When I grew up there was no such thing as political correctness. There were manners. There was being a gentleman. There was the football locker room, and there were ways to behave in polite company. There wasn't normally a situation where your choice of words left one group offended and another group cheering. You either offended everybody or you made your point and had a civil debate with those who had opposing views.
Today we can be labeled for remarks that simply brush by the delicate sensitivities of someone else. Say the wrong thing and you're an antifeminist. Say something the wrong way and you're a racist. Say something another way and you're a pig. Say anything that another disagrees with and you will be taken to task - not your point of view. Take a conservative stand and someone will say you are not compassionate. Take a compassionate stand and you're labeled a flaming liberal.
Dave jump-started my blood pressure this morning. He pointed to an article about guys becoming wimps because of a host of reasons. To the list cited there, I'm adding such things as political correctness, affirmative action and society's lie that somehow testosterone is bad!
I'd rather be a man. Yeah, a man in the sense of Jimmy Stewart in Shenandoah or John Wayne in McClintock. Thank God the morons who seek only political correctness weren't around when those movies were made. Go back and look at the men of yesteryear. They were as politically incorrect as the most boorish of today. The difference is no one was there pointing it out. Are we better off because so many are self-appointed keepers of politically correct speech?
There's still right and wrong in this world. There's still good and bad. There's still polite and impolite. The lines aren't so gray, and these things don't exist on some sliding scale that we can choose based upon our mood at the moment! Women and men were better off when the lines between their different approaches to life weren't so gray! Men were men and women were women. Each respected the other for the particular skills, strengths, thinking and viewpoints that they brought along with them.
Pull a group of women together to accomplish anything today and suggest that the group might need a couple of men involved and you'll be drawn and quartered. Pull some men together and suggest that a woman's point of view might be worthwhile and you'll see guys go into locker room or frat house mode. What's happened?
We've lost sight of the fact that women and men are normally enhanced by the other. Political correctness doesn't allow room for that kind of thinking. I'm willing to admit I've got blind spots, and that doesn't make me a wimp. Some of today's women are not as willing to admit their blind spots.
Well, as a nice guy who isn't a wimp and values the love and respect of seven important women, here it is: All you political correctness police get over yourselves and quit trying to remake every person you encounter!!
[I reserve the right to edit or post addenda to this rant later this week as the mood strikes me!]
Addendum #1: Some of the most talented executives I've worked with in my career have been women. They were women who behaved, looked, thought and reacted to business situations like women. They were not women attempting to be men. Can you say, "they were women acting like women," without being labeled a pig or sexist or politically incorrect? We'll see.
Remember the (chick) flick called Sleepless in Seattle. Tom Hanks and the other guy were sitting at the table with the other guy's (movie) wife. She was blubbering through her own description of An Affair to Remember. The guys watched her in total amazement. Then, using the same teary style, they began to describe how a scene from The Dirty Dozen moved them in the same way - "and Jim Brown was (sniff, sniff) tossing those grenades down the chimney..." It was great.
Do that in any work place in America today and you might get called on it for 'creating a workplace environment that is hostile to women.' Great - nothing for the old self-esteem like a hostile woman offended by a hostile workplace with a hostile lawyer at her side! So do we shrink from that as wimps would, or do we stand for some measure of common sense?
Addendum #2: Aren't you glad the guys described in the article weren't called upon to take Guadalcanal? Aren't you glad that some people can still make decisions without taking a poll to determine each decision's popularity? Aren't you glad the founders of this country argued, debated, discussed, fought and fumed over our founding documents, but finally signed a document that set up the basis for freedom in a representative democracy?
Aren't you glad there are still leaders in this country and in its companies who can make informed decisions, lead effectively and press on without worrying about the whiners, wimps, thumbsuckers and handwringers?
Or, does decisiveness scare you? Does someone with concrete ideas seem cocky to you? Are you afraid of someone who is willing to state an opinion and stand by it? Does the person who takes a stand seem close-minded or inflexible to you?
Addendum #3: This one just flat hit a nerve with me! Look at this list of Mr. Nice Guy attributes:
- avoiding conflict
- emotionally needful
- overly self-effacing
- emotionally repressed
- sexually dissatisfied
- cowed by a woman who'll say, "puleeze"
There was a time that a man could 'defend' his own honor or the honor of the woman he loved without getting labeled 'violent.' To throw a punch wasn't a sign of some deep-seated violent tendencies. That was before a subset of the American male population saw affirmative action in gender, nationality and race become a dominant philosophy in the workplace, because it was politically correct. That was before we did some deep mental and emotional evaluation of the motives of someone who would burn the American flag. That was before we felt there had to be an opposing view on each and every action or viewpoint.
Thank God we had people willing to make the tough decisions of life without being overwhelmed by criticism. I hope we still have them. I trust that we do.