Political correctness facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Politically Correct signage^ - geograph.org.uk - 1720929
Politically correct sign on a fence

Political correctness (or PC for short) means using words or behavior which will not offend any group of people. Most people think it is important for everyone to be treated equally, fairly and with dignity. Some words have been used for a long time that are unkind to some people. Sometimes these words have now been replaced by other words that are not offensive. Such words are described as politically correct. The term is often used in a mocking sense when attempts at avoiding offense are seen to go too far.

History

This term has been used since the early 1970s. It started being used in the modern negative sense in the late 80s in America.

Examples

Politically correct words or terms are used to show differences between people or groups in a non-offensive way. This difference may be because of race, gender, beliefs, religion, sexual orientation, or because they have a mental or physical disability, or any difference from what is considered the norm.

Political correctness with gender

Throughout the 20th century women fought to have the same rights as men. In PC language this is seen in changes to job titles such as "lineman", "postman", and "chairman" which now commonly go by the gender-neutral titles "lineworker", "letter carrier" and "chairperson" or "chair" as well as with terms having broader application, such as "humankind" replacing "mankind".

Political correctness in medicine

People who are mentally disabled are now rarely described as "mentally retarded" (sometimes called "M.R.") but may be said to have "special needs". M.R. has been changed to I.D.; Intellectual Disabilities.

People who are blind or deaf may be referred to as "vision impaired" and "hearing impaired". People who cannot speak are never "dumb" but "mute" or "without speech".


Political correctness Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.