If you look at social media or new popular TV shows and movies, you might notice a trend that keeps popping up – everyone is trying very hard to be politically correct. Sometimes this way of behaving seems very forced and unnatural and you have probably thought how we don’t really interact like that at all times, which is completely true. Now, in order to see what is happening here really and how the rest of the world feels about it, let’s take a look first at what political correctness actually is.
What is PC culture?
Simply put, political correctness is a way of speaking that tries not to offend or exclude any group of people – basically avoiding discrimination. The US is somewhat a leader in this field and many new PC movements originate right here, which makes sense as we are quite a diverse country. When you have many different people living together in one place, you really should educate yourself about what things are alright to say and what is going to be insulting or discriminatory towards a certain group. When you think about it this way, political correctness is something we should all be masters of. However, it is not that simple.
What’s the problem?
The issue is the motive behind being politically correct. If you pay attention, you will be able to easily notice situations where a person or an organization is publically shamed for something they have said that wasn’t politically correct. These people will then put out a public statement apologizing for what they have said and perhaps even try to explain how that happened, but it would already be too late. Their reputation has already been ruined and the opinion of the public is made. Now we can see more clearly what really lies behind political correctness – people are scared of the consequences of saying a wrong thing. Thus, the point of political correctness which is being considerate and thoughtful of others’ feelings is now made into simply being scared of the PC police which can ruin you forever.
What do Americans really think?
The thing is, even though we are the country that tries to be the most politically correct out there, Americans do not agree completely on this matter. When research regarding PC culture was conducted, more Americans were against it than for it. They believe that we are taking it too far and that people are more easily offended nowadays than in the past. I wouldn’t necessarily agree with the last part (I believe they were just as offended in the past, but that they now have more chances to speak up and express their feelings); however, I do somewhat agree with the statement that we are taking it too far. Instead of focusing on the real issues such as removing discrimination from our everyday lives, we are focusing on using a different word to signal the same thing, which I believe, doesn’t help that much.