I see a lot of complaining
about political correctness
on here, and a lot of rebellion
against it. I'm starting to think
it's because of a lack of distinction
about what forms
it can take, so I thought I'd clear
it up. I think this is what I tried
to say in my "sometimes it's not political correctness, just respect and caring for others
" writeup, but just didn't do it clearly enough.
One type is the institutionalized version, used commonly in schools. Where certain views, ideas, and words are not allowed to be used because of fear of offending someone. Well, as they say, you do not have the right to not be offended. Doing this is censorship, and at least here in America, it's theoretically illegal, at least when done by the government.
Censorship is horrible, in any form. It doesn't matter why you're doing it, supressing views and ideas is harmful, even if done with good intentions. Because once you allow something to be censored, then other things become so much easier to do the same to.
The other type is the voluntary type. The set of suggestions about how we should talk and treat each other. This type isn't regulated by law, it's more the equivalent of manners and netiquette. It's a manner of encouraging us to consider the words we use, and select ones that don't offend to show that we respect others. It's the one that says not to use "nigger", or "spic", or "bitch", because the word comes with negative connotations from being used as an insult for years, and we can't just erase the baggage.
I worry that the people expressing anti-political correctness sentiment here on Everything are mixing them up, and in their dislike of the first type, they're ignoring the reasons for the second type. You CAN fight censorship without expressing the views/words that are attempted to be censored - after all, you can fight for the right for the KKK to speak without agreeing with them. Similarly, you can fight censorship without having to intentionally offend people.
Rebellion against the second type does little more than inflate ones' ego without any benefits - it's the equivalent of belching repeatedly in public, or repeatedly posting "me too" on a mailing list. You're "breaking" a rule that's not really a rule, suggesting that you're not truly understanding the ideas behind it.
If it's the censorship form of political correctness you dislike, then make it clear that's what you're against. You'll find few people to disagree with you. But if it's the idea that we should respect the feelings of others that you have a problem with, make that clear also. We'll be more than happy to return the favor and ignore yours.