Better Education Responsible for Political Correctness

Andrew Heying, Deputy Opinion Editor

In a polarizing time in American history, there has been immense focus on political correctness. Many political pundits have argued that the frustration created by the left’s hyper-focus on the importance of words when discussing race and gender led to the anger that elected Trump. While this may be true, it does not mean political correctness is any less important.

When children are little, they often make up names for everything. However, as they age, they are taught what things are truly called, and they start using correct names. For example, if a small boy called all dogs Sammy because his own dog was named Sammy, he would be corrected. No one would think this was an attempt to brainwash anyone with fancy new words or liberal propaganda. Political correctness is no different. Transgender women are not trannies or shemales — these terms are literally incorrect and also offensive. Correcting people who use terms such as these is simply reflective of the fact that humanity is more educated now than ever before. In a society where children are taught to aspire to knowledge and higher education, this correction should be looked upon positively, not with disgust.

One of the main targets of the anti-PC argument is college campuses. While many on the right see colleges’ focus on political correctness as liberal propaganda, for the most part this trend is just a result of learning more. Just as a doctor learns to call what is often labeled the funny bone the ulnar nerve, people learn that the veil often worn by Muslim women is a hijab, not a funny scarf. As a nation that prides itself on its world-renowned colleges, this transition should be a sign of success, not a threat to anyone. After all, no one would get mad at an economics student for using terms that the average person may not be aware of. Adults on both ends of the political spectrum love seeing young people go to college, so looking down upon people for using what they learn must stop if higher education is going to maintain its value.

In President Donald Trump’s America, conversations about specific terminology are more important than ever. At the same time, it is worth noting that demonizing people who use outdated and offensive terms is unhelpful. These conversations must be respectful, otherwise people who may be more educated are simply being arrogant. Nevertheless, young people must continue the commitment to political correctness going forward. If not, then there is no point in aspiring for a higher education and intellectual advancement in general.

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Opinions expressed on the editorial pages are not necessarily those of WSN, and our publication of opinions is not an endorsement of them.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Feb. 21 print edition. Email Andrew Heying at [email protected]

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2 COMMENTS

  1. The problem is not whether one knows the correct term of not, it is whether one cares to use the correct term in casual conversation. Even doctors who may know that the patient has spiral fracture may say to another, even when signing over, “he broke his arm”. There is no one standing there saying, “The use of incorrect terminology is offending me and I am going to seek redress!” Political correctness is an invasion by some of others individual rights. I know the article is an “opinion” , but most opinions have some fact(s) to support it, sadly this piece of writing is more politically correct propaganda than even opinion.

  2. This article misses the entire critique of politically correct speech.

    First, it is not about calling things by their right name. It is about not being allowed to call things by their right name. You use the example of “trans women.” These people are not women. They are men who either believe they are women or are just pretending to be women, or who wish they were women, or who are trying to become women. But one thing they are not is women. If you found yourself married to such a person based on “her” identification of being a “woman” you would be in for a big surprise on your wedding night. Assuming, of course, you both were willing to wait.

    Political correctness is about being afraid to tell the truth (as you see it) if that truth might offend someone. So you should not point out the achievement gap between blacks and whites and offer a conjecture about whether this might have a genetic component. You should not notice that probably 99% of terrorist attacks around the world are committed by adherents to one religion. I won’t mention which one. I wouldn’t want to offend.

    Political correctness is about walking on ice in every encounter with so-called “marginalized” people. You can’t ask them where they are from, or you are committing a microaggression. You can’t cook their food or you are appropriating their culture. The list of stupidity goes on and on. And god forbid if you are a white male that you should speak out about an issue that affects “marginalized” people without checking your privilege. Or is that term already passé?

    Political correctness is a kind of mental slavery, in which only certain thoughts are allowed and only certain ways of expressing oneself are allowed. It is a cancer on the free expression of ideas.

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