Rant: Political Correctness

Discrimination may be a bad thing, but in the fight for equality, has political correctness become a problem in itself?

Since this is a touchy topic, I want to start off by admitting that as a straight, white male from a privileged background, I may be just a little bit biased here. Nonetheless, I want to jump right into this and if I offend anyone then I sincerely apologise, but then again if you are offended you are most likely contributing to the problem I’m talking about.

First off, I refuse to believe that I am the only person who thinks that some people in our society are taking political correctness too far. Yes, it is a great thing to speak out against discrimination of others based on their gender, race or sexual orientation, and anyone who disagrees with me on that can, quite frankly, piss off. But when it comes to a point where people are forced to censor every second word they say, we have a bit of a problem.

Furthermore, what is politically correct is becoming ambiguous and full of double standards. For example, I understand why the term ‘wog’ may offend certain people, and fair enough too if these people get angry when it is used derogatorily against them, but does that mean it should be removed entirely from our vocabulary? Moreover, is any joke that uses the word completely off-limits to people not of Mediterranean heritage? See I’m confused because it seems to be okay when it’s ‘wogs’ making fun of themselves.

The same argument could be made about any group. Let’s look at anti-Semitism for a moment. While being atheist myself, I come from a Jewish background, I consider it part of my identity and I have been offended by anti-Semitic comments before. On the other hand, I have heard some Holocaust jokes that I found truly hilarious. I’m not trying to say that bigotry is justified by humour; I just want to demonstrate the importance of context.

I think part of the problem is that it is considered cool to be liberal and equalitarian and so it should be, but people don’t understand the difference between being equalitarian and being politically correct. There is no reason why someone can’t be both unprejudiced and say politically incorrect things from time to time as long as your context and audience is appropriate. Simply put, these are not opposites of one another.

Finally, and this is really my main point, aren’t we ignoring the real issues when we argue political correctness? We shouldn’t be bickering over petty things but showing future generations how all people are equal and should be treated as such. It is my opinion that hatred is learnt and therefore acceptance is too; so let’s push that belief. Discrimination is about actions, not words. Sticks and stones, people, sticks and stones.


Words: Max Kobras.

If you’ve got another perspective on the PC debate, we’d love to hear it – email your rant to info@ciaomagazine.com.au.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply