According to social-justice Internet, thinking that there is a “correct” form of English is not only “classist,” but also kind of racist and heteronormative, too.
“We are told that there is one correct form of English, and deviating from grammar and pronunciation rules associates us with the working class,” Alex-Quan Pham, a self-identified “Vietnamese femme” who prefers the pronoun “they,” writes in a piece for Everyday Feminism titled “3 Ways Language Oppression Harms Us (And How We Can Heal).” “Not only is this classist, but it fortifies the idea that English has a ‘proper’ form — even though every variation of English has been constructed.”
“We’ve been taught that the version of English that middle-class white people speak is ‘correct,’” they continue.
Hey, Pham? Nice try, but — nope. What constitutes correct English has nothing to do with class or race, only with whether or not it complies with that unbiased, hard-and-fast rules of the language. It’s completely objective, and the fact that you insist on putting quotation marks around the word as if it were some sort of subjective idea is insane.
But it gets worse. Not wanting to miss a microaggression — and apparently desperate to manipulate objective truth with their social-justice mumbo jumbo — Pham also goes into a lengthy discussion of how the idea (read: fact) that there is a right and a wrong way to use English is unfair to people of other cultures, such as immigrants — who, by the way, they assert are usually only here in the first place “because the American government is contributing to some kind of terror in their homelands” — and is also heteronormative.
“English, as a colonizing language, is of course meant to promote the gender binary, for example,” they write. “In other languages, binary pronouns may not exist.”
#share#Now in case you happen to be thinking that there are plenty of words in the English language to discuss trans people, they want you to know that they have a problem with that too. In fact, Pham has a problem with the use of the word “trans” itself. Why? Well, because people use it “to refer to identities not familiar to Euro-American societies,” of course!
“Most media outlets have referred to identities — such as that of the hijra of India, muxe of Mexico, nádleehí of the Navajo Nation, and sekrata of Madagascar — as ‘trans’ in a poor attempt at translating these vastly different cultural contexts into a colonial context,” Pham writes.
“The spreading of the word ‘trans’ may seem like progress,” they continue. “But in reality, it’s just another way that the English language and its understandings of gender are swallowing up all of these marginalized, non-white identities.”
Oh, right. Okay.
#related#Now, clearly, anyone who would judge someone such as an immigrant or a person who has not had access to proper education for not knowing perfect English is a complete jerk. But to deny that there even is a correct version? Well, that’s just denying facts.
Note: To be fair, Pham’s piece isn’t entirely made up of whining. No, they also offer a solution — “use PayPal to send twenty or more dollars to an Indigenous femme” — which is definitely something I will get right on now that I am done writing this.