Saturday, March 4, 2017

Agency and Speech .............. or, Don't Tell Me What To Say!

Mantra: Done is Better than Perfect.
Cognitive process order: NiTeFiSe
Socionics - ILI
Aneagram - 5w6

In social science, agency is the capacity of individuals to act independently and to make their own free choices. This is a very important concept to me. I support Freedom. I live in America where we have certain freedoms. People are always trying to erode Freedom. By limiting the freedom of people, power is created. 

When I was a young boy it was the "Religious Right" who wanted to control Free Speech. I remember when the video game Mortal Kombat came out. It was the church groups that raised a fuss over the violence in the game. Their voice was so loud that the depiction of blood was taken out of the home console released versions of the game. About that same time the "Progressive Left" started really pushing Politically Correct speech. Since then the "Religious Right" has gone quiet, but the "Progressive Left" is still going strong. There is another push happening right now to remove gender specific job titles, as well as removing gender specific pronouns. I happen to agree with the alteration of those job titles that use the term "man" to refer to the general idea of humanity. So Chairman being changed to Chairperson is ok with me because it was not meant to be gender specific in the first place. Although, in the early days of business it was primarily males who occupied those positions. Where I start to have issues is where two words exist, one for each sex, and they want to condense it to one word. For instance the words actor and actress. There is no distinction in ability between the two. I don't hear the word actress and automatically think that this will be someone who is inferior to an actor. It is a simple distinction of terms based on the known reality of the gender of the thespian. The key word is KNOWN. If someone has a name that is androgynous and is of unknown gender then the word actor is used. If the person is known to be female, then the word actress is used. This does not diminish the ability of the person, nor does it categorize them.
All of this crap makes me want to go on a venom-filled rant about clarity in communication. I will spare you the rant, but I would like to ask you a question. Let's say that you are a witness to a crime. The police round-up people from the scene and ask you who the perpetrator is. The group consists of five men and one woman. Is it more clear to say "they did it" or "she did it?"

The last thing that I will say on the subject is that Feelings are not protected in the American Constitution, but Speech is. Do not tell me what words to use. My words reflect my thoughts. As soon as I am no longer free to use words that reflect my thoughts, I have lost an essential freedom.

Inspiration for this post came from Youtuber Arthur Arcturous: