Political correctness of today is designed outline offensive speech and behavior. But that begs the question: who would need such an outline? If people have manners and know correct etiquette then that should be enough to grease the social gears across almost any situation. I don’t need Political Correctness to know I shouldn’t offend anyone with a racial slur. I already know that if I want to close the deal I have to be persuasive and likeable. So why PC?
I have a friend in particular who is socially immature due to her not being neurotypical (not autism, but certainly different brain development). She can tend to make social gaffes and say offensive things involuntarily. Her intentions are always good, but her lack of social grace causes her to make mistakes. She corrects for this by preemptively stating to others that she might say some weird stuff sometimes, and that she doesn’t mean harm. That seems to work for her.
But let’s say you put her in a room with a handful of other people like her, and you remove the primer that she means no harm. Likely they are going to offend each other up and down until they get the bright idea to create a social code which outlines offensive things not to say, in order for them to get along with each other. Since they can’t navigate normal social communications, they instead need to have an outside and artificial source to tell them what is acceptable and not. I personally believe that Political Correctness is that code for SJW Millennials.
SJW’s are Millennials (though not every Millennial is a SJW), and Millennials more than any other generation are cursed with poor socialization. While the Gen X’ers had access to the movies and video games of their time, the lack of internet forced them to go into the outside world to see those movies with friends, and go to arcades for video games. Even the uber nerds who played Dungeons and Dragons in their basements were still engaging in social behavior long before the advent of online games.
Millennials have always had the internet and ubiquitous entertainment to keep them from going outside and thus learning typical social skills. The worst of these Millennials were likely ostracized from the main peer group for being too weird. They formed their own groups among the misfits, and misfits tended to become attracted to SJW ideals because it put a narrative to their low status. They (wrongly) believe the white-cis-hetero-normative-white-supremacist-patriarchy cast them out as the dregs of society for their lack of privilege, and not their lack of social skills.
If they do gain any social skills at all, then it is through the limited discourse found on the internet. It is no wonder they can’t pick up on verbal tone, facial expressions or body language when most of their communication is restricted to pure text. If body language makes up the bulk of human communication, then of course these SJW Millennials are going to be far, far behind the rest of the pack in terms of interacting with others.
They don’t see subtlety or the innuendo behind a joke or phrase. No matter how funny others find it, they don’t seem to “get it”, and instead only focus on definitions of the words. They also don’t seem to be able to grasp the deeper context within a conversation and thus the overall point. When a bad word is spoken, regardless of context, it “triggers” an emotional reaction that is immediate and primal rather than rational. You can find a whole host of examples on tumblr of a person becoming enraged at a word, phrase or behavior that, when looked at in context, is actually innocuous and actually means no harm.
Political Correctness is thus an attempt for the socially-stunted SJW to adapt to these circumstances. It tries make up for the SJW’s lack of socialization by forcing others to change their communication styles to suit the SJW’s limited understanding. What clinches the correlation for me are these four things:
- Years ago, Political Correctness gained its moniker because politicians carefully crafted their words as to not offend any potential voter-base. At the time, it was common knowledge that something being “Politically Correct” wasn’t actually correct. It was just political theatre, not originally intended to be a moral code that the populace at large had to adhere to. Only now, as the Millennials age, does it suddenly become a social imperative.
- The strongest push for politically correct speech comes from younger Millennials. None of the older generations of Boomers and Gen-Xs wanted PC to become more radical or applicable to our everyday speech. Even older liberals like Bill Maher hate Political Correctness just as much as their older, conservative counterparts. Only the young blood SJW’s are pushing so hard for it to become universal and radicalized.
- Colleges have the highest concentration of Political Correctness, and they are also the places that socially immature Millennials migrate toward after high school. A lot of people think that it is college corrupting the youth, and they’d be right to an extent, but the Millennials themselves have a hand in pushing the institution further left. Both reinforce the other in a death spiral.
- The proliferation of “safe spaces” isn’t just a fluke; it’s actually a signal that we have a generation of people who cannot interact socially with anyone but like individuals. To them, it is more comfortable to close yourself away then to have to learn to deal with people that, for all intents and purposes, are speaking an entirely different language.
The rule book of Political Correctness is going to get bigger, stricter, and more intricate as younger Millennials slip further behind in socialization. In my opinion, the worst part about all this is how unnecessary it is. If you have enough experience in social intercourse then you don’t need a code of conduct to know what is appropriate. That leaves PC as a poor substitute for normal development.
I’d like to believe that these things run in cycles. That the increase in Political Correctness and malformed social skills will create the conditions which eliminate it later on. Trees don’t grow to space, after all, because their height becomes their undoing. But that assumes a natural cycle. Who is to say what will happen as new technology is introduced?