Monday, 11 March 2019

Political correctness

is driving me insane.
There are two articles in today's paper which just add to my extreme frustration from yesterday and before that.
One article in the paper is about a man who apparently told someone working in a bottle shop attached to an hotel that it was nice to see her wearing shorts.
Now perhaps that wasn't the most sensible thing to say given sexist sensibilities but he apparently meant it as a compliment - that it was a sensible thing to be wearing in the hot weather.  No, she took it as an insult and put in a complaint. He's been banned from the place even though he offered an apology - for offering the compliment.
My own feeling is that someone working in that position should not have been wearing shorts. She wasn't at home or on the beach. 
The other article is about nursery rhymes. Apparently the BBC has taken on itself to change the words of Humpty Dumpty - apparently instead of not being able to put him together again the king's horses and men make him happy again. You can't go upsetting small children with the original version. 
What absolute rubbish! The original version has been around for a very long time.  I know a great many other nursery rhymes have been tampered with too - for being sexist, for being offensive and much more.
The politically correct brigade is out of control. 
Yesterday I was in the local library. A child had chosen some books and his mother was telling him he couldn't have two of them. Why? They didn't meet her standards of political correctness.They sent the "wrong" message. 
    "I'll have to put in another complaint," she told me, "They must be tired of me doing it but we really do need to get rid of this sort of thing."
I pointed out that one of them was an award winning picture book. Her response was, "That just makes it worse don't you think?"
I know she isn't the only mother to feel that way. There is a group of them all trying to bring their children up to be asexual. What it really means is that their daughters are not allowed to wear dresses and the boys are dressed in pink t-shirts. There are no princesses or fairy tales, nursery rhymes are taboo, and non-fiction is favoured over fiction. 
I am happy, indeed very happy, for children to read non-fiction but they need fiction too. They need nursery rhymes and Winnie-the-Pooh and Harry Potter and Thomas the Tank Engine and all the other commercialised favourites as well.
And last week my would-be PhD student had his research proposal turned down. The proposal was good. He had put a lot of work into it. Everyone agreed that there was nothing wrong with the proposal itself apart from one thing - it would be considered to be politically incorrect because it does not include both sexes. Trying to find suitable female subjects for the project will be very difficult. It won't add to the potential value of the project and may even mean that the outcomes will be quite different. That apparently doesn't matter to the politically correct brigade - one of whom is at the top of the department in question.I have reminded her that I am doing her and the department a favour but I doubt that will help.
Political "correctness" really is out of control. It has long since ceased to be about treating people with equal respect while acknowledging different needs. 
It has become a power and control issue.

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