“Politically Correct” is Canceled
I hate the phrase “politically correct.”
It has been weaponized to belittle and dismiss very necessary progressive strides in our society.
It suggests that doing the right thing is reserved for goody-two-shoes who are overachievers when it comes to respecting others.
It is used by those who refuse to dig themselves out of their own holes of ignorance; people who would rather remain stagnant than make any effort to examine their own biases and identify room for growth.
“Socially acceptable” and “morally right” have never been equivalents.
It was once socially acceptable to own slaves. It was once socially acceptable for women to be treated as property. It was once (and in some places still is) socially acceptable to bring criminal charges against LGBTQ+ people.
It may be socially acceptable to some people to say words like “r****d,” but if anyone in their circle were to criticize them for it, that person might get an eye roll and be told not to be “so politically correct all the time.”
“Politically correct” has become synonymous with “killjoy.” The phrase “PC policing” alone suggests that anyone who dares to speak up for people who deserve to be spoken about with respectful language are annoying nags who ruin all the fun. The very notion of political correctness makes it seem as if respect is merely a trend.
The rhyme about sticks and stones has taught us all that words should never carry any weight. And yet, they do. Words can ignite movements. Some words have echoes that last a lifetime.
I don’t know any white people who wouldn’t be offended by being called a racist, even though the term says more about them than the person saying it.
I know very few white people who don’t bristle a bit when they are referred to as “white people.”
And yet, I also know that so many of those same people would sigh in exasperation if they were corrected for using derogatory or outdated language towards others.
My mother recently described a TV show we were watching by saying there was a “lot of gay sex in it.”
“It’s just sex,” I replied. “You wouldn’t call straight sex ‘straight sex.’”
“You just have to suck the fun out of everything,” she snapped back.
Yes, it’s true. I’m a queer, feminist killjoy. And apparently, I must never have any fun because I do my best to make sure my words aren’t laced with covert homophobia, biases, and racism.
Maybe it isn’t fun to take two minutes to think about the implications of your words. But it is necessary.
I know what some readers are saying in their heads as they read this. “Jesus Christ, she’s such a snowflake. She thinks she is so high and mighty just because she uses different words.”
When people choose to be “politically correct,” we’re not saying we are better than you. If you think that, maybe you are projecting. Maybe that is a reflection of how you see yourself. Deep down you might know you are wrong.
Respect is not political. It should be a basic, bare minimum due you pay as a member of society.
If you fight so hard against the preposterous idea of addressing people the way they ask to be addressed and talking about marginalized people with validating, respectful language, you’re not “politically incorrect.”
You’re just an asshole, plain and simple. And that’s the PC label for you.