Bronze-level articlePolitical correctness

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Short of walking into a conversation, sandblasting the brick and installing track lighting, there is no surer way to announce one is from the 1980s than to mount an assault on 'political correctness,' the contemporary phrase for which is "not being a jackass."
—Tabatha Southey

The cliché term political correctness or "PC" usually refers to upholding a social taboo against language and attitudes that might be considered offensive and/or stupid.[1] This loaded term has become a boogey-man for the right-wing, who use it to tar anything that runs contrary to their own policies, such as letting women out of the kitchen or gays out of the closet.

Ruth Perry wrote in an essay entitled A Short History of the Term "Politically Correct"[2] that the term was first coined by Mao Zedong,[3] but was later hijacked by conservative eclectics who proceeded to overuse it in exactly the manner above described, hence taking all the juice out of it.[4] (Defending oneself with it might be the most popular handwave to dismiss social criticism.) More recently, advocates of political correctness have therefore substituted the term "civilized speech" for "politically correct" in order to boost its image in light of the PC backlash.

In full irony, conservatives have also adopted political correctness widely; trying to justify censorship on the grounds that something is "offensive to Christians," for example, or Conservapedia's insistence on BC/AD to the total exclusion of BCE/CE.

As above, passive-aggressive people who defend racism and but don't want to be labeled that way attack dissenters as "politically correct."

Contents

[edit] Language

People forget that "political correctness" actually used to be called "spastic gay talk."
—Frankie Boyle

Political correctness is associated with specific terms that are attempts to describe people in the most neutral and objective way possible. Sometimes these work, certainly "Asian" works better than specifically saying "Indian" or (the mostly pejorative, and considered racist) "Paki" when you don't know what country someone is from.[5]

Some examples include:

  • "African American" instead of "black" (extra specially hilarious when used to describe someone who is neither African[6] nor American). Currently being phased out by social justice advocates on Tumblr in favor of the nondescript 'People of Color' or 'PoC', despite the negative implications of all non-Caucasian ethnicities being treated as interchangeable and the historical connotations of black people being described as "colored."
  • "Differently abled" and "person with disabilities" are the politically correct terms and certainly better than anything else like "handicapped." "Handicapable" is sometimes used as a nauseatingly patronizing positive twist on "handicapped."
  • "Person with a mental disability" instead of "retarded" or "mentally retarded" - this conforms to the general "people first" rule. "Mentally retarded" was actually the politically correct term for such persons replacing "idiot," and its connotations reversed quickly over time (see euphemism treadmill).
  • "Little Person" instead of "midget" or "vertically challenged" rather than "short-arse."
  • "Person of size" instead of "fat."
  • "Inuit" rather than "Eskimo" (except in America, where "Eskimo" isn't insulting), although this is based on a false assumption that Inuit is a better, more catch-all term when it's not - the "Eskimo" people are actually two groups, the Inuit (Greenland, Canada, US) and the Yupik (US, Russia) (and the Aleuts, though not considered Eskimos, are close relatives). Really, saying "Inuit" is better than "Eskimo" is akin to saying "German" is better than "European."
  • "Person" instead of "man" when the gender is unknown, unspecified or associated with a trade, skill or position in a hierarchy ("Congressperson," "Chairperson," "Personhole Cover," "strawperson"). Probably the least perverse form of PC language because it actually eliminates bias instead of just rewording it.
  • "Person with racial prejudice" instead of "racist." This is part of a redefinition of "racism" to mean "prejudice plus power," so that the "powerless" automatically cease to be "racists."[citation needed]
  • "Racist" instead of "Islamophobic." Pretending that Islam is a race in order to caricature all opponents of Islam, the religion, as opponents of Muslims, the people; see Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006 for an example. (That doesn't mean there aren't Islamophobes, just be careful.)
  • "Creation scientist" instead of "raving loony," "nutjob," "wingnut," "crackpot," "creatard" or any one of a number of highly suitable terms.
  • "Freedom fries" instead of French fries because frogmunchers object to George W. Bush's batshit foreign policy hate America.
  • "Enhanced interrogation interviews" for torture.
  • "Special rendition" instead of "kidnap and torture."
  • "National Socialist" instead of "Nazi". Ironically, some real neo-nazis (e.g. at Metapedia) find the term "Nazi" offensive and use "National Socialist", often shortened as "NS", to describe themselves.
  • When in reference to goats, "buck" and "doe" instead of "billy" and "nanny". No, really. People think the goats will get offended if you call them these things.[7]
  • And of course, the ultimate bi-partisan PC double-doozy: "Pro-choice" and "pro-life" instead of "pro-abortion" and "anti-abortion."

[edit] Backlash

Today, "political correctness" is used more ironically than it is earnestly, and is generally looked upon as a synonym for censorship. No one sees their own manipulation of language as "political correctness," only applying that term to manipulation of language done by other people. These days, many celebrities try to be edgy and risqué by being "politically incorrect," instead of trying to be politically correct.[8] This is particularly true of comedians, who are often restricted in what jokes they can make on TV - and particularly whom they can pick on. Many make a living out of doing such edgy material in live stand-up shows, or in the studio (when they know it'll be cut from broadcast). However, it should be made abundantly clear that there is a world of difference between cutting edge alternative comedy that breaks social taboos (Jerry Sadowitz, Charlie Brooker) and complaining that political correctness doesn't let you call a coon a coon (Jim Davidson, Bernard Manning) and is thus tantamount to censorship. The worm has turned, surely.

Many bigots and xenophobes claim to be the victims of "The PC Police" so they can claim to be persecuted when faced with the consequences of hate speech.

The concepts that came later to be known as political correctness were seemingly first made by a "Cultural Marxist" named Herbert Marcuse. Marcuse, in an essay titled Repressive Tolerance, argued that the concept of tolerance can be liberating or oppressive depending on who uses it and how. He defined "liberating tolerance" as tolerance of communists and other "movements from the Left," and "repressive tolerance" as tolerance of anti-communists and other "movements from the Right."[9]

[edit] There is a cure!

To fight political correctness, start young. Buy children's books and albums for your kids that were written before about 1970. In particular, make sure you buy Little Black Sambo for them. Even there you have to watch out with some older books - all the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books were rewritten starting in the 1950s to make them PC, so get only the old out of print original editions, which have pre-1950 copyright dates on them. Another good choice is to read your male child Robert E. Howard stories, which, in addition to being unbelievably badass, are the most un-PC things since southern justifications for slavery. Note - do not read these stories to your little girl. The incredible volume of manliness in them will probably turn her into a lesbian or something (though fringe schools of thought maintain that this is the reason you should read them to your little girl).

Also, it is vitally important to buy only appropriate books and toys for their gender. For a boy, a Red Ryder BB gun is a must, and toy Cat 'dozers and other heavy construction equipment is always a good choice. What, you're afraid he'll shoot his eye out? You PC wimp, he's supposed to shoot his eye out, because adversity builds character and exposing the young boy to danger prepares him for life and ensures he will not grow up to be an effeminate geek. Also there is nothing in this world more badass than an eyepatch. For a girl, get them dolls, miniature kitchen appliances, and anything related to princesses, but beware! The Disney princess stuff coming out today promotes multiculturalism! Fuck Mulan and Tiana! Be sure to get them only princesses and dolls that existed before 1970 and haven't significantly changed their design. Barbie dolls are always a good choice. Girls should not be allowed to play with things like fireman helmets and Thomas the Tank Engine, and boys should not be allowed to play with any toys that look like they may involve cooking, clothing, babies, cleaning, or the color pink. That's just asking for them to grow up gay.

Avoid Teletubbies, which promotes effeminacy and homosexuality. Perhaps even worse, Teletubbies is set in a totalitarian world in which a creepy sounding loudspeaker orders them about, and thus looks like the show was consciously designed to prepare toddlers to accept the New World Order. Also avoid Barney the Dinosaur, which is pure social engineering with its "I like you, you like me, we're a happy fam-i-ly" nonsense (a dinosaur can't be happy! It doesn't have a soul!) Come to think of it, avoid all toys and cartoons in which a main character is any pastel color, especially purple or lavender.

Sesame Street is an especially insidious PC social engineering tool. Note the subtle promotion of multiculturalism. The show is even called Sesame "Street" instead of Sesame "Road", a dead giveaway, and the buildings look like some nappy-headed inner city housing project. That show even includes a bum living in a garbage can portrayed as a cute and cuddly muppet, instead of a pathetic layabout who has earned his fate.

If you catch your boys watching Teletubbies or any children watching Sesame Street, turn off the TV pronto and send them outside to play Cowboys and Indians. The future of Western Civilization depends on it! Kill! Kill! Kill!

Whatever you do, do not get them that god-awful 1974 children's album that teaches that it is okay for boys to cry and play with dolls.

This is often overlooked, but if you catch your child looking like they might start writing with their left hand, you need to take action fast. There is a definite correlation between left-handedness and left-wingedness! Spanking has proven to be a successful form of D.I.Y. aversion therapy to set children on the path to righteousness.

Probably the most important single step you can take to fight political correctness is to homeschool your kids, so they are not exposed to the PC social engineering and brainwashing rampant in today's public and private schools alike. Use the McGuffey Readers, which are excellent books and notably free of any PC influence. Since one particularly insidious PC social engineering tactic was to take phonics instruction out of schools and replace it with the "whole language" approach which is rooted in moral relativism, use phonics material exclusively. You can find some good ones sold via mail order ads on your favorite AM talk radio station.

[edit] See also

Icon fun.svg For those of you in the mood, RationalWiki has a fun article about political correctness.

[edit] External links

You will not truly grok the extent to which political correctness has ravaged society until you watch some of these old commercials from the 1960s. You must see these commercials!

The internet has also allowed us access to these glorious cartoons that were banned by the PC police!

[edit] Footnotes

  1. Although considering PC cliché is itself quite cliché at this point, see: The Greatest Cliché: The Unexamined Propaganda of “Political Correctness”.
  2. http://books.google.com/books?id=fMmeAAAAMAAJ&q=%2B%22Ruth+Perry%22+%2B%22Beyond+pC%22&dq=%2B%22Ruth+Perry%22+%2B%22Beyond+pC%22&pgis=1
  3. http://das.sagepub.com/cgi/pdf_extract/14/1/5
  4. http://www.pum.umontreal.ca/revues/surfaces/pdf/vol7/friedman.pdf
  5. There's an oldish joke/trope involving calling someone a "paki," and then they respond by declaring "But I'm Indian!! I fucking hate those paki bastards!!"
  6. Depending on how ancestry is defined, everyone may be an African; see Recent African Origin theory. (Then again, racists may even call that politically correct.)
  7. http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/billy-goats-zbcz1311.aspx#axzz35UaZoNNR
  8. This is probably because it is very difficult, if not impossible, actually to be politically correct, according to what Aesop said about trying to keep everyone happy.
  9. http://www.marcuse.org/herbert/pubs/60spubs/65repressivetolerance.htm
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