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Thread: Wizarding Political Correctness

  1. #1
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    Well the Triwizards Cup will have to go

    TriMagicalPersons would be better.

    Witches and wizards would be a thing of the past - Person of Magic - may be better.

    Half-breeds which is another pretty offensive term would be 'Person with alternate genes' (PWAG)

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    Wizarding Political Correctness

    Do you see politically correct terminology taking root in the wizarding world (or rather, magical world) post-canon? And if so, what politically-correct terms can you see wizards and wizards using?

    Tim the Enchanter

  3. #3
    Inverarity
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    I think words like "pureblood" and "half-blood" would fall into disfavor -- it would be politically incorrect to admit that one even thinks about such things (even though pureblood families still would). They'd probably be replaced by euphemisms like "legacy families" or "traditional lineage."

    "Mudblood," of course, would be right out -- it would be rather like using the n-word.

    I can also see "Squib" becoming problematic. And even "Muggle" (which, let's face it, is a rather condescending term). Just as now it's common to point out -isms of all sorts, progressive wizards might start accusing those who differentiate too much between wizards and non-wizards as being "mageist."

    It's arguable that Squibs and Muggles are not, in fact, in any way different except that the former have wizard parents. (Hard to say how true this is genetically, but we already know Rowling made a mess of any attempt to attribute real-world genetics to wizards.) So using either term, or differentiating between them, could provoke cries of magism. The proper term might be "non-magical person" or "non-manifested."

  4. #4
    Justice
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    I think political correctness would definitely take hold in the magical world post DH. I think it is sort of in place before DH. Mudblood is considered a bad word and offensive. And though some wizards use it in the books, it is considered wrong; like Muggle curse words.

    Post DH I think some more words would be added to the politically incorrect list. Obviously Mudblood would be bad. I agree with Equinox that half-breed will probably go. The terms pure-blood and half-blood would probably be used very carefully. I can see pure-bloods still using that term among themselves, especially if they are still prejudice. I am not sure about Muggle and Squib. To me Muggle is just a term used for non-magical people. Everyone in the wizarding world uses this term. I don’t think it is really offensive, I think wizards’ actions towards Muggles determine political correctness. I think it will be unacceptable to tease Muggles with regurgitating toilets and such. I am undecided about the terms Squib. I think wizards will be very careful with what terms they use and in front of who they use them because I think there will be a lot of pressure to not be labeled prejudice for fear of being accused of being a dark wizard.

    Equinox, I am curious as to why you think witch/wizard and triwizard’s cup would be a thing of the past? Witch and wizard seem like benign terms to me. Kind of like ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘man’, ‘woman’. It just described a person’s gender. I don’t see a wizard as better then a witch. I see your point with triwizard, why is the tournament masculine when women are clearly allowed in? I understand the gender implications, but do you think the war would cause a push toward gender equality? Your comments were really interesting because until now I never thought of gender issues in the wizarding world, which is actually kind of surprise since I have a little feminist streak. But, I never really thought gender was an issue, to me both wizards and witches were treated equally and had equal rights. How do you see it?

  5. #5
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    I think we did already see that the terms "mudblood" and "half-breed" were fairly offensive in the books. I think that "Muggle-born" would probably stay. To be honest, I don't really think that "pure-blood" and "half-blood" would change, mostly because it's like their wizard heritage. I mean, maybe it's just because I kinda am around different cultures a lot, but we'll have people say that they are like half this, pure this, a quarter this, or whatever, and it's not really offensive or anything.

    As for like gender stuff, I mean I know its changed a bit, but I still say things like Fireman, Policeman and stuff...

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    Wizengamot Hufflepuff
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justice
    Equinox, I am curious as to why you think witch/wizard and triwizard’s cup would be a thing of the past?
    It's very much tongue-in-cheek. Forgive my attempt at humour, but having grown up in a society where it seemed that most occupations had to become neutral for fear of being offensive, I thought witch and wizard should now be thought of as neutral. There used to be a branch of feminists in UK who called themselves 'wimmin' because they didn't want the end of their collective name to spell out the word 'men' - that's the kind of thing I was getting at.

    Generally, I think the Magical world (and I resisted calling it the Wizarding World ) is far less sexist than the Muggle world. There were female Heads of Hogwarts and female Ministers long before the UK had Margaret Thatcher. Probably because not a great deal in the Magical world has depended on brute strength but rather on magical ability which cannot be confined to gender, that the witch/wizard balance is equal.
    The inequalities in the magical world come from the blood status, not the gender.

    Regarding the Triwizard Cup, though, that does rather suggest that it's a competition between three wizards. Perhaps in the early days of the competition witches weren't allowed to compete.

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  7. #7
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    In a few of my stories that take place in the United States (Merlin knows we have a PC term for everything), Muggles are sometimes refered to as Non-Magical. This is usually only on official documentation, but Muggle is still pretty widely used. It is usually only used in conversation by wizards who wither feel really self-righteous or really uncomfortable.

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  8. #8
    Justice
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    Equinox, sorry I missed your attempt at humor. I am not very good at picking up tone in the written word. But now I totally get your point. I can understand everything going to the extreme after the war, as it is in the Muggle or non-magical world. I wonder if it the magical world would become like the non-magical world after the war. Like OliveOil said, here in the States it’s all about being politically correct. Sexual harassment training in the work place, people over reacting to harmless comments, it all gets a little ridiculous at times. Although, I think the ‘wimmin’ group Equinox pointed out is a neat idea. But it seems that the magical world is more advanced in terms of their political equality. I just wonder how far to the extreme they will take equal rights for all the different magical groups? I wonder if it will get as crazy as the political correctness for race, gender, ect. has in the Muggle (non-magical) world?

  9. #9
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    One thing that occurred to me is that someone like Hermione might try to promote the term "Elf" as a replacement for "House Elf," as "House" implies domestic servitude.

    Some people might go so far as to come up with new terms for goblin and troll, since those words are used a minor insults in canon.

    Squib is problematic and I can see a euphemism cropping up post-DH, but I think "Muggle" is too ingrained in wizarding culture to go out of use any time soon.

    "Magical Person" is rather clunky, so what other politically correct, gender-neutral terms could be used to refer to a wizard or witch?

    Tim the Enchanter

  10. #10
    Inverarity
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim the Enchanter
    One thing that occurred to me is that someone like Hermione might try to promote the term "Elf" as a replacement for "House Elf," as "House" implies domestic servitude.
    I agree.

    Some people might go so far as to come up with new terms for goblin and troll, since those words are used a minor insults in canon.
    Except that goblins and trolls probably don't want to change what they call themselves. I think it's more likely that it would become politically incorrect to use those terms as insults. (Like it's now unacceptable to say "That's so gay" as disparagement.)

    Squib is problematic and I can see a euphemism cropping up post-DH, but I think "Muggle" is too ingrained in wizarding culture to go out of use any time soon.
    Well, at one time "negro" was ingrained and standard. You're right that "Muggle" wouldn't go away immediately, but I think it would in time. How many Muggle-borns really like having their parents referred to as if they're a separate species?

    "Magical Person" is rather clunky, so what other politically correct, gender-neutral terms could be used to refer to a wizard or witch?
    Well, that's kind of the problem with PC, gender-neutral terms: they tend to be clunky. But as alternatives, one might also refer to wizards and witches as "Magicals" or "the Magicked." Or perhaps "Wanded."

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