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Thread: Wizarding Political Correctness

  1. #11
    Justice
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    I like Inverarity's suggestion of the term Wanded for witches/wizards as a PC terms. But the term makes me think of another question. If after the war everyone is concerned with being PC and equality do you think wizards/witches would share wand lore, meaning the ability to make and use wands, with other magical creatures? Because, unless I am mistaken, isnít it only humans who are allowed to carry a wand and know the secrets of wands? Do you think equality would go that far or would witches/wizards continue to try and keep the secret of wands for themselves?

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justice
    I like Inverarity's suggestion of the term Wanded for witches/wizards as a PC terms. But the term makes me think of another question. If after the war everyone is concerned with being PC and equality do you think wizards/witches would share wand lore, meaning the ability to make and use wands, with other magical creatures? Because, unless I am mistaken, isnít it only humans who are allowed to carry a wand and know the secrets of wands? Do you think equality would go that far or would witches/wizards continue to try and keep the secret of wands for themselves?
    We know Hermione campaigned for the Elfish right to carry wands through SPEW. She didn't say anything about goblins or centaurs, so she probably would have supported a general repeal of Clause Three of the 1631 Code of Wand Use (which limited wand use to humans). However, I find it unlikely that all non-humans will be granted wand rights in one single act. It will probably be a long, drawn out process with certain species getting rights at different times.

    I think granting House Elves the right to use wands is probably the least disagreeable to most wizards and witches (they might recall how House Elves fought in the Battle of Hogwarts), so they have the greatest chance of receiving wands. Centaurs voluntarily classified themselves as Beasts rather than Beings, so they might not care about wand rights. Goblins are a problem. They would undoubtedly want wand rights, but I think wizards and witches would be hesitant to grant them that. History of Magic class seems to be just about one Goblin rebellion after another, so people probably wouldn't want to give wands for fear of making them too powerful in future rebellion, while forgetting that most of those rebellions occurred precisely because of the wand ban.

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  3. #13
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    I actually like the idea of Magicked a great deal as well. It captures a lot of the awkwardness I feel would be present in establishing new words.

    How involved do you think Hermione would be in creating terms of political correctness? She was said to help create great reforms in the Ministry.

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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by OliveOil_Med
    How involved do you think Hermione would be in creating terms of political correctness? She was said to help create great reforms in the Ministry.
    I think Hermione would be the main proponent of politically correct terminology, in addition to pursuing tangible reforms.

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  5. #15
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    I think that "Mudblood" would definitely be out. "Squib" would likely disappear eventually, too. Contrary to what other people think, I also think "Pureblood" and "Half-Blood" might disappear, similar to how, in America, at least, we started calling people "African-American", "Native American", and "Caucasian". But I think "Muggle" might stay the same. Maybe at one point it was a bit of an offensive term, but I think the meaning has evolved a bit so it is not at all malignent. I think it isn't used really thought of as meaning "inferior". And besides, Muggles don't even know about the Ministry, so they can't protest. The only people who could would be Muggle-borns, and I think they would get that it is only rarely meant as an insult.

    I don't think "goblin" or "troll" would be out, because for one, I don't think trolls are supposed to protest enough intelligence to protest, and two, for goblins at least, I think the term "goblin" is kind of an identity thing. Like they can say they're not human, they're goblins. People wouldn't take offense at the term "human" and I can't imagine goblins taking offense at the term "goblin".

    House Elves probably don't mind being called "House Elves" in the slightest. I can't imagine them protesting, and though Hermione might, I doubt she'd get much following. I can't imagine that term changing, at least not for another fifty or so years.
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  6. #16
    Inverarity
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    Quote Originally Posted by msk8
    And besides, Muggles don't even know about the Ministry, so they can't protest. The only people who could would be Muggle-borns, and I think they would get that it is only rarely meant as an insult.
    Have you ever seen how well the "It's not really meant as an insult" argument works in real life for objectionable terms? That's kind of the point of political correctness -- just because a lot of people use a term and don't think of it as an insult doesn't mean other people aren't insulted by it (and may have been insulted by it for quite a long time but didn't dare say anything).

    If Political Correctness really does take hold in the wizarding world, then you can expect that Muggle-borns would be at the forefront of it.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inverarity
    That's kind of the point of political correctness -- just because a lot of people use a term and don't think of it as an insult doesn't mean other people aren't insulted by it (and may have been insulted by it for quite a long time but didn't dare say anything).

    If Political Correctness really does take hold in the wizarding world, then you can expect that Muggle-borns would be at the forefront of it.
    Actually, I think you can see the reverse happening. Hermione, I imagine, would be proud of the term 'Muggle-born' because she's intelligent and she's proof that the pure-blood supremacy theories are wrong.
    I think it would be well-meaning pure-bloods like Arthur who would be swayed into a 'we can't call them Muggles in case it offends them' type mode.

    I agree Hermione would be behind a reform of the word house-elf, but equally I can see the very house-elves she's trying to help being very offended by her work. They're proud of being house-elves as opposed to being free-elves.

    In RL, we continually have councils in the UK who suggest that Christmas cards and decorations in the workplace have to be banned and we can't show our National Flag for fear of offending either people of a different religion or another nationality. Most of the people that I know, who are from a different culture, think it's laughable that we have an authority telling us what we should and should not celebrate.
    The English national flag (St George Cross) used to be a symbol of the far right, but these days it's been reclaimed by so many people that it's now a source of pride - even if our football team are utter rubbish.

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  8. #18
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    I don't see political correctness taking hold in the wizarding world any time soon, if ever, simply because it is too small. Being PC - as opposed to actual genuine social progress and change in terms of equality - is about appeasing a (often imagined or pre-empted) vocal minority, and wizard society is not big enough to have a significant amount of vocal minorities. Race and ethnicity are not issues for wizards. Nor is gender. Nor is religion, since wizard England is remarkably secular. Class and blood status are murkily linked, but after Voldemort's definitive death, there's the possibility that blood status will count for less and to less people (since many of them end up in jail). Wizards are, by and large, wizards and wizards only: they don't have little sub-groups all fighting for an identity and struggling not to be tread on. I got the impression that even the stigma of not being pureblood was clearly on its way out, given the way Hagrid and Ron talk about blood status, and the only people who really care about Hermione's parents are various Death Eaters just towing the party line and Slughorn (for half a second), a relic who's become very set in his ways.
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  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeadManSeven
    Wizards are, by and large, wizards and wizards only: they don't have little sub-groups all fighting for an identity and struggling not to be tread on.
    Are you including witches in that statement? Wizards are male, after all, perhaps this political correctness should take hold! *glares*

    I'm kidding - partly - but referring to magical people only as wizards and the Magical world as the Wizarding World, is actually something that does grate a touch with me. (And, yes, I am aware it is written in the books that way)

    Sad old feminist that I am.

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  10. #20
    Inverarity
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeadManSeven
    I don't see political correctness taking hold in the wizarding world any time soon, if ever, simply because it is too small. Being PC - as opposed to actual genuine social progress and change in terms of equality - is about appeasing a (often imagined or pre-empted) vocal minority, and wizard society is not big enough to have a significant amount of vocal minorities. Race and ethnicity are not issues for wizards. Nor is gender. Nor is religion, since wizard England is remarkably secular. Class and blood status are murkily linked, but after Voldemort's definitive death, there's the possibility that blood status will count for less and to less people (since many of them end up in jail). Wizards are, by and large, wizards and wizards only: they don't have little sub-groups all fighting for an identity and struggling not to be tread on. I got the impression that even the stigma of not being pureblood was clearly on its way out, given the way Hagrid and Ron talk about blood status, and the only people who really care about Hermione's parents are various Death Eaters just towing the party line and Slughorn (for half a second), a relic who's become very set in his ways.
    Considering how easily the wizarding world fell into line with the Death Eater program, I'd say Hagrid and Ron were perhaps being a bit optimistic (or as they might call it in PC terms, "magically privileged") by believing that because they didn't care about blood status, therefore it wasn't important to most people.

    Kind of like white people now who go around saying "I don't pay attention to color, therefore racism isn't a big thing anymore."

    Also, we don't really know whether race, gender or religion are factors in the wizarding world. Rowling didn't write about them, because she was using blood status as her metaphor. If the wizarding world is like the Muggle world, then most wizards might be more or less egalitarian about these things, but just because no one in the books ever flung a racial epithet at Lee or Cho or the Patils doesn't mean it's not an issue.

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