Susan Cooper

Charles Butler hannibal at
Tue Nov 4 04:55:05 EST 2003

> Yes, but the label "PC" has become an umbrella term covering this
> attitude (which is definitely silly and counter-productive) but also a
> host of other attitudes, such as, say, "teachers shouldn't go out of
> their ways to make students feel stupid for no reason", or "racism is
> probably not good for our community".  By tarring all such attitudes
> with the same brush, and then using over-the-top examples, many pundits
> have managed to ridicule many important ideas by association.
> I'm trying to (a) make this on-topic since it's so overtly political,
> and (b) not assume that everyone here shares my politics, or I'll have
> to remove myself from the list for bad behaviour.  Umm.

Fair point - but when PC is all about language and its world-shaping power,
it's hard to rule it OT for DWJ, wouldn't you agree? :-)

I'm in the happy position of agreeing with Sallyo, Robyn *and* yourself on
this subject. In its narrow and less welcome sense I'd add that PC is
usually about a fetishization of language, and that while pretence is one of
its results, another is a systematic missing of the point. Imagine a club
with a sign on the door reading 'No Blacks'. I imagine most of us would want
that sign removed. A caricatural PCer might simply insist on its being
changed to 'No African Americans.'

Trouble with that kind of caricature, of course, is that language *does*
matter, and *does* ultimately affect the way things really are in the world.
But not in a simplistic way. One of the great things about DWJ is her
understanding of the subtleties of that kind of interaction, which is seldom
or never a matter of ruling certain words in or out by fiat.


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