Political Correctness: The End Of The First Amendment

Political Correctness: The End Of The First Amendment

My Professor: "Students have complained that the gun stickers on your laptop make them feel 'unsafe.'"
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Politically Correct:

  1. conforming to a belief that language and practices which could offend political sensibilities (as in matters of sex or race) should be eliminated
  2. agreeing with the idea that people should be careful to not use language or behave in a way that could offend a particular group of people

These are definitions provided directly from the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Although being sensitive and respectful of others is an important part of everyday life, it has come to a point in the United States where we are becoming too sensitive about everything. Being "politically correct" is beginning to take away our First Amendment right as Americans to have freedom of speech.

At Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, a pro-Trump student wrote "Trump 2016" on a sidewalk and the next day students began to say that reading this made them feel "afraid" or "in pain."

In another recent controversy surrounding political correctness, GapKids released an ad which included four young girls who are a part of a dance group. The ad was to promote Ellen Degeneres' new clothing line for kids. Ellen felt that this clothing line and having these four girls in the ad would help to empower young women; society felt differently. Almost immediately after this ad was released, people started to have a problem with the fact that the young white girl was resting her arm on the young black girl in the photo. In the interview below, the girls discuss how excited they were to do the shoot and how excited they were to be a part of this dance group together. The girls felt as though they were empowering women and inspiring other young girls like themselves.



Why does society need to make these girls like their ad needs to be taken down when they were proud of themselves and felt as though they were making a positive difference?

After reading about situations like these, I am disheartened that our society has become a place where people can't express themselves freely without offending someone in some way. Despite reading about cases like these in the news, I never thought this would happen to me. Then, it did.

I walked into class last week and my professor was happy that I had arrived early. "Can you step outside with me for a minute?" he said. I stepped outside with him wondering what he could have possibly wanted to speak with me about. He warned me that he wasn't speaking to me about this because it was something that was bothering him. Rather it was because students in the class had brought something to his attention that they were bothered by. My professor wanted to speak to me about my laptop. Just like most college students, I have stickers on the front of my laptop case. Nine stickers that represent different things that I love and am passionate about. Below is a picture of my laptop case:

My professor told me that multiple students had gone up to him after class and expressed that they felt "uncomfortable" looking at my stickers, specifically the two that are aimed at guns. He told me that they feel "almost unsafe" and that it "offends them to look at." I was shocked by this. Frankly, I cannot understand how a pro-gun sticker on my computer offends someone who sits across the room from me in a college classroom. I am allowed to express myself freely under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

We are building a society that is too sensitive about everything.

My laptop stickers offend you and make you feel "unsafe"?

Someone writing "Trump" on a sidewalk makes you feel "in pain"?

When political correctness is taken to this extreme, it begins to tear down the First Amendment right to freedom of speech. I am not allowed to be pro-gun because you are offended by guns? Trump supporters are not allowed to publicly and openly support the candidate because you find that it makes you afraid? Gap has to take down and apologize for an ad that made the young women feel empowered just because one of the girls had their arm on top of another? We are creating "Safe Zones" where students can go when they feel they are being offended by something on campus. We are creating intolerant students who think that they can shut down views that another student, or anyone has that does not match their own.

If we do not end this soon, things will go even farther than they are now and the freedom we have will continue to shrink.

Cover Image Credit: Christy Petriccione

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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The American Government Is Failing Its Women

Why abortion should be a woman's personal choice and not left up to old, rich men.

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The term "abortion" can make a conversation go south real quick, however, it is a topic worth discussing because it is becoming more and more common and needed each day. When I say the term "abortion", I am not talking about killing babies. I am talking about evicting a ball of cells from a woman's uterus that is unwanted.

According to Dr. Diane Foster in an article titled, Socioeconomic Outcomes of Women Who Receive and Women Who Are Denied Wanted Abortions in the United States, published in March of 2018, nearly half of the many women who seek abortions live below the federal poverty line and three quarters struggle to pay for food and housing, as well as transportation.

When a woman is denied abortion services, the hardships she faces intensify greatly. With the addition of a new baby, public assistance often does not increase enough to provide the amount of assistance actually needed to raise an infant.

In the United States, as well as other countries, the laws surrounding abortion disproportionately affect poor women who cannot afford safe abortions in private clinics. When governments, like America's, become involved in a woman's personal decision, people should become enraged.

When a woman is denied an abortion and is forced to continue with an unwanted pregnancy, aspects of her psychological health become severely disrupted. Denying an abortion promotes a health risk that cannot be ignored.

When a government starts to control an individual's reproductive health, they interfere with human dignity, which requires that individuals are free to make personal decisions without interference from the State.

It is also important to note that abortion is a rare event in an individual's life and is not taken lightly by any woman. The staggering lack of access to safe abortion clinics can and will have dire consequences that affect the entire span of a woman's life. When women are denied this access, dangerous back-alley procedures become more common, which can lead to death.

Compared to 60 years ago, the life you live as a woman is completely different. Being a stay-at-home-mom is becoming less common. Instead, women have fully entered and have begun to take over the workforce.

If abortion were to become fully legalized and accessible, it wouldn't just save women from death, injury, or fear of arrest; it wouldn't just make it possible for women to commit to education and work, as well as freeing them from shotgun marriages and a kid they couldn't afford.

It would change how women view themselves; as mothers by choice, and not by fate. If abortion were to become more accessible to women, even a woman who thinks the term "abortion" is synonymous with "murder" or "killing babies" is still able to make a choice when she decides to keep her pregnancy.

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