February 2, 2001    





How do you feel about "political correctness"?

I got sick of trying to figure out what the right thing to say was, so I just stick with whatever was right about the time I graduated high school. I'm shocked at people who say things like "Oriental" for "Asian," though.

Karen, 21

Profoundly annoyed. I understand the principle, but it's going about its goal in completely the wrong way. I was in college at the very height of the movement, and wrote a piece for the school paper about dormfuls of students competing to do laundry in limited washers, and I wrote that the "final solution" to the issue was just to save it all for when you went home. My editors and I were seriously concerned when I brought it in to them that someone would complain I was a Nazi because I used that phrase. I've also heard of cases where students raised a fuss about people using the expressions "a nip in the air" and "a chink in one's armor". First of all, words alone aren't the issue, it's context. Second of all, simply changing the words people use won't change the message -- if someone snarled at me that "you micks are always causing trouble," I wouldn't feel any better about it if they instead said "you Irish-Americans are always causing trouble."

Kim, 30
New York
, NY   USA

People have an impression that it is bad to care too much about being politically correct and they dimiss it as being overly sensitive. I disagree, and I think "politically correct" is a misnomer. It should be "socially sensitive." Most issues that deal with being politically correct aren't political at all. Being nice to people isn't a political issue. What is a mere annoyance to one person might be really important to someone else. I have experienced people who are no fun to be with because they are super sensitive, but really being "politically correct" is only about being socially conscious and being nice to people. Those are two characteristics that I'd like to see in every person on this planet.

Eric, 18
Beverly Hills
, CA   USA

My husband cut an article out of the Washington Times yesterday. It seems this columnist had written up "50 Ways to Annoy the Politically Correct". It listed 5 of the ways and told you where you could write for the rest. The five were:
1. For your Christmas card you have your picture taken shaking hands with Newt Gingrich.
2. You suggest carving the visage of Ronald Reagan into Mount Rushmore.
3. Buy a gun....
4. For your ten year-old....
5. To celebrate his Junior membership in the NRA.
Pretty cute, huh? But this doesn't answer the question. Like most things, "political correctness" has some good things and some bad. But as a general rule, I think it's dumb and I don't like it. Until it's accepted into all of our society, you feel like you're walking on eggshells when you talk to someone you don't know well.

Reba, 51
, MD   USA

Ever watch the show "Politically Incorrect"? It's hilarious.

Dianne, 16
Oshawa, Ontario  CANADA

Its usually good, unless taken to extremes.

Talia, 23
, CT    USA

I'm putting out a new zine called Flesh Toned Razor. The first thing in it is a warning that says "If you find yourself taking anything in here too seriously you really need to get laid." Somtimes people who insist on it can  be annoying, sometimes they can be really fun to fuck with.

Alias Irrelevante

Sometimes I think folks get carried away with all that. I understand it on an intellectual level...and agree with some of the jargon. Other times I find myself shaking my head. I forget who said it, but I like the old "words is words, thoughts say more" theory.

Fisch, 45
, CT   USA

I admire the spirit of universal respect and deplore the excesses committed in the name of respect.

Jill, 60

I find it distrubing that there are those that make it seem like a crime or an outrageous bent of fascism to want society to treat folks with fairness, dignity, tolerance and respect and to make sure those who don't are aware that they don't.

Felicia, 35
, MA   USA

I don't know. I mean it definately has a place because there are so many hurtful and outdated things in the general vocabulary, but I think it can be taken to far. Like vertically challenged and shit.

Jaden, 21
Brampton, Ontario  CANADA

Political is just that.....incorrect....anyways...I think it is all just a way to walk soflty on the toes of people rather than full out stomping...

Adrianne, 15

In principle, speaking and acting correctly can lead to people's feelings being modified to match, and especially to the next generation taking the correct things as normal. It does, however, get carried to absurd extremes.

Jane, 60
West Linn
, OR   USA

I feel that political correctness is a load of sh*t. But see, I just did it because I replaced i with * so I wouldn't offend the word sensitive people. I think political correctness is for people who want an opportunity to whine and start arguments. It's for people who are tooooooooo sensitive. I believe it all started with name calling and then, it went too far.

Lisa J., 22

Some of it makes sense, there are things/comments/labels that we could say in a nicer way, but a lot of it got out of hand and seems a little ridiculous.

Tracy, 24
Ocean City

Political correctness is pure B.S., and I don't mean the college degree. You have to deal with that at work, since you can't offend anybody.  Outside of work, I get sick of the PC police telling you how to thing. I mean, I think the only people you can dislike are whites, lest you be labeled a racist. Well, to quote my heroes, Degeneration X, as far as PC goes, I got two words for it: S*ck it...nice, huh?

Bruno, 31
, CO   USA

I dunno... I don't really pay attention to politics.

Jeremy, 13
Highlands Ranch
, CO   USA

I think it is a little too much..it's gone too far.

Angela, 16

Look, it's one think to look out for your brother/sister man/woman, but it's quite another to wreck the poetry of words with all these stupid adjustments! We can respect without censorship, thank you.

A-Dog, 18

It's a useful thing to know the rules before you poop all over them. . .

mothmc, 36
Los Angeles

so i'm finally moving out (my roommates kicked me out a few weeks ago-blame that damn college red tape or i'd be out sooner).   anyway. i'm trying to get a few screenprinting projects off the ground, one so that i can earn some cash-- i'm flat ass broke. no money for anything. i just got a new job, and i came in at a weird time, so that i have to wait another 2 weeks for my first paycheck. anyway, i plan to tag up my building and finish a piece i started at the top of the stairs earlier this year before i leave. that's all for now.

Trisha, 19
New York

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