Has political correctness actually gone mad?

Pogue Mahone

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The phrase alluded to in the title always used to wind me up. Political correctness is a good thing and comes as a result of a decades long struggle for equality. Who cares if we sometimes err on the side of being too cautious about causing offence?

Reading articles like this, though, makes me wonder if it really has gone a bit too far. Especially with social media empowering loony tunes crusades by anyone, anywhere, who takes offence at anything.

Thoughts?
 

Dwazza Gunnar Solskjær

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Today's youth are delicate flowers, Pogue. We can't expose them to the harsh realities of human existence lest they shrink and wilt like violets.
 

rcoobc

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I think anti-political correctness has gone mad.

Or not gone mad, is mad. Is angry.

There are so many causes in front of our eyes now (open Facebook or Google news and you'll see people who are offended by something), and it seems to annoy the anti-pc brigade no end.

In reality, the world has just shrunk. You can be offended by something in California whilst sitting in a chair in devon
 

DiseaseOfTheAge

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I've had to skip entire sections of my course due to triggering issues of a different nature, so I can understand not being able to cope with certain material but I think it's very much the student's problem. I don't think a trigger warning would do any harm for something like that but I don't think you can make other allowances sensibly.

Anyway, nah... political correctness has a good way to go yet before 'mad' examples are particularly common.
 

Pogue Mahone

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I've had to skip entire sections of my course due to triggering issues of a different nature, so I can understand not being able to cope with certain material but I think it's very much the student's problem. I don't think a trigger warning would do any harm for something like that but I don't think you can make other allowances sensibly.

Anyway, nah... political correctness has a good way to go yet before 'mad' examples are particularly common.
That's my take on it too.

This whole "triggering" thing seems like a really new phenomenon. I worked in mental health at one point and don't even remember this being on our radar at the time. Phobias were a big deal but the consensus was that avoiding them only reinforced the issues and people should be encouraged to challenge their phobias wherever possible. I don't really understand how people can put trauma behind them if they constantly strive to avoid being reminded of it?
 

Snowle Gunnar Solskjær

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That's my take on it too.

This whole "triggering" thing seems like a really new phenomenon. I worked in mental health at one point and don't even remember this being on our radar at the time. Phobias were a big deal but the consensus was that avoiding them only reinforced the issues and people should be encouraged to challenge their phobias wherever possible. I don't really understand how people can put trauma behind them if they constantly strive to avoid being reminded of it?
I've had my own issues and for me there certainly reached a point where I had to just face up to the issues rather than shy away from them.

My girlfriend went through something awful when she was younger and has ended up doing a whole project on it. There have been some difficult times during but she's glad she ended up doing that instead of shying away from what happened.

I know everyone is different but I'm a fan of confronting your issues.
 

Pogue Mahone

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I've had my own issues and for me there certainly reached a point where I had to just face up to the issues rather than shy away from them.

My girlfriend went through something awful when she was younger and has ended up doing a whole project on it. There have been some difficult times during but she's glad she ended up doing that instead of shying away from what happened.

I know everyone is different but I'm a fan of confronting your issues.
Certainly seems like the most sensible approach. Anyway, I'm not even suggesting everyone needs to really immerse themselves in past trauma, just try and be a little less precious around stuff that might, indirectly, remind them of it. Coming back to phobias, the most effective techniques involve gradual exposure to very watered down versions of whatever they're phobic about. Someone who has a phobia about spiders might start by imagining a spider, then progressing through looking at and touching cartoonish drawings, realistic drawings, unrealistic models, realistic models and so on all the way to an actual spider. Being regularly exposed to stuff which might trigger unpleasant memories would seem like a sensible first step on this path. Going out of your way to ever encounter any triggers just seems really unhelpful to the individual concerned,
 

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I've had my own issues and for me there certainly reached a point where I had to just face up to the issues rather than shy away from them.

My girlfriend went through something awful when she was younger and has ended up doing a whole project on it. There have been some difficult times during but she's glad she ended up doing that instead of shying away from what happened.

I know everyone is different but I'm a fan of confronting your issues.
I think most mental health experts are, too, though I'm not one of them. But it makes perfect sense: shying away from them, trying to bury them carries the risk of these issues resurfacing at the worst possible times.
 

DiseaseOfTheAge

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That's my take on it too.

This whole "triggering" thing seems like a really new phenomenon. I worked in mental health at one point and don't even remember this being on our radar at the time. Phobias were a big deal but the consensus was that avoiding them only reinforced the issues and people should be encouraged to challenge their phobias wherever possible. I don't really understand how people can put trauma behind them if they constantly strive to avoid being reminded of it?
From personal experience, my feeling is that challenging phobias is absolutely what helps me but only when the situation is right. Taking the issue head on is very rewarding when I'm prepared for it and have a reasonably positive mindset but often sets me back quite a bit when it's unexpected and I'm not in the best frame of mind.
 

Pogue Mahone

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From personal experience, my feeling is that challenging phobias is absolutely what helps me but only when the situation is right. Taking the issue head on is very rewarding when I'm prepared for it and have a reasonably positive mindset but often sets me back quite a bit when it's unexpected and I'm not in the best frame of mind.
Good point.
 

SteveJ

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I actually think this has more to do with people viewing their feigned sense of having been offended by something somehow makes them more important than everyone else.
Exactly the kind of clumsy, convenient generalisation that led to the advent of political correctness in the first place.
 

JUPITER

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Today's youth, tomorrow's leaders. Oh my.
I know, imagine a world with leaders who are highly sensitive toward the human condition and want to prevent situations that are distressing for others!

The flip-side to this could actually be that we'll be looked back upon as the last generation who took no offense to anything, passively sat by and allowed ruling classes to create and manipulate wars, did nothing as systemic abuse was brushed under the carpet in front of our eyes with an ongoing mantra of 'that's just the way it is'.

I like the idea of a generation coming up who are 'overly' sensitive to anything that is potentially upsetting to other members of our society, even if I sometimes roll my eyes at it.
 

jeff_goldblum

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Being 'politically correct' is a million times better than what we had before. If you find your ability to have fun or laugh considerably constrained by the need not to hurt or offend people it's you that's the problem, not society. A better term for 'being politically correct' would be 'being considerate' or 'not being an arsehole'
 

Dwazza Gunnar Solskjær

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I know, imagine a world with leaders who are highly sensitive toward the human condition and want to prevent situations that are distressing for others!

The flip-side to this could actually be that we'll be looked back upon as the last generation who took no offense to anything, passively sat by and allowed ruling classes to create and manipulate wars, did nothing as systemic abuse was brushed under the carpet in front of our eyes with an ongoing mantra of 'that's just the way it is'.

I like the idea of a generation coming up who are 'overly' sensitive to anything that is potentially upsetting to other members of our society, even if I sometimes roll my eyes at it.
It will be the end for the west. Other nations will roll over us as our overly sensitive leaders cry into their herbal tea, sputtering on about feelings and sensibilities.
 

SteveJ

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Where are all these masses of people whose lives have (supposedly) been marred by the 'plague of political correctness', Feminism etc etc? Have to say, none of these things have made any negative difference whatsoever to my life, yet all the time I read of people complaining about PC & the like.
 

Bill.s.preston

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Nothing wrong with political correctness in general, but I sometimes get the impression that certain people go out of their way to be offended at the slightest thing and use it to their advantage, or to push their own agendas. This is why we can't have nice things :(

You also get situations where people seemingly hide behind worthwhile causes despite being misguided and potentially bigoted and ruin potentially good work. Like the woman that looks like Noel Fielding from Goldsmiths University who hosted an equality event on the proviso that you're not white and/or male.
She explained that she can't be a racist though, because she's from an ethnic minority background :houllier:

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/goldsmiths-university-diversity-officer-in-racism-row-i-cant-be-racist-because-im-an-ethnic-minority-woman-10243202.html
 

JUPITER

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It will be the end for the west. Other nations will roll over us as our overly sensitive leaders cry into their herbal tea, sputtering on about feelings and sensibilities.
Other nations? I think this will happen globally.

The whole world will produce a generation more concerned with easing others' suffering than they are with self-status at the expense of others.

Such traits will be looked back on with the same embarrassment and horror that we feel when we look back on slavery, not allowing women to vote etc.

Of course, this will be gradual, but it's an inevitable evolution.
 

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Dwazza Gunnar Solskjær

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Other nations? I think this will happen globally.

The whole world will produce a generation more concerned with easing others' suffering than they are with self-status at the expense of others.

Such traits will be looked back on with the same embarrassment and horror that we feel when we look back on slavery, not allowing women to vote etc.

Of course, this will be gradual, but it's an inevitable evolution.
China won't, I doubt that India will, either. Their perceived lack of sensitivity is down to having a billion citizens, people are quite expendable to their governments, and always will be. And all of those Middle Eastern nations we've bombed into the bronze age will relish the opportunity for revenge.

And then there's Israel, who will keep on keeping on. Not to mention Russia, who never eschew an opportunity for Slavic aggrandizement.

It will be western Europe, Canada and the US who might go the way you suggest. Doing so will mean the end of our supremacy and a steep and unpleasant decline in our living standards. Life on earth is a game in which nice guys go extinct.
 

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I can't be bothered reading the article but in Australia, for instance, 'jazz hands' or what appears to be that, is the sign language equivalent of clapping.

But that's because deaf people can't hear clapping.
A bit weird, wouldn't actual clapping be as visually helpful to imagine 'clapping' as jazz hands or even better? Plus, great for blind too.
 

JUPITER

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China won't, I doubt that India will, either. Their perceived lack of sensitivity is down to having a billion citizens, people are quite expendable to their governments, and always will be. And all of those Middle Eastern nations we've bombed into the bronze age will relish the opportunity for revenge.

And then there's Israel, who will keep on keeping on. Not to mention Russia, who never eschew an opportunity for Slavic aggrandizement.

It will be western Europe, Canada and the US who might go the way you suggest. Doing so will mean the end of our supremacy and a steep and unpleasant decline in our living standards. Life on earth is a game in which nice guys go extinct.
You're talking about the world as it is and has been - and I agree with you.

I'm talking about how it will be.
 

Nick 0208 Ldn

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I can't be bothered reading the article but in Australia, for instance, 'jazz hands' or what appears to be that, is the sign language equivalent of clapping.

But that's because deaf people can't hear clapping.
So a deaf person is going to need a trigger warning just before they start feminist jazz handing, otherwise he or she might suspect them of taking the piss? That the NUS could be so damned inconsiderate...
 
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