It’s not about being politically correct, it’s about being empathetic

Listen up, people who have shared this ridiculous meme. You have a lot to learn about compassionate discourse.

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Everyone that I have seen who has repost this has – at least once – complained about how everyone is trying to be so politically correct these days. This complaints have gone hand-in-hand with complaining about the guilt trip that they are put on when they make certain jokes or comments.

I can not comprehend how somebody who struggles to make jokes in a “politically correct” environment cannot understand the fundamental problem with society. Being politically correct should not be a suffocating state.. If you are struggling to not offend anyone with your jokes, you ought to have begun a journey of a thousand miles that begins with realising how offensive society is.

It seems too obvious to make a point of calling out, but here we go: society has been designed in such a way that certain identities profit, while others suffer. It has ultimately changed very little, and the ongoing perpetration of making some people suffer happens through casual, careless discourse. I have found this to be the truest in jokes/comments about race and rape. Before you make a comment or a joke that you think will make you the life of the party, take a step back.

Consider the possibility of the impact of this joke on people who have struggled or been oppressed in any form – people of any race other than white, females, victims of abuse, victims of mental diseases, anyone whose sexuality is not heterosexual, redheads, anyone who does not adhere to the gender binaries of ‘male’ and ‘female’, those whose bodies are not depicted in magazines. If your joke/comments reinforces oppression, you create victims and you need to shut up. I understand that comedy is a convenient way of making taboo topics easier to talk about, but if your jokes makes people laugh off the seriousness of the topic, you are doing humanity a dire disservice.

I do not have a problem with the notion of being politically correct – as long as it does not stem from the need to save face value in front of other people. Being politically correct is acting and talking in a way that is not directly (or even indirectly) in your self-interest. You see, as long as you think you need to appear as ‘politically correct’, you are missing the point completely. It is not about being politically correct, it is about being compassionate and empathetic.

In case I have not articulated myself adequately so far, let me clarify before I send off.

You should not be upset because you do not feel that certain jokes will be tolerated anymore.

You should be upset that jokes that have disturbed people were tolerated for so long.

[Header image credit: heraldonline.com]

 

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