Political Incorrectness Has Gone Mad…So Mad Some Use it to Justify Injustice

For a long time, I have been hesitant to write about the topic of political correctness (or political incorrectness). The reason for that, I think, is because large numbers of people in the United States hate political correctness with a passion—80% of us think that political correctness is a problem in America.[1] As a result, I was really afraid to go against the popular opinion on this issue.

However, I have changed my mind. It’s time to address political correctness/incorrectness, no matter how unpopular my stance may be.

Namely, we need to address the fact that political incorrectness has gone so mad that many people now use it to justify injustice.

The most recent example of this is the reactions to an ad made a couple of weeks ago by Gillette, called “The Best a Man Can Get?” I’m not going to spoil the ad, but basically the advertisement was a challenge to men (and particularly men with toxic behaviors) to be better than the bullying, catcalling, and harassing behaviors that have created the need for a #MeToo movement.

Some praised the ad. However, many people panned Gillette, and have even said that they will boycott Gillette, because they were “too politically correct.”

Let the above sentence sink in. An anti-bullying, anti-catcalling, anti-sexual harassment ad got criticized for being too politically correct.

By panning this ad as too politically correct, it shows political incorrectness as having gone so mad that an ad promoting basic standards of human decency (don’t bully, don’t catcall, don’t harass) has become controversial.

I wish I could say that the reaction to this Gillette ad was an anomaly, that we as human beings are usually good about treating others with decency. But no…there are other noteworthy examples when too many people have used the idea of political incorrectness to justify injustice. Here are two of the more well-known examples:

  1. There were many times during the 2016 Trump campaign when then-candidate Trump mocked others, ranging from a New York Times reporter for his disability to a former Miss America winner for her being overweight.[2] In the case of the Times reporter, he mocked someone for something that’s impossible to control (a disability), while with the Miss America winner he mocked the woman for something that’s difficult to control (weight). And yet many people (especially/mostly his supporters) defended him by arguing that he was just “speaking his mind” and that his opponents were being too politically correct. What this means was that many of us (or at least enough of us that he’s now president) let political incorrectness go so mad that we somehow justify bullying and fat-shaming.
  2. There was, is, and probably will continue to be a chorus of people who argue that the enforcement on what jokes are funny or hurtful/triggering is too politically correct. With racist “jokes,” rape “jokes,” stalking “jokes” (which I wrote about months ago), and other types of jokes that are potentially hurtful, responses can often range from “Can’t you take a joke?” to “You’re just being too politically correct.” What this means was that many of us let political incorrectness go so mad that we somehow justify making hurtful jokes.

Ultimately, while some may argue that political correctness has gone mad, I would argue that there are times that political incorrectness has gone mad. In fact, political incorrectness has gone so mad that, at times, some of us would rather do what’s politically incorrect than what’s right.


[1] https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/10/large-majorities-dislike-political-correctness/572581/

[2] There are so many examples of Trump’s political incorrectness that I could make a blog post out of it. I could talk about his telling a judge to go back to Mexico, or comments he has said about African Americans and Jews in the past, or any other number of things. For the sake of keeping this post from getting too long, I only cited two examples.

27 Replies to “Political Incorrectness Has Gone Mad…So Mad Some Use it to Justify Injustice”

  1. Like so many terms… socialist, fascist, feminist, liberal, conservative…the term “political correctness” has lost all meaning. As Lewis Carroll wrote (to paraphrase).:A word means what I say it means.
    PC means being a decent human being. To some, that decency is interpreted as weakness. Blowhards and insulters are thought to be strong. And to be vulgar is to be admired by some. Sad. Very sad.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You beat me to my comment. Actually I don’t even think that the things addressed in this post are PC, I think they are like you mentioned being a kind and respectful human being (decent). I think that PC and being respectful can be different – if only to help get people over the “PC label” and accept it more. But then that’s probably just more cat herding when dealing with PC haters.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I know what you mean. But sadly, in my experiences everything I mentioned in my post is often labeled as being “too PC.” The Gillette ad’s dislikes well outnumber the likes (last time I checked), partially because it’s viewed as being “too PC” (I know that because I made the mistake of reading the comments section). It’s like we’ve become so obsessed with avoiding political correctness that it’s toxic.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I agree with you, Joseph. I considered defining the term “political correctness” in my post, but I decided not to bother because as you said, that term has lost its meaning.

      Often, the PC thing to do is the right thing to do, and the politically incorrect thing to do is the wrong thing to do. And yet, our problem is with political correctness. Sad indeed.

      Liked by 2 people

    3. PC means being a decent human being. To some, that decency is interpreted as weakness.

      Precisely, see, PC has NOT lost its meaning.

      Like

      1. I think I would agree with Joseph here, insofar as PC has lost its meaning.

        Like with many of the other labels they’re cited, they all get constantly thrown around (and thrown as insults) without much thought as to what those labels mean. In that way, I do think PC has lost its meaning.

        Like

  2. Brilliant post. Thank you. I agree with the commenter above who stated that Trump seems to be an idiot school-grade bully. I couldn’t explain better myself. When did it become okay for our Commander-in-Chief to throw temper tantrums? I’m ashamed to be an American.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You’re welcome!

      You’re right that the bar has lowered significantly the last couple of years with our current president. Part of that lower bar includes the fact that it is somehow okay to be a bully, and justify it because the alternative is just “too PC.”

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I try not to comment on American politics as I tend to get in trouble because I simply cannot understand the cultural frame of reference that advocates the gun culture and Trump (trust me I know that our current political climate is no better). The UK is also heading down a dangerous path where insults are branded as objective truths and respect and tolerance are just a PC fantasy. If politicians could just work for the good of their constituents instead of using fear to try and further their own power grabs life would become a little simpler and a little more tolerable. Life should have value.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I totally understand your hesitance to comment on American politics.

      That being said, the word “fear” hits on a lot of what’s going on right now in the US. I think that Trump has played on the fears of many. The fear of not being able to “speak your mind” anymore (in other words, a fear of being “too PC”) is one of them. It seems like many of these fears seem to exist in the UK.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Speaking one’s mind does not permit one to consciously and repetitively use hurtful and invidious stereotypical terminology as the anti-PC types claim in their definition of plain speech.

        That 80% of us support the anti PC movement shows how near to the surface our prejudices are.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. You’re absolutely right! “Political correctness” is now synonymous with being respectful which is something apparently nobody wants to do anymore. Whenever I hear someone standing up for Native Americans, Jews, the transgendered community, someone touts them as being too “politically correct”. It’s not asking too much to be respectful to others and to avoid words or phrases that they find offensive. Romans 12:17-19 reminds us “Return evil for evil to no one. Take into consideration what is fine from the viewpoint of all men. If possible, as far as it depends on you, be peaceable with all men.” We can’t control others so I try not to let myself be conquered by evil but keep conquering it with good (Romans 17:21).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree Heather. Being politically correct has become synonymous with being respectful, which lots of people don’t want to do. I can’t even begin to say the number of times I have heard basic human decency getting panned as “too PC.”

      Thanks for sharing those verses! I definitely needed to read them.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The idea of referring to a person as a cripple instead of saying that he is a person with a disability is what anti-political correctness is about. Anti- political correctness is that mean spirited.

    If a person has to think for a moment and explain why he is mad at someone instead of referring to him as gay or retarded, what is lost, aren’t we supposed to try to work together and not merely label each other?

    The anti-political correctness movement is -flat out- an attempt to maintain invidious stereotyping as an acceptable mode of discourse.

    And the President’s vaunted “honesty,” in not being politically correct is now clearly just the assertion of the patriarchal order in politics and in society.

    Anti political correctness should be called what it is: intimidation and censorship of feminists and of the left.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right, Robert.

      When I hear the phrase “too PC” it is often used for people to maintain their own prejudices, biases, and stereotypes, as you said. It’s an easy label to use and even overuse because 80% of Americans think that political correctness is a problem. Given the unpopularity of political correctness, portraying oneself as anti-PC is an easy way to maintain those prejudices.

      Like

  6. The mocking that is the expression “politically correct” is a form of bullying. The moving ground of learning what words hurt is constantly changing but it’s a journey tht I won’t let anyone shame me for taking. Thank you for this post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome, Maren!

      The question of what words hurt is often changing. However, we shouldn’t let that fact keep us from learning all the time, as you basically said. While I can understand some of the frustrations over the moving ground of what words hurt, the frustration is worthwhile because in the end, you end up treating others better as a result. Labeling certain things as just “too PC” often results in an avoidance of that labor–easy in the short run, possibly, but causes lots of hurt in the long run.

      Like

  7. Enjoyed reading your perspective on this. I admittedly used to be very conservative and was one of those people who decried “political correctness.” Long story short, a lot of scripture and some Holy Spirit convictions revealed how far I had gone astray in my worldview and priorities, and I now try to look at the world through a Christians lens, not a political one.

    I think the resistance to political correctness derives from the fear of losing control, i.e. “being told what you can say and think” (a deeper thinker draws a logical connection between this loss of control and extremely leftist ideas like communism). The question I ask as a Christian is whether we should really be afraid that antiquated language or ideas are becoming stigmatized? If Jesus supposedly guides the lives of many American conservatives, we should want to be as kind and understanding as we can anyways. Maybe some “PC” things are over-the-top, but people are throwing out the baby with the bath water and, as you said, choosing to be offensive just to spite the whole idea of “PC.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that your assessment of political correctness is accurate. I think that there is a fear of losing control; namely, I think that there is a fear of losing control of being able to say whatever you want whenever you want to say it without any backlash.

      But once again, it’s worth asking the questions you ask, as a Christian. Or then there’s the question I ask, as a fellow Christian: Should we really be worried about control when we should theoretically believe that God is the one in control?

      Thanks for the kind words!

      Like

  8. I think you’ve made some really good points here. Especially significant is your point that political correctness is considered such a huge problem that it’s actually starting to colour people’s view of real injustice, causing them to defend inexcusable behaviour. Really like this article, thanks for sharing your thoughts

    Liked by 1 person

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