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PC

Freedom of speech is being suppressed by political correctness.

Thought-provoking article - I'd quite like to read the whole study that Anthony Browne did. Saw a bit about it on the C4 news last night. Civitas is a right-wing independent thinktank, and I'm presuming is vaguely important, otherwise the study would just have been ignored, whereas it has been widely reported and not just by right-wing media.

Comments

( 22 comments — Comment )
zotz
Jan. 4th, 2006 08:16 pm (UTC)
Civitas just seemed to appear from nowhere a couple of years ago. I haven't been able to work out yet why they get the attention.
zotz
Jan. 4th, 2006 08:21 pm (UTC)
Ah. It says on their website that they're an offshoot of the Institute for Economic Affairs. That explains them a little.
pickwick
Jan. 5th, 2006 10:26 am (UTC)
Ah, interesting!
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
pickwick
Jan. 5th, 2006 10:27 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'll bookmark that for later.
glamhag
Jan. 4th, 2006 10:56 pm (UTC)
Reads like another right-wing excuse to me.
pickwick
Jan. 5th, 2006 10:28 am (UTC)
Yeah, but I suspect there might be the germ of a point in there. That's what's annoying me...
dermfitz
Jan. 4th, 2006 11:20 pm (UTC)
It strikes me that this author is about 10 years and an Atlantic Ocean out of date. They were having this argument in the States in the early '90s, and from what I read there, nothing at all has been added to that fruitless debate except a few boring British examples.

I'm amazed it gets the press it does; it's like Reporting Scotland always running off and asking the Catholic Church for an opinion when a new sex advice leaflet comes out. PC doesn't exist. "It" only exists when people oppose "it".
pickwick
Jan. 5th, 2006 10:31 am (UTC)
Ah, I wasn't reading much politics 10 years ago - I was being a first-year student!

Out of interest, why do you think the debate's fruitless? Cos you don't think PC exists? Or cos no-one on either side of the debate will ever listen to each other?

Totally with you on the churches being asked their opinions thing, though!
marrog
Jan. 5th, 2006 05:33 am (UTC)
Does it make me a bad person that I'm considering friending you back without even lurking on your journal (as I usually do) just because we were united against a common opponent in such a heated debate?
pickwick
Jan. 5th, 2006 10:26 am (UTC)
Heh - that's why I friended you :) So if you're a bad person, I am too...
marrog
Jan. 5th, 2006 10:26 am (UTC)
Ho hum...
pickwick
Jan. 5th, 2006 10:44 am (UTC)
Eee! And you write Malory Towers slash! *loves*
marrog
Jan. 5th, 2006 10:46 am (UTC)
Oh, awfully sorry if the first chapter isn't instantly findable - click on the 'fiction' tag and that'll show it up.

And not to beg from a new friend or nuthin' but if you read it I'd love an opinion... I don't really write fanfic as a general rule...
pickwick
Jan. 5th, 2006 11:58 am (UTC)
I'm at work so haven't had a chance to read it properly yet, but the style in the bit I skimmed seemed perfect! I'll let you know when I read it all, though.
nwhyte
Jan. 5th, 2006 07:24 am (UTC)
What a load of wankers. What opponents of "political correctness" fail to realise (and its supporters often fail to say) is that in fact it is not very different from the old-fashioned concept of "politeness", of not actually deliberately offending people. The fact that its opponents seem to want to return to the 1950s doesn't make them any more attractive.
pickwick
Jan. 5th, 2006 10:33 am (UTC)
I agree with you to a huge extent, but I have seen stuff like the BBC being huuuugely unwilling to say that the riots in, er, wherever-they-were recently, were between mainly black and Asian gangs, because they were worried they'd be seen as racist. People are worried about reporting facts, and that can't be good...
pooka_joe
Jan. 5th, 2006 05:56 pm (UTC)
no, indeed it can't. and while i agree that political correctness has a place, i have been trating it as a form of censorship for years. to me, its insidious thought policing. what astonishes me is how many people buy into it and (more worryingly) that i am checking everything i say to anyone different to me in case i "might" offend them. the problem with that is now everyone is doing it for everything, and it feels like no-one is doing anything for fear of causing offence.
surely that cant be right? don't you think it would be better to ask people if they are likely to be offended by something first.
any why is everyone so easily offended these days? i reckon its political correctness to blame here too. we are now so used to hearing that something is not going ahead becase people might get offended that we are more prone to take offence ourselves... ok, that's badly written, but its more or less what i mean.
and they do have a gleam of a point. i don't neccessarily agree with their politics, but you can extract political correctness from practically any situation right now and what you will be left with is a clearer view of the real issue.
ok, rant over :)
gwinniegirl
Jan. 5th, 2006 08:46 am (UTC)
Liked the article. Woke my brain up. :)
pickwick
Jan. 5th, 2006 10:33 am (UTC)
Yay!
mind_expander
Jan. 6th, 2006 07:15 pm (UTC)

13 or 14 years ago, when I did Political Studies at schools we were shown a video about politcial correctness, which was then a new thing. The video was chiefly composed of footage from american university campuses, featuring rabid correctness at all turns.

The major group in the film was made up of women of all ethnicities and ethnic and gay men. They seemed to be of the opinion that if a person happens to be white, male and heterosexual then that person is automatically a facist.

Since I am white, male and mostly heterosexual but not at all a facist I found this view somewhat offensive. Political correctness appeared in this incarnation to be just as bad, if not worse than the views it claimed to oppose.

And then there's the appaling mangling of language that the politically correct perpetrate.

I'm not short, I'm Vertically Challenged.

He's not bald, he's Follically Challenged.

She's not disabled, she's Differingly Abled.

And on and on for so many more mealy mouthed substitutes for perfectly good expressions. Hmmm, does this remind anyone els of NewSpeak?


The entire thrust of political correctness appears to be that people's feelings are so easily hurt that we have to tippy toe around every single issue in case we offend someone.

The proponents of this style of speech need to realise that they live in the real world, which is a nasty place, where bad things happen every single day, where insults are slung with venom and no amount of putting their fingers in their ears and going "la la la we're not listening' is going to change it.

Call me a facist would they, without even bothering to meet me and form an opinion based on the reality. Narrow-minded, weak-willed, pansy-waisted, fluffy-headed scumbags.


Oh, and before anyone starts flaming me for this, let me say that I don't agree with the awful things that happen, nor am I saying that the PC brigade have to like them, nor even to shut up, just that I don't think muzzling the debate is the solution.
dermfitz
Jan. 10th, 2006 06:17 pm (UTC)
And then there's the appaling mangling of language that the politically correct perpetrate.

I'm not short, I'm Vertically Challenged.

He's not bald, he's Follically Challenged.

She's not disabled, she's Differingly Abled.

I've never heard anyone use these sensibly. There may be pockets of that here or there, but to say they've entered the language as a viable alternative to saying "short", "bald" or "disabled" is just nonsense. It's not like Newspeak at all, really, in that with Newspeak you had no choice, as there was, in Orwell's terms, no other way to express ideas except by those laid down in Newspeak. Anything that couldn't be expressed in the medium of Newspeak, well, didn't exist. By giving embarrassed names to groups of people, you're not really saying they don't exist, are you? You're just giving them embarrassed names. Newspeak was the absolute logical conclusion of the idea that language can influence and erode thought, here, so maybe on the first or second rung of the ladder you have this similarity, but it's really nothing like it. Unless you mean it's "ooh, scary"?

mind_expander
Jan. 12th, 2006 12:40 am (UTC)
Yeah, fair enough, a bit of a weak comparison insofar as the PcSpeak lacks the original nastiness of inherent thought control that lies at the core of NewSpeak. I would content however that the analogy is at least partially valid, in that PcSpeak does attempt to alter the reality it describes, theoretically enabling people by removing negative perceptions about them. By renaming certain groups/classes/whatever PcSpeak seeks to make it impossible to express particular ideas. Very Newspeak-like if you ask me.

But to be honest the position I'm defending was a momentary thought that occurred mid-rant which I didn't really think through, just splurged onto the page.
( 22 comments — Comment )

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