That’s offensive, I thought it was mentally vertically challenged.
[Sarah Silverman]And by ‘retarded’ I mean ‘they can do anything’.[/big S]
It depends on how you define “boorish,” “insensitive,” and “political”
Here’s an example, from the font of all internet wisdom – Wikipedia:
To me, it hardly seems outrageous to speculate that male dominance of mathematics partly results from some innate difference between men and women. And I have no problem discussing or debating this possibility in private or anonymously on an internet message board. However, a university professor would be taking a big risk by talking about this in public.
That’s a big part of political correctness. Certain facts, and the reasonable arguments which can be made on the basis of those facts, are TABOO.
As I see it, political correctness is a hyper-extension of courtesy, taking as its starting point the idea that people should refrain from offending one another, and redefining the standard of offensiveness so that even completely innocuous statements, behaviors, attitudes or preferences may be interpreted as evidence that one is (consciously or unconsciously) an advocate of minority oppression.
The first striking example of political correctness I remember encountering was in my college introductary Latin textbook (of all places). The author explained in his introduction that while he had attempted to incorporate as many excerpts from genuine Roman authors as possible, he had elected to break with hundreds of years of pedagogical tradition by striking Caesar from the list. A footnote that further expounded upon this notion was so striking that I memorized it: “Caesar’s works were studious avoided in this volume because there is a growing scholarly opinion that Caesar’s military tyranny over the first two years was infelicitous, intolerable, and deleterious to the cause, and that more suitable reading material can be found.” (I swear on the souls of my ancestors that I am not making this up) So, to paraphrase, the continued used of Caesar’s writings as a tool for teaching the Latin language somehow (in the mind of the author and his alleged colleagues) promotes despotism.
I find that political correctness has gotten to a point in our society where it stands as a threat to honest discourse. Expectations of adherence to this unwritten code of untrasensitivity have transformed language into a minefield, an effect I blame neither on the left nor the right but upon the advent of 24-hour news coverage. Whereas the fumings of the too-easily offended were once relegated to the editorial page of the daily newspaper, a verbal faux pas may now be broadcast globally in an instant and analyzed to death by rabble-rousing talking heads.
I think the essence of “traditional” political correctness is that certain phrases or gestures remind members of formerly victimized groups of the mockey that they or their predecessors were subjected to in the past.
So for example if you dress up as Tiger Woods for Holloween, it’s not inherently racist and you’re niot trying to make fun of black people, but it will inevitably remind people of those blackface minstrel shows of the early 20th century, which were in large part about making fun of black people.
So, reminiscent of something offensive = offensive.
But getting back to the OP, it would seem that PC on the right has surpassed that on the left. Having seen the power of palying the vicitm, conservatives are desperate for anything that can be construed as insulting to Christianity, or the troops, or the flag, etc. And now they’re even accusing their opponents of racis, sexism, and anti-semitism.
Apparently hypocrisy is not politically incorrect.