A huge debate in the political sphere recently is concerning politically correct speech. Many public figures are being called out online for their potentially offensive language and their ignorance when refusing to adapt their language to an ever-changing world.
Mistakes can be made, especially when one is raised in a different environment than you are currently in. However, being purposefully inconsiderate towards someone who have politely asked you to change your language is ignorant.
Many people who are not effected by bigotry and hate in this country do not understand the need to be conscious of our language. This is a huge learning curve for many, but putting the effort into altering your language can make you a person who can help those in need, and someone who is leading the wave of equality in this country.
There is a big debate in this country about the validity of changing to a more politically correct language, mostly because people claim that it will make the next generation weak and incapable of handling criticism. However, the purpose of politically correct language is the help all humans on this earth thrive and feel comfortable in their society.
For many years, the verbiage for people with disabilities has become more accepting and standardized. Instead of calling someone “the handicapped man”, it is better to refer to someone as “the man with a handicap.” This small change in word order puts the person first, validating them and ensuring that that person is more important than their disability.
Gender identity has been a big movement in the 21st century. People are more open and accepting about who they are, and that has resulted in more publicity around changing pronouns. People are changing their identity, and would prefer to be called different pronouns that make them feel more comfortable with their identity.
It takes a lot of courage for transgender and non-binary people to come to terms with their own identity privately, let alone showing that identity to the entire world. When people blatantly disrespect the wishes of these people to be referred to by different names or pronouns, it is ignorant and extremely disrespectful.
I do know, however, that there are some in this community that take advantage of people’s efforts to transition to calling someone a different name/pronoun. It is important to recognize people that are putting in the effort to change their mindset and be more accepting of the changing world around them.
If you have questions on what someone prefers to be called, the best thing to do is to ask them. Most people will really appreciate the effort into correcting their mistakes. As long as you are trying to change your mindset surrounding these issues, your effort should be seen, acknowledged and appreciated.