Ah diversity. Is there nothing better than the co-mingling of lots of things for no purpose other than to have them mingle. Wait. I know, let us appoint a person in charge of diversity in the U.S. and have them tell us what kind of speech makes us the most racist and divisive. That way we can single out the worst offenders and make them change their racist, sexist, bigoted ways or exclude them from the group.
I don’t know if this was the mentality at the State Department, but it has apparently become a reality. There I was reading the latest issue of State Magazine and the Chief Diversity Officer, again you have to be kidding right?, was there to tell us about all the naughty things we say that insult others just because they are statements and make us dirty, dirty, nasty, human beings; almost no better than those racist republicans we keep hearing about on the news.
Tell you what, I don’t really give a damn what I say that might be offensive to others. There is this first amendment thing that allows me to be my own individual person along with the freedom to express myself. Then of course I have the words of the Greek Stoic Philosopher Epictetus who said, “that foul words or blows in themselves are no outrage, but your judgment that they are so. So when any one makes you angry, know that it is your own thought that has angered you. Wherefore make it your endeavour not to let your impressions carry you away.”
In other words, words cannot hurt you unless you let them. Don’t give me that BS about impressionable children and bullying and all that crap. I am talking about speech from one adult to another, plain and simple. It doesn’t help that this article, on page 8 if you want to read it, makes and continues to propagate linguistical errors.
Yeah, I’m talking about the phantom rule of thumb. You know that one, the old lie that says way back in the day you could beat your wife with a switch or a stick as long as it wasn’t wider than the man’s thumb. Christina Hoff Sommers wrote in a book in 1994 that the phrase meant a rough estimate using one’s thumb, probably passed down from woodworkers. Feminists held that the phase came from William Blackstone, whom much of U.S. common law was derived, but he makes no mention of the rule of thumb. In fact, wife-beating has never been legal in the U.S. The Massachusetts Bay Colony prohibited it in 1655, religious groups campaigned against it, and vigilantes occasionally horsewhipped men accused of it. The only time it has been referred to in America was in two court cases, one in 1824 in Mississippi the other in 1874 in North Carolina, both mentioned and “ancient law” using the width of the thumb, neither mentioned the rule of thumb, both rejected the premise of the ancient law and found the husbands guilty of beating their wives.
Fast forward a hundred years, the two rulings were mentioned in an article by sociologist Robert Calvert that was published in a 1974 anthology Violence in the Family. In 1976, Del Martin, coordinator of the NOW Task Force on Battered Women, wrote, “Our law, based upon the old English common-law doctrines, explicitly permitted wife-beating for correctional purposes. However, the common-law doctrine had been modified to allow the husband ‘the right to whip his wife, provided that he used a switch no bigger than his thumb’–a rule of thumb, so to speak.” See how easily it gets twisted. It has never been legal in the U.S., it has always been rejected by the courts, it has never even been mentioned, yet due to the efforts of some it is now taboo speech that “everyone” knows came from when men were allowed to beat their wives.
This is what word censorship and diversity leads to, homogeneous language is just that, without anything that makes it special, different or uniquely American in nature. Twisted meanings and phrases that people never intended for can now be used as a type of witch hunt to ferret out the guilty Americans and their word and thought crimes…and we’re allowing this garbage to take place.