Saturday, May 7

Changing Language is Important

Often I find myself in discussions with people who don't believe that changing language is important.  This means using a particular gender, race, or term is meaningful.  May I suggest these people start reading Foucault and go from there.

Recently my language was corrected.  At a political weekend with other students, a young Korean-Canadian corrected my language after I used the term 'students-of-colour'.   He pointed out to me that in using this term I was adhering to the understanding that caucasian people (white people) were at the centre or at the core of colours/races and all other people of different nationalities, colours and cultures were assessed in relation to the caucasian norm.  There is no norm.  We are all different from each other.  The term '______ of colour therefore has been replaced in post-modern language using the term 'racialized' which places all people on an equal footing, with no one group at the centre to which all other groups are compared.  I will now be using the term racialized in my vocabulary.  Thanks to this young man for this considerate sharing of knowledge to improve the language I use every day that does effect so much of who we are and how we live.  

After our conversation, this young gay man proposed marriage.  Sadly, due to our sexual incompatibility, I had to decline.  Tragic really.

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