Political Correctness: Fad or Real Culture?
In America, society has been in a constant state of change as people learn to challenge traditional norms in order to gain more fairness and equality. Through struggles seen in the grassroots movements all the way to the recent gay marriage movement of last year, America has been on the forefront of many civil rights accomplishments. Racism, sexism, and homophobia are some of the biggest problems that many activists want to abolish. However, gone are the times of physically assembling nationwide and standing up to authority for moral values. With the internet comes liberal action from the comfort of people’s own smartphones. Has the internet changed the name and reputation of social justice? Is it a new fad?
The anonymity of the internet has allowed many communities to thrive where people are hidden only behind usernames and profile pictures. The only way to identify them being their IP address, if one was willing to go through the trouble. This has allowed people to communicate to each other without fear of prejudice. The internet has become a haven for people of differing backgrounds and has encouraged several movement groups to arise. While many are successful, some are controversial in their approach. One particular group of people are the “Social Justice Warriors.”
SJWs originate websites such as the popular blogging platform Tumblr and are primarily female. Members of other social media communities such as link-aggregator Reddit often accuse SJWs of involving themselves in civil rights arguments; though not for the sake of the community they are defending but for their own reputation. They are seen as accepting of all different races, genders, sexualities, and other forms of identification; taking it to the point of strictly correcting the wrong use of gender pronouns, and even providing alternatives such as “ze” and “hir.” SJWs are criticized for taking things too far by making petty attack claims, accusations of hate crimes, and causing unnecessary drama. When exposed to offensive scenes, SJWs claim to be “triggered,” and display anxiety similar to that of PTSD. Recently, they have been known to start “safe-spaces” in areas, such as college campuses around the country, in order to block out triggering imagery. “I think feminism is really misunderstood because a lot of people mistake feminism as man hating and that’s not it at all. I don’t think it needs to be against anything. I think feminism is just reminding women that we’re allowed to be equal and everyone else is allowed to be equal. It’s not that we’re trying to assert our power over men but to have the same equal power as men,” Rebecca Bailey ‘16 said. “I definitely don’t think that it’s a fad, but I think the reason so many people think that it is, is because often, literally anything girls like, are mocked which it part of feminism; that people don’t take things that we believe in and we want seriously, and they definitely should. It’s not a fad, it’s an actual movement that we’ve been working on for a long time and people don’t seem to understand that that we actually want this stuff. We’re not just being stupid girls, we have actual reasons for doing this,“ Allyson Chancellor ‘16 said.
“The differences between men and women today aren’t as big, I think they’re still just as important, but they aren’t as visible, so it’s more difficult for people who aren’t stuck in a situation where they’re being paid less, or where they’re being put down or something like that, to understand the people that are.” Erica Tackman ‘16 said.
“I feel like a lot of the problems with the community of the genderqueer, transgender community is that some people are taking it to a different level of fakeness. Like people using “bun”, “bunself” as a pronoun and stuff like that, and people are starting to think that’s what the transgender community is actually like, and so they’re trying to fit that, but it’s actually, a lot of that is fake and it’s mocking the community. So, those kinds of pronouns like “they”, “them”, and “their” is very popular, and even things like “jee”, “jim”, and “jeir”, those are becoming more popular, but anything else at this point is kind of out of nowhere, and not really necessary,” Skyler Andrews ‘16 said.
“I think that the “fake” political correctness groups, that it’s definitely a fad, and that it’s gonna be ending soon as they realize that the real people have ideas and morales on the certain topics that they’re trying to protest against. Once they actually come out and talk about what they really believe in, the people who are there for the fame, or the five second glory, are gonna realize that they’re wrong, and they’re gonna be screwed,” Maisie Monaghan ‘16 said.
Many are not amused by these overreactions. The anonymous imageboard 4chan is known to be rather risque, though it has stood as one of the prominent communities on the internet, this has made it a major antagonist to the SJWs of Tumblr. 4chan does not possess any specific bias as each user is anonymous. This lack of identity has inspired an air of dark humor on the boards. Members of 4chan, specifically those from it’s “random” or “/b/” board are known to ridicule followers of these movements, coining satirical terms such as “feminazi.” Some may consider their methods unethical, such as the spamming of gore and pornography and marking them with popular tags.