The Opposite of Popular

The online home of alleged author Victoria Leybourne

“Political Correctness”

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STEVE: Hi Brad. It’s good to meet you. I’m Steve.

BRAD: Hi John.

STEVE: Sorry, I think you misheard me. I’m Steve.

BRAD: Yeah, I’m just gonna call you John.

STEVE: But my name is Steve.

BRAD: What, and I’m supposed to remember different names for all the people I meet?

STEVE: That’s generally considered to be courteous, yes.

BRAD: That’s absurd! I’m a busy man, I can’t go around pandering to the ridiculous whims of every John I meet.

STEVE: I understand, but being called John makes me a little uncomfortable. I’m not John. I’m Steve.

BRAD: Oh, sure, you say that now. People like you are always changing their minds. Today you’re saying Steve, tomorrow it’ll be Stephen or Mr Stephen Smith or something. How am I supposed to keep up with all that, John?

STEVE: Seriously, just Steve will be fine.

BRAD: There’s no need to get all huffy with me, John. Some of my best friends are “Steves” or whatever and they don’t mind when I call them John. They know it’s only a bit of fun.

STEVE: Well, that’s up to them, but I’m afraid I don’t necessarily feel that you and I have the kind of relationship where I’m comfortable with you calling me John. I don’t really like being called John by anyone.

BRAD: Jeez. You Johns are so sensitive.


I really don’t understand why some people think “being politically correct” – or, to put it another way, “showing basic respect for others” – would be such a huge drain on their resources. No one is asking you to devote hours of your life to monitoring every fluctuation in terms that are considered offensive. Just, if you become aware that people or groups don’t like the words you’re using to refer to them, maybe don’t go out of your way to ignore that. Or, if you really feel you have to, at least admit that it’s because you’re too selfish to make a tiny adjustment in order to make other humans feel respected instead of pretending like you’re a lone crusader against some terrible force of change.


Talk to me. If you want. A comfortable silence is cool too.

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