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Has Political Correctness Ruined Our Discourse?

Political Correctness: a “term used to refer to language that seems intended to give the least amount of offense, especially when describing groups identified by external markers such as race, gender, culture, or sexual orientation.”

Seems like a good deal, right?

Yet, it still seems like those on all sides of the political spectrum have trouble drawing the line between reacting to politically incorrect sentiments and being “overly sensitive.”

We’re no strangers to blatant bigotry grabbing national attention, even from our own president.

We’ve seen comments about entire nationalities being rapists, jokes about sexual assault, and more. You name it, Trump’s probably said it. However when those ideas are called out as offensive, critics are all too often seen as delicate snowflakes.

Is it possible to discuss inherently divisive issues  — race, gender, sexuality, and more —without defaulting to attacking others’ identities?

Our discourse, our politics, and our policies rely heavily on learning about others’ experiences. We then create dialogue that surrounds the issues that affect our communities most. We don’t need to make everything about our feelings, but it surely can help to show marginalized populations a bit of respect. It’s totally possible to learn something when practicing awareness too.

At the same time, political incorrectness can easily stem from a lack of education. Sometimes — and unfortunately so — it’s not enough just to state that something is offensive. It might help to explain what makes something offensive.

It’s actually quite simple to discuss real issues without being a jerk. There is no need to play devil’s advocate for the sake of spouting bigoted opinions. And there is definitely no need to question or downplay someone’s identity for political discussion.

Do you think it’s possible to discuss nuanced issues while being politically correct? Let us know!

  • Has political correctness ruined our discourse?

    • Yes
    • No

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Written by Marina Martinez

Arizonan student at the University of Edinburgh, dog lover, desert rat, meme aficionado and coffee enthusiast.

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