Saturday, January 25, 2014

Public Discourse: What We're Not Saying

By Lacey Gunter

I recently started a new job. I enjoy the job. It's not too demanding. My colleagues are friendly, welcoming and considerate of my time. It is an ideal situation, but it has been an adjustment.

Prior to taking the job, I spent that last year and a half being a stay at home mom.  I had done one big consulting gig, which was 6 weeks of stressful, sleepless, work, work, work. But other than that, it was just me, my home and my family.  It was lovely.

Along with the closeness and attention I was able to give to my children, I also really enjoyed the greater freedom I had to write. I was writing very frequently, improving and loving it. But tight finances, my youngest starting preschool and the ideal job popping up and dangling itself in front of me and my hubby inevitably threw a kink in it all.

Luckily, I have quarantine my working time to when my kids are in school, other than two hours of babysitting time. But that has come at the cost of loosing most of my free time I was using to write. I am still fitting some in, but nowhere near as much as I want and sometimes I feel guilty doing it.

In this state of barely treading water to stay afloat, I read an article yesterday about not enough women reaching the highest ranks in my profession and what to do about it. I was rather surprised about the level of 'political correctness' to it. We statisticians tend to be very thorough issue addressers, not shying away from the elephant in the room as that often leads to biased results and conclusions. However, in all the author's discussion of work climates being unfavorable to women, never once did she bring up the idea that the work environment is unfavorable to mothers.

As interesting and worthy of a discussion that may be here, what I am musing over is how often I see that happening lately. It seems like political correctness has become an accepted avenue for censuring certain topics or points of view. Much of the time these topics or view points are quite reasonable and worthy of discussion. There is nothing shameful about wanting to have a family. And there is nothing wrong with wanting to be the one who raises and nurtures your children. In fact, I have rarely met a working mom who doesn't struggle with this, at least in some part.  Yet treating this as a valid issue has become taboo in much of public discourse on this topic.

This isn't the only topic, either. It seems like nearly anything classified as being related to 'morals' has been given the cold shoulder by political correctness in the attempt to not offend some small segment of the population. Much of these morally related ideas are well accepted by the vast majority of people in society and well accepted as being beneficial for a well functioning civilization. Yet political correctness would deem that we are not supposed to talk about it that way. How is it in the name of free ideas and acceptance of others we came to accept such oppressive censorship?


  1. hahaha, I am very well educated, and love to swear, life is just more satisfying with lots of swearing. And I am a good person too! By the way, dropped off the Mormon church when I was 16, just wanted to live a life without feeling guilty for being human, and that is exactly what I teach to my children!

  2. YES! All of it, so true!



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