Is political correctness a useful concept, or does it stifle honest discussion? This, the question posed by WordPress’ Daily Prompt. For my take on this prompt, I will stretch an analogy as far as I can:
Political correctness is the group of mean girls at school. They are beautiful. They are cool. They set the standard of what is fashionable versus what is ridiculously out. They look down their noses at all those who are too stupid, ugly, poor or otherwise inadequate to be a part of their high status. They usually all follow one Main Mean Girl, in desperate attempt to be just as Cool. They live to absorb the congratulatory praises of their own kind. They not only espouse themselves to a singular train of acceptable thought, but they so ridicule opposing thought that the masses of ordinary kids dare not speak up. Genius becomes geek. Artist becomes emo. Spiritual becomes goody-goody. Work-ethic minded become worker bee. Faced with reasonable opposition, they cut their eyes to one another knowingly, snickering to themselves: “Ohoo, my Gawwwwd, did he just SAY that?”
Only when they begin to think for themselves are they rejected from this elitist group. Only when they are ready to open their eyes to the value of diversity are they able to stand up for something that is intellectually balanced and fair. Only when geeks, emos, goody-goodies and worker bees speak up, write, vote, take on responsible roles of leadership. . . will mean girls find their place on the sidelines of meaningful discourse.
Now, having said that, though, I feel I was a bit mean to the mean girls. After all, an analogy can only go so far, and there are redeeming qualities in each of us. In fact, political correctness originally set out to reduce derogatory name-calling, increase awareness of important philanthropic causes and teach humankind to be humane. Sometimes, though, what we set out to do and what we end up doing are two different things, entirely. So, leaving this post as enough said, and realizing it is just one quick thought with a slightly negative view, among myriad others which are likely more correct, I will with great interest go on to read what other bloggers have to say, and hopefully become more enlightened for it.
©Joan T Warren