The Roots and Dangers of Today's "Political Correctness" Movement.
“If even one American, who has done nothing wrong, is forced by fear to shut his mind and shut his mouth, then all Americans are in peril.”
Harry S. Truman
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
Imagine this scene: An obese woman walks into the doctor. He does a routine checkup and advises her that she should lose some weight. Rather than consider the merits of his advice, upon leaving she posts a question on a far-left forum asking if she can report him to any authorities for “fat shaming.” Yes, real people have done this. Fortunately we are not at the stage that giving sound medical suggestions are banned by law, but please consider that there are people who would like this to be done. It sounds absurd, but so are many other thigs done or advanced in the name of “politically correctness.”
This should alarm all citizens. We cherish the ideals of freedom for speech but political correctness and liberty cannot co-exist. Imagine trying to write a book in the future if we establish a state of paranoia in author’s minds that something, anything in the pages might offend someone – and PC dictates that the most sensitive person’s feelings must prevail in regards to censorship. My works are not based on senselessly provoking the reader, but to examine issues, as I did in my last novel (link at end of this article) that deals with where society is heading. Naturally, especially if you are conservative, that can set someone off. And I think we know where this is heading if we give into the, ”you should not be allowed to say that” crowd.
Look at what is taking place in recent years in reference to Halloween. The whole point of the holiday, in modern practice, is to take on the identity of someone or something other than who you normally are. The vast majority of people just see it as simple fun, and neither wish any harm in dressing up in traditional attire of another culture, or interpret other people in the context of nasty motives. However, now we have people who say that costumes must conform to THEIR idea of politeness. And often they are totally contradictory. On the one hand, don’t dress up in non-European costumes if you are of that ancestry, yet if you are then don’t dress up as Vikings, or princesses, or whatever. In other words I guess we should dress up our kids as hams like in “To Kill a Mockingbird” but I suppose someone would find that offensive as well.
The problem can go deeper than holidays or writing fiction, it can drive a wedge between peoples. For instance, if you watch some of the videos that get shared on social media you are aware of the term “micro aggressions.” This is a term that means that if you look at a member of the opposite sex (sorry, can I still say that?) in a way THEY interpret as offensive in some way. And there is even a school-of-thought that says if you DON’T look at someone then that is a micro-aggression. So in other words the disciples of this way of thinking are in a constant state of being offended, or looking for reasons to be offended.
There is also something dangerous in this way of thinking that can even affect people’s lives. You see, there are differences in male and female physiology beyond reproductive organs. If you are developing heart-disease medications you need to account for sex differences. To blindly say the only difference between men and women is in the reproductive organs is both false and dangerous in the long-run.
On a related note, there are those who would silence professors of biology and psychology in the name of “equality.” What happens if a biology professor notes the difference in the typical male and female brain? What if a psychology professor wants to present lectures on evolutionary psychology that generally proposes the idea that differences in male and female behavior are based on evolutionary strategies that have enabled people’s ancestors to better survive and reproduce? I am not saying I agree or disagree with any particular school of thought, but that term…”thought”… that is what is important to preserve; freedom of thought and expression.
Culture has always stagnated when freedom of thought and expression have been curtailed; be it in the name of any dogma. Limiting people’s ability to say, “I believe that…” hurts both the one wishing to express themselves, as well as the person claiming offense. And what ultimately motivates people to wish to impose controls over others? One could say that it is based on the idea that Jung proposed that what irritates us in others may be something we are desperately trying to suppress within our own psyche. The sub conscious, while busy trying to keep certain thoughts of our own locked away, becomes angry when those thoughts or feelings are expressed by others. The individual builds a persona that sees themselves as superior to others because they have kept these aspects of themselves down, but if that effort is threatened, even by questioning, the person might lash out and either attack the “offender” or ask for external forces (law) to make sure others cannot threaten their sense of moral superiority. This can explain the proverbial tennis match with these people involving virtue signaling then fierce condemnation of others who do not share their way of thinking back to virtue signaling and, well, finally wanting to keep others from expressing opposing views.
Of course there is no reason to employ meanness in any sort of discussion. One should be able to advance an idea, or defend a position, without personal attacks. In fact, in a politically mature environment people with differing points of view should be able to remain friends and discuss ideas with each other. That is the ideal of a democratic society. Making laws that curtail speech and expression in the name of protecting people’s feelings can perhaps give a temporary sense of satisfaction, but in the end it hurts all of society, even those the supporters of PC wish to protect.
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