Article

Seniors think political correctness has gone mad

Thursday, 10th August, 2017

PC GONE MAD? Aussie seniors think political correctness is ruining society.

HAVE you recently had cause to have some repair work done in your roof space and did the maintenance person enter through the person hole?

Did your grandchildren visit and talk about things that happened BCE (forget BC it's now before current era) and - whatever deity you call upon, if indeed you have one - asked if you were around when they happened?

Did you put up a festive tree to celebrate December 25, wish friends season's greeting, enjoy a bowl of spotted richard, go to a religion-neutral end of semester celebration at the grandies school, remember to eliminate gender idenfication when talking of the chair of the bowling club (it's chairperson now) and did you panic when you had to introduce a female friend and didn't know what honorific to give her - miss, ms or mrs?

And did you hate it? You did?

Well you're quite likely one of Australia's oldies, wrinklies, senior cits or whatever politically correct term you feel comfortable with - and you join the vast majority of people over 50 who think that "PCness" has gone screaming bonkers and having to be PC all the time is ruining society, is inauthentic and is quite annoying.

The Modern Australian Manners report looks at what seniors think of PCness - and not surprisingly, eight out of 10 believe there's too much focus on it.

The report is the seventh instalment of the Australian Seniors Series - an ongoing national survey investigating the shifting attitudes, concerns and emerging trends affecting over 50s.

Commissioned by Australian Seniors Insurance Agency, the report highlights that true to the Aussie spirit, our seniors refuse to be cowed or forced into the politically correct mould of the gen Xs and millennials, no longer care about social norms and will be as incorrect and unfiltered as they want to be. In other words - if they see a spade they won't call it a bloody shovel.

"Seniors today respect the Aussie values of mateship, equality and taking it on the chin, so it comes as no surprise that they find the rise of political correctness inauthentic and quite annoying," said ASIA spokesman Simon Hovell.

The report shows that over 50s pride themselves on remaining authentic, with almost half agreeing that they no longer care about social norms or pleasing others as much (31 per cent) and one in five feel more self assured and confident (19.2 per cent) resulting in a better sense of humour as they age (26.9 per cent).

Aussie seniors have mastered the art of injecting humour into would-be serious situations and use it to lighten politically correct circumstances, with two in five admitting to having shared politically incorrect jokes and a third saying they have used humour in sensitive situations.

However, almost a quarter are using humour even if they know it might make some people uncomfortable, and one in five admit to using it among inappropriate company.

Which makes it confusing when seniors then say they place a lot of value on basic manners and respect for others. Three in five agree that "expressing racist, sexist, classist, or ageist opinions" is one of the greatest faux pas you can commit in modern Australia.

In public situations seniors place importance on remembering Ps and Qs and forgetting to do so would be a social faux pas. They place value on basic manners and respect for others with the majority ranking "not being rude or aggressive to staff" while eating out as more important than minor behaviours such as keeping elbows off the table.

Some respondents said that social etiquette in Australia had worsened over time; more than four in five believe that people are ruder or more impatient with each other compared to their younger years. More than two-thirds of seniors agree that people today do not demonstrate care for other people as much, and three in five believe people no longer care what other people think or that people are less friendly and happy.


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