On my way to work today, I bid good morning to a Magpie. I know that myth and legend demand we refer to ‘Mr Magpie’, but ever since I learned about intersectional feminism, I’ve referred to any and all as ‘Ms’. And now, I shit you not, I just shout to ‘Magpie’. No Mr or Mrs. No title. No Prounouns. Is it silly? Probably a little bit. I can’t really expect every bird to inform me of their preferred pronouns. But in protest, I shall proceed.
Here’s what really fucks me off; people making jokes about political correctness. People kicking off about how we should re-brand Santa and Mr Muscle, but simultaneously weeping all over Facebook that the latest Dr Who is a woman. The thing is, these are created characters. Literally make believe. And said creators have the right to decide the gender of THEIR character. And yet you all still get your knickers in a twist about anything that threatens your one dimensional white middle class central vision. You can’t bear to even consider why people should be allowed to identify as and how they wish, so instead you make jokes about ‘political correctness gone mad’ and then make another joke about how you can’t make jokes anymore. Oh, the irony. I don’t care about your fragile ego, so shut your gob about fucking Santa.
If you want to brand me a ‘snowflake’ because I’m emotional and easily offended, then be my guest. I’ll happily accept the title, and I refuse to apologise if you think I’m unable to deal with opposing opinions. Opinions I can take. Racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia and general derogation I cannot. Political correctness shouldn’t even be a phrase. It should just be, you know, respecting fellow human beings. Essentially, to be politically correct is to be non-offensive and non-controversial, which is controversy in itself considering how many people fight against human decency being the norm. Political correctness should not be a restriction. It should be an opportunity for us to become better people. We’ve all been a bit of a dick in our past, I get it. Everyone makes mistakes and says stupid things when they are young and desperately trying to impress literally anyone. What separates the wheat from the chaff, though, is whether or not people can now stand up, admit their wrongdoing, and open themselves for change.
Political correctness is, of course, hindered by cancel culture. Outrage is only warranted in reaction to horrific actions and recent discriminatory views. And yet, if we continue to shut down and ‘cancel’ anyone who has mistakenly labelled someone else (and shows no remorse or willingness to change) or used the word gay incorrectly in a tweet from 2009, political correctness will continue to be portrayed in a negative light. This witch hunt is damaging the reputation of what being ‘PC’ actually means – not hyper-sensitivity, but being a total fucking arse, not allowing human growth and standing in the way of positive transformation.
Your ignorance is definitely not bliss. Sorry to say, but we’re a progressive generation and if you’re not part of it, you’re dying out. And then, fucking shock horror, with any luck this can and will become a safe space for people of any (or no) gender, sex, racial background, ability or sexuality. Your nostalgia for eras gone by is actually gross, considering the complete discrimination that was commonplace. People should, can and will be able to live as their true selves without fear of being ridiculed by people who flick around ‘snowflake’ as an insult and think that by parading their opinions on social justice in the comments section, we’ll all just suddenly change our minds about equality.
You absolutely should watch what you say. If you’re complaining about not being able to speak your mind anymore, it’s likely that what you were planning on saying is extremely problematic. So let me shut you down now. Your words, no matter how much you think you deserve to say them, can have incredible impact. They can be powerful, hurtful and dangerous. And all we ‘snowflakes’ want is safety. And fairness.
It is true that there is no such thing as absolute freedom of speech. But let there be at least a code of reason. A good manners guide, if you’d like. Which essentially means ensuring that nothing that comes out of your mouth intentionally upsets or disrespects another human being or their beliefs. Yes, in a free society we should be entitled to our opinions, but only if these opinions are to an extent trivial, like whether or not you put the milk in before the coffee, and vice versa. Not that you think being gender fluid is fake and gay people shouldn’t procreate.
I am proud to be a ‘snowflake’. I am proud to have dropped certain words from my vocabulary, and I am proud to correct you if you say them. I’m proud to avoid using pronouns where I can in case I know the audience’s preference. I am proud to speak up and out for those who have been and are being silenced.
Oh, and while we’re here and you’re nice and irate – I’m a millennial. I can’t afford to buy a house (thanks for that by the way, Boomer). And I LOVE Instagramming pictures of my avocado toast. Have a great Wednesday.