I’m calling out an old cliche.
“Treat others how you’d like to be treated.” I’m calling bullshit–here’s why.
When men treat women a certain way, which is deemed by the woman to be disrespectful, men often justify their actions with “Well I would enjoy that kind of attention from a woman”. This is in regards to catcalling, unwanted physical contact in public spaces (like grabbing an ass or grazing a boob), sexual/rude remarks, etc. Men might want that attention, and so they assume women would like it too.
Almost every woman you ask will agree, this is not the case.
Women have a history of being violently and sexually aggressed toward. When men act a certain way toward us in public, we have to laugh and act like its not a big deal because to tell them how wrong they are, to ask them kindly to stop, or to give them attention in any way could, and most likely will, get a response that is less than wanted–like being spoken to by a stranger, being approached by a stranger, being harassed by a stranger, being followed, being targeted, being beaten, being raped, being murdered, having our bodies left in a field to be eaten by wild animals and later have our mourning families idetify our remains by no more than birth marks and tattoo placement. We’ve been told our whole lives to react in a way that won’t get us raped or killed, because we’ve all heard the stories about how its a woman’s fault she was raped. We’ve always heard about how the man might not have done it if the woman hadn’t provoked him in some way. So we give simple and pleasing reactions to mistreatment by men to avoid being endangered. We are trained to react to male aggression with a smile, a giggle, and a cold shoulder when really, we’d like to slap you and cuss your dumb ass out.
This is an example, one of so so many, of why we cannot always treat people how we’d like to be treated.
When we do this, when we assume that people would like to be treated how we would like to be treated, we are assuming that they are a person like us, with experiences like us, lives like us, beliefs like us, etc. We cannot always treat people how we would like to be treated. Sometimes, we need to treat them how they want to be treated, how they ask us to be treated. All this within reason, like if they’re asking to be treated like a God and have grapes placed into their mouths and a fanboy, well nobody’s got time for that and nobody owes anybody else that. But if they’re simply asking you not to make racist jokes, to use different pronouns instead of assumed pronouns, to call them by a different name than the one you’ve always known them by, not to speak to them in a certain manner, they’re telling you how they’d like to be treated. They’re telling you who they are. It’s not politically correct to acknowledge their preference and use it, its simply respectful to who they are as a human in this lifetime. Political Correctiveness is a myth created by people who fear change and progress.
In regards to simple things like kindness, sure we can treat others how we’d like to be treated. However, even then, someone else might see something as an insult that someone else sees as a kindness. Don’t treat people how you’d like to be treated. Treat them with kindness and respect. Treat them how they express they’d like to be treated. Do not assume their life and experiences are like yours and that you can just gaslight or manipulate someone into accepting your treatment. Be better than that. Be a part of our shared humanity. Empathize, long enough to realize our shared reality is a diverse one even if your single reality is a direct and one-track reality. That’s how its supposed to be.
So really, nobody is asking anyone to be politically correct, we’re asking everyone to be respectful of who people know themselves to be and treat them the way they wish to, and deserve to be treated. If you create a safe space for people to tell you how they’d like to be treated, they will reveal their true selves to you, and that is a gift to the entire world.
Our generation is acknowledging and bringing light to the beauty of our differences. We’re asking to be acknowledged as humans, defaults to society, acceptable to exist in a world set up against us. It’s not political correctiveness. Its kindness, respect, and common decency. To not treat someone how they wish to be treated because their identity gets in the way of your beliefs is not Godly, or Christian, it is judgmental and selfish.