"Peace on Earth", or "Good will towards men"?
First of all, I think it's really fucking stupid when people put a wool in front of their eyes everytime they even smell "liberal agenda." ("all you fucking whiny pussie liberals want to do is be sensitive to all the freaks and minorities... blah blah blah") I think it's about fucking time everyone stops putting labels on everyone, because it automatically affects your reactions to their opinion. You should have an open mind no matter who's speaking.
I understand how initially people can think "political correctness" (which has come to be a bad name for it anyway) is pointless -- but you gotta see it's more of a subconscious thing. You may think it doesn't make a difference calling ourselves United States citizens instead of Americans, or the GLBT community instead of gays or homos, or American Indians instead of Indians, or women instead of girls (who are 18+) -- but IT DOES. Definitions and names directly affect the way you look at people. People don't try to promote language that reflects reality and promotes tolerance/respect because they want to keep their membership with NAACP and stick clever bumperstickers on their hybrid cars; they do it because they know that words and terms ARE important, and it's not just about offending someone (although that is part of it) The cycle of oppression starts with generalizations and stereotypes, believe it or not. I'm not saying that we can't "call Jamal a pervert" and instead have to say "he leads an acceptable alternative lifestyle" ... you know, if he's out screwing goats or something -- but that is hardly the same thing as me wanting to be called "Japanese" instead of "Oriental." The point is, this certain kind of language DOES have a point, and if you guys are too lazy to take an extra second to think about how you refer to people, than that's OK I guess -- but if you would, it really shows a person who cares about the issues at hand, and will make a small difference in speech as the first step.
~Reiko, 17, Minnesota
When I call a person a "handicap" it makes it seem as though that is what they are... rather than "a person with a disability" --> they are just a person like me, but you know, maybe their legs don't work. That doesn't matter to the rest of his/her person.
In a year when I am 18, I hope others will call me a woman and not a girl. Girls don't vote, girls don't have steady careers, girls don't raise families, girls don't live on their own and manage their own lives. And I really wish my male manager would stop calling me "hun," cause it really pisses me off.
When fashion mags call body-shapes "curvy" instead of "fat" -- I hope everyone can appreciate this as a step away from society's standard of emaciated females with eating disorders, and not as a "politically correct way to not offend fat chicks"
See also: political correctness