I have been noticing more and more that political correctness is becoming a problem in our world. It has gone so far that it has actually gotten a bit stupid – well totally bloody stupid to be honest! I understand the intention of political correctness and I believe (like many things that end up skewed) that it was born out of good intention. But so was communism, vivisection, and the destruction of the Amazon rainforest – yet we have come far enough to appreciate that these things are not actually good and do not benefit our society or world.
Political correctness was born in the 1970s to reduce sexism, racism and social bias while promoting equality and equal rights. That all sounds pretty good! For a period of time political correctness (“PC”) assisted our communities and countries to move forward towards a fairer and more equal world. Derogatory words describing both African Americans and Aboriginal people became inappropriate to use – an excellent example of healthy PC. The names of roles which were male dominant such as “Chairman” were broadened out to become “Chairperson” – again a positive development for equality. Yet somewhere at some stage the pendulum kept on swinging past logic, reason and sensibility and into the realms of the ridiculous.
Here is an extract from The Shovel that I think beautifully sums up what we are up against:
“The often-used term ‘political correctness gone mad’ should be changed to ‘political correctness that has become anxious or psychologically distressed’, a government committee has recommended.
The four-month study, which included a panel of 28 experts, concluded that the term ‘mad’ had the potential to stigmatise those with psychological issues and was out of step with current attitudes.
The report has led to outrage on social media channels, with many saying it is yet another example of political correctness gone mad. Insensitive arseholes.”
I am blown away that the Australian government has paid 28 experts to sit around for four months and talk about this. Maybe I am wrong, but I feel there are far greater issues at hand that 28 experts could be putting their time and energy towards.
Another example is provided by David Morrison, the former Chief of Army. He said that Australians should no longer use the word “guys” to refer to a collective group of persons (really!!). What does Dave want us to call them – “youse lot” or “my posse”? The fact that this was all over the media is an indication of just how far PC has infiltrated our lives.
If we were talking about equal pay for men and women or acknowledging and honouring different religious practices (or indeed voting yes for same sex marriage!) then count me in, but the crazy level of PC at the moment has got me scratching my head, asking myself where are we going to end up?
PC has barred us from openly discussing race, religion, sexuality and so many other topics. If freedom of expression is limited, we lose opportunities to explore more about ourselves, the society we live in and the world around us. This is a huge tragedy and will actually create the divide as opposed to closing it up.
People will always get offended – we are all different and we all see the world differently. PC has become about not causing offence to anyone as opposed to promoting equality and unity.
As adults, I do believe that we are grown up enough to accept a difference of opinion and even have a robust debate about those opinions. Guess what? We don’t have to agree, we don’t have to like each other’s views, and yes, those views may even cause us offence. I mean, put your big girl undies on and suck it up! (or should that be big person’s undies, so I don’t offend the men reading this?).
It is our job to manage ourselves, it is not the world’s job to ensure that we never experience emotions that might be uncomfortable.
Political correctness, it is time to put your leash back on!