Re: On PC

Sat, 31 Dec 1994 22:31:27 -0600

Mike -
I don't often disagree with you, but I must disagree on this point. First of
all, _I_ would have noticed anybody using 'mankind' to describe all of us.
Secondly, Ruby is not to blame for this whole thing (assuming that there really
is anything _wrong_ with what's going on here). It seems to me that Ruby just
reacted on an emotional level, and with good reason. Anthropology is no place
for sexism, and especially in easily corrected places like vocabulary. How
difficult is it really to replace a few offensive words? And I also have to
say that such things often _DO_ reflect what a person feels deep down (though
not always).
The morpheme 'PC', in my mind, is problemmatic. PC gets a bad name, mainly at
the behest of such eminent scholars as R Limbaugh (sp?). But PC is often much
more important than it appears to be. After all, the original meaning did have
the word 'correct' in it. (Political does not always mean 'Although I'll go
along with it I really don't think it is...".) I don't consider this a PC
issue anyway. The academy can not and should not consider itself somehow
transcendent above ethics and politics, any of us involved in anthropology
departments ought to know that IT NEVER DOES.


Matt Tomaso
Department of Anthropology
University of Texas at Austin