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A political correctness war that never really ended

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  • A political correctness war that never really ended

    New York magazine's Jonathan Chait took a 2x4 to the proverbial hornet's nest earlier this week when he penned a nearly 5,000-word essay under the provocative headline, "Not a very PC thing to say: How the language police are perverting liberalism".

    For those not familiar with the term, PC refers to politically correct - a derogatory description coined in the 1990s to label those contending, in part, that language was a weapon used by the powerful to deny the interests of the oppressed. Although the term gained national awareness, the most ferocious debates occurred on college campuses and involved student speech codes and mandated gender inclusiveness.

    The controversy died down in the new century, perhaps due to greater concerns in the national consciousness - terrorism and war, freedom and security. The debates, however, left their mark. Many of the journalists now reaching the higher levels of their profession, like Chait, had their educational experience defined by these often vitriolic episodes.

    This writer, for instance, recalls that the most heated argument at his student newspaper - the one that fractured friendships and left some participants in tears - wasn't over abortion, the Gulf War or favoured political candidates. It was about replacing the word "freshman" with "first-year student" in the publication's style guide.

    And now Chait has rubbed the scab off that particular cultural era and exposed a wound that still festers. He writes that the 20-year-old PC movement is returning with a vengeance - made all the worse by the roiling stew of opinion and outrage in social media.

    Chait defines this new political correctness as mainly an internecine war among liberals, where "more radical members of the left attempt to regulate political discourse by defining opposing views as bigoted and illegitimate". It is at its heart, he says, illiberal and anti-free speech.

    Among the examples he cites of modern-day PC extremism are calls for white males to "check their privilege"; trigger warnings on articles and college curricula; small slights called "microagressions" that, taken together, create a hostile environment for the unempowered; demands for inclusive language for trans-gendered persons; and protests that have prevented controversial lecturers from appearing on university campuses.

    He points to a recent episode at Massachusetts' Mt Holyoke College, for instance, where a theatre group decided to end the annual performances of the play The Vagina Monologues - work that was celebrated as a beacon of feminist expression in the 1990s but now is considered by some progressive activists to "exclude women without vaginas".

    "In a short period of time, the PC movement has assumed a towering presence in the psychic space of politically active people in general and the left in particular," he writes. And the end effect is that it is causing some writers to avoid controversial topics, lest they be subjected to online opprobrium that often crosses over to real-world threats.
    BBC - Full Article

  • #2
    I think that needs restating as a title:

    Not a very PC thing to say: How the language police are perverting liberalism".
    Not a very PC thing to say: How the Progressive Left are perverting language and destroying it having meaning.

    Comment


    • #3
      I guess were supposed to just sit around and grunt. Would that make the "Regressive Left" happy? No the left is never happy and their goal in life is to make everyone else as miserable as they are.

      Comment


      • #4
        How many of us are guilty of using PC terminology?

        Think carefully before you answer.
        Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

        Comment


        • #5
          Does this count?

          Liar
          Incessantly
          Betraying
          Everyone's
          Rights
          And
          Liberties

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
            How many of us are guilty of using PC terminology?

            Think carefully before you answer.
            ==============
            Of course we had to cave to PC terminology. I worked 12 years for a company and they were always laying down to the PC Crowd. It was horrible having to watch what I said to a friend in case someone was listening and was "offended" by what I said.

            Comment


            • #7
              You want to try working in the prison service in the uk. I once got told off when answering to how I had my coffee, black two sugars. Apparently that's rascist and I should of said no milk two sugars.
              My reply to the senior officer didn't go down too well either.
              PC can go fcuk itself. The people that use it to better their lives but ruin others can go fcuk themselves.
              I told the senior officer that I believed he was picking on me because I was gay, I am strictly hetro, and he was literally grovelling in his apologies, mind you when he found out I wasn't it became a bit tense.
              As I told the guv on my last day at work. The prison was run by cnuts, staffed by cnuts and the overall man in charge was the biggest Cnut of them all. I told him that the prisoners were more honest and easier to work with than the staff.
              Why should I have to call a rapist or murderer mr smith? Why not just smith or by his prison number?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                Does this count?

                Liar
                Incessantly
                Betraying
                Everyone's
                Rights
                And
                Liberties

                Excellent response!
                Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

                Comment


                • #9
                  I am generally not a hater, but I despise political correctness, like inventing words to take the place of other words that have been used for decades and decades because they may offend someone or something, enough is enough, for instance someone that's short it is:
                  Vertically challenged.
                  Crippled= physically impaired.
                  Not a full Deck= mentally impaired.
                  Blind= visually impaired.
                  Deaf= hearing impaired.
                  Fat= overweight or obese.
                  And my very favorite, used in commercials, Death = Fatal Event!
                  Surely You are shitting me!
                  Last edited by Trung Si; 01 Feb 15, 20:16.
                  Trying hard to be the Man, that my Dog believes I am!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Or, the neutering of language.

                    Chairperson vs. Chairman / Chairwoman

                    Server vs. Waiter / Waitress

                    That sort of nonsense as if men and women didn't exist, just people.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                      Or, the neutering of language.

                      Chairperson vs. Chairman / Chairwoman

                      Server vs. Waiter / Waitress

                      That sort of nonsense as if men and women didn't exist, just people.
                      Men and women do exist. But what does that have to do with being a waiter or chairperson?
                      ´
                      “You need to help people. I know it's not very Republican to say but you need to help people.” DONALD TRUMP, 2016

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                        Or, the neutering of language.

                        Chairperson vs. Chairman / Chairwoman

                        Server vs. Waiter / Waitress

                        That sort of nonsense as if men and women didn't exist, just people.
                        Although not really PC, we even have this kind of thing seeping into the workplace in that we have write up things in a weird way. Case in point: We had a piece of equipment that we installed for the telephone company that was prone to overheating and even catching on fire. The manufacturer had a wiring problem. However we could not use the terms "overheating" or "catching fire" in the E-mails that flew back and forth over the problem. The correct term we were told to use for the corporate high muckety mucks was "thermal event." "Thermal event", are you ing kidding me?
                        Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jonathanrex1 View Post
                          Men and women do exist. But what does that have to do with being a waiter or chairperson?
                          You need to consult a politically correct stylebook on genderless terms!

                          http://jerz.setonhill.edu/writing/gr...tral-language/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mystikeye View Post
                            I guess were supposed to just sit around and grunt. Would that make the "Regressive Left" happy? No the left is never happy and their goal in life is to make everyone else as miserable as they are.
                            You think that PC terminology is limited to the Left? What then, is the term "enhanced interrogation" if not a Right PC phrase? PC cuts both ways.
                            Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mystikeye View Post
                              I guess were supposed to just sit around and grunt. Would that make the "Regressive Left" happy? No the left is never happy and their goal in life is to make everyone else as miserable as they are.
                              These are the politics who created the PC,cause every vote counts,don't upset a potential voter..
                              They have no bollo..s,should they be left or right,politic is a business,and they need to protect their own career by being clean as a plate.
                              That rug really tied the room together

                              Comment

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