Friday, December 15, 2006

The Idea of Political Correctness

It was pointed out to me recently that I am inconsistant in my views. Yes, I'm very guilty of such. In one post I'm bashing PC, in the next I'm criticizing the Times for their language. I think it's very human to look for and demand consistant behavior. People want patterns. I think it's also easy to be of two (or four) minds on any given issue. For example, I often hate being a mother. AND Jeff is my FAVORITE person and I'd throw myself in front of a truck for him! So there you have it.

My issue with PC is that it's fake. It makes people overly sensitive and takes them off the hook a little. It has also generated some pretty silly terms like differently-abled. I think the illimination of prejudice cannot be surface. I think it's got to go way deep. I also think the way to gain equality is not to eradicate differences. I think differences should be embraced and we chould move on. I do take up the cause of PWD simply because so few are. I think (as I have written so many times) it is the final frontier in Civil Rights. We are still not privy to the respect that many others have so rightly earned.

I think a great way to start is with kids. When I tell my four year old son that many of my friends are gay...I tell him that's just the way it is. I try to normalize things for him. We saw a child with severe Cerebral Palsy in the doctor's office. Jeff kind of freaked out. He said why is she like this? What are they doing to her? I told him that she's just has cerebral palsy - she has a disbility like mommy and it's no big deal. Then, we moved on. I think that the key is to acknoledge the difference and then not make it a big deal. I want him to be able to accept everyone and believe that, yes, people are differ, but ultimately it does not matter and it certainly doesn't make anyone better or worse.

But, on a daily basis the presence of my body can be painful. I want to say it because people don't KNOW. Yesterday, I was walking out of the Brooklyn Art Museum and there was a big group of teenagers walking down the street. One started SHOUTING "Hey look at her, look at her! She's..." Before she could go on I glared at her, which always works for adults but only egged her on. She started "Yelling ha ha look at her face," To wit I yelled, "Hey you shouldn't be making fun of people. Grow up." Not the most ideal response but. Then, today at Jeff's school I got the typical condesending treatment from the Parent Teach Coordinator who (for some reason) feels its appropriate to call me "Honey." This "Honey" feels very different from the warm one I recieved from my older neighbor 1/2 later.


Anonymous said...

" I think that the key is to acknoledge the difference and then not make it a big deal. " - YES.

Jennifer Bartlett said...

Anonymous: Thank you for the support. I hope it's not either mom!

Anonymous said...

I used to carry a small mirror around and whenever someone insulted me, I would whip it out, hold it up to them and ask if they ever reflected.

Unknown said...

I'd say. I hope people find a brilliant lyric gem in the jumbled pile of my narratives. Ecstatic truth.