Does This Video Offend You? [CC]


>>ASHLEY: There’s a sleepy kitty. I love you sleepy kitty! This Imperial Pilsner was sent to my PO Box. [burps] I like it! [burps] Ooh! [Intro music] Let’s talk about political correctness. So a few days ago I learned something very interesting. I am a person who is on the politically correct boat. I strive to be inclusive of my language if I think it could be triggering and I don’t mind having “limitations” on what I say if I think it could prevent people from feeling hurt or unsafe. It turns out, however, that not everyone agrees. In fact, a shit ton of people don’t agree and they feel very fucking strongly. That blew my mind a little. Maybe I live in a progressive tumblr bubble, but I thought it was generally accepted that being PC was the way to be. What rocked my world even more though was some of these anti-PC preaching people actually kind of had a point. It all started on Twitter when I innocently and mostly rhetorically posed the question: “Why is it so important to be politically correct?” Many of the responses I expected. “I’d like to live a life which causes as little negative impact on other people as possible.” “It’s ignorant not to acknowledge the historical powers that put you where you are today. PC-ness is how that plays out in actions.” “It’s so easy for me to choose one word over another and simultaneously not hurt someone and ruin their week.” This point I especially liked and it’s something I’ve been practicing for a while. Plucking one word from your vocabulary is often not hard. And there are so many other words out there! According to Google, in fact, there are 1,025,109.8 words in the English language. So having just a few off limits doesn’t too restricting, in my opinion. PC is being aware that your experiences are not everyone’s. Maybe something isn’t offensive to you, but it could be for others. Not honoring someone’s pronouns, for instance, isn’t just offensive and awkward to them. It can sometimes trigger dysphoria. It’s more than just a slip up. It’s a heart sinking, horrific, self-conscious whirlwind. A small, short experience can vary dramatically depending on what side of the interaction someone’s on. Other people’s opinions surprised me. “It gets in the way of free speech. Lack of free speech prevents progress.” “I think it actually dismisses the chance to further educate people.” “I feel like people who label themselves PC are just bullies who have learned to be nice about why they hate you.” Ooof. “Censorship leads down dark and oppressive paths. To stifle criticism, parody, satire, humor, free speech is to promote inequality and a culture of fear.” [loud music] “Being politically correct can suck my dick.” And my favorite: “Social justice warrior bitch.” Thank you! Clearly there was some disagreement and it left me wondering: “Why is being PC so controversial?” A question I posed on all my social media. “Because people tend to believe that what isn’t offensive to them should be accepted by everyone.” “It takes more effort to learn how to treat people with respect than it does to say the first thing that comes to mind. … and people don’t like effort.” “Because it’s opinion based.” “It’s opinion based.” “Some people claim it kills comedy.” I didn’t know Nicole Arbor followed my stuff. “Mostly ’cause there are no absolute right answers or guidelines and many people are reall uncomfortable with that.” I get where this one’s coming from, but I’d like to pose a counter question: Who is asking you to get things absolutely right? Everyone makes mistakes and says a problematic thing from time to time. No one is expecting social justice perfection. I think it’s mostly effort and willingness to change if you do get called out on something that people are looking for. A great phrase to add on to anything if you are ever worried you misspoke is: “Please, correct me if I’m wrong, I’m still learning.” “Because bigots don’t like it when people call them out.” [laughs] “Because #hashtag freedom of speech!” Yes. People absolutely have the right to say incredibly offensive things just like I have the right to call them an asshole when they do. This argument has been beaten to death. We’re not ready to move on from it yet? “Privilege. Anyone who understands what it’s like to be offended, hurt, excluded, underrepresented, or stereotyped understands why being politically correct (aka respectful and not using offensive language) is so important. Yet those who don’t understand (and lack empathy or the respect to listen) claim their ‘freedom of speech’ is being taken away and yell about censorship and to just deal with it. People need to just listen and respect, especially when it comes to a minority’s wishes.” That one came from Facebook and was surprisingly progressive. Stop the video and go like my Facebook page if you want to be a part of the small 5,000 person safe space we have going on over there. It’s really cute. “I’m totally in favor of political correctness as long as you aren’t using it as an excuse to yell at people who are open minded and willing to educate themselves but just don’t know all of the correct terminology right away.” And here comes my only critique of being PC. Believe it or not, if you’re calling someone out on being problematic and you are doing it in a combative and condescending way that shames them, then you are the one that’s problematic. You are making advocacy inaccessible and you are silencing a lot of potential discussion that could be taking place, but isn’t because it’s simply too scary. Your intent may have been to educate them, but since you went about it in a pretentious asshat way you probably just turned them into an angry MRA troll who tweets that “All lives matter!” or says things like, “But I have gay friends!” and will probably vote for Trump. And we all know that’s not good. Topics saturated with PC jargon and, like, q*eer, race, and class issues are already complicated and intimidating enough to begin with. That’s why it’s so important we bring patience and compassion when advocating. Other than that, being PC is basically just being conscious of the way your words and actions affect others and I never think we can have too much of that. Let me know what you guys think in the comments! And if you don’t follow me on Twitter, tumblr, and Facebook (especially Facebook, it’s a party on Facebook), all the links can be found in the description below. Okay. Bye! [pop noise] “Follow me on Twitter.” [closing music]

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