What constitutes politically correct???

Discussion in 'The DIS Unplugged Podcast' started by dansyr2514, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. dansyr2514

    dansyr2514 DIS Veteran

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    Just wondering what everyone thinks.
    I know there have been terms used in this country in the past that really needed to be done away with because they were derogatory to a certain group of people. I agree with that. No person should be judged based on race, creed or color.
    However, the other day I was talking to a group of co workers on break about what a silent auction was....we don't have them around here. We do however do something called chinese auctions, where you purchase tickets and put them in the box in front of the item you are trying to win. Kinda like a raffle but you select the items you'd like to put a bid in for.
    However, in discussion I was told you don't call them chinese auctions anymore because it is politically incorrect. I don't even know why they are called chinese auctions to begin with.
    Just wondering if anyone feels you have to monitor your speech too much for fear of offending someone even though no offense was meant. I'm not talking blatant disrespect, I mean just saying something like Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays. I hope this discussion is within the dis guidelines, but it just got me thinking and wondered what everyone else thinks.
     
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  3. wdwfreeksince88

    wdwfreeksince88 Only An Hour From The House Of Mouse

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    It seems that the world is that way. At least where I am and where I work. I always say what I want when I want. I know that might not be everyones idea of the right thing to do, but hey it's who I am and I am not changing. But I understand exactly what you are talking about because of where I work. You say something "Politically Incorrect" and people look at you in horror as though you just killed a kitten. Don't get me wrong I don't go around using racial slurs or sexual terms or anything derogatory because I do have more respect for people than that. But I do agree that in today's society there are some people,(not all) that are over sensitive.
     
  4. Disney Dad Canada

    Disney Dad Canada Passing on my Disney obsession to my 3 kids, and a

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    There are lots of terms that people get offended about when the terms origins are falsely believed.

    The term chinese auction was coined in the 1940s to mean a penny auction, where people buy tickets and place them in boxes in order to win an individual prize. No bids are being made, as in a silent auction, your odds of winning a given prize increase by placing more tickets in a box for that prize.

    The term "chinese auction" was created because at the time, the orient was seen as mysterious and secretive. Nothing derogatory in the least. Some have falsely credited the origin of the term "chinese auction" to mean the perception of chinese being untruthful and deceitful, hence the "politically correctness".

    The same goes for the term "rule of thumb", which comes from beer brewing before the invention of thermometers when brewers would use their thumbs to measure the temperature of batches of beer. Feminists treat this term as derogatory, falsely claiming that the term's origin refers to an old law allowing husbands to beat their wives with anything thinner than their thumbs.

    While some old terms are derived from derogatory and hurtful ideas, there are many who take this too far, and see hatred and disrespect when none is intended.
     
  5. aykna

    aykna Ruled by the Bad Idea Bears

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    I agree that things have gone too far. However, even though phrases may have started off with a certain innocent meaning, it doesn't mean it hasn't transformed into something else. The new meaning is what eveyone is thinking about when something is said. Unfortunately sometimes it's a group of rotten people who dictated that change.

    I personally have no problem saying ( or having someone tell me) Happy Holidays instead because I think of it as being more inclusive of everyone because you don't really know what everyone celebrates.
     
  6. bicker

    bicker DIS Veteran<br><img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/di

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    One of the most credible understandings of the origination of the term is tied up with a lot of other negative characterizations of Asian culture as being mystical in contrast to Western culture being rational. The characterization is relatively erroneous and the contrast is disparaging (despite Disney Dad Canada's claim to the contrary), and therefore continuing to use a term that stemmed from such erroneous and disparaging origins is not a good thing.

    Not in the slightest. Apparently rude comments that stem from ignorance (not realizing that a term is rude) are opportunities to learn. The apparent rudeness turns into actual rudeness when someone insists on continuing to use a term after they are informed that it is rude.

    A key aspect of this is that the final arbiter of whether it is rude to use a term, which includes a reference to a group of people, is that group of people: The final judge of whether "Chinese auction" is acceptable or not are people of Chinese origin, not non-Chinese people. Chinese people get to decide, and tell the rest of us, whether the use of the word "Chinese" in any term or reference, is rude or not.

    I'm not Christian. I should be able to politely reply to your well-wishing using those three words - actually, six words: "Thanks, but I am not Christian" - without negative ramification, and you should use my reply to inform your further well-intentioned interactions with me. "Happy Holidays" is relatively safe, but if you care about me you might get to know me better, and you may discover a more appropriate way of acknowledging that time of year to me (just as I would take your original well-wishing as clear indication that I should be greeting you, that time of year, with "Merry Christmas").

    (FWIW, the only holiday I celebrate in December is the Winter Solstice. Just in case you were wondering. ;))
     
  7. dmccarty

    dmccarty DIS Veteran

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    Our local media will not mention race of people for the most part. Not PC.

    For instance if we have a Silver Alert for a person, they will mention the person's name, age, height, etc. They will mention health issues and their last known location. But they often will not mention the person's race. :confused3

    The same thing happens when there is a crime and they say to watch out for a given person. No mention of race.

    Then they will show a photo. :lmao:

    Dumb it is.

    What is funny is how certain words and phrases are still used though they are very insulting ethnically.

    For instance "Paddy Wagon." :lmao:

    A Paddy is an Irishman. The police vehicle that could hold a bunch of people, often drunk Irishman, became known as a Paddy Wagon.

    Can you imagine people doing the same for another ethnic group today? :confused3;)

    Later,
    Dan
     
  8. JenniBugInPink

    JenniBugInPink Nobody has seen them since 1982

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    Well said. And we share the same holidays. :hippie:

    That's not stupid, it's irresponsible and dangerous. I hope the community repeatedly points this out. Not everyone can 'see' pictures. Just a thought. I am a bleeding, dripping, oozing heart liberal, but I see the importance of including a description of race. Including race in the description is not politically incorrect or racist, and they surely know that. :mad:
     
  9. topolino

    topolino DIS Veteran

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    You know what I find ironic? I believe in celebrating diversity. I truly feel that it's the differences in our cultures that render the world interesting. Yet while we are constantly being told (and rightfully so) to celebrate people's differences, at the same time we avoid referring to people by their race, creed or culture.

    So we are unwittingly removing those interesting differences out of fear that pointing out those very differences will be looked at as isulting.
     
  10. dalt01

    dalt01 DIS Veteran

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    whats next?........chinese checkers?.....black diamond steak?....brake retarders?......slave cylinders?........what if someone has a chink in their armor? i"m just being silly........but.........who decides "context"? you are at the mercy of the people who hear what you say and their level of "high and mighty".
     
  11. aykna

    aykna Ruled by the Bad Idea Bears

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    I would agree with you but unfortunately "context" , or how people interpret what you say, doesn't just come up when discussing whether things are politically incorrect or not. Every person does this in all aspects of their life.
     
  12. bicker

    bicker DIS Veteran<br><img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/di

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    Indeed, and the examples given are missing the fundamental aspects that would make them offensive, i.e., being erroneous and disparaging. If they're not offensive to a group of people, then no one would expect anyone to not use those terms! :confused3
     
  13. dalt01

    dalt01 DIS Veteran

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    not missing anything...........if chinese auction was called into play why wouldnt chinese checkers be...my point is they are just words but some people will find a way to make them into a weapon to be turned back against you. the word God is just that a word, but try and bring it up in certain groups who have shunned it, prayer in school for example, and it becomes the catalyist for argument. bring it up in another group that embraces it, church for example, by saying god **** it and you have another argument at polar opposite from the other one.............same word....................soooooo....the "group of people" that you mentioned? who are they, when will they step up and decide what is offensive to THEM and how do you know when they are lurking so you dont say the thing they dont want to hear?
     
  14. JenniBugInPink

    JenniBugInPink Nobody has seen them since 1982

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    You know what though, most folks know what's offensive and what's not. For those thinkgs that come up that you find out along the way (until today I'd never even heard of a chinese auction, much less known about the origin and history of the term), a little common sense goes a long way. And if common sense doesn't get me where I need to go, a big ole "Oh my, I never knew that's what that meant! I am so sorry! I feel terrible! I would never have said that if I'd known! Oh dear!!" (imagine all that in my best Southern drawl, cz that's exactly how it would sound - I'd be mortified in real life!), would have to suffice.

    Most folks are pretty talented at sussing out the genuine from the fake, the honest mistake from the put-on. I believe that the heart is the important thing here, don't you? The whole goal of the thing is, or should be, not to hurt people's feelings. I think we've kind of lost sight of that. Being politically correct makes people mad. The idea of not hurting other people's feelings shouldn't make ya' mad. So, I just try to go with that. :cutie:
     
  15. dansyr2514

    dansyr2514 DIS Veteran

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    Ok..so another question?

    I am Christian and was brought up in an Italian Catholic neighborhood, went to Catholic school..the whole nine yards. So it is natural to me to say Merry Christmas! On the other hand, if someone would say Happy Hannukah to me, I would not be offended.
    I try to be mindful and say Happy Holidays. I guess I'm wondering do most find if offensive if you say Merry Christmas and they celebrate Hannukah or vice versa.
    In my case, I teach dance classes to children. I don't get the time to know each and every child on a personal basis. Around the holidays, I tend to say Happy Holidays, but then again, am I offending someone who does not celebrate at all?
    As a society are we getting to uptight? We guard our identities so securely in some cases but then expect others to know what religion or belief we follow.
     
  16. dalt01

    dalt01 DIS Veteran

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    wonderful observation.
     
  17. Disney Dad Canada

    Disney Dad Canada Passing on my Disney obsession to my 3 kids, and a

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    Not necessarily true. For example, if I use the term "rule of thumb" knowing the true derivation of the term, and a woman gets offended because she is incorrect in her assumption if the term's origin, I am in no way being offensive. She is incorrect in her interpretation. Same goes for "chinese auction", black sheep of the family, or any idiom. It's up to the person hearing the term to be flexible, and willing to understand the meaning as it is meant.

    As for Happy Holidays, I find it offensive that I can hardly find Christmas cards that actually say "Merry Christmas" on them.
     
  18. bicker

    bicker DIS Veteran<br><img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/di

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    Already asked and answered. :confused3

    No, they're not just words. They have provenance. And since the words in question actually effectively "belong" to other people, you should defer to them regarding the use of those words.

    Luckily, no one, except God, has effective ownership over that word, and God's not lodged any complaints about its use - at least not recently enough for it to matter. :)

    Again, the point is that you don't get to decide how a word that describes other people gets used - they do. It is about granting dignity and respect to folks other than one's own self. Do unto others...
     
  19. bicker

    bicker DIS Veteran<br><img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/di

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    Ask a parent of a young child standing in queue behind a couple of twentysomethings using the f-word and s-word in casual conversation. There, no one is actually being disparaged (expect, perhaps through self-deprecation, which no one can object to), but yet the parents would be irate, and I bet you, or at least most people who would agree with you on this other issue, would be upset about the conduct of those twentysomethings using cuss words. And to be clear, those parents have barely a smidgen of legitimacy with regard to their objections by comparison to those complaining about racial and cultural smears, such as "Chinese auction", since the speech that they would be "uptight" about isn't actually disparaging anyone; it's just crude.

    That makes no sense given what you're replying to. The folks you're replying to have all (I believe) said that honest mistakes followed by regret and ceasing using the offensive term is perfectly appropriate. Who are you arguing with, in this case?
     
  20. bicker

    bicker DIS Veteran<br><img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/di

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    You're not making sense: Explain again, please, how women effectively own the word "thumb". :confused3

    No, the point is that it is not the same.

    Sorry, but no. You're wrong about this. Words that describe groups of people must work differently. We Americans shouldn't be using the word "Canadian" to refer to some disparaging Canadian stereotype.

    Make them yourself. I am frustrated that there are far fewer greeting card options for the Solstice.... don't try to make your problems in that regard sound anywhere near as challenging! :)
     
  21. dansyr2514

    dansyr2514 DIS Veteran

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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dansyr2514
    As a society are we getting to uptight?

    Ask a parent of a young child standing in queue behind a couple of twentysomethings using the f-word and s-word in casual conversation. There, no one is actually being disparaged (expect, perhaps through self-deprecation, which no one can object to), but yet the parents would be irate, and I bet you, or at least most people who would agree with you on this other issue, would be upset about the conduct of those twentysomethings using cuss words. And to be clear, those parents have barely a smidgen of legitimacy with regard to their objections by comparison to those complaining about racial and cultural smears, such as "Chinese auction", since the speech that they would be "uptight" about isn't actually disparaging anyone; it's just crude.

    I think these are 2 completely different things. Using the "f" word is not polite or well meaning in any context.


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dansyr2514
    We guard our identities so securely in some cases but then expect others to know what religion or belief we follow.

    That makes no sense given what you're replying to. The folks you're replying to have all (I believe) said that honest mistakes followed by regret and ceasing using the offensive term is perfectly appropriate. Who are you arguing with, in this case?

    I'm not arguing with anyone. My point was, in this time people are not as friendly and open. My observation is just that strangers don't make eye contact on a plane or bus. I'm also guilty of it. I couldn't tell you who half of my neighbors are. Yet we are expected to know what that John down the street does not celebrate Easter, and yet we are offending him by saying Happy Easter/

    Also I'm hoping this thread can stay on track and be a friendly conversation/ debate.
     

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