Sunday, December 17, 2017

Word Police and Seven Words

I don't think I have ever heard anyone from the center or left utter the term Politically Correct since maybe the very early 1990s.  And frankly I am not sure why the term is still being used by otherwise good citizens as a convenient epithet to disparage and disrespect the humanity of others.  There is this charge that it is the left leaning citizens who proclaim themselves to be the "Word Police." Which infringes upon the "Freedom" of the right.  Yeah.. about that…

I have always disliked that term PC and Politically Correct because these simple vague terms really do distract from discussing and relating the broader concept of Respect for others, and knowing ones audience.  And a huge part of respect is being willing and capable of true listening and empathizing. Having a social commitment to effective communication of hearts and ideals using the best terms possible.  We should not continue to trade in sound-bytes specifically designed to provoke anger and division. 

The reality is that I quite often practice respect and awareness of my audience on a daily basis.  I refrained from shouting, "Sherman never finished the job!" while walking down the streets of Meridian, Mississippi,  because I knew that would probably offend many of the local citizens.  I agree to play "Sweet Home Alabama" in biker bars because even though I absolutely detest that song (it is both a boring 3 chord I-VII-IV progression in both verse and chorus - and it has stupid lyrics (I like Neil Young -- beside "Gimme Three Steps" is so much more fun to play! ;)  - I know that it brings happiness to the majority of others.  So those are examples of me being Politically Correct.  

In recent news, Colin Kaepernick was definitely NOT being politically correct when he dared to bring attention to the greater concept of injustice in the United States -- a point entirely missed by many who took offense at his act of kneeling -- mistaking his well-earned wealth for privilege.  And Myself -- no longer willing to sustain this politically correct male façade when I finally revealed that I am and always have been a transgender woman. Fully aware of possible rejection and ostracism by those unskilled, incapable, or unwilling to venture out of the cave and look beyond the mere shadow of terms so that they can explore boldly the concepts revealed in the light.  And while I am tempted to react and say to easily offended detractors to ,"Suck it up, Butterc.." That is not particularly helpful when what is really needed is a commitment to our shared patriotism through thought, fearlessness, and empathy.   

This is the necessary step in being a truly informed citizenry of a Democratic-Republic.  It is also a necessary step in Research and Academics, to find and use the best possible terms to accurately communicate the concepts as human language allows.

There is a whole body of work out there, not only primary sources written and discussed by the Founders and ordinary citizens of the United States, but those 2,000 years before their time. A body of human knowledge which informed the souls of our nations founders with a sophisticated ideal of Liberty so that they could wrest this self-governing Union from the traditional standard of European rule by religious monarchy.

As one whose career has been built in academia, I really fear how incredibly jeopardized our Freedom has become if access to these primary source writings by our founders are controlled without regulation and that the seven (7)  accepted terms used by field experts are policed and censored because they offend the senses of some plutocrat.         

Back in 1991, when I first planned on moving forward with my life, intent on living as the woman I am.  There wasn't really any widely available academic literature or accurate common knowledge available. The only terms I had ever heard which came near to what I knew about myself were transsexual and transvestite.  In college I learned the term cross-dresser. Yet none of these terms seemed to apply or accurately describe what I know about myself.  It wasn't until the mid-late 1990s (during the infancy of the Internet) when I first really became acquainted with the term transgender. And found other people who also shared my experience of growing up female while having to pose as a male simply because that is the body that everyone sees us in. Our shared frustration that others, without spirit of empathy and inquiry, get hung up on our surface appearance; judging us with their own emotional bias-- without any willingness to listen to us and honestly hear our souls.

So I guess if the Word Police are intent on banning Seven (7) useful words from professional use.  I guess It seems they will no longer consider me a transgender woman.  To them, I am just a woman.
Xenia with Gretsch
(Bruce Lee looks on)

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