Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

PC... to be or not to be?

I notice ex-All Black player and coach Brian Lochore, (the All Blacks are our national rugby team) has been speaking at a function hosted by a NZ Christian leader Ian Grant. Both he and Grant were debunking our "Politically Correct" world and implying that males can't be "true males" in it. Brian Lochore fondly remembers when his child could play in the mud, while dad downed another jug at the rugby club. Ian Grant was saying that it is making us "male mothers" rather than true blue kiwi males. There are indeed some things about the PC world that frustrate and take a bit of getting used to. I would also admit there is often an "over statement" and exaggeration. But one of the hassles is that it is a different way of viewing life and people. It was easier when "she" was "the wife" and had clearly defined roles. Then "he" was the bread winner and "head" of the house and everyone fitted into neatly defined roles. But did they? Often people who were "different" were sent off to big institutions where they didn't have to be coped with. (Though I often see such people struggling without enough support on our streets in the new environment... that is a teething process of working out how we support people in a different way in the new environment.) Often people actually withered under the roles expected of them, like battery hens in cages. People were often measured for their usefulness or objectified. While some PC'ness is frustrating and sometimes "over the top", in general it is a move toward a true and proper respect of people, and the precious variety of people that we have in the human family. I see lots of teething problems as we, particularly us older ones, get used to the new perspectives, but the answer to these is not to go backwards, but find new expressions. I for one, would rather err on the side of respect and honouring of human personality and dignity than wind back the clock to times that, though easier, and more clearly defined, were often limiting and imprisoning of human variety and fulfilment. I would rather see our community work through the issues and mistakes of being politically correct, than try to drag us back to the fifties. I see the likes of Lochore and Grant's speeches (and I have only read the newspaper reports) as people fighting rearguard actions, trying to turn back the tide. Lets harness, shape and celebrate the positive elements of the new. Its a new world... get used to it and help shape it.

No comments: