I was scolded in a meeting yesterday.
We were discussing same-sex marriage, and I was scolded for using the term….same-sex marriage. I was informed that the correct term now was same-gender marriage. When I replied “Oh, for crying out loud,” I was scolded again for being disrespectful.
I am an advocate of freedom, and free speech is one of the biggies on the list. I have no problem whatever with the language people choose to use. To quote Evelyn Beatrice Hall, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” The codicil to this, of course, is that if you choose to use language that is incendiary, you also have to accept the possible consequence of a listener becoming offended and beating the hell out of you. But that’s another post.
So here I am, at an academic research institution, and am being schooled on ‘appropriate’ language. The chastising of me pretty much shut down the discussion, which is precisely my problem with this sort of censorship.
If we are to have any kind of open discourse in this county – and God knows, we need to start having open discourse – then we need to stop censoring the language people use when they’re trying to have the conversation. Especially if the term (or phrase) is one that is commonly used, stopping someone and correcting them stops the conversation dead in its tracks. People will be afraid to open their mouths and say anything for fear of being openly shamed.
Enough with the Politically Correct stuff. I’ve read “1984.” I’m not going there without a fight.