14 4

How to battle the proliferation of political correctness? It seems that these days, there's a new issue every month that is the new focus of activism. Granted, a progressive society needs to address important issues, but at what point does the opposition generated and the unrealistic world view result in a negative benefit or diminished return? How can we, as intellectuals, maintain an effective balance?

HelloImDavid 3 Feb 19

Post a comment Reply Add Photo

Enjoy being online again!

Welcome to the community of good people who base their values on evidence and appreciate civil discourse - the social network you will enjoy.

Create your free account


Feel free to reply to any comment by clicking the "Reply" button.


You have to fight the battles you want to fight and let others fight the ones they want to fight. While I think of myself as progressive and liberal, there are liberal and progressive causes that I don't champion or even support. And there are conservative causes that have great merit.

But I do see your point. If we continue to take up the cause of everyone under the progressive tent, we risk being considered thin skinned or divisive. Condemning people for not expressing an opinion as we'd like it expressed is ludicrous and dangerous.

I think a way to find balance is to accept differences in all of us, and only fight your own battles, not those of every cause under the progressive tent. I'll be with you in solidarity at the Women's March. I'll be there for cannabis legalization and environmental protection. But the march for The Dreamers I'm going to stay away from.

And there are some issues I stay away from entirely. And here I'm going to use a term that might offend progressives. But I will use it in the original context, not what others have made it. Some issues are like the "tar baby," there is no way to become involved without miring yourself in an untenable and messy position.

So that is one way to do it. Yell "tar baby" in a room of progressives and let the fur fly. Or let the fur stick, in this case.

Don't be so easily offended and don't be looking for a fight wherever there is one. There are better things to do with your time than being offended. As Gus McCrea said, "The earth is mostly just a boneyard, but it's pretty in the sunlight."


It seems to me that since Cheeto was elected, we could use a whole lot more political correctness, unless you consider using nasty pejoratives towards others desirable?

That’s a good point. We need to be careful to distinguish between the realm of desirable behavior and illegal behavior. It’s one thing to say that someone “should” do something idealistically, but another thing completely to legislate behavior, though or motive.


It sounds like you're asking us progressives to be ok with you being a little bit racist and or a little bit sexist and or a little bit xenophobic. We're all guilty it's tough disregarding old habits but we try to make progress when it's explained why this or that is wrong but mostly it boils down to manners and respect for the "others"

Is anyone completely none of the above? That’s my point exactly; when you draw the line so far towards perfect behavior, no one can meet the standard. Then you alienate enough people to lose the support needed to be effective.


I'm not certain why people are offended by political correctness. Too me, its just being a decent human being with manners.

The funny thing is that generally the ones crying about political correctness cry the loudest when offended.

I think the sort of PC the original poster was referring to is the type where someone objects to, say, a girl dressing up as Pocahontas for Halloween; there is nothing here to demean native Americans, Pocahontas is typically considered to be a positive if not entirely precise, portrait. But of course, there are always degrees of PC which raises the bar, so let's turn the burner up a bit more... the Atlanta Braves baseball team. Perhaps the fans should eliminate the tomahawk chanting, but the Braves nicknaming themselves that is not insulting to native Americans so far as I know. Then there's the Cleveland Indians with their Chief Yahoo logo which I would agree presses the line, and fortunately, they are eliminating this. Finally, there's the Washington Redskins, while not necessarily intended to be insulting, is nonetheless historically racistly rooted. I've felt they should go back to their original name of Braves back when they started up in Boston.


Why does anyone feel like they have the right to tell someone else how they feel? If someone finds something you say or do offensive, just apologize for offending them. Don't argue that they're wrong to be offended.

Also. it's not 'I'm sorry you're offended', but "I'm sorry I offended you."

@PhoebeCat I agree with the style of apology, and definitely be polity and constructive. Note that I continued raising the bar on the levels of "PC-ness"; I could have gone further and mentioned the Virginia demonstration (where Trump proclaimed there were good people on both sides). If someone's civil rights are being violated, it is no longer about being PC, and I would speak out. Otherwise, everyone is entitled to their opinion, and we're never going to agree on everything.


Political correctness and "Identity Politics" are the reason the Republicans are in total control of our government in Washington D.C. Yes, there are important issues to be addressed for specific groups. However, until we all think of ourselves as "Americans", the conservative right will continue to win elections because they are speaking to a large group of people who feel neglected by the so-called liberal intellectual elite. I am talking about blue collar workers and a good portion of the middle class. These people work hard and haven't seen their standard of living rise in years. Trump continues to pander to this specific group of people because they are the ones who got him elected. I grew up as part of the working poor class. Because I was able to go to college for "free" in New York City more than 50 years ago, I was able to move into the middle class. Just look at a map of the states that Trump won and you will see clearly who his supporters are. As soon as I saw that Hillary lost Ohio on election night, I shut off the TV because I knew it was all over. Those of us who consider ourselves liberals, need to wake up. Instead of dividing people, we need to try to bring people together. That means we need to remind ourselves that we are all Americans and by working together we can solve the problems that our country faces. The continuation of "divisive politics" will get us nowhere! (Just for the record, I have been a "bleeding heart liberal" all of my adult life and I still am.)

Yes, this is a good example of the opposition I’m talking about. Excesses on the left energize the right and swing enough of the middle away.

I mean gerrymandering is a significant obstacle. Remember that the Democrats did win the popular vote. If anything that shows their strategy has more suppport from voters


I fight it by explaining why calling someone an idiot or moron is worse than calling someone a retard. The first two are below retarded, but pc pushers still use them.


Are you confusing PC with being polite, not being crude, and being respectful?

Being politically correct is using polite and respectful language in an impolite and disrespectful statement. The statement is still impolite and disrespectful regardless of how PC it is. You can't polish shit, in my opinion.

There's nothing wrong with using crude, impolite and disrespectful language as long as the message is not crude, impolite and disrespectful. Choosing not to is simply choosing not to be crude, impolite and disrespectful.

The First Amendment to the U.S Constitution guarantees us freedom of speech. Having to be "politically correct" with our speech all the time, seems like a form of censorship to me. The other day, I actually found myself trying to find out, online, what the preferred (politically correct) form was when referring to the indigenous people of the U.S. Was it Native American or American Indian, or what? Well, it turns out American Indians do not all agree about what they prefer being called. Some find "Native American" insulting because anyone born in the U.S. is technically a "native American." Others find American Indian insulting because of the use of "Indian" in it. Many American Indians (I've chosen that one) prefer to be called by their tribal names. In Canada, they have another "politically correct" name for their indigenous people that is recognized by the Canadian government. I can understand being proud of our ethnic heritages, but can't we all just call ourselves "Americans"? I am of Puerto Rican and Sicilian descent. Should I call myself a Puerto Rican/Sicilian American? Unless someone specifically asks about my ethnic background, I call myself an American. If someone doesn't like the terms you use in your speech, they have the freedom to just turn around and walk away from you. Of course, there are certain terms, such as the "N word", or when I was growing up in NYC many years ago, Puerto Ricans were referred to as "Spics", that are really meant to be derogatory. However, you can call me a Spic if you like, but I will consider you ignorant and I just won't have anything to do with you. Where does all the "political correctness" stop? I prefer to be polite and considerate when talking to others, but I know some people are not necessarily going to be polite to me. I believe all this "political correctness" stuff is divisive and just tears Americans apart, instead of bringing us together.


first we go through transition then we adjust our life styles. bring all injustices to the fore front and get sorting the musts from the laters. then live like an enlightened society !!!!!

Who defines the rules for this "enlightened society"?


I am respectful... to a point. I mean, as an example, Tranny used to be a word I thought was an acceptable term for transgendered people. When I found it is not, I asked for the preferred term and I use it. If it's rediculous, such as nazis wanting to be called alt-right, I ignore it.


"Progressive" always means: ''screw what the laws are. We have highly-charged emotional banter to back our claims!"

and "head in the sands" know our claims have no relevance right ? NOT

I always remember my lawyer brother telling me:
“Laws are made by people”
The implication is that laws are fallible like people. They are a useful tool but don’t put them up in a pedestal or you will follow them even when they don’t benefit society


If what you say offends someone, do you care or do you adjust? I'd say a reasonable person would adjust..If I say something to you in normal, everyday conversation that you find offensive would you expect me to care or adjust?

SamL Level 7 Feb 19, 2018

I would tend to adjust, as it's important to treat people with respect. That said, where is the line between someone wanting respect and someone being too touchy? How hard should I have to actively try not to offend? If I anticipate too much what others may find offensive, then I'm losing my honest genuine self for the sake of not saying something that may or may not offend. And then come across as disingenuous or standoffish, which could in itself be interpreted as some form of offense.

I think you should always actively try not to offend but in case you do an apology works just fine. Stop worrying, be yourself. and when you offend, apologize, then move on. Reasonable people will give you the benefit of the doubt and know your intention.

don't adjust the message


Boundaries: being clear and firm about what belongs to whom.

I'm offended because you inadvertantly misgendered me in an otherwise polite exchange made in good faith? That's clearly on me.

I'm offended because you purposely misgendered me, emphatically, to my face, rudely and agressively? That's clearly on you.

I'm not sure whether you're trying to offend on purpose? I have a responsibility to at least try to find out, before I start treating you like a villain.

I feel offended? I have a responsibility to reflect on what belongs to whom, before I react: is this about me? Am I assuming an association that was not implied? Is this speaker/actor rude? Ignorant? Upset? Biased? Human? ...Am I?

Before I open my mouth, I have a responsibility to reflect: is this true? Is it necessary? Is it kind? Am I being fair? Am I being mature? Using my manners?

What is the communication value of this heuristic? Does it obfuscate, or simplify? What is the point? Is it appropriately deferential to the audience and setting, is it virtue-signalling, or a dogwhistle?

Is it my job to assuage the other's feelings--or is it the other's job to meet me where I'm at?

What belongs to whom? *

  • A certain level of maturity and rationality is required for this to work

Thank you for sharing. I appreciate that you realize that some offenses felt are "on you". Shows a very reasonable expectation and self awareness on your part. Everyone gets upset sometimes when we have not reasonable cause to, that's normal. The ability to recognize that in ones self, is less common.


Can you give me an idea of what part of political correctness is troublesome to you?
And a bit of what unrealistic world view and negative benefit your referring to?

For one, having too strict an expectation for an individual's behavior. When people are demonized who are not particularly bad actors, it generates opposition, and loses support that we would otherwise have. If the goal is to get the most people aware of the most issues, pushing too hard too fast seems to hurt the long term goal, and only helps those who prosper from the conflict (i.e. media, politicians, etc.).

I also am puzzled sometimes by one's disdain for political correctness, and would also be interested in knowing the parts that are bothersome to people.


And unfortunately, it tends to be those on the liberal side that are the worse about this, as Bill Maher likes to point out. Author John Grisham once made a statement in an interview that in essence said a casual viewer of child pornography is not bad as a person who creates that pornography, which to me is obvious; while they both need to be reckoned with, these are not equal crimes. But he got a lot of hate and grief for that.

godef Level 7 Feb 19, 2018

"a casual viewer of child pornography is not bad as a person who creates that pornography, which to me is obvious; while they both need to be reckoned with, these are not equal crimes. "

That is like saying...The purchaser of illegal firearms is not as bad as the seller of the illegal firearms.

Supply and demand, without the demand there is no reason to supply. The crime is the same.

@Betty I did say "casual" viewer, meaning someone who doesn't set the market, just peruses what's there. Let's try another analogy: elicit drugs: would you punish the user as severely as the pusher? The crime is not the same.

@godef the Effect, however, is exactly the same! I reject your apology for these users!

@AnneWimsey I am not apologizing for anyone. As I said in my first post, these people need to be reckoned with, aka prosecuted, they are sick people. All I'm saying is, the crime is not the same.


The difference with drugs is that the "user" is hurting themselves. With child pornography, the "user" casual or not is complicit in hurting a child.

The casual viewer may be titillated and their curiosity peaked resulting in a return visit.

@Betty so you think that children would continue to be abused in this horrible way if nobody was interested in child porn? REALLY?!?!


What I am saying is the crime is the same. The viewers of child pornography promote the sexual abuse of children.

Abuse...sexual, psychological, emotional, and physical have been in our societies for hundreds of thousands of years. We won't be able to get rid of abuse but we certainly can reduce it.

@Betty "The casual viewer may be titillated and their curiosity peaked resulting in a return visit" Or he may not return, but you're already presuming he will, and you don't know that. This is why it's not the same crime. This is like prosecuting someone for using Heroin on the basis of catching them smoking pot and presuming it will lead them to worse drugs.


Okay, let's try this another way. Can we agree that children (infants to teen years) have no say or choice when being abused and the damage is lifelong?

Please set up the scenario for the casual user. (Defining casual)



  1. relaxed and unconcerned.
    "she regarded his affairs with a casual indulgence"
    synonyms: relaxed, friendly, informal, unceremonious, easygoing, free and easy; informal laid-back "the inn's casual atmosphere"
  2. not regular or permanent, in particular.
    synonyms: temporary, part-time, freelance, impermanent, irregular, occasional
    "casual work"


  1. a person who does something irregularly.
    "a number of casuals became regular customers"
  2. clothes or shoes suitable for everyday wear rather than formal occasions.

@Betty Please, I understand what the word casual means, and perhaps it wasn't the best selection of words. The point in my last post being, presuming said "casual" purviewer has been prosecuted, you are ready to throw him back in jail on the presumption that he could do it again; this would be more the tragic if he had managed to reform himself, though undoubtedly will remain on a sex predator list forever. Justice doesn't work that way in this country, at least it's not supposed to. By your thinking, we should just throw all men in jail so Me Too never has to happen again. An occasional or one time viewer of child porn is not the same crime as producing the material; they both need to be prosecuted for their crime, but no judge in his right mind would ever punish them to the same degree.


At what point in this conversation did I give you the impression that I wanted all men in jail or even mentioned the #MeToo movement?

These sites are set up to hook casual viewers in the hopes of making them permanent. The same as advertisers hoping to sell their product. (They know not everyone will buy their product but hope the casual viewer will be tempted to try it.) The casual viewer who may or may not return on a regular basis is complicit in helping the site in their continuing abuse of "children". The victims are the children.

If a person (male or female) happens on the site by accident and leaves without viewing the contents of the site then that's not casual.

"presuming said "casual" purviewer has been prosecuted, you are ready to throw him back in jail on the presumption that he could do it again"
People who assume they know what I'm thinking most often get it wrong. I made no presumptions of reoffending.

My point is...A casual viewer although irregular is complicit in the "abuse of the children" they are viewing. The "crime" is the abuse of the child. The child is harmed by the abuser and the viewer. The crime is the same because the child cannot give consent.

@Betty All I've said from the get go is that the crimes are not the same. If you want to keep twisting around different examples or analogies I try use to illustrate my point, then please, just agree to disagree.


Due to the fact that I have lived my life medication free, we'll agree to disagree.

What the hell with the snide remark? Are you a troll? I thought this site had people who are tolerant of opposing points of view, or at least that people have them, but apparently not, there always has to be a know-it-all who thinks they're always right and the other person's mind must be drug-addled to have such an opinion. Grow up.

Write Comment
You can include a link to this post in your posts and comments by including the text q:26363
Agnostic does not evaluate or guarantee the accuracy of any content. Read full disclaimer.