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The Forum > Article Comments > Manhole or a personhole? A study of political correctness > Comments

Manhole or a personhole? A study of political correctness : Comments

By Rebecca Huntley, published 30/8/2005

Rebecca Huntley argues it is the Left rather than the Right that want to frustrate free speech with the new political correctness.

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Rebecca,

What a great piece. It seems to me that there is a tacit acceptance that some minority views (particularly on "buzz issues" like abortion and same sex rights) are considered to be protected by a free speech argument, while other much more mainstream views (i.e. women's right to participation in the workforce post-children) have been constructed in a way that promotes division.

Similarly, the same people who would argue that anti-vilification laws are inappropriate and an impediment to free speech, would suggest that anyone who doesn't hold with "Australian values" should "clear out".

It is important for the community in general to be able to participate in a political dialogue, and surely this can be achieved without resorting to the use of language that is offensive. Perhaps some are unfeeling to the hurt caused by this language because the type of words that have been developed to characterise disadvantage amongst minority groups have never applied to them, and certainly have not entered mainstream syntax: 'whitey' is NOT the new 'refo'.

If a person is of European heritage, can they be expected to be "repatriated" in their country of origin for suggesting that migrants of non-English speaking background "refuse to assimilate" in the same way that Muslim leaders are being challenged for their views on terrorism? Isn't inclusiveness an Australian value?

Like "political correctness", it seems that multiculturalism (and in this I include religious, racial and cultural difference) is under a cloud that is fed by ignorance and fear.
Posted by seether, Tuesday, 30 August 2005 10:53:33 AM
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I would liken (some of) the Leftís marriage to PC language to many protesters refusal to dress well. Bear with me.

I work in a decidedly conservative work environment, close to a certain company that tends to attract a lot of protests. The general attitude from my work colleagues is an immediate dismissal of these protests, based merely on the grounds that they all look like Ďa bunch of hippiesí. Iíve become quite sure that if protesters wore neat clothing, had a shave and washed their hair, they would certainly receive more positive attention to their cause. Of course they shouldnít have to do this, and itís very sad that people can be so dismissive for superficial reasons. But itís the message thatís important, and if thatís what it takes to get the message across, then why not?

Itís the same in debates (and Iím working back to my point now): in a typical debate between the Right and the Left, the Left are often at an automatic disadvantage due to the limitations PC language places on an argument. For the Left, everything said must fit into the PC framework, whereas the Right donít feel the need to follow this rule. The result: the Left often sound flustered and weak, trying to ensure every point they argue is delivered in a PC way. The Right appear more dominant and in control. The debate becomes less about the actual subject matter and more about who appears to be the better debater.

Why canít the Left grow a pair? What they have to say usually makes much more sense. But they open their mouths and -oops- theyíve blown it. An attack sounds like a whinge. A defence sounds like desperation. Maybe sometimes its better to forget the PC rules and just lay into someone who deserves it.
Posted by spendocrat, Tuesday, 30 August 2005 11:18:44 AM
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Its about time we recognized exactly what lies at the nub and heart of a lot of the 'left's issues. .. MARXISM.

The gradual erosion of culture.. is little more than an attempt to destabilize the 'Bourgois' class and open the door to the dictatorship of the proletarian masses..... until of course they gain power and then it all goes haywire and we find a NEW class struggle.. between the privileged members of the party and the 2nd class 'rest'.

Culture, is what holds communities together. It gives us our social ques and sense of identity.

The issue of 'manhole'/personhole' is not political correctness it is purile madness. Words have the content we culturally ascribe to them.

And girls, much as this might 'irk' you, when the rubber meets the road, and some 'foreign power' considers it has more of a right to Australia than the present mob do, it will not be the girls out there engaging in hand to hand combat with a raging mob of wild eyed soldiers with fixed bayonets it will be WE MEN. It will be our blood which soaks the battle field, our skeletons which become bleached in the sun... and Girls.. GOD HELP YOU if we fail to defend you from such.

Though this state of affairs may seem remote, compare the invasion of Vienna by the Ottomans in 1529, with the 2nd attempt in 1683 there was over 100 yrs between them... we have only had 60 yrs since WWII and had Korea and Vietnam in between...

Girls.. I think we all should get on our knees and Thank Almighty God that there was a Count Sobieski who had the guts and grit to fight an overwhelmingly large force of Turks, and prevent the whole of Europe being overun... and girls.. preventing you from becoming 1 of up to FOUR wives of some man. (after you recoved from the trauma of your men having been slaughtered and the rapes you were subjected to)

PC will not give happiness, nor justice. The golden rule will. Words don't mean much outside of actions.
Posted by BOAZ_David, Tuesday, 30 August 2005 11:48:54 AM
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Urgh. Way to turn a worthwhile discussion intoÖintoÖwell, I donít even know what youíre talking about.

*spendocrat does the ĎNot Worth Ití dance*
Posted by spendocrat, Tuesday, 30 August 2005 12:16:40 PM
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Good one Rebecca, I've been wanting to point this out to many here in this forum for a while now. They'll no doubt read it as an attack on them and their "freedom of speech to be hateful" and spin off in a completely uninteresting and irrelevant direction in their critiques of your article. Why ? Simple answer - its because they think with their personholes.
Posted by Rainier, Tuesday, 30 August 2005 1:21:46 PM
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Great piece.
I always thought so called Political Correctness was often little more than common courtesy...like, not referring to women as girls, perhaps.
If someone wants to be referred to as an Arab Australian why shouldn't they be, and if disabled is more acceptable to the disabled than crippled, well, fair enough. I have always preferred humankind to mankind, because one feels like it might include me, while the other doesn't.
Posted by enaj, Tuesday, 30 August 2005 5:25:05 PM
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