Friday, 11 January 2013

Political Correctness or is it simply Respect?

I was born in the 1960s, a time when "You called a spade a spade" a time when a slap on the back and a good "wog joke" went a long way! (Even with the wogs.) By the way, my Mother told me WOG stood for Worthy Oriental Gentleman, so, at the time, I never realised it was a derogatory term!

When I left school and moved on into the "real world", I quickly became aware of other cultures, peoples sexual identities, their religions, their abilities and I became aware of the ever growing awareness that was soon to be called "Political Correctness".

I had previously been exposed to how hurtful it was to be intentionally described in a way that was meant to harm, you see, I was the chubby kid, so I understood this outcry for equality, for respect.

Now, I am a Mother. I am a Mother of two sons, one has Down syndrome and the other is Gay.  What I did not know before about being Politically Correct, I now know about in terms of respect, inclusion and equality.

My sons, my neighbours, my Chemist, the girl at Woolworths, the Mechanic up the road ... all have one thing in common; they are all Human Beings. The fact that they have those roles in life or the fact that they may have Blue or Brown eyes makes no difference, they are entitled to fair and equitable treatment which also includes referring to them or addressing them in a respectful and appropriate manner.

My son who has Down syndrome is not "A kid with Down syndrome" nor is he "A Downsie", not even "The Boy with Downs" and most certainly not "A Down's child" he is "LJ" who also happens to have Down syndrome. 

We can drill down one step further than that and talk about awareness when it comes to people who have disabilities or conditions of health etc., we can take enough of an interest in them and the issues that impact their daily lives, by getting their diagnosis right too.

To spread awareness, we first must know what we are talking about and today my friends I am here to tell you, my son has Down syndrome NOT Downs NOR Down's syndrome. Medically know as Trisomy 21, often referred to as T21.

So if you feel the need to identify a person by their, height, their weight, their IQ, then just remember this one thing, we are all People before any of our characteristics ... It will sound something like this ..."Wow have you read that great blog post written by Sandra, the person who writes great posts!" Well, maybe one day ... The Happy Ending is of course, that we all get it right!

How do you show your respect for others?


  1. Worthy Oriental Gentleman. Haha. I'm going to remember that one. I like it.

    I show my respect for others by treating them as I would my brother or sister. It's not hard. Great to see you educating for your son. They're both lucky guys by the looks of things.

    1. I like that attitude; you obviously have a good relationship with your sibling/s? :-)

      I like to think raising awareness will one day go beyond inclusion or understanding and will lead to acceptance of differences by virtue of not tolerating the idea of normal.

      Thanks for your interest.

  2. I think the difference between respect and political correctness is the motivation. I think that people can be PC without being respectful. And I think you can be respectful without being PC.

    What concerns me about respect is the number of people who say that others have to earn their respect. What the?! I really believe the default position is that people can lose your respect, but they should never have to earn it. And even if someone has lost your respect, you should always be courteous.

    All of this made a lot more sense when I was thinking it. It's about the vibe :)

    1. I got the vibe! Which of course was easy to do as you were using "The Law of Bloody Common Sense". Your point as I see it, reinforces the idea of an equal base line for All! I agree :-) Thanks for the great comment. Hope to see more of them on my blog.