December 15th 2008 3:10 am
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I always hear and read this phrase “politically correct”. This seems to be the “in” thing nowadays. You have to be politically correct when you say something. “Politically correct” basically means treating other people’s religion, culture, race, background, etc. with sensitivity. So normally, if you say something that is viewed as denigrating or disparaging, it’s considered “politically correct”.
I heard this phrase a lot of times while following the whole Obama-Clinton campaign that just ended recently. People were saying that Obama’s pastor was saying a lot of politically incorrect statements – while Geraldine Ferraro, a Clinton supporter, was also quoted as saying something insensitive against Obama’s skin color. There was a lot of “he said, she said, they said” stuff going on during the campaign – a lot of finger-pointing and wild accusations that this person said this and that. Basically, if someone said something that could be viewed as even slightly insulting to someone’s background or features or beliefs, it was shot down and condemned immediately. And the person who made the statement would be “crucified” (in a figurative sentence) and mocked.
I don’t know. Humans can be very overly sensitive sometimes. I’m not saying that it’s right to say degrading comments about other people’s religion, culture, race, background, etc. But sometimes, people read too much into what other people say. Sometimes, when these statements are made, I’m sure there was no ill intent on the part of the one who said it. People have just become too sensitive over the years – and normally, this sensitivity is disguised as “trying to make sure that everyone treats everyone equally or fairly”. Yeah, right.
Ok. I admit that in the course of history, females, blacks, Asians, Indians, and indigenous people have not been given a fair shake. And I feel for them. Filipinos have had their fair share of politically incorrect statements by other races. But if there’s a group that should really be jumping up and down in disgust, it should be us dogs. You may not have noticed it, but we dogs have been trampled upon and treated as second-class citizens over the centuries. Sure, we’ve been called “man’s best friend” and all that. But let’s face it. Humans will never treat us as equals. Not now. Not ever. And I’m a little bit ticked by that.
Don’t believe me? Ok, let’s start with the way we’re treated. Let’s not count the pets of Oprah, Paris Hilton, and all the other celebrity pets. Those are exceptions to the rule. In fact, I must admit that I am part of that exception – that lucky lot. I get treated really well by my folks. But in most households, the general rule is that dogs don’t get treated equally as people. For starters, dogs are given leftovers. Sometimes, they’re not even given leftovers. They’re given chicken bones and other food portions that are thrown away. It’s really not fair. Can’t we eat what you eat? If you’re having beef stroganoff, shouldn’t we be eating beef stroganoff too? Hey, we’re part of the household, right? And how about baths? On the average, dogs get only to take a bath once a week – that is, if they’re lucky. A lot of dogs are just leashed or placed in cages – basically to act as watchdogs – and they’re never given baths. Sometimes, they don’t even have a roof over their heads – so they’re exposed to the elements. What gives?
And how about the way people call dogs? Again, there are some exceptions. Some lucky dogs like me get called “sweetie” and “baby”. But most people call dogs either by a whistle, or a “tsk, tsk, tsk” sound effect, accompanied by the snapping of fingers. And then people normally say, “Here boy, here boy” – even if the dog being called is a girl. Talk about the height of political incorrectness!
And how about the terminologies? I think people have invented very politically incorrect terms for dogs. For example, not all human girls are “bitches”. Only those who act prima donas and spoiled brats are called “bitches”. But in the dog kingdom, all girls are technically “bitches”. No exception – even me! And when a person is a mixed breed – that is, if his parents are of a different race, we have nice terms for them. From Mulatto to Eurasian to Amerasian. But when dogs are mixed breeds, we call them mutts or mongrels. But the worst is here in the Philippines. Mixed-bred dogs here are technically called to as “askals” or “mga asong kalye” which means “street dogs”. Take me for example. My parents don’t really know my roots. That’s why we don’t know what my breed is. So, people around technically called me as an “askal” or “a street dog” despite the fact that I have my own kennel! Now if that’s not politically incorrect, I don’t know what it is.
Man is very good in inventing all of these terminologies. But what they don’t realize is that when they come up with words, they are always favoring themselves – at the expense of us animals. For example, when they refer to their species, they use the word “mankind” or “human race”. When they refer to animals, they use words like “creature” or “beasts”. When they try to describe charitable act, they say it’s a “humane” act. And when a person kills or behaves badly, they would say “He acted like an animal!” Huh? You’ve never see an animal with a semi-automatic weapon, have you? How can a serial killer be called an “animal”?
You see, humans always talk about being “politically correct”, but when it comes to animals, people are just plain wrong – political or otherwise. Look at all the waste that humans dump in the air and the sea?
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