PC-two seemingly innocuous letters that used to mean Personal Computer but is now associated with the more menacing term “Political Correctness”.
From my understanding, being politically correct means expressing opinions and views that are not offensive to anyone and that are acceptable in public society. The term has a history dating back to the 20th century, but I shan’t bore myself with that. In this post, I am using it as it is commonly used today.
Political correctness helps curb the prejudiced and discriminatory views some people might have. It may not make them less prejudiced, but it will limit the extent to which they can express these views, thus making (public) society a better place to live. I am emphasising the word “public” because political correctness only has power when a person is in public. In the privacy of one’s home, political correctness has less power.
The world has gone mad with political correctness. In the words of the great Daily Mail, “Political correctness gone mad!”. It is as if we created a prison to house our bad views and ended up trapped in the prison. It is nice that racist, sexist, homophobic et al views are not tolerated in public but we are approaching the point where no views are tolerated. There is only one opinion and that is the one agreed upon by society. Don’t you dare breath a word that differs from the one society has approved, lest thou be consumed alive by the outrage of the perpetually offended. Everyday society awakens and asks itself: “How shall I be offended today? Let me count the ways.”
What we have created is a monolith, a step ford wives scenario where everyone is afraid of saying what they really feel and so just smile widely and regurgitate the political correct opinion.
Everything is offensive these days, and I mean everything. A person could say “I like red hair” and then have to issue an apology to all the brunettes who were offended by the comment. Sometimes I want to scream: “Stop apologising! You have nothing to be sorry for! you are entitled to your own opinion!”
We need to stop attacking people for their views, especially if the only offence is that the view is different from ours. Of course there are certain issues such as rape and paedophila where your personal opinion is not going to fly. There are times a person expresses grating opinions about something I am passionate about, e.g feminism and I have to take a deep breath.
Twitter is a hotbed for the offended. One has to choose one’s tweets wisely lest one be attacked by 5000 people in one’s mentions calling one everything but a child of God. And not one of those 5000 is going to attempt to explain to you why your opinion is unacceptable, nope it’s straight to abuseville. Sometimes, people do not even mean any offence by the things they say. Sometimes the problem is in the way they have worded their comments. But nobody cares about that, you must be attacked!
Sometimes people really are ignorant and unaware and it is better to try to educate them rather than just insult them. So a man thinks Feminism is an evil movement because it makes women not want to cook for their husbands. Now this is a daft opinion that I do not agree with, but rather than call him an idiot with a small penis and a smaller brain, I can 1) ignore 2) Explain to him why he is wrong 3)Advise him to educate himself. A lot of people do not afford others this courtesy. Attacking a person’s supposedly derogatory comments with insults and abuse is not the way forward.
There are times when a view is not even offensive but is attacked nonetheless simply because it is different. Some people will jump through hoops to twist a comment until it can be interpreted as derogatory to them. Moral of the story is that people like to be offended, they thrive off it like a junkie thrives off crack. They need their daily dose of offence, otherwise where would all of their righteous anger go?
The thing about the constant public outrage is that it does not change the views people hold, it just makes them afraid to express it. These views are still there, bubbling within and masked by the politically correct ones which the people must pretend to believe in.
Is there anyway out of this hole? Are we better off in a politically correct world? Do its benefits outweigh its stifling nature? Humans have proven time and time again that we cannot be trusted to be good; we need structures in place to punish us from being bad. Is the PC world one of such structures? Will relaxing the political correctness drive us into anarchy where people fearlessly shout slurs at minorities?
Let people be free to say what’s on their mind. Save your outrage for the things that really matter, there are a lot of them.