Sticks and Stones aren’t as Bad as Harsh Tones

The term “Politically Correct” has a long and varied history. Its first known usage appeared in the United States as early as 1793, in a Supreme Court decision concerning the boundaries of federal jurisdiction. However, its modern connotation emerged much later.
In the west, it began to take on its current meaning in the 1970s. Activists in various new social movements and the New Left used it as a form of self-parody.
Its usage continued to evolve, and by the 1980s, it was being used in the way we understand it today.
An example of this can be found in the writings of Terry Teachout, who referenced the term in the National Review in 1986.
However, it wasn’t until the 1990s that the term became more widely recognized.
Many conservatives started using it to question and oppose what they perceived as the rise of liberal left-wing curriculum.
It was around this time that most Americans first heard the phrase “politically correct”, as it started to appear frequently in newspapers and magazines.
Despite its earlier appearances, the term “politically correct” as we understand it today was largely shaped by the political discussions and cultural shifts of the late 20th century.
The term “politically correct” refers to language, policies, or measures that are intentionally designed to avoid offense or disadvantage to particular groups in society.
It’s often applied to matters of race, gender, religion, age, disability, and other areas where discrimination may occur.
The intent behind political correctness is to promote equality and fairness, though it can sometimes be controversial, with critics arguing it can limit freedom of speech and thought.
However, there are arguments that it can potentially harm individual resilience to insult in several ways:
  1. Overprotection: Constantly shielding individuals from potentially offensive language may leave them unprepared for real-world scenarios where such protection isn’t present.
  2. Reduced Exposure: If people are not exposed to differing viewpoints or uncomfortable conversations, they may be less equipped to handle disagreement or criticism when it arises.
  3. Limits on Freedom of Expression: Politically correct speech can sometimes be seen as a restriction on freedom of expression. This could potentially lead to resentment or frustration among those who feel their views are being suppressed.
  4. Lack of Genuine Conversation: There’s the risk that politically correct speech might stifle genuine conversation and prevent people from expressing their true thoughts and feelings. This could limit opportunities for dialogue, understanding, and growth.
The balance between protecting people from offensive language and ensuring resilience and open conversation is a complex issue.
For the most part, those of us old enough to remember the slippery slope we call “Politically Correct” has proven to be steeper and far more slippery than many expected.
Now, bloody and bruised we all lay at the bottom of the hill while those few emotionally charged moments are rebranded and sold again.
Sticks and Stones are better than harsh tones.
The PC movement is just another bully by a different name.
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Sean Harflinger

Gen X Creative and Tortured Artist

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