Why We Can't Afford Not To Be Politically Correct

Why We Can't Afford Not To Be Politically Correct

Perhaps we should replace "politically correct" with "personally correct."
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There has been a lot of talk in this election cycle about “political correctness” and its damage to society. Mr. Trump claimed in his response to the mass shooting in Orlando that “we can’t afford to have political correctness anymore.” I don’t want this to be another one of my political pieces, but I think this is something much bigger than the election, something that affects our lives day-to-day. Political correctness isn’t a just a practice for pandering to constituents; it’s an important choice in our vocabulary that helps to shape our world.

Oxford Dictionaries define “political correctness” as “the avoidance, often considered as taken to extremes, of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against”. It is this connotation of “often considered as taken to extremes” that causes problems for many Americans. They see certain language as fake, a way to avoid taking real positions, a ploy to avoid alienating voters. But if we ignore that connotation and look at the rest of the definition, we see something we should all be able to get behind, avoiding terms that “exclude, marginalize, or insult” people.

Communication scholars W.B. Pearce and V. Cronen theorize that communication is fundamentally the “coordinated management of meaning”. John Stewart describes in his communication textbook "Together" the “worlds of meaning” each person forms from their communication. The Pygmalion Effect is a communication scholar’s name for a “self-fulfilling prophesy”: ascribing an identity or a characteristic of a person may cause them to assume that identity. Even casual words and actions have this effect. Clearly, communication is much more powerful than you may think in forming the world we live in.

An advertisement from 1953 helps illustrate this ideal. Featured on Purple Clover’s “13 Stunningly Sexist Ads from the Fifties”, the advertisement for Del Monte Ketchup shows a woman with a surprised look on her face holding a bottle of ketchup and looking as if she’s about to open the bottle. The caption reads “You mean a woman can open it? Easily- without a knife blade, a bottle opener, or even a husband!” This language functions to support the idea in society that women are weak and dependent on their husbands all from the language.

The same thing is true of communication today. When Donald Trump said in the second presidential debate that “African Americans and Hispanics are living in hell,” “you walk down the street and you get shot,” and “African American communities are being decimated by crime,” he is perpetuating stereotypes that African American people and communities are dangerous. These generalizations prove to support stereotypes that may lead to the Pygmalion Effect, and at the very least support judgment across our nation. This judgment may lead to fewer options for African Americans. It also encourages practices like “Stop and Frisk” implicitly, although Trump made sure to make that point explicitly as well. The same thing is to be said by demonizing refugees, Arabs, and Mexicans.

The problem is also true when we are talking to one another about LGBTQ individuals or people with disabilities or any race or gender. We can’t afford not to have political correctness because we can’t afford to have a world of hate, discrimination, and fear.

Cover Image Credit: Creative Commons

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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To Donald Trump: Thank U, Next

Look what you taught us.

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What Donald Trump taught me is that it is not essential for the president to care about his country. Con-artistry goes a long way when communicating with people who are tired of the same political jargon.

His simple-minded but outlandish promises convinced people significant change was coming. Donald Trump taught me that never again do I want a president to be thought of as "one of us."

Instead, I want someone smart, ethical and who has taken a basic civics course — someone who will take care of minorities and make those in dire situations a priority instead of stock market prices.

I want a president that doesn't brag about sexually assaulting women. I want a president that doesn't go on social media and blame homicide victims for not being armed. I want a president that doesn't complain about money when people are dying and losing their homes in a massive fire.

However, with that being said, I also want to give thanks to Trump. Because of him, the next generation sees how crucial it is to get out and vote. Most of your elders probably never spoke to an LGBTQ person, but you and your siblings grew up with LGBTQ friends, and you would never want them to be treated any lesser than you. You grew up with women dominating television. You grew up under the leadership of an African American president. You grew up in a world that was changing.

Some people don't like change, but you are the future, and it is your decision what you want that future to be. So thank you Donald Trump, for being the last big push Americans needed to completely change a world that was once dominated by violence and hate crimes. However, I think most of us can agree we are ready for what's coming next.

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