Thursday, December 24, 2015

On 'political correctness."

I was an early opponent of "political correctness" as the term rose to become dogma while I was in college in the early '90s. And I am a LONG time liberal. I had multiple piercings. I kissed dudes. I wore dresses. I had super long hair. All pre-Internet, which meant not only was I an outlier, outside my handful of friends I was completely alone in the world with no broader support community.

This was all way back when you'd get pummeled and spit on (and I was, both) for being an outlier. Even with all that, I thought the early usage of "political correctness" was broad-minded bulllshit (with good intentions—attempting to right longstanding wrongs) that ultimately proved to be so over-corrective it was pointless.*

My own tiny personal sample set for this conclusion? You can't be an emotionally accurate, honest writer while self-censoring along politically correct guardrails. Political correctness is often an excuse for failing to delve into real issues and discuss and try to solve gray areas that warrant free discourse, and it's an excuse wielded too far widely.

However, arguing against political correctness does not mean you have agency to be a racist, sexist bully.


*AN ASIDE, SPURRED BY, BUT NOT CONNECTED TO, THE ABOVE: Also, any generation that thinks they're the first when it comes to free self-expression including gender fluidity is a generation of idiots. Those front lines have been long fought, and the fact they're now fought so freely in the mainstream is a testament to previous generations, not some new initiative.

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