21.5 C
Athens
Τετάρτη, 25 Μαΐου, 2022
ΑρχικήEnglish EditionPolitical correctness: An instrument of equality or a restriction of freedom of...

Political correctness: An instrument of equality or a restriction of freedom of expression?


By Polina Pallieraki,

As 2021 came to an end, terror and misery from the health threat and curtailment of freedom remain soaring. The lower human instincts are rekindled and have left us dumbfounded in the face of daily pain. The confinement has brought us even closer to technology, social media, and television, where everyone from the safety of their screen indulges in merciless criticism of political correctness. This phenomenon, with several doses of exaggeration, unjustifiably gives the opportunity to take up the role of the judge. In spite of the fact that political correctness began with the sacred purpose of combating discrimination towards the vulnerable groups of society, nowadays, with the excuse of perfection, every human being considers it right to intervene for any imperfection. To avoid misunderstandings, all offenses must be prosecuted by the law and brought to justice. In this case, the analysis concerns everyday issues that are exaggerated by setting people up on the wall.

Political correctness, the tendency to criticize and correct the mistake of our fellow man, has reached such an extent that it is likened to censorship. First in the foresight, as an easy target indeed, are the people who are exposed to the public. No one signs that the alleged persons have infallibility or that we must follow their views thoughtlessly. They themselves know that they will comment on them, but human spontaneity is often not taken into account. Famous personas will always be judged because their opinion is what is heard and broadcasted through various media outlets, and they must be careful (just like all of us) not to become offensive. On the other hand, the “judges of the Internet” should not lurk at every step for any mistake and devour them almost like hungry hyenas.

At the same time, brainwashing, misleading headlines of journalists, and the need for gossip serve the feeling of “the people’s court” from users and set out additional falsified words about engagement. Criticism is legitimate and necessary, however, it cannot be applied to everything and everyone, except ourselves. We are consumed in what other people say or do, and there seems to be no reason for self-criticism and self-improvement. When it comes to burning others at the stake, there is no hesitation, but in front of a mirror, we close our eyes to our own reflection. Pseudoethics is limited to humiliating the other’s weakness, and, as spectators, to refrain from the ring of reparation. Today’s political correctness, which has weaponized the sins that anyone from their own convenience can accuse, lead to the stoning of any deviation. Demagoguery and hypocrisy prevail, lest anyone escape the limits of correctness by expressing a different opinion. Especially in the modern era of public health, political, economic, and ecological crisis, where balance remains delicate and tension increases instantaneously, the push towards cancellation and margin is often given unconsciously, without second thoughts.

Illustration by: Nathalie Lees. Image source: theguardian.com

The measure of excellence is what must be followed in order for prosperity and proper functioning of society to prevail. Boundaries in spontaneity and the imposition of reason are difficult to be achieved at all times. Beliefs will always be as dissimilar as people are, as pluralism is what characterizes societies. This is the purpose of maintaining political correctness, in order to avoid discrimination and to stop promoting or accepting racism in all its forms, and there is no room for opposing views in this. The excessive need for perfection, in the event that even we ourselves are not perfect, however, is what makes the critical restriction of freedom and spontaneity in general.

And political correctness as a concept does not threaten any freedoms. However, the operation that is constructed inconsiderately by people who misinterpret its original ideals and consider that they are capable of judging as executioners and infallible of every fellow human being are the ones who inspire the accusations and misinterpretations about the phenomenon. As a noxious society, instead of understanding the gifts that rules and boundaries give us in communication (as dialogue is a source of understanding and problem-solving), we interpret context and characters as we wish. In addition, we shamelessly intervene in the choices of others, when that is not necessary or even asked for. In conclusion, something that should be emphasized would be the need for inner discussion, by ourselves for ourselves, a chance for self-criticism, and solving out our own problems and bad moments, that we all have certainly accumulated so far.


References
  • What Is Political Correctness? Definition, Pros, and Cons, thoughtco.com, Available here

TA ΤΕΛΕΥΤΑΙΑ ΑΡΘΡΑ

Polina Pallieraki
She was born in Athens and she is a student of Philosophy at National Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA). She speaks English, French and Spanish and she plays the guitar as a hobby. She is very interested in books and journalism especially in social and cultural issues, because she can externalize her thoughts and opinion. She is passionate about whatever she does and she is trying to do her best in every role she undertakes.