It’s Not Always Easy Being PC

Recently, I had someone tell me that ” I wasn’t being politically correct enough.” When I asked them to explain what they meant, the answer that I received was “Well we’re millennials, we should always be politically correct.”

And to that person, my response is this.

Just because I am a millennial and a human being, doesn’t mean I will be politically correct 100% of the time. And neither will you.

Political correctness (PC) is a term that is thrown around frequently in society today. It is used in discussions relating to a variety of issues, including (but not limited to) racism, homophobia and other LGBT+ issues, religious bigotry, etc.

While I personally support the use of politically correct terms and the breaking down of systemic institutions and the powers in place, I think being 100% PC may sometimes come at a cost.

By trying so hard not to offend or demean, we end up often confronting or berating others if they are not as socially cognizant as we assume they should be. Therefore, by belittling others for not being hyper-sensitive, we ourselves are not being PC. The original issue/topic gets muddled in a sea of false politeness and the real purpose of the discussion is put asunder.

Now, I am not saying that I think political correctness is without merit, but I do think that some people exploit it is as an excuse to justify their actions and behaviors. Some people simply assume that because they are “being PC”, it means that they are empowered to scold others for their lack of social consciousness/self-editing.

This potentially false sense of empowerment of a higher moral compass may not take into account the other individuals’ knowledge or comprehension about the subject that is being discussed. By not taking into account the person’s background, religious/cultural upbringing or general education, the PC person hinders their ability to construct or support a persuasive argument. You can’t help someone to learn if you don’t know how to teach.

To effectively evolve and create a more socially conscious global community, I believe we must first listen, even if we don’t like what we’re hearing. Mutual respect and growth only comes from those who are willing to feel uncomfortable with the conversation. In my opinion, everyone benefits when we are less concerned with being correct, and more concerned with open, non judgmental dialogue.

It is important to be conscious of the words we are using, but it is also important to be aware of the thoughts that are being expressed.


Writing In The Prison, Week One : “Us” vs. “Them”

This past week, I started teaching my independent study in the correctional facility.

While I was teaching, there was one major thing that I noticed. The “Us” versus “Them” mentality, particularly in relationship between the inmates and the guards.  

For example, in the middle of writing, a guard interrupted the class to check on a specific inmate, which caused some friction between the inmates and the guard. After the encounter, the inmates rallied around the one who was singled out, which served as a unique bonding experience.

They were the “Us” and the guard was “Them”. Which made me realize that outside of the prison hierarchy, we ourselves are constantly dividing outselves into “Us” versus “Them” scenarios.

You and your fellow classmates don’t like your professor? “Us” (the students) versus “Them” (the professor)

Your boss at work is rude and tough? “Us” (the workers) versus “Them” (the boss).

Hierarchies exist outside of the prison system, yet they seem to be one of the most notable examples of authority versus the population.

Might it be due to the extreme environment of working/being in a prison? 

Look back on a psychological experiment, known as the Zimbardo experiment or The Stamford Prison Experiment. In the study, the researchers studied the psychological effects of being a prisoner or a prison guard in a mock prison. Despite the fake settings, what was found was that regardless of role, the participants still divided themselves into an “Us” versus “Them”, which created extreme conflict and a severe social hierarchy. 

If a staged psychological study can produce these results, it doesn’t seem to fair well for real-world situations. Why is that?

I will keep my eye on this throughout the duration of my independent study, because perhaps there is more to the story.

Until next time. 

The Bechdel Test (And Why It’s So Important To Feminism)

Happy Thursday!

According to Wikipedia, the Bechdel Test, “asks if a work of fiction features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man. The requirement that the two women must be named is sometimes added. Many contemporary works fail this test of gender bias.”

What I took away from this definition is that many popular works today (from books to movies to television) fail this test. This over time can be detrimental to woman’s rights. I think if two women just talk about a man, it takes away from the women; that’s because they definitely have more to talk and think about then their male counterparts. The sad thing is that a lot of movies nowadays don’t even pass the test, which is a little reflective of how today’s society views women’s relationships (either platonic or romantic).

It’s truly ridiculous when you think about the fact that even a 30-second conversation between women could pass the Bechdel Test if they just talked about anything else then men.

The Bechdel Test is extremely important, particularly from a feminist point of view. If the media refuses to create new and interesting character relationships between women, what does that say about the society in which we live?

I plan to do a follow-up post on this subject, but please let me know what you think!



Happy Wednesday!

I think as a society, we have lost some of our social graces and manners. Particularly my generation. I try to always be as polite as I can, but sometimes it’s hard to be on my best behavior! Today, whilst getting lunch, I was about to open the door when a woman on the other side with her arms full pushed past me, and then glared at me when I didn’t open the door for her!

How I can I possibly have time to open the door when you’re pushing past me to get out?!

Manners are something that should be taught and respected, but lately, it feels like they are being cast off without a spare glance.

What do you think about manners in todays’ society? Let me know!

Have a great (and well-mannered) day!