Lately I can't help but notice there's a great deal of whining from people about being "forced" to use "politically correct" terms. Lots of hand wringing over the "word police." What's interesting is that every single time I see this kind of whining it comes from white, abled-bodied, neurotypical, straight people. Usually conservative but not always (a surprising number of my "liberal" friends don't get the problem with the r-word, and then defend their use of it).
Now let me just say this. If you are white, abled-bodied, neurotypical, straight, etc you have privilege. Period. And that means you don't get to decide what people who are not white, abled-bodied, neurotypical, straight get to be called. It really is that simple. You don't get to whine that you can't use racial slurs or gay slurs or disabled slurs. It's not about you . It's not about that five seconds that it takes to not go on about how you don't mean my kid when you ever so casually drop the r word.
Part of being in a position of privilege is having control over what words are used to describe you. Especially public words. And part of letting go of privilege is going to mean allowing those who are not in societal positions of power to dictate the language they want to describe themselves. It means letting go of what you want, what's easier for you, and about getting our your mental ass to relearn how to talk. It's okay if you slip up but instead of whining about the word police? Apologize. A simple "I'm sorry that was not OK for me to say" can go a long way.
Really it comes down to just not being an asshole. If someone doesn't want to be called gay or black or whatever don't call them that. When people who have intellectual disabilities tell you that when you use the r word as an insult or to denote something you think is unimportant or insignificant don't use it. There shouldn't be any space for trying to argue a position here. There is no position.
You're not being politically correct when you defer to someone asking to not be signified. You're ceasing to be an asshole.
I was just attacked on Twitter for "speaking for people of color" thus I took away any mention of race. I won't presume to speak for POC and I apologize if that is what anyone took from this post. I will continue to say that it is often people of privilege who defend using words that are considered slurs by others. I understand that I am white. But I am also not neurotypical, have children who are not neurotypical or white, and grew up extremely. This isn't a poor me commentary but rather a place to openly speak of who I am.