Monday, January 22, 2007

Political Correctness

Alright, so who remembers that oh-so-funny-when-you're-7 game where one person tells a story, leaving dramatic pauses for the other person to fill in the phrase "So did the big fat lady."?
This is a current fave of my 2 boys to keep themselves amused during any car ride. They take turns telling the story and changing the phrase to things like "So did the big fat balloon." or "So did the big fat dog." Each time it ends with the storytellers balloon popping and therefore "So does the big fat whatever." This brings gales of laughter and shouts of "My turn, my turn!" All the while in the front seat I'm wondering why the lady has to be big and fat. Is it really necessary to use those words? Couldn't she be the silly happy lady or the goofy gabby lady or anything that was more P.C. lady? Ugh! I get where being politically correct really has helped a society lacking in basic manners behave better, but I am beginning to see where it is taking over every little thing. This is a silly harmless kids game that is only being heard by my husband and myself (and, well, now all of you), so what's the problem? I have yet to say anything to my children about using others words - they are just having fun - but should I really feel the need?

5 comments:

Navilyn said...

I want to know how they 'see people' in general. For example, if they saw a 'slightly bigger' male/female (in the flesh), would they see them as 'fat' or as a male/female? The answer to that, might be the answer to your question...

...but, of course, that's just my opinion...

Epiphany Alone said...

My mother-in-law stayed with us for a week when we lived in Yonkers. We were talking about who in the building had kids, and I said the Mexicans who lived across the hall have a 4-year old. Her eyes got wide and she said, "Oh! You wouldn't want them to hear you call them that." Baffled, I replied, "I am pretty sure they know they are Mexican."

If you're worried they might point and say, "Hey, there's a big, fat lady?" I'd think that 7 is old enough to understand conditional language - that is, only in the context of a game and not appropriate otherwise...

Fraukow said...

@epiphany - Yes they realize that point and shouting "She's Fat!" is not appropriate. Lucas is currently correcting me as I type ("You could just say she's big, not fat.") so I guess I need to get over the silly hang up. And I bet they do know they're Mexican!

karen said...

I agree with navilyn & epiphany on this. Same as we teach our kids to use a sharp knife to cut their steak but not to settle a disagreement with someone, we teach our kids to use words effectively but not as weapons. Some words are always derogatory and I know you wouldn’t think twice about correcting your boys if they came out with one of those…but I think in this case, fat is just an adjective and they’re having fun playing a silly word game. Still, if it makes you uncomfortable or you’re worried someone else might overhear and be offended, there’s always diversion! When it’s your turn, offer up something like, “So did the goofy granny.” Maybe they’ll drop the fat lady in favor of trying to outdo each other with silly adjectives?

Spice Girl said...

It's simply not over until the fat lady sings...