Cowboy in the City – Lessons Learned Number Two..

Neither of us can remember exactly what it was we were talking about a few months back … when the Cowboy said something that made me gasp.

“Um, honey … I don’t mean to sound like I’m telling you what to do,” I said.

“But, do you know what that term means?”

A bit taken aback, the Cowboy says, “I guess, but I don’t ever really think about it.  Everyone I know says it.  Why, don’t people here use it?  It just means ….”

Having used the term a few times myself growing up because everyone around me said it as well .. before I really thought about what it meant;

“Not really.  Especially around here.  Can we agree you will be more careful with that?”

………

“Good judgement comes from bad experience.  And most of the time, that comes from bad judgement.” –

The Cowboy found this quote and thought it appropriate in the context of this post.

………

I live in the politically correct capital of the world.

One of them, anyway.  So it is easy to mess up.  It seems near impossible to keep up with the latest words one should use .. or more likely, that you shouldn’t.

It is so politically correct here, I actually felt on my Facebook status update the other night when I posted I thought I might head home and build a snowman after a spring snowstorm .. a snow perfect for packing .. that I should change it to ‘snowperson’ or someone might be offended and correct me.

We laughed about that one..

I’m even a bit apprehensive someone will feel I’m not being pc .. writing about being bc.  Sheesh.

“What do they call Indians here,” he asks last night as we’re talking about all this.  We were hanging out chatting, late again, over the video phone.  “In South Dakota, I’m pretty sure they prefer Indian.  I’m part Indian.  We don’t say, I’m (part) Native American.  That’s how we talk.  Even that is not accepted there?”

My alma mater no longer the Indians.

It may be.  In some parts, anyway.  Others may coil at the sound and tell you you’re wrong to say it.

I’m so sensitized, for many reasons, to not wanting to offend anyone …

That another term the Cowboy uses once in awhile and that I recently heard his grandmother affectionately say to one his boys, hit me as probably a very un-pc term.

I asked him about it..

Jigger?” he replied.  “That’s not a derogatory term.  It’s just a little bug.”

Yep.  Looked it up.  Can be an insect.  (There are several other definitions as well.  None that should be offensive.  Unless you’re referring to someone as say, a shot glass.  Or a fishing lure.)  But it still sounds like it shouldn’t be okay to me when I hear it.  I have never heard anyone use that term until South Dakota.  Around here, we have a lot of other names for kids when they’re doing cute things.
Like, little bugger.  Lil stinker.  Lil .. well, I’ve never heard lil jigger.  But, I’m learning it’s ok.
Learning that while its important to treat others with respect, it’s probably ok to ease up a bit too over fears of offending someone.

Even with good intentions.. Have we taken pc too far?

A lot has been written about the topic.  Just a couple posts I found..

http://www.experience.com/alumnus/article?channel_id=diversity&source_page=editor_picks&article_id=article_115574490604

http://davidhallstrom.articlealley.com/the-act-of-being-politically-correct-has-gone-from-the-sublime-to-the-ridiculous-19236.html

I truly believe most people have a good heart .. and they try to be kind and considerate of others feelings, beliefs and who they are.  They just may not always be up on the latest terms for what they should ever call something.  Or know anything about someone’s religion or culture.  And over concern of being politically incorrect, they refrain from learning or asking or saying anything, out of fear they will offend.

I like this particular post below.  And think the Cowboy would too.  If nothing else, it’s good food for thought.

http://www.wikihow.com/Be-Correct-by-Not-Being-Politically-Correct

There are only a few terms even the Cowboy agrees, should probably be removed from his vocabulary.  But others I’m happy to hear someone not afraid to say.  And he can go right ahead and hang onto.  That reflect who he is.  Where he is from.  And the kind of person he is.   Down to earth.  Straightforward.  Good.  Curious.  Open to whatever is out there.  And willing to change.  Should it be necessary.

He says to me as I’m asking him about this .. “I really like where you live.  I love to visit. But, I’m far more comfortable in central Texas.  Where everyone wears cowboy boots and says whatever the hell they want.  You don’t have to worry about who you’re pissing off.”

He laughs.

Nonchalantly he says in-between our banter, “C’mon you son-of-a-buck,” as he’s waiting for something he’s searching for to come up on his phone.

“I probably swear more than I should,” he looks over at me via the video phone.

He laughs some more.  Then adds..

“But you swear just as much as I do.  If not more.  Maybe that’s something we should talk about … “

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3 thoughts on “Cowboy in the City – Lessons Learned Number Two..

  1. I do allow un-pc terms at home without the fear of reprimand for the kids. I try to explain the why’s and why nots of using particular words just so they have a better understanding. Although the terminology is not set in stone so it is ever changing which makes things more difficult. Great Post!

  2. We have a major struggle in our house over certain words. Half our children are white, half our children are biracial, and we live in an area where there is a very diverse mix of people. All the kids at school go around saying “nigga” all the time, and it just grates me because I wonder, how can I appropriately teach my children which words to use when rap songs have made a mockery of the terms? URGHHHHHHHHH

  3. It is a no win situation. That is one that my kids do not usually say. It makes it more difficult when there are people of that race using it it. Plus those same persons get upset when someone else says it.

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