Just had to share this, by my year 12 AS level English Language student. Pure brilliance – enjoy! 🙂
Opinion article aimed at young adults ages 18-25
A politically correct term a day, keeps the offence away
Jeremy Clarkson, I beg you sincerely, shut the bloody hell up and sit your backwards behind down. Have you not caused enough trouble? No really and truly, riddle me this– you punch your producer in the face because there was no hot food in your hotel and now you want to badmouth your old bosses because they were being politically correct and all of this is sound to you? Jezza, can I call you Jezza? I’m gonna call you Jezza, I understand that one of your basic human rights is freedom of speech and you are entitled to use it but why don’t you use it for something that doesn’t make me want to rip my hair out?
I understand that he named his dog after a footballer and I’m sure he meant no offence by it, he’s allowed to like the sport but people were offended. That is the key thing here, people were offended! If what you are doing offends people, then why is it so hard to just put aside your pride or whatever you want to call it and change the dog’s name? Then everyone will be happy and we can all walk off into the sunset because we have not offended anyone any longer! I doubt your dog will be grief-stricken if you change his name, if people can deal with it, so can your dog! Let’s take a look at the Inuit people, formerly known as the Eskimos. Inuit is the politically correct term for people that reside in the cold snow because they were offended by the word Eskimo which roughly translates to raw meat eaters. Not a really nice thing to be associated with, is it? So now we refer to them as Inuits because it is a term that doesn’t make them seem like zombie people. As a result of this change, the apocalypse happened and the world exploded. Oh wait, you mean that didn’t happen? You mean, everything was fine, life went on as normal and no one cares anymore? How absolutely astounding! Someone tell Jeremy Clarkson this glorious news!
Jezza thinks it’s all fine and dandy when it’s his dog but how would he feel if I named my dartboard after him? Or after one of his family members? After all my family loves darts and we love him, it’s a dartboard should I have called it the Dartful dodger? There are things that I would do that seem inoffensive to me but would make Jeremy and his family feel small and belittled. The difference is, I would change that name without a blink of an eye, but Jeremy would not do me the same favour. He’s okay with political correctness as long as it benefits him and there are so many like them. If I started talking about Zimmerman and West’s Dominance theory and how men are more likely to interrupt, then before I was able to finish that sentence he and all his other straight, white, male friends would interject (ironic) and give me so many different reasons as to why that’s wrong and I shouldn’t say things like that because it generalises and makes people seem insignificant. Isn’t that the same with his dog? He has made this footballer, who I’m sure is very proud of his achievements whatever they may be, and made him feel insignificant. It makes it seem like Jezza’s dog is on the same level as a well acclaimed footballer. It really is alright for some, isn’t it?
Deborah Jones theorised that political correctness can be a good thing, in small doses that is. I’m all for political correctness but that doesn’t mean I think every single thing should be delved into until we find offense in them. I merely think that we should all strive, male and female, to be aware of our verbal hygiene (Jones again, wahey!). That is to say that we should be concerned with correcting ourselves no matter the gender or the group we subscribe to so that we appear as upright citizens to all and not the uncultured swine that we usually are when we use the internet anonymously. If you don’t care about offending people, you’re a selfish git but alright, don’t you care about yourself? Don’t you care about not seeming absolutely stupid and uneducated amongst your peers? Let me present a scenario to you where you’re in a board meeting with a straight white guy from America (USA! USA! #Murrica) and you ask him what his favourite baseball team is. He says he’s a big fan of the Red socks and you tell him how much you love the Washington R-words and screw all the f*gs that think it’s a racist name right? You start laughing at how funny you are but they don’t seem pleased. I wonder why that is? Oh did I not mention that he has a native American wife and a gay son? Probably should’ve started with that. Oh well, too late now, you’ve just lost your company a huge deal and managed to come out looking like an absolute imbecile. Grand.
I’m sure there are some people out there who aim for political correctness but can’t seem to shake the stigma. You start to wonder if it’s worth the hassle of fighting all the ignorant people that think it’s funny to tell women to get in the kitchen and make them a sandwich. Maybe you’ve even based your theory on other theories, in 1986 Wood said that people prefer those that conform to societal norms. Howard Giles even came up with the accommodation theory that tells us the speaker is trying their hardest to make themselves seem desirable by their audience. And we’ve all been on the internet, we all see the trolls commenting about the horrors of political correctness and their right to free will but we have a right to that same free will. We all share that right to freedom of opinion so why are we allowing these trolls to throw this in our face and oppress us? They say that political correctness ruins jokes, but if an actual real life comedian thinks we can be funny without offending people then why can’t you? Comedy is a tricky thing because it aims to tread the line between being hilarious and being outright offensive but comedians have spoken out about this and have said that times change and humour should reflect that. The attitudes towards political correctness are outdated and stem purely from the fact that humans want to make other humans feel bad so that they can feel better about themselves. People think it’s funny to use the n-word. Why is it so satisfying to use a word that is tied to hundreds of years of oppression and hate? People think it’s okay to make fun of Hijabis but why is it a laughing matter when this is a lifestyle that people still live today? Because of all these people making jest of minorities, we end up with hate crimes as these jokes become something people truly believe in. People that use the word f*ggot as a joke would do their best to separate themselves from those that commit mass shootings on gay people. It’s not them, people take it too far but you are the people that give them the spark. And all it takes is a spark.
Sapir and Whorf once formulated the language deterministic theory. They believe that thought reflects language, in other words, language came first. When you look at it that way, it makes sense why knob heads like Jeremy Clarkson say the things they do—it’s because they’re not thinking before they speak. Because they’re not thinking, the rest of us have to mill about as they spout their nonsense with no end in sight. But I’ll make you a deal, shall I? Jeremy, I promise you that if you start using your mouth to spread niceties to the world and stop punching people and stop saying we should tone down the political correctness, then not only will I never watch Top Gear again, I will buy and Amazon Prime subscription and watch every episode of The Grand Tour. Twice.