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Why I'm giving up being politically correct

Posted on Apr 25 2014 | IANS

By Nury Vittachi: Don't you think that everyone who has to listen to sermons should be supplied with a button that says "Skip to end and agree", like on websites? I know that's a politically incorrect thing to say, but it is becoming increasingly hard to be PC these days.

Consider this true story: A teacher recently took out a lawsuit complaining that school bosses sacked her because of her disability. How mean! Or at least that's what I thought until I read that her official disability was "fear of children". It seems this is an actual disease now, not just any intelligent person's reaction to being swarmed by sticky irrational creatures which emit astonishing amounts of biochemical acids from both ends.

You'd have thought that somewhere along the line this woman might have thought "schoolmarm" was not her ideal career, but no. It happened, of course, in the US, where you can sue anyone for anything, including saving your life, giving birth to you, glancing momentarily in your direction and the like.

The reader who sent me the story, Margie K. Chen, commented: "I'm opposed to discrimination, but it's getting hard to be politically correct." I so agree. For example, people-smugglers are among the baddest of bad guys, right? But a reader sent me a report about cops in Madhya Pradesh, India, struggling to close down a mobile shop selling brides. Police located two out-of-town brides who had been sold to men in a village but the women refused to be rescued, saying they were happy.

Husbands applauded the human-traffickers for their flexible pay plans. One bachelor couldn't afford the "recommended retail price" of a bride; so the trafficker accepted a used buffalo as part-payment. Try that in your local department store; see where it gets you.

I used to be politically correct in parenting matters until a reader sent me a report about police using pepper spray to subdue an out-of-control child. The kid in question, an eight-year-old Colorado boy named Aiden, was smashing down a door to fulfill his declared aim of slaughtering the staff of his school. Afterwards, a TV reporter asked little Aidan whether he really intended to kill his teachers. "A little," the child admitted. Personally, I don't see a lot of difference in being killed a little or a lot; you're dead either way, right?

One TV host in New Zealand was criticized for being non-PC after he said on air that reasoning with toddlers was "like trying to explain bad behavior to drunken rugby hoons (louts) with the language skills of chimpanzees". I was shocked. How could he get away with insulting chimpanzees like that?

Personally, I never use pepper spray when my children get out of control. I keep totally calm and we come to a compromise. I compromise by giving them what they want and they compromise by shutting up. This is known as "good parenting".

Meanwhile, I am seriously considering getting myself diagnosed with fear of children as an official disability so that the government will be forced to relieve me of the stress of parenting. I'll have a miraculous recovery as soon as they've graduated from university. Sounds like a plan?

(25.04.2014 - Nury Vittachi is an Asia-based frequent traveller. Send ideas and comments via www.mrjam.org)

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