobia an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something?

I could go on with other examples but I feel I’ve conveyed the idea.

There is never a valid reason to persecute, intimidate or even mock legitimate minority groups and individuals, but why should ordinary decent people have to worry about certain individuals who actively search for reasons to take offence?

Indeed right. Have a look at WHO's statistics and their 'Global AIDS response progress reporting 2013 Construction of core indicators for monitoring the 2011 UN Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS' if any of you doubt what Jo just said.

Very interesting and valid discussions. But is AIDS mainly passed on via promiscuous homosexuals? I thought the greater portion of HIV victims across the globe were female and their newborns, resulting from unfaithful married men's insistence on practicing anal sex, sex with prostitutes, amongst populations who either can't afford or do not believe in using contraception.

wikepedia agrees " In many developed countries, there is an association between AIDS and homosexuality or bisexuality, and this association is correlated with higher levels of sexual prejudice such as anti-homosexual/bisexual attitudes.[197] There is also a perceived association between AIDS and all male-male sexual behavior, including sex between uninfected men.[194] However, the dominant mode of spread worldwide for HIV remains heterosexual transmission.[198]"

So, in general, whilst I appreciate the discussion, I don't agree that linking it with inaccurate homophobic heresay will give the other points much credence. This part of the discussion is plain wrong. Not "un PC". just not correct at all.

Bruce, just out of curiosity, what 'overrun' enclave now counts Lady Oldham as one of its downtrodden refugees? ;-)

Bloomin' written by wannabes ;-)

I always thought that the lyrics of "Cry Me A River" were clever:

Remember, I remember,
All that you said;
Told me love was too plebian,
Told me you were through with me

And Now you say you love me,

A Concilium Plebis may be a good idea. Quite a few of my neighbours here left the area at the mouth of the Tiber when a nobleman in Italy by name Mussolini wanted to recreate a modern Rome and set out to complete the task of draining the marshes to the west of his capital. Those people were expelled and found refuge here, but are definitely common people of Rome, therefore Plebeian in origin but as for the rest - wannabes the lot of them! ;-)

Some of my best friends are Plebeian, but I just tell them straight up what I think of their unbiological ways. We have to be vigilant, a few of them may be moving into this forum, and before you know it, they'll have taken over the site, opened their own shops... ;-)

Accepted/Understood! :<)

biological refers to biology which is:

1. the science of life or living matter in all its forms and phenomena, especially with reference to origin, growth, reproduction, structure, and behaviour. 2. the living organisms of a region: the biology of France and 3.the biological phenomena characteristic of an organism or a group of organisms: the biology of a human being.

In other words it relates to all that is organic or of the organ. The word unbiological would mean that it is not biological, in other words inorganic.

Phenylethymine, often known as PEA, is present in chocolate. It has been associated with sexual stimulation by pseudo-science, but is simply a stimulant of the nervous system irrespective of gender or sexuality.

The word 'unbiological' does not exist in any dictionary of the English language.

When using facts, check. I did.

Thanks Celeste! I do remember back in the 70s as us "trendies" moved from Chelsea and bought and "gentrified" as they then said old wrecks of houses were resented by some "local" people like the old Battersea people who saw their control of a patch being threatened. Those streets are all full of Range Rovers, burglar alarms and nannies now. Many of the former eesidents moved to the outer suburbs even then and many to places like Basingstoke and the New Towns. The constant churn in London is no doubt good for the local economy but the recent trend to massive purchasing by investors and off shore companies in Central London is not replacing communities of one sort with communities of another. You could end up with ghost quarters similar in a way with those thousand of empty flats and houses in Spain.

I would not usually use the P word but surely it was originally just an abbreviation of Pakistani, that is "from Pakistan"? The most common use was the P shop. It wasn't really necessarily rascist just a form of identification as in Wales "Jones the Shoe". Is Eytie (? spelling not sure) perjoritive of or a shortened version of Italian? Rosbifs, Frogs, Huns and Red Devils etc then come into the picture.I accept that the P word (don't want to be accused of anything) may have become a sort of perjorative covering in the minds of some all persons of sub continental ethnicity. I have though a good British Sikh friend who certainly calls those of Pakistani origin the P word. In India I have seen newspaper headlines "Pak Border Problem Escalates". I think that has been suggested before we have rather over compensated in recent years. Plebeian has recently become a problem word; Sir Robert Peel insisted that he wanted no gentlemen in the police force as they would have insufficient knowledge of the criminal world.

I fully intended the pun. I was single and lived on a boat in Ireland for 25 years and the cruisers on either side were owned by 'gay' men and in good Irish style we had some great parties on both boats at various times, everyone respected their differences and we were, and still are, the best of friends and able to joke freely together with no offence. I was going to say ' the 'craic' was mighty, but someone on here would take a hissy fit.

As someone has already said, if you crack a joke, you got to be able to take a joke.

David, with respect I stated that I was referring to people of 60 plus having sex with children, not an age disparity in adults.

Actually Brian it's not doggere,l it based on fact. If the act of copulation is unbiological it is caused by a higher than normal presence of a chemical in the brain called phenylethymine and has been identified and researched by nuero pathology professors.


Yeh But, No But, I,m "Devon born, Devon bred, Strong in the arm but weak in the head" If that is non PC then heaven help us!!!

I used "whatever" as I didn't think WTF would be OK here. Got that wrong didn't I??

Don't know how you could have miss-interpreted what I meant. I,m sure you would never be rude!!

Have a nice day


Ooh, touché ;-) wife of 38 years is black, and I can call her it, whenever I want, and she calls me "honky" 'cos we know there's no malice.

I met a woman in France recently and recognised her Oldham accent, which I commented on. She said "Yes but Oldham's overun with Pakis now". No doubt in my mind she was using the term as a cuss word. I turned about and walked away from her. Ironic that she'd fled to become ensconced in a Brit enclave in France.

I agree with you on this but of course one wish to use the words oneself in a perjoritive way. On the other hand when you hear on the car radio in London somebody on gangsta pirate radio openly broadcasting his wish for exquisite pain followed by death to "m**********rs" of white British origin one gets slightly miffed. They used to hang people for doing about the same, although personally I don't advocate such punishment.

OK Bruce, I certainly have heard 'queer' from a friend. He is, and has always been, a particularly camp gay poet. The context he uses it in, if I worked it out right, is that he is particularly eccentric, very obviously camp but at the same time very different because although he keeps company with men like himself very often it is that and that alone, he chose very public celibacy many years ago. People suspected he moved to Istanbul because of 'what he is' but in fact it is because his great passion in life is Byzantium and there is almost no better place to be than in Constantinople as was as the heart of that once empire. Compared to other people he is, as he describes himself, queer. Indeed, I have enough gay friends and family to see that most of them do not appear in the slightest camp and why should they need to be? So Bruce, I think it is a bit more complicated than it was when it was used behind people's backs.

As for the 'n' word, yes but I think again it is used by a particular minority including some interesting 'rap gangstas', when whose albums are on I cannot but think what very clever poets they are before all else. Maybe it is coincidence that poetry comes up in both of these, but then have poets not been singled out as different since the year dot? Perhaps it is part of what they do that allows them to defy values to use what are otherwise considered taboos?