Political correctness is a forerunner of the cancel culture. ‘Politically correct’ became more popular between 1990s to 2000s. The form became associated with being afraid to say anything that could be offensive, and instead, relying on feel good terms.
Definition in the Britannica dictionary; Politically correct is agreeing with the idea that people should be careful to not use language or behave in the way that could offend a particular group of people. Another word for ‘politically correct’-aware, courteous judicious, polite politic, savvy, sympathetic, thoughtful. Other relevant words: diplomatic, respectful, considerate, inoffensive, multiculturally sensitive, non-sexist, nonracist, sensitive to other, liberal. Opposite of socially acceptable or appropriate: politically incorrect, impolite, offensive, heretical.
For example: politically correct behaviour should be, asking a person about their ‘partner’, instead using gendered terms like girlfriend/boyfriend, or husband/wife. This to avoid assuming the person’s sexual orientation or gender. Being ‘politically correct’ means that you avoid expressions and actions that might exclude, marginalise or offend a particular group of people. In a truly diverse and open society it is important that people are able to be upfront and express their opinions even if they might not be popular. Politically correct stifles free speech and creativity. On Google: Use language that includes LGBTQIA + people---??? (LGBT scenes in movies have almost become-must-).
‘Politically correctness’ has an important purpose, it promotes equality by demonstrating an understanding that all people and groups are valuable to society regardless of gender, race, culture, religion or sexual orientation. Today’s society is in fact disunited and divided by inequalities anyway. And most of the inequalities are caused by years of political, economic and the social history, in which certain populations have been barred from public spaces, or the world of work. Women were depriving of political rights almost everywhere, people are hampered in their striving for economic integration, those with disabilities are discriminated by not making areas, accessible, and the list goes on.
People claim that you can’t say anything anymore without being called-sexist, racist. homophobic, Islamophobic, antisemitic and now…transphobic, fatphobic etc. Why we don’t consider that using the correct names for things is about righteousness, and perhaps even justice? Saying ‘person with disability’ or simply saying ‘disabled’, saying ‘housekeeper’ rather than ‘cleaning lady’ (on the one hand professionalizes the role, and on the other hand removes its gender). Saying ‘firefighter’ rather than ‘fireman’, actually tells us more about the role and doesn’t just make it gender neutral, or using the term’ African American to describe those of colour etc.
Why does everything have to be so politically correct? For example, the attempts to scrub race from American schools. We have to face the past as it was and the present as it is, not some politically correct cleaned up version that satisfies political preferences.
Being ‘politically correct’ it means trying to be inclusive and respectful to others, as time change. Inclusion means precise, being benevolent paying attention to other people and their unique characters. We have a freedom to think whatever we want, but we don’t have the freedom to do and say anything that would harm the rights and dignity of others. Political correctness has gotten way out of control during the last few years. It is gone from basic human decency, kindness and understanding to damn-near fascistically enforced politeness. People losing jobs because of something said way in the far past that offend people today. Books written in a different era being banned from schools, while pushing the gender up the nose of our youth. Many books are being pulled from the shelves. Watching the movie filmed again in a different era that displays a message before the start of the film for example apologizing for ‘racism’. Movies have become too politically correct. Casting characters … unless it’s something depicting actual historic people… I doubt that censoring old books or movies will change the general use of certain offensive words or opinions. We have entered in an era where ‘politically correct’ has become ridiculous. It is barrier to truth, to intellectual debate, to solving problems, to progress and new ideas. And we should avoid of hurting people on ethnic, national, gender, race, requiring civility in communication, refraining from hurtful speech and conduct and to be more honest, not vulgar. ‘Politically correct’ is all about being aware of using language that help instead of harms. The idea that words shape our reality, words have power, they can change how we think, treat others and eventually how we shape the world.
‘Politically correct’ is a vector for culture, and not a weapon for censorship
Political correctness spawned the idea of a 'cancel culture' The 'cancel culture' seeks to hold people responsible for their words and actions. Public shaming of people who behave in ways that are considered to be contrary (immoral) to the good functioning of the group is a super old tradition. Stoning people is perhaps the original form of ‘cancel culture’? These days it works differently, people have zero ways to directly impact anything, only social pressure on the decision makers. So that's what they end up doing 'cancel culture' is just a new term for an old concept. The practice of 'cancelling' or ‘mass shaming’ often occurs on social media platforms, such as Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. Cancel culture is unavoidable in today's society, but optimistically people should make a more positive culture with fair criticism. 'Cancel culture' has become uncontrollable and has allowed other individuals to invade people's privacy leading to senseless apologies while encouraging lawlessness. But it also evolves criminal threats and might drive an individual to suicide. The acts of cancelling culture stop people from sharing their opinions even though that is the appropriate or necessary action.
The 'cancel culture' has positive effects, such as holding people accountable. How ever it is harmful and wrongful and people should not condone it. After seeing so many people being 'cancelled' some bystanders are plagued with fear and they become over helmed with anxiety that people will turn on them, if they fully express themselves. The one common theme everyone seems to agree on is that 'cancel culture' involves taking a public stance against an individual or institution for actions considered objectionable or offensive.
Cancel culture is a movement to remove celebrity status or esteem from a person, place, or thing based on offensive behaviour or transgression. 'Cancel culture' is phenomenon in which those who are deemed to have acted or spoken in an unacceptable manner are ostracized, boycotted, or shunned. A celebrity or other public does or says something offensive-Than come the calls to cancel the person-that is effectively end their career, or revoke their cultural cachet, whether through boycotts of their work, or disciplinary action from an employer. This process of publicly calling for accountability and boycotting, if nothing else seems to work, has become an important tool of social justice. 'Cancel culture, rather than being a way of speaking truth to power, has spun out of total control and become senseless form of social media mob rule. For example: numerous speakers including former President D. Trump, addressed 'cancel culture' directly, even explicitly targeted the phenomenon, describing it as encouraging lawlessness, muting citizens, and violating free exchange of ideas, thoughts and speech. Author of Harry Potter J. K. Rowling has faced intense criticism from her fans (since she began to voice transphobic beliefs) making her one of the most prominently 'cancelled individuals. But sales of her books actually increased tremendously. Is 'cancel culture' an important tool of social justice, or a new form of merciless mob intimidation? Or does the very idea of being 'cancelled' work to deter potentially bad behaviour? Some activists find cancel culture a ‘toxic’ practice wherein people attempt to expunge anyone with whom they do not perfectly agree, rather than remain focused on those who profit from discrimination and injustice. The people doing the cancelling -become the self-appointed guardians of political purity.
Since ‘Black Lives Matter’ began in 2014 and the hashtag has grown into historic global movement, black community have spoken out about racial injustice and police brutality, social media supported these issues and seriously shifted the nation’s recognition of the need for change- especially after the death of the black man George Floyd. But yet racist incidents continue to happen and appear online daily.
Social media’s public access has also allowed this form of public shaming to become a practice for people all backgrounds to address many issues. Whether we view cancel culture as empowering or destructive, the practice says a lot about our current cultural climate, which has been influenced by the increasingly digital world we inhabit. We don’t have a distinction anymore between public and private, we are living more of our lives online than we are in the real, tangible world. We share so much stuff online, and we have tendency sometimes to say things via social media and other platforms that maybe we wouldn’t say if we were face to face with someone.
Gen Z is known for being resourceful, independent learners, who value diversity and inclusive culture and place a priority on well-being and mental health in the workplace. Gen Z are more likely to strongly agree that rise of cancel culture has meant they are increasingly self-censoring, when and with whom they share their opinions, and they are mostly likely to be aware of the social consequences cancel culture brings. Gen Z is lashing out and ‘cancelling’, because they have seen hate, injustice and inequality through their youth. Gen Z has come of age during the most disruptive era in human history. While older generations have a tendency to blame aspects of a broken system, Gen Z want to tear the whole system down and to create a better way to educate, govern, work and treat one another. A call for change of young people are more powerful now than any other time in history. They are organized and connected on social media and have the potential to disrupt and change outcomes, and this power shouldn’t be underestimated.
‘Cancel culture’ in art…Efforts to confront the moral problems of the art world are the best pursued through the reform of art institutions (museums, publishing houses, media companies etc.) In recent years there have been increasing calls fuelled by social media to boycott, or remove the work of artists who act immorally, and to shun who continue to engage with their work. Efforts to erase particular artists from public life while often understandable, can be counterproductive. Cancelling someone is built on erasure in attempt to punished the accused. If we discover some artist is a bad person, does that mean his art (show) is bad also? Is it wrong to enjoy the work of immoral artists and should immoral artists be ‘cancelled’? And great art is not synonymous with great morality. Artists are not exempt from ethical corruption, regardless of what beauty they conceive into the world. To ‘cancel’ their societal contributions in the wake of their bad behaviour does…what exactly? We should let the art guide us to the light and not to the darkness, and let the good things continue to teach us to be good.
‘Cancel culture’ allows marginalized people to seek accountability where the justice system fails. For example: the ‘Me too’ movement gave innumerable women (and some men) the ability to call out and maybe cancel their countless abusers. A few famous men have faced repercussions (allegations against Hollywood impresario Harvey Weinstein).
Now young people, women, migrants, the well-educated create their own public spheres, have their audiences and enjoy wide media attention. Their presence in the media irritates those who controlled our social discourse in the past and now they are fearing for their power and privileges, and are used to be courted rather than criticized.
‘Cancel culture’ came to us from across the Atlantic. But publicists from Germany the same as those from U.S. warning of the dangers of ‘politically correctness and ‘cancel culture’ to society, truth, freedom of opinion, journalism and even Western civilization. There is talk of totalitarianism, manipulation on Orwellian thought and language police. An Open Letter on Justice and Open Debate was published, endorsed by signatories from art and culture, calling for more liberalism and less censorship.