When I think back to yesteryear I remember things which the commissars of political correctness tell me don’t exist. I am sure that I remember these things, and in many cases the same people I remember do the same jobs but apparently not.
Some of these are trivial examples of making people feel more important, for example:
- street sweepers of yesteryear have become environmental technicians
- secretaries now seem to be executive assistants
- prisoners (or inmates) are now custody facility guests
- airlines no longer have stewards or stewardesses but employ flight attendants
I also heard that a well known brand redesignated all of their telesales staff as customer service managers so that complainants wanting to speak to a manager would be told that the were already talking to a manager. The same person doing the same role.
In making people feel more important – the term “manager” has become severely diluted – have the PC ‘police’ changed anything? Do we really view people differently because they have a made-up job title which is clearly just transparent PC puffery, and does it really make the person feel better (after all, they know they’re still doing the same job)?
Prejudice and bigotry is in the mind and actions of individuals, and it seems to me that any number of these changes cannot (and will not) change a fixed mindset. In fact, I strongly suspect that some of the changes introduced will have exactly the opposite effect.
For example, for around 2000 years the Western (or Gregorian) calendar had two main categorisations: BC (before Christ) and AD (Anno Dominem). There are some notable different calendars – Chinese, Jewish etc – but the Gregorian is the most common. A few years ago it seems that “BC” and “AD” were no longer seen as politically correct and the new terms of “BCE” (before current era) and “CE” (current era) were coined. I hear these terms more and more frequently and I wonder what’s going on. The Gregorian calendar is also known as the Christian calendar, and so is it unreasonable that the pivotal point is based on an estimate of Christ’s birth? The groups calling for BCE and CE to be the standard designations are in the minority, and in a democracy isn’t it the majority who rules the day – it’s certainly that way in elections. I just find the whole BCE/CE thing ridiculous – and symptomatic of the political correctness culture.
So today I would say a spade is a spade and not an agricultural earth moving tool, and death is death and not a negative healthcare outcome. Live and let live, and please don’t force any politically correct bovine animal waste* upon me.