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Birjees Hussain: Political correctness gone too far
November 17, 2017
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Exclusive to The Gulf Today

There’s definitely something weird about society. In some countries you can’t use certain words when speaking or writing or indeed claim to be of a certain religion, certainly not in certain forums anyway. Which countries those are, is not really important today and I leave the readers to draw their own conclusions.

Back in the 70s, and even the 80s, a lot was allowed to be said and lot was never said, especially not in public. Just as a minor example, I have one question that has baffled me for years. Why are females, of any age, so offended by being referred to as ‘girls’? I ask, what is so wrong with the word? By definition it is used to refer to a person who is not a boy.

Okay, it does refer to a very young person and I understand that it is an old-fashioned term and likely to cause people of the female gender offence; they would prefer to be called ‘women’. In fact, it’s shocking how a child of 14 or 15 is always referred to as a ‘young woman’. Excuse me people, she is a child and, therefore, a girl!

Why this is happening is beyond me. I don’t mind if I am referred to as a girl. Call me that as much as you like and I will be flattered.

Also, think about it this way. Since the term is used to refer to someone who is still quite young, and all ladies want to be considered young, why would they then object to the use of the term? It makes no sense, nor does being okay with having a girls’ night out but objecting to the use of ‘girl’; they can’t have it both ways.

In my view, this is political correctness gone too far. Political correctness has turned into what can only be described as complete twaddle.

Please bear with me because I have thought about this very carefully. Why can’t people say it’s Christmas? Or even Father Christmas or Santa Clause for that matter? Will it offend all the mothers out there? Why must Christmas now be Happy Holidays? Will the term offend all the other celebrations from all the other religions out there? Well it might, depending upon how you celebrate it and who you do or do not involve?

But there are so many politically correct terms that people must adhere to. For example, one university, and I forget which one or where, is about to ban the following terms and replace them with nutty, politically correct ones and, surprisingly, most of the changes have been made in order not to offend females.

They have banned the term ‘Chairman’ in favour of ‘Chair’. They have banned the term ‘best man for the job’ in favour of what, they haven’t decided. ‘Waitress’ has been replaced by ‘server’. ‘Manmade’ has been replaced by ‘artificial’. The term ‘right hand man’ has been replaced with ‘chief assistant’. A ‘fireman’ is now a ‘fire-fighter’ and our ‘forefathers’ are now are ‘ancestors’. A ‘housewife’ apparently doesn’t like being referred to as a ‘housewife’ and would prefer the term ‘consumer’. ‘Manpower’, the term used to refer to supplying manpower in jobs involving physical activity, such as building and roadwork, must now be referred to as ‘Human Resources’.

Some of the changes are completely nonsensical. A housewife can be a consumer but the word consumer is an all encompassing term to describe every single person on the planet, male and female, who buys and consumes products. I also believe that Manpower has quite a different connotation from Human Resources. Whereas the latter reminds us of supplying office-based personnel the former usually reminds us of outdoor workers.

I fully understand that the use of certain words might be offensive to certain members of our community and their use should, therefore, be discontinued. For example, a couple of months ago, US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, allegedly referred to President Trump as a ‘moron’, an allegation he neither confirmed nor denied. But the term has its medical origins in that it was used to describe a person who was mentally challenged. But today the word moron is now often used to describe someone who is not mentally challenged but is acting like a jerk. In the same way, the term midget was no longer acceptable and was replaced by the term ‘little people’.

Some replaced terms are, therefore, acceptable. But there are others that make little or no sense and often make females seem unhinged.

Moreover, if the term ‘man’ must be replaced then must it be replaced in every instance the term occurs? If that is indeed the case then we can no longer use the ‘unmanned aircraft’, ‘manager’, ‘manicurist’ ‘manslaughter’ which is a legal term, ‘manufacture’ or ‘mangostene’…oh wait, that’s a fruit. But you see what I’m getting at about the extent of the nonsense that can manifest?

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