There’s a couple of words/phrases that I hate in the English language and one of those is “political correctness,” “politically correct,” or “PC culture.” This probably stems from me living Texas and 99.9% of people I’ve heard use this phrase have said it in way that complains about society moving towards respecting everyone, and mocks the idea of avoiding offensive language. I will never understand why someone would not change the words they use to make others comfortable or to respect them.
I believe in respecting all people. Respect peoples pronouns, and gender, and sexuality, even if you don’t think you “should have to” or don’t believe it’s “real.” (That’s another post in its own.) Don’t use racist and/or derogatory terms to refer to a people group. There is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t respect others with your words. It seems as black and white to me as not walking up to someone you find unattractive and saying, “hey, you’re ugly.” That is uncalled for and so is being “anti- PC culture,” and continuing to use language that hurts other people.
The biggest argument I have seen against political correctness is that some see it as a form of censorship and is “anti-free speech.” I couldn’t disagree more. Using those kind of excuses only dismisses those who have been discriminated against, and those who are trying respect others and progress in society. I personally don’t want anyone to call me a dyke or fag just because I’m a lesbian. If another LGBTQIAP+ person I’m close to does it as a joke it’s okay with me because I like that kind of banter and humor, but it you are heterosexual or a stranger, I would be offended. That kind of speech is used to oppress a people group I belong to and I’m not okay with it. Just like I’m not okay with someone using hateful and derogatory words to tyrannize someone else. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom of consequences, and some of those consequences hurt other people, and continue to systematically oppress people groups.
I also mostly see white people complaining about political correctness. Is your freedom and power in America not enough for you? I’m white, and I’m going to call out other white people and say, how some of you treat your fellow Americans, and fellow human beings is wrong and it needs to stop. Some of it stems from racism, classism, homophobia, transphobia – you name it, but I also think a lot of it stems from laziness. Some straight people are too lazy to learn about pronouns and sexualities that aren’t as common. Some white people refuse to stop using racist terms, or supporting organizations with racist names and values because, “back in my day nobody cared; everyone now is too sensitive,” and they have used them for so long it has become a part of their daily vocabulary.
I don’t agree that people are too sensitive now. We are moving towards a culture that has greater respect for one another – even though we are from that kind of society. I watched a great video on political correctness and respect awhile ago that inspired this post. In that video Franchesca Ramsey describes political correctness as, “Avoiding words that exclude, marginalize, or insult people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.” I love that definition, and I think it hits the nail on the head. Personally I want to love, respect, and empower everyone around me. I want all people to feel special and worthy no matter what society tells.
I have used the word respect a lot in this post, because that’s what I believe this boils down to. Respect. If you truly loved and respected others, you would take the time to better yourself and learn the kind of language to avoid. One bible verse I like is Proverbs 2o:27, ” A person’s words are the lamp of the Lord that sheds light on one’s inmost being” Essentially we should use our words to respect others and show not only God’s love, but also what our hearts look like. Even if you aren’t religious, good morals preach to show your love and to be “pretty on the inside.” Treat others with love and dignity, when speaking to them or about them. Celebrate diversity, while respecting those who are discriminated against, and validate their hardships.
Lots of Love,