Below is a chapter from Rule #2: Don’t Be an Asshat: An Official Handbook for Raising Parents and Children. Over time we will be posting most of the book, though, should this inspire you to buy a copy, we would not be offended 🙂 Posted chapters can be found in the Table of Contents.
Rule #99: Be PC (Dad)
At some point in your life, as you express your beliefs and challenge people on their words, you will be dismissed as being “politically correct.” When these accusations come, we hope you will be a bit surprised, because what we have taught you to see what some call political correctness as “knowing that words have power and can impact others more than you know.”
Yes, sometimes you may find it silly or annoying when we talk about saying “humanity” instead of “mankind” or when we remind you about language that others may deem offensive, but what we hope you hear is that the words you use are important. How people talk about women, people of color, or folks in poverty is important because our words can either perpetuate division or build people up.
Put another way, if you hear that a phase or term makes folks uncomfortable or pains them in some way, you will need to decide if that reality will influence the language you use in the future. Sometimes it will feel like you have run out of words, sometimes messages will be conflicting, and sometimes you simply will not understand the reaction. At those times, breathe and trust that you have the creativity and mindfulness to expand your vocabulary and use your words to build up others, or at least not participate in tearing them down.
In the end, being PC is about hearing the discomfort of another and deciding if you care enough to change.
We hope you will.