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Progressive or Progressively Worse?

Editorial

Lauren Briggs, Editor

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In 2017, PC culture is rampant. Whether that means “parental control” or “politically correct,” it’s damage control. It keeps kids innocent and it keeps adults accountable. But how far is too far?

People draw lines between what is right and wrong. We create a list of groups that need our “protection”: children, sexualities, genders, religions, political parties, athletes, teachers, the list goes on.  No matter what the line is for, it’s skewed. How do you create a universal “inappropriate” phrase or gesture? After a while, so many things become inappropriate that the word inappropriate itself becomes a dirty word.

Something PC culture forgets is context. Yes, people, a joke can be offensive and still be a joke. Take a second and think: who is the audience? Did you pay to go see a comedian you like who has a career in crassness? Or did you hear it secondhand and get riled? PC culture can run someone into the ground for making insensitive jokes. We forget that generalizing can be bad. We forget that some people cope with humor. We forget that not everything is a threat to society.

We all have to step back and realize that there are times we should be offended. However, sometimes we white knight on someone’s behalf—and they don’t even care. We cannot always speak on behalf of someone else.

There used to be a time in our social lives we could say what we thought and perhaps use humor to cope. Now, it’s hard to tell who will be triggered by a joke in a casual setting. It’s hard to joke and socially interact without crossing some line.

Come as you are, come as you may, just don’t come that way.”

— Lauren Briggs

We all have different walks of life. We all have different sets of humor. We say we want to accept people for anything they are, come as you may. But we shame people for anything that sits outside our personal morality. The problem with that? Our shaming is inconsistent. There are stereotypes. If a man sleeps with a lot of people, it’s a conquest. If a woman sleeps with a lot of people, she’s a slut.

Even social media is censoring “sensitive material.” YouTube keeps changing their policies, as they have been saying for a while that videos on tragedies will not be monetized at all. Yet, their trending videos are often one of the “Late Night” shows, and clips of them discussing events like the Vegas shooting. They are getting paid, by advertisers, for views. They are benefiting from the system. But just any ole YouTuber with a few million viewers? No. Yet YouTube still makes money off of the “Late Night” videos. Why are they any different from the average content creator? They still have a status, even if it is not on television. They are running the platform, but their content is getting buried.

We have to be consistent. Without consistency, we are taking things too far. If you cannot set a standard for everyone within reason, why is it applied to most? That in itself is an exclusion and can be considered “inappropriate” or “offensive.”

Sometimes, the freedom to walk your own way is still close minded. Instead of progressing and accepting, we are limiting each other. Limiting ourselves. Come as you are, come as you may, just don’t come that way. Is that the society you want to live in?

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Progressive or Progressively Worse?