Yes, I just made a post like an hour ago. Oh well :D Double the posts, double the fun, right? Anyways, this is about something completely different. One of the queer issues topics I said I wanted to talk about awhile ago...although it's a bit more broad than that. Anyways, the reason it's taken me so long to get back to these topics is because I'm still debating on whether or not to make a separate blog. But I've decided to just keep going here for now, and make a separate blog only if I feel like I'm flooding my LJ.
Okay so what I wanted to talk about was the term 'politically correct' or PC. I'm sure we've all heard the term before, right? You are all probably aware in at least a vague sense of what the term means, but I'm going to examine it in detail here, from the origins of the term to how we most often hear it.
When someone is being 'politically correct', they are purposefully speaking in such a way as to avoid contradicting their political ideals. For example, it would not be politically correct for a person running for office as a conservative to speak about the evils of the free market, or for a libertarian to talk about how wonderful big government is. Now, when we talk about it in these terms, its original meaning, there is no moral polarity attached to being politically correct/incorrect; it is a part of politics, to say things sometimes that you do not quite believe to avoid alienating your perhaps more extreme constituents. There is probably a lot to be said on the actual morality of a political system that encourages this sort of dishonesty, but political correctness is more a result of the system than of individual 'liars'.
That is not, however, the way that most people will hear the term most often. As I'm sure you're all aware. Especially online, you're more likely to hear about 'the PC police' and so on. Basically, the idea that people who speak out on social justice issues are being politically correct when they refuse to use slurs or say they don't believe the majority of people on wellfare are purposefully having more children to get more benefits. Basically, that they are ignoring basic truths and/or censoring themselves just to appear as a stronger or more righteous leader within their political cause or party (generally, liberals).
Basically, the idea that SJ warriors (is this a good term?) really "know" that certain stereotypes are true, but perpetuate that they are not, simply as a way of pandering to minorities and shifting blame off of themselves if they are minorities so they can gain power or at least popularity among people of a certain political persuasion.
First of all, the biggest problem with this that I have is that I still do not understand how social justice has a political polarity to it. I do not think it should by nature be 'liberal'. As we've seen (for example, The Govinator's speech on Prop 8) being pro-social justice does not in fact conflict with being politically or fiscally conservative. So why is social conservative/liberalism so conflated with fiscal and political conservative/liberalism? I really don't know. There are probably people who do know. But my point is that the idea that social justice, feminism, etc. are necessarily liberal, confounds me.
This kind of brings me to my second point. I do not consider myself a political person. I am not a political activist, nor do I think I will ever be. Politics confound me on the best of days, and I'm just the kind of person who would rather deal with what the political climate throws at me than try to make change in it, because I don't have any confidence in my ability to tackle political issues. I do have a personal political orientation, but it's not relevant to my life because it is not and probably will not in my lifetime be compatible with the politics of the country I live in; to put it plainly, I am a socialist, and the 'liberal' party in America is pretty much dead center.
Alright, I kind of got distracted there. My point was this: nothing I do is politically motivated. My involvement in politics is absolutely 0. I don't vote, and that's not because I'm too lazy to do so. Nothing I do is in the interest of being politically correct; I don't seek the attention of other socialists or liberals, nor am I concerned with being the perfect little liberal. TBH, I am not even sure what that would be.
I avoid using slurs out of empathy; I know it hurts me when people casually throw around words like tranny. I don't want to be so callous about others' emotions; I want to be a respectful person. I search for the truth about people because...well first and foremost, I know enough about statistics and interpreting statistics and social psychology to know that most stereotypes are simply not true; and second, again, because I am more interested in being respectful towards other people.
Now, I'm not saying that there's nobody out there who's involved in social justice and considers it a political 'thing'. I understand that there are a lot of people for whom politics is a part of their identity. I'm not saying that's bad, either; I think it's wonderful! Any way a person can find to be and define who they are, what they need and what they want, I think that's great. My point is not that social justice and "PC language" are always divorced from politics - but rather that they do not have to be, nor are they always, related to politics at all.
This whole post didn't come out as well as I wanted it to, I think, but I don't think I can do any better either. Hmmm. :C