Politically Correct

You know, I’ve always thought I was relatively “PC” in my use of terms. Recently during Baby’s Speech therapy appointment his therapist was trying to get him to sit cross legged on the floor and used the term “criss-cross”. I piped up and said; “Oh, you mean Indian style!” She laughed, being around the same age I am and familiar with the old term. I guess we don’t say that anymore. And if we did refer to it in such a manner it would have to be “Native American style”. So I got to thinking about the various terms that we no longer use. When I was a kid, the term "Oriental food" was perfectly acceptable to use when going out to a Chinese or Japanese restaurant…now it’s “Asian”. Speaking of which, many years ago I recall a time when we were selling our house. Mom was giving a tour to a young couple and voiced her embarrassment over the current state of the bathroom due to the pantyhose and other delicates hung to dry over the shower rod. Without thinking she said: “Oh, please excuse my Chinese laundry!” The couple, naturally, were Asian. I’ve never let her live that one down.

1 comment:

Sra said...

While I definitely support sensitivity to the feelings of others, I am generally anti-PC. I don't think changing the words we use is the best way to change the way people think.

My mother told me once that she asked a Native American friend of hers whether he preferred the term "Indian" or "Native American", and he responded that most Indians prefer their tribe name. I like how the Simpsons lampooned the Native American thing once, where Lisa used the term "Native American", and Homer said, "Like me." And Lisa said, "No, I mean an American Indian." And Apu said, "Like me." Ha!

As for Oriental, in high school I once used that term, and my friend told me the PC term was Asian. She said, "Orientals are rugs; Asians are people." And I was like, "Really? Cause I thought people from the east were Oriental, and people from the west are Occidental. What's wrong with these terms?" She didn't have an answer.

And besides, Russians are Asian too, right? At least most of them.