The term ‘political correctness is used to describe many things these days. It’s used to describe people who are overly sensitive or hypersensitive about anything that could be construed as a form of discrimination, an insult, or a slight.
Political correctness has also been likened to coddling and infantilism. It’s seen as something that weakens the individual spirit and makes one feel less confident in their beliefs. Finally, it’s also been labeled as a problem in modern society because it makes people too afraid of saying what they think out loud.
These definitions may explain why some people reject the term ‘political correctness’ today, but there was a time when individuals were very much against this idea in American culture.
A brief history of censorship in America
For those who may be unfamiliar, censorship is the elimination of content. This could include words, pictures, music, sounds, or movies being made illegal. Censorship can be imposed by a group of people, an institution, or a government.
For example, during the early 20th century in the United States, there was a movement to ban certain books from public libraries. The censorship of books was used to level out the ideas of certain authors in the public eye, who were deemed to be subversive or harmful to the well-being of the public. Books that were banned included certain novels by Mark Twain and William Butler Yeats, among others.
PC in the 80s
During the 80s, the censorship of music and movies was on the rise. This was because the American people were becoming increasingly sensitive about language, and they were seeking to regulate what they viewed and heard.
The uproar over ‘eighties’ music was fueled by a song titled ‘Dancing With Yourself,’ which appeared on the album Pretty in Pink. The song was deemed to be too suggestive, and therefore it was taken off the album. That’s just one example of the way that music censorship was a big issue during this time.
There was also a growing concern about the impact of movies. To qualify for a PG rating, movies were forced to have a certain amount of conflict and violence. The PC movement of the 80s was focused on making sure that movies stayed within the guidelines for rating. Many adults were furious about the fact that every PG movie had to have a happy ending.
Political correctness and feminism during the 90s
During the 90s, political correctness was in full swing. It was a time when public figures needed to be politically correct about all things, including race and gender. Men and women were expected to dress and act a certain way, and people often criticized those who didn’t fit the mold. Feminists often pointed out that political correctness was a form of censorship. These feminists argued that they were being silenced and forced to alter their language.
PC movements in the 00s
During the 2000s, political correctness was used as a tool to silence people and groups of people who had been previously excluded from society. In fact, the PC movement was increasingly being used to silence white men, who were seen as being too dominant and oppressive. This movement was often referred to as ‘white guilt,’ and it often occurred in response to media portrayals of men and women.
The push to silence men and whiteness came in the form of quotas for hiring women, who were now seen as being as intelligent and capable as men. This type of PC movement was often used by people who supported feminism. They saw political correctness as a way to silence men, who were often accused of being sexist. This anti-PC movement was often seen as a form of backlash against feminism.
The alt-right and political correctness today
Today, political correctness is at an all-time high. This is because people are hypersensitive about language, and they’re seeking to regulate what they view and hear. The widespread push to silence men and white people often occurs in the context of racism and discrimination.
This type of discrimination is often directed against people of color, who are seen as being too dominant and too powerful. In response to the discrimination against people of color, white people, and men, people often call for censorship. This form of censorship is often seen as a way to silence people and groups that have been marginalized in society.