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Tross
01-04-2004, 01:17 AM
Here is what dictionary.com offers:

politically correct
adj. Abbr. PC
Of, relating to, or supporting broad social, political, and educational change, especially to redress historical injustices in matters such as race, class, gender, and sexual orientation.
Being or perceived as being overconcerned with such change, often to the exclusion of other matters.

Hugh Jass
01-04-2004, 01:36 AM
To me, it's just being polite. The people that have objected to "political correctness" usually just tried to tell a joke about blacks or gays, and got a dirty look.

NBIT33
01-04-2004, 01:38 AM
To be politically correct is to use certain language (terminology) which is less likely to offend a greater number of people, when other language, while technically correct, may be offensive to some.

Some terms which are generally regarded as indictative of "PC" language:

"Differently abled"

"Correctional Facility"

"Happy Holidays"

"Humankind"

NBIT33
01-04-2004, 01:43 AM
PS: It's bad, when a perfectly good word is no longer able to be used in speech because the speaker is subject to violent attack.

An example of PC being bad:

http://www.adversity.net/special/niggardly.htm

Mr. Moto
01-04-2004, 02:00 AM
Oh how soon you forget, or are too young to remember.

I was in college around 1989 or 1990 when I first heard the phrase "politically correct" and it invariabably referred to action as well as speech.

One example that stuck in my mind was that it wasn't politically correct, according to a certain lefty campus paper, to patronize a certain coffeehouse because some of their coffee was grown in El Salvador.

The correctness of said speech and behavior, of course, is to be set by those who have been enlightened by years of study in postmodern deconstructionist feminism, of course. And vetted by meetings at the local Green Party headquarters.

We now look at this as somewhat rediculous, but I found this frighteningly Orwellian at the time. Control the way someone speaks and the way he behaves, ansd you're well on the way toward controlling the way he thinks.

Flash-57
01-04-2004, 02:15 AM
Political correctness is the right thing to do when a person is truly and actually offended by something. It is a very bad thing to do, however, if the "victim" is simply looking to abuse the system for power, recognition, or personal glory.

Personally, I see only a few words and phrases that have been historically and commonly used to offend particular ethnic groups. The usage of these should be opposed.

But, the large majority of phrases are harmless and should be ignored until and unless their usage increases to the point where they are commonly used and vulgar.

Dog80
01-04-2004, 02:31 AM
Originally posted by Flash-57
Political correctness is the right thing to do when a person is truly and actually offended by something.

People tend to get offended very easily nowadays. :rolleyes:

tomndebb
01-04-2004, 02:48 AM
As often in an ox fight, it depends on whose ox is being gored.

There has been an attempt on a number of school campuses to restrict "hate speech" with the original worthy intention of reducing the amount of verbal intimidation that some students could inflict on others. This has led, in some cases, to utterly absurd situations. (The "niggardly"example, above, is not so much a case of Political Correctness as sheer ignorance. Nigger is a hateful term and mistaking niggard for nigger is an example of abysmal ignorance.) However, there have been genuine cases of PC run amok, as in the case of the Penn State student who was reprimanded for calling a bunch of boisterous drunks "water buffalo" when he was a white male and the drunks were black females. (This led to some really strained attempts by some twits to create a "racist" epithet out of a word that had no history of racial connotations, hurled at loud drunks--giving opponents of PC legitimate ammunition in some cases for their outrage.)

In these cases, PC is generally a negative term applied by the Right (with some reason) to language issues raised by the Left.

On the other hand, in some cases, PC is nothing more than consideration, as noted by Hugh Jass. There have been any number of insulting terms for various people that are no longer used in polite society. Ethnic slurs, referring to women (especially in a professional capacity) as "girls" or "broads," dismissive terms based on physical disabilities, referring to homosexuals as faggots or dykes: all these have been put under tabu. (Claims by the bigots on the Right that we are "not allowed" to use some terms are, of course, nonsense. While the terms African-American and Native American are preferred by some people, the terms black and Indian are actually preferred by majorities of the people who could be so identified and claims that we "can't" use those words are hysterical whines (generally from people who would prefer to use nigger and redskin).)

On the other hand, the Right has its own form of political correctness (which actually preceded the Left's PC) that generally involves making tabu any negative references to actions that are not perceived as suffiiciently patriotic or religious. We simply have not yet come up with a scathing term for the Right's censorship.

In some cases, there are claims made against PC that are, themselves, utterly stupid. A number of terms for people with physical or mental handicaps have undergone a continuous process of re-invention, with successive terms used in an attempt to remove the stigma associated with the earlier terms. This attempt to find non-pejorative terms extends back into the nineteenth century and long preceded the Political Correctness movement that only got going in the mid to late 1970s. When someone moans because they can no longer call a person with Down Syndrome "dummy" because it is not "politically correct," they are not merely abusing the phrase "politically correct," they are displaying an abysmal ignorance of the changes in language that preceded the PC movement. (On the other hand, I will note that the contiuous process of changing terminology is pretty much a waste of time and energy. As soon as "mentally challenged" was put forth as a term, it immediately became a joke phrase used to mean "stupid." Years and years ago, the slowed development of some people was noted in their "retarded development" which almost instantly became the playground catcall, "REE-taaaard!")


Some PC is politeness and some PC is an attempt at "mind control." There is not a single answer to cover every application, because so many people use the phrase to mean different things.

pizzabrat
01-04-2004, 03:06 AM
It's perjorative term, so asking if it's good or bad makes as much since as asking if perverts are good or bad. Thus, the epithet "political correctness" is just a tool re-marignalize minorities. Anything that respects someone other than a Christian white male is smeared with that term. The Sacajawea dollar was "politically correct" because it featured an Native American woman. Recognizing that not everyone celebrates Christmas is "politically correct". John Stewart on the Justice League is "politically correct" just because he's black. By only aknowledging straight white males, you can cleanly avoid the stink of political correctness. I know that sounds cliched and conspiracy theory-like, but it's not necessarily something that arose as a consious conspiracy; just a naturaly spreading trend among individuals.

danceswithcats
01-04-2004, 04:57 PM
The whole movement is flawed, as it is based on the supposition that one should be able to go through life without being offended.
That concept is offensive to me!

I'd rather use my ability to ignore something offensive, as opposed to asking everyone to observe my personal value system.

SPOOFE
01-04-2004, 05:51 PM
Political Correctness consists of making up reasons to criticise or hate someone when any tangible or coherent excuse is lacking.

elucidator
01-04-2004, 06:13 PM
Wow, Spoofe! That's very impressive, so succinct, so direct! Unencumbered by the nonsense so many Dopers use to obscure thier opinions....you know, cites, quotes, authorities, silly crap like that. But not you! Nosirree, Bob, you just lay it out, cut and dried, staight from the shoulder.....

Was it Berkely? Did they cook this up in Berkely? I'll bet it was Berkely. They were sitting around, trying to come up with some way to criticize and hate perfectly innocent citizens and then somebody has a brilliant idea...(Was it Angela Davis? You can tell me, SPOOFE....)...of inventing an Orwellian doublespeak to intimidate and humiliate thier upstanding, patriotic, real American mortal enemies!

Oh, those cunning rascals! No wonder they succeeded in flouridating our water so easily! We should all be grateful to alert and vigilant Americans who can penetrate these conspiracies so readily, and advise us with such economy of verbiage!

tomndebb
01-04-2004, 06:27 PM
Political Correctness consists of making up reasons to criticise or hate someone when any tangible or coherent excuse is lacking. So the Red Scare is PC? The Yellow Menace is PC? Rush Limbaugh is being PC when he reviles "feminazis"? Jim Crow laws are PC?

Interesting.

sleeping
01-04-2004, 07:05 PM
Well I think that any limitation of free speech is a bad thing. Yes, yes, we all know about the shouting-fire-in-a-crowded-theater scenario, but the result there is physical harm to others. Although words can certainly hurt someone emotionally, that can't be measured to any discernible degree (physical harm, on the other hand, can certainly be proven in court). And besides, everyone has a different threshold for being offended.

In certain situations, laws that limit free speech are useful. For example, workplace harassment laws should exist to protect people from unfair treatment via potential discrimination. But even in these situations the whole PC argument is really irrelevant. A single word wouldn't really make a difference in a relationship. But actions, even minor ones, can be very damaging to a person if they are continuous. So harassment can exist without the presence of any un-PC language.

It seems ridiculous, however, to punish someone for using unacceptable speech, as many colleges do. Too often, the verbal abuse hurled at someone who lets slip an un-PC term is even more offensive than the term itself. The PC laws may have been helpful in fighting racial intolerance in the 70s, but they now seem to exist (and be perpertuated by) solely for the advantage of certain groups.

tomndebb: The Red Scare and Jim Crow laws are not examples of political correctness, but they are examples of limitations on free speech.

tomndebb
01-04-2004, 07:12 PM
Based on SPOOFE's definition, the Red Scare and Jim Crow laws are PC. (Of course, that just might mean the definition needs some work.)

tomndebb
01-04-2004, 07:15 PM
The PC laws . . . We have PC laws? Or do you mean that a number of individual institutions have imposed rules on their staff and clients? I do not recall any PC laws passed by Congress.

PatriotX
01-04-2004, 07:44 PM
Elements of PC speech seems too much like newspeak to me- attempts to nullify or avoid the debate controlling, dictating the terms in which the debate will be conducted.

Overlooked examples of PC speech that I personally find annoying:

homicide bomber for suicide bomber
Most successful bombers are homicide bombers, (unless their goal was only to destroy property), whether they plant a mine, or drop a bomb out of a USAF jet. Homicide just means that they killed someone else with their explosive. To use homicide bomber for suicide bomber removes an essential element of meaning, the suicide. Limiting the term of the debate in this way removes an important aspect of reality from the language of the discussion. IMHO, this is, at best and at least, disingenuous.

insisting that US's military, foreign policy venture in Iraq be described as a liberation rather than an invasion
Even if you choose to think of the venture as a liberation of Iraq, there was still an invasion. You know, tens of thousands of armed soldiers violently inserted into a country, guns, tanks, bombs, planes, missiles and all the accoutrements of modern warfare. You know, an in-va-sion.

Maybe this should go to the Pit.

sleeping
01-04-2004, 07:55 PM
Originally posted by tomndebb
We have PC laws? Or do you mean that a number of individual institutions have imposed rules on their staff and clients? I do not recall any PC laws passed by Congress.

No, of course I meant rules present on college campuses. But, in a certain sense, they are laws. After all, if a professor loses his job for un-PC speech (and there have been some very unreasonable instances of this), is it not an undue limitation on his freedom of speech? I feel that our society is increasingly concerned with banning specific words instead of actually looking at people's behavior. So what if someone uses the word "nigger"? It may offend you, but you should also consider why it offends you.

Or, to use a personal example, take the issue of gay rights. I am very much for gay marriage and hope that gay people will finally be accepted by society and treated just like heterosexuals. Yet, I still crack gay jokes and freely use words like "fag" and "dyke." Granted, the "anti-gay" jokes are said in a more or less sarcastic tone, but the point is that I use words that are un-PC but still support what are ostensibly (socially) liberal causes.

It's interesting that while many liberals trumpet that "the personal is the political," they don't seem to be as willing to apply the same logic where free speech is concerned. If one does not like another person's opinions or the way in which they are expressed, one need not maintain a relationship with that person. Seems much more sensible than trying to institute your own rules.

NBIT33
01-04-2004, 10:41 PM
Originally posted by SimonX
insisting that US's military, foreign policy venture in Iraq be described as a liberation rather than an invasion
Even if you choose to think of the venture as a liberation of Iraq, there was still an invasion. You know, tens of thousands of armed soldiers violently inserted into a country, guns, tanks, bombs, planes, missiles and all the accoutrements of modern warfare. You know, an in-va-sion.

Maybe this should go to the Pit.

Invasion and Liberation are not mutually exclusion. Even when you say the words r-e-a-l-l-y s-l-o-w-l-y.

PatriotX
01-04-2004, 11:15 PM
Originally posted by NBIT33
Invasion and Liberation are not mutually exclusion. Even when you say the words r-e-a-l-l-y s-l-o-w-l-y.

Exactly my point.
Thanks for reading.

sqweels
01-05-2004, 11:25 AM
tomndebb:
On the other hand, the Right has its own form of political correctness (which actually preceded the Left's PC) that generally involves making tabu any negative references to actions that are not perceived as suffiiciently patriotic or religious. We simply have not yet come up with a scathing term for the Right's censorship.


Quite right. Beat me to it. the Dixie Chicks episode is a case in point.

(I think you garbled your point with too many negatives, tho)

DeaganTheWolf
01-05-2004, 12:49 PM
Like a lot of ideas, Good idea, bad execution. Trying to limit certain vile speech terms wasn't neccesarily a poor idea; unfortunetly, it's become a ridiculous institution that is trying to protect the most easily offended's sensebilities. Bad I say.

scotandrsn
01-05-2004, 01:13 PM
My understanding from some old lefty friends of mine, as well as some published accounts, was that the term "politically correct" was a pejorative term created BY the left.

It was a term reserved for those who stood up at meetings, demanded that one certain term be used for another in the name of cultural sensitivity, then sat back down, and contributed NOTHING else to the conversation at hand.

(Perhaps in a similar way to how someone of a different bent might correct someone else's sentence structure without actually addressing their argument. I imagine the term might have been created as a parallel to "gramatically correct".)

From there, it became an attack word used by the right for ANY suggestions from the opposite side of the fence.

IMO, if it is clear that those who are offended have a justifiable reason to be so offended, and make their offense known, I will consider changing my language.

Where PC got a bad name, IYAM, was when self-righteous and over-zealous college students took it upon themselves to be the Language Police, correcting people's speech because, in their minds, someone of some certain persuasion could CONCEIVABLY interpret it in an offensive manner, whether or not they actually had evidence that such offense had indeed been taken by anyone.

This heavy-handed approach, with its accompanying sense of those with "morality" on their side having the right to declare what others ought or ought not to do, is not only anathema to a free society, it has created a vehement backlash that has struck a blow against basic civility in this country.

Complaints about how some third party has no business declaring that something a person says is offensive to someone else have transmogrified into declarations that offended parties have no business speaking up themselves, which I find completely unsupportable.

Ramanujan
01-05-2004, 03:26 PM
Originally posted by sleeping
No, of course I meant rules present on college campuses. But, in a certain sense, they are laws. After all, if a professor loses his job for un-PC speech (and there have been some very unreasonable instances of this), is it not an undue limitation on his freedom of speech?so you're saying that a company should not be concerned with how its employees appear publicly? it seems to me that if a government told a company that it couldn't fire someone for being offensive, that would be a much scarier world to live in. do you actually believe that no one ought to be concerned with how many people are offended? think about this now: the reason these words are avoided is because they are offensive, and the people speaking don't want to offend those people. politicians, public representatives of companies, etc. those people should be skewered for being insensitive to public opinion and the social implications of their words.

I feel that our society is increasingly concerned with banning specific words instead of actually looking at people's behavior. So what if someone uses the word "nigger"? It may offend you, but you should also consider why it offends you.i can't imagine why anyone would be offended by the word. i think people should explore the history and social implications of words before they defend the use of those words.

Dob
01-05-2004, 05:06 PM
The probelm with PC is that doesnt apply to everyone. Its not PC for a for a straight man to call a gay man a "fag" or "homo", but its okay for one gay person to call another just that. If a word is offensive in someone it really should be offensive no matter who says it!

If words and phrases can really cause so much harm, that rules and regulations are made to govern them, they shouldnt be used at all...period. I just love watching cable and seeing a black man user "nigger" and not get beeped, but another person uses it and its bleeped.

Personally I find the idea of PC silly. If I am being offensive does using the word African-American dilute the hate in my message? Of course not. If the PC movement would work more on intent than words it might have actually accomplished something.

sleeping
01-05-2004, 05:41 PM
Originally posted by Ramanujan
so you're saying that a company should not be concerned with how its employees appear publicly?

No, I think that companies do have the right to fire employees if they are violating company rules that have been instituted and made known to everyone.

My problem with the PC movement is that it's institutionalized. If it remained a cultural trend, I could simply roll my eyes and ignore it. The "self-righteous and over-zealous college students" have probably done more damage to the liberal movement than anything else. To me, it doesn't make sense to try to censor speech if it's objectionable to you. Since you have reached your opinion through reason, you could certainly explain to someone who holds a different view why you think they're wrong.

it seems to me that if a government told a company that it couldn't fire someone for being offensive, that would be a much scarier world to live in.
I think that government involvement in such matters is worse than a lack of it.

do you actually believe that no one ought to be concerned with how many people are offended?
Sure, you can be concerned. But censorship is not the answer.

pizzabrat
01-05-2004, 05:43 PM
Dob
The probelm with PC is that doesnt apply to everyone. Its not PC for a for a straight man to call a gay man a "fag" or "homo", but its okay for one gay person to call another just that. If a word is offensive in someone it really should be offensive no matter who says it!

Who says one's okay and the other isn't? "Some people"? The PC constitution? Do you realize how stupid you sound talking about an entity that doesn't even exist as if it's some big, powerful force? Apparently, nobody can even agree on what PC means, so we should just drop the stupid buzzword and talk about what you really mean.

Dob
01-05-2004, 06:44 PM
from pizzabrat
Who says one's okay and the other isn't? "Some people"? The PC constitution? Do you realize how stupid you sound talking about an entity that doesn't even exist as if it's some big, powerful force? Apparently, nobody can even agree on what PC means, so we should just drop the stupid buzzword and talk about what you really mean.

Well I used the "..the stupid buzzword" because that was the title of the OP.


"about an entity that doesn't even exist" Are you saying the topic of the OP doesnt exist, or just the way I used it?

Tross
01-05-2004, 10:12 PM
I did not want to voice my view prematurely and alter the course of this debate since I started this thread and wanted to see what the Zeitgeist was in here these days. I feel I may now. For the record I consider myself a liberal Democrat but I am also a strong believer in individual liberty and the sanctity of freedom of speech. The following event relayed to me by a dear friend I've known since Kindergarten had a big impact how I react to objections on the basis of political correctness.

When, in the early Ď90's my friend went away to school at Antioch in Ohio he was enthusiastic about the school. I lost count of how many times he told me Rod Sterling of Twilight Zone was a graduate.
In his first semester he awoke in his dorm room to shouts and the beating of pots and pans outside in the corridor. When got up the guts to investigate he was told that it was a "take back the night" rally. As he heard about this kind of thing and was sympathetic to it he followed the noise to a cafeteria where a woman at a podium was angrily yelling about the injustices women were subjected to by men. He wandered into the rear of the room and watched as a man raised his hand and suggested in an effeminate voice that not all men where bad, and that some men supported their goals. The speaker responded to this by screaming for the man that he had no right to speak or even be there and that he should get out immediately. As she had no use for him. The man then dropped to his seat and began weeping. Seeing this, my friend went over to the young gay man and tried to be of comfort to him. Seeing this, the women yelled for them both to "get the explicative out if you know what's good for you!", in addition to some other unfriendly remarks. Upon this, my friend helped the fellow up and out of the room but that was not the end of it.
My friend learned a couple days latter that he was named on a list circulated throughout campus of men that it was not acceptable to date. It turned out the two events were directly related. My friend who was a straight A student, ended up leaving school later that year.

I believe that this would not have happened had both sides been open to free communication and heard each other out. Indeed I believe everyone would have been richer for engaging in such a dialogue. I think Leftist Liberals that try to control or silence debate by trying to impose their agenda on its language end up getting Right Wing Conservatives elected in the resultant backlash. But that is just my opinion.

tomndebb
01-05-2004, 11:05 PM
Tross, how does your anecdote fit in with the topic? You have not described "PC." Did the Antioch administration prevent anyone (of the "wrong" ideas) from addressing the crowd? Did the Antioch faculty and staff participate in or endorse the "do not date" memo?

What you have described is the classic case of any loud group demanding the silence of anyone with whom they disagree. The Right and the Left both engage in this tactic pretty equally. (And the Left and the Right should both be condemned for their behavior.) Only the Left, however, has a tag applied to it.

Milum
01-06-2004, 12:19 AM
To be "Politically correct" in 1984 twenty years past , is to be chic, to be in the know, and to be with-it, by way of blindly following the falsidical egalitarian pronouncements of the clerisy, who increasingly dictate properspeak to the straight speaking masses.

These modern day Inquisitidors are simply thought police; insidious, small, people who knowingly lie. They know very well that words can't create reality. Words can only describe a reality that already is.

But luckily, the silliness imposed upon us by these self-righteous malcontents will soon past, and as such their funny proscriptions will be no longer the vogue, then, we, as a nation, can continue our destined search for truth with renewed and unabated, zeal and vigor.

I can hardly wait.

elucidator
01-06-2004, 12:53 AM
What, exactly, Milum, are you so bitterly proscribed from saying? Is there some truth you are bursting to reveal, stifled by the Orwellian jackboots of.....who, exactly? Would you mount a soapbox and cry out "Barefoot and pregnant, that is God's Way!", but fear to be dragged down and lynched. Have the PC Brownshirts threatened your family with dire consequences?

What, exactly, are you so eager to say that you cannot?

pizzabrat
01-06-2004, 01:30 AM
elucidator
What, exactly, Milum, are you so bitterly proscribed from saying? Is there some truth you are bursting to reveal, stifled by the Orwellian jackboots of.....who, exactly? Would you mount a soapbox and cry out "Barefoot and pregnant, that is God's Way!", but fear to be dragged down and lynched. Have the PC Brownshirts threatened your family with dire consequences?

What, exactly, are you so eager to say that you cannot?

Apparently, the fact that he can't be confident that everyone in the world will agree with him about everything is stifiling. The same goes for most PC "victims".

Dob
"about an entity that doesn't even exist" Are you saying the topic of the OP doesnt exist, or just the way I used it?

I didn't mean for my post to be directed just to you, but like I pointed out before, the OP's title is stupid. Of course political correctness is bad, it's a perjorative term!

Yookeroo
01-06-2004, 02:34 AM
Originally posted by Dob
The probelm with PC is that doesnt apply to everyone. Its not PC for a for a straight man to call a gay man a "fag" or "homo", but its okay for one gay person to call another just that. If a word is offensive in someone it really should be offensive no matter who says it!

Not necessarily. Context is everything.

Zoe
01-06-2004, 03:00 AM
Is there any woman here who would shrug off being called whore or slut on the job every day? Would any of you men not mind your mother or wife being referred to as a cunt? Should your boss or professor or classroom teacher feel free to call you an ignorant asswipe?

TrossMy friend learned a couple days latter that he was named on a list circulated throughout campus of men that it was not acceptable to date. It turned out the two events were directly related. My friend who was a straight A student, ended up leaving school later that year.

So why did your friend leave school? I've never known women to be of one mind enough to pay any attention to such a circulated list. Nor have I known women who bothered to circulate a list to begin with. Were all of the women attending this college men-haters? How else can you explain such a cohesive boycott of your friend? But would he have left school because he couldn't get a date? And why was the young man crying? How did you know he was gay?

eli_the_fanatic
01-06-2004, 09:03 AM
The term "politically incorrect" actually came BEFORE "politically correct," and both existed as adjectives describing particular people or actions before there was the conspiracy model of a lump "political correctnesss." The term was coined by Vladimir Nabokov in the dystopia novel "Bend Sinister," a satire of bureaucracy and tyranny.

sleeping
01-06-2004, 05:33 PM
Originally posted by Yookeroo
Not necessarily. Context is everything.

No. Context--as in a person's actions--should be everything. My problem with the college PC crowd is that, too often, it's not.

disponibilite
01-06-2004, 08:06 PM
I have always taken a broader view of "political correctness". Always meant to me to be the minority (and possibly unpopular) viewpoint. Having nothing to do with politeness or "sensitivity". In other words--------a viewpoint that could not get you elected garbage collector.

Having nothing at all to do with the validity of your position. Just "People shouldn't say things like that because we, the majority, find it disgusting."

Have used it many times in that context and never been corrected. Was I wrong?

disponibilite
01-06-2004, 08:19 PM
Am thinking along the lines of the old Bill Maher show.----"Politically Incorrect" (on cable and then on commercial TV and then kicked off commercial TV for actually living up to its title in a very unpopular way.--------in other words "What you said may be quite true, but you shouldn't say things like that, because it will seriously piss off the general populace."

Which I believe (on the Bill Maher show) is where I first heard the term.

Tross
01-07-2004, 03:58 AM
Originally posted by Zoe
"So why did your friend leave school?"

He felt alienated. He felt he could not be himself and say what was on his mind without fear of it being considered not PC and the harsh consequences that might result.

"I've never known women to be of one mind enough to pay any attention to such a circulated list. Nor have I known women who bothered to circulate a list to begin with."

Well, those are two experiences you have not had. I'm glad to hear it. To further put it in context Antioch made the news some time after my friend left for establishing a policy where male students were required to ask permission of the females at each stage of courtship, i.e., "May I kiss you on the cheek? May I kiss you on the lips? May I kiss you with my tongue? May I put my hand on your breast?" All the way to, "May I insert my penis into your vagina?". Good idea, eh? I seem to remember SNL did a skit about it.

"Were all of the women attending this college men-haters? How else can you explain such a cohesive boycott of your friend?"

How do you explain the black listings of the McCarthy era or the treatment of jews in Nazi Germany? I think people tend to be afraid of the consequences of opposition and say nothing and often join the ranks.

"But would he have left school because he couldn't get a date? And why was the young man crying? How did you know he was gay?"

He left school because he got sick of having to explain why he was on the list and have people shun him never the less. You might ask: Why did the distance themselves when they understood he had done nothing wrong? From what he has told me and what I've experience myself I imagine that they did not want to risk ending up in suspicion or on a black list themselves.
The young man was crying because he was very sensitive and his feelings were hurt by what the speaker said to him. I know he was gay because I later met him and we became friends.

Tomndebb wondered what my anecdote had to do with PC. I'll try to be more clear. The self righteous disregard for otherís rights in order to redress the historical injustices of women in the "bring back the night" rally resulted in at least two additional very unnecessary and counterproductive injustices. My one friend spoke up respectfully, offering his support for the championed cause at a public gathering and my other friend merely tried to aid the former. Their speech/behavior was labeled not PC and both ended up getting named as not PC to date. My gay friend was not as stressed about being on the list though. ;)

My point is that the self-appointed authorities on what politically correct is in any given situation can have a lot of power and do a lot of damage to individuals, and to everyone's personal freedom.

Tross
01-07-2004, 04:23 AM
I believe the following example does a good job at illustrating how the movement to avoid offending anyone with un PC language hinders free discourse and the exchange of ideas.:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_correctness

For example, in a satirical example of so-called PC speech, the sentence "The fireman put a ladder up against the tree, climbed it, and rescued the cat" might look like this:


The firefighter (who happened to be male, but could just as easily have been female) abridged the rights of the cat to determine for itself where it wanted to walk, climb, or rest, and inflicted his own value judgments in determining that it needed to be "rescued" from its chosen perch. In callous disregard for the well-being of the environment, and this one tree in particular, he thrust the disabled-unfriendly means of ascent known as a "ladder" carelessly up against the tree, marring its bark, and unfeelingly climbed it, unconcerned how his display of physical prowess might injure the self-esteem of those differently abled. He kidnapped and unjustly restrained the innocent animal with the intention of returning it to the person who claimed to "own" the naturally free animal, but it immediately fled his grasp, having withstood more insult and injury than it could bear.