Nettle Syrup, over at Feministing Community, has a post up about the problem with people getting off on proclaiming how “politically incorrect” they are. This is something that really irritates me as well. As a commenter, Sandra, in the thread points out:
Political correctness means taking into consideration that not all of the world falls into the same category as you. It means taking the time to be inclusive. How are these bad things?
I understand that some people, particularly people who enjoy misusing their positions of institutional or political power, can use progressive or liberal — even feminist — ideals just as easily as they can conservative, reactionary ideals in manipulative, coercive ways. Yet the ability of any idea to be misused does not invalidate it wholesale, and doesn’t mean we should dismiss it out of hand.
Pre-emptively calling yourself “politically incorrect” before making a statement you expect will be offensive to someone you are speaking with, is tacky at best and a smoke screen for bigotry at worst. It’s an offensive attempt to neutralize any critique (no matter how legitimate) by framing all disagreement with the statement that follows as humorless legalism.* It was nice to see someone else take the time to call “foul!”
*The connotation, accurate or not, the term “politically correct” has acquired.