A friend writes to say that she has been pondering my remarks on Nonfiction and Fiction because of something that recently happened when she was filling in a job application. On the form, she was asked to describe herself as either ‘disabled’ or ‘non-disabled’. Sometimes you can see what motivates such examples of political correctness, but as she pointed out, this one just seems silly. No matter how much we wish to safeguard the rights of disabled people, ‘disabled’ is not the predominant state in society, and if it were, the terminology would have to change. Imagine how perverse it would seem if someone greeted you with the phrase, ‘How are you? Are you non-ill?’
Whatever next? Instead of being asked to tick either the ‘male’ and ‘female’ box on official forms, people will be asked to state whether they are ‘non-women’ or ‘non-men’.