"Much that passes as idealism is disguised hatred or disguised love of power" -- Bertrand Russel
In the previous article we discussed how politically correctness is a form of Verbal Hygiene. Logically this should dismiss the need to a dedicated article on PC considerations, since these should be covered by Verbal Hygiene issues. PC however defies logic. It became a very charged term, mostly with negative connotations. Accordingly, the actual article addresses these concerns.
More often the not, politically correctness is described as a threat to free debate by trying to silence certain points of view. A "system of left-wing ideological repression that is "abolishing the free political marketplace where we can reason together as individuals": Launching a crusades that crush diversity in the name of diversity.”; A sort of arguments that are carried by "spoiled narcissists, who want to prevent anyone expressing opinions that they happen to find offensive."; "...an army of sociopathic feminist programmers and campaigners... terrorising... their way around for profit and attention."
Listing all types of PC Tyranny arguments defies the notion of infinity. Luckily, it takes less than a minute to refute them all.
One simply has to echo to the accuser his own arguments, self-refuting, thus, his reasons.
In case one wishes to avoid vulgarity, one can observe the situation through the verbal hygiene perspective. We don't simply speak, we also express our values and norms. That means that the question isn't who has the freedom to say what, but that whatever we say has consequences.
By presenting oneself as the champion of common sense, the speaker places himself as the arbitrator of the truth, the hand of god and gives himself permission to do whatever he wishes or likes. Yet, self proclaimed privilege is an authoritarian act. Using it to reason the freedom of speech doesn't make it valid, it only proves the contrary.
In reality, political correctness, or cancel culture, or whatever it’s called, is not a phenomenon of the left, right, or center. It’s a phenomenon of human nature. All humanity’s infinite tribes are prone to groupthink and punishing heretics. That’s why the principle of free thought has to be defended: It is, unfortunately, a weird and unnatural fit for humans.
If one were to refer to a “chairman” as opposed to a “chairperson”, for instance, they could be said to be discrediting women as equal to men, and in doing so demonstrating an indifference to the feminist movement. While not exactly to be seen as misogyny, this does belittle the feminist movement, and hold it back in doing so. Cameron says that this politicizing of their own words, against their will, is “what people dislike” about political correctness.
It's understandable that many people find it so upsetting to be on the receiving end of the "P.C." criticism. These critiques basically accuse their targets of being oppressors, or perpetuating injustice, and that's a deeply hurtful accusations. Even if these accusation merely state that people are wrong, it still triggers an uncomfortable feeling. Furthermore, that kind of criticism hurts most if you are someone who cares about social justice, or do think that discrimination is harmful when it's implicit as well as when it's explicit.
As humans we have a kind of inner conviction that we are good and moral people. Occasionally we can hold up to this perception even if it detached from reality. We also tend to banalize the effects of our actions. At times, to reach a certain goal, we curve the rules and do what it takes even if it heart innocent people. We might say that nobody's perfect and that the consequences aren't as painful as the victims pretend. We have a unique capacity to somehow believe that we can erase reality by simply shut our eyes and avoiding it. Noting the extent to which we can stretch these line of reasoning, raises a legitimate doubt on our capacity to handle discomfort.
Avoiding that discomfort by dismissing criticism as mere "linguistic dictatorship" may ease the discomfort, but it would not erase the consequences. Dismissing issues as frivolous is a good justification for ignoring them, unfortunately, it isn't a justification. The consequences of the act remain unscattered. Calling them out is just stating a fact.
If one states that "the #MeToo movement ruined dating and has made men across the world scared to approach women on the street", one clearly ignores the fact that our society does struggle to take women's safety and dignity into account. One also clearly states that men are also damaged by the gender biased society (NB - and of course they are, even if totally different ways). But if that so, then the way to deal with that is to actually have that argument, not to suggest that the people asking for protection are just trying to censor free speech.
This argument is a failure of communication and, arguably, of basic respect. One isn't engaged with concerns raised by the #MeToo by considering why they find it so unjust. Nor does one offer his basis for disagreement — he's dismissing the whole conversation as unworthy of discussion.
Discrimination and safety are serious matters that actually do affect women's ability to participate in public discussion — yes, even more so than the degree to which certain privileged men have to hear arguments they dislike. Writing them off as frivolous and dispute over what is or isn't "politically correct" makes those problems much harder to address.
To play the anti-political-correctness card in response to a legitimate question about policy is to shut down discussion in much the same way that opponents of political correctness have long accused liberals and leftists of doing. It is a way of sidestepping debate by declaring that the topic is so trivial or so contrary to common sense that it is pointless to discuss it.
Ignoring the problem, however, isn't a method we apply when we care about the goal - whatever the goal is. Shutting down that conversation only perpetuates the problem. This avoidance hurt both men and women and locks gender inequality in place.
Covering the eyes, ears and mouth doesn't change reality though, it is however one of the trait of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. (DSM-5 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). The consequences are there, if we like it or not. Ignoring them is an option. Yet, as we are all defined by our action, rather than what we say we value, this speaks of our moral, and not with high respect.
Unfortunately, values like any other thing around us, requires sacrifice. If we want to have values, any value, we must first come to terms with the fact that, when properly practices, values inflict pain. Some would feel like outcasts. They limit our freedom and constrain the behaviour of its people. They expose, mostly high ranked executives, to heavy criticism for even minor violations. And they demand constant vigilance.
Given all the hard work that goes into developing and implementing a solid values system, it is helpful to consider if this values worth the bother. Poorly implemented values poison a culture, increase the frustration, confusion and stimulate violence. It might much simpler if instead of using the PC argument, people hold high their freedom or speech and say - "Gender equality isn't a value we care for".
Our current society struggle to properly address gender inequalities, because it struggles to acknowledge it is a problem.
The politically correctness discussion isn't about what is said but about underlying sentiments behind. Addressing the 'PC concerns' don't address the real problem. Animating this discussion thus is a futile exercise. It engages an effort that only serves to distracts from the real concern and prevents dealing with it.
Until we cannot identify at least one common element we can all acknowledge, we are condemned to keep chasing our tails. It seems that focus on how women are disproportionately effected by the situation, isn't a fact the PC accusers can accept. Accordingly, it might be helpful to shift the focus from the marginalized women and address the damage that is hovers over the privileged 'P.C.' group.
The deep concern here is that listening to the demands of feminists groups is dangerous, because doing so could potentially burden the lives, hegemony and social privileges or at least the speech, of some men that take advantage of the current status-qua.
We accept that their concern is right.