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Political Correctness: The enemy of Art?

Updated on June 17, 2011
Political Correctness 1
Political Correctness 1

OK, so no one is blind anymore, they are visually challenged. No one is ever mad or retarded, they are intellectually challenged. Also no one is fat these days, they are big, plus size, curvy. Oh! And people stopped having diseases or afflictions, the only have ‘conditions’. And you don’t say Merry Christmas anymore, peeps, you had better say Happy Holidays, or else!

I think political correctness is the new censorship, the new curtailment of the freedom of expression and speech, even the freedom of thought. Though political correctness supposedly seeks to minimize offense to gender, racial, cultural, disabled, aged or other identity groups, the term is mostly viewed in the pejorative sense. Increasingly new ideas, different ideas, change, even originality is sought to be stifled under the pretext of political correctness.

So is this political correctness thing going just too far? Do we constantly watch what we say, lest we tread on some sensitive toes or lest we cause offence to overly thin-skinned people around us? (or perhaps I should not say thin-skinned; perhaps the correct term is dermatologically challenged?) This excessive and almost obsessive preoccupation with saying the ‘Correct’ thing can sometimes get rather ridiculous as illustrated by this cartoon; that all the ‘correctness’ is stifling free speech, the right to express ourselves, creativity and variety. It is straitjacketing and most often quite unnecessary. Political correctness is often referred to as communal oppression, which it is at some level. This is manipulation and restraint of language to prevent dissenting thoughts being expressed, which makes the fabric of the language poorer as a result.

Political correctness so circumscribes our speech, thoughts, actions and ideas that it limits us, even straightjackets us. And what’s wrong with calling a spade, a spade? But no; you cannot refer to dwarf as a dwarf; only as a little person or, even more ridiculously as ‘vertically challenged’. If an artist forever has to watch his or her p’s and q’s, lest he or she tread on some thin skinned, overly sensitive toes, this is not conducive atmosphere for original thought or the creative process.

The book The Rape of the Masters: How Political Correctness Sabotages Art by Roger Kimball examines the problems posed to art by the scourge of Political Correctness among art historians and the current trend of viewing all Western art (as well as Western literature) solely through the prism of sex, gender, and class. What results is a ludicrous but scary disfigurement of Western art.

Political correctness often goes to ridiculous lengths, I came across this site where people share their stories about political correctness going to just such ridiculous extremes. Sample this: “I went into Costa coffee and asked for a black coffee, and the guy on the counter refused to serve me because I asked for a "black" coffee.” Here I found a hilarious collection of political correct one liners for college goers which has some gems like, these days, a student isn't lazy. He's "energetically declined. And you don't have smelly gym socks, you have "odor-retentive athletic footwear."

More Politically Correct Cartoons, Due Thanks to the Cartoonists


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    • G.L.A. profile image

      Geri Anderson 8 years ago from Arizona

      Hypocrisy is the name of today's game...

    • Reena Daruwalla profile image

      Reena Daruwalla 8 years ago from INDIA

      This is an affliction that, alas is lapping our third world shores as well now; we must be getting developed. Oh dear!

    • hrcerqueira profile image

      hrcerqueira 8 years ago

      That's a worldwide phenomenon, it happens all over on "developed countries". Third World Countries (a political correct term for poor countries or undeveloped countries) doesn't appear to suffer that syndrome yet.

    • cashmere profile image

      cashmere 8 years ago from India

      Fabulous! Love the ducks protest!

    • Reena Daruwalla profile image

      Reena Daruwalla 8 years ago from INDIA

      Good grief! No brain storming? That is nowhere near offisive; this is what I mean when I say its carrying PC too far.

    • dipless profile image

      dipless 8 years ago from Manchester

      Nice hub, great pictures and very funny well done a great hub, and so correct PC has gone crazy. A good friend of mine who is epileptic informaed me that you are no longer supposed to use the phrase brain strom, but instead mind mapping, because it causes offence to those with epilepsy! OMG!

    • Dame Scribe profile image

      Dame Scribe 8 years ago from Canada

      Hilarious! lol and love the Hub! :)

    • raiderfan profile image

      raiderfan 8 years ago from Arizona

      cool. I agree.

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      LOL, there are some good euphemisms there! I really liked "odor-retentive athletic footwear." I wonder if my son would understand what I meant. :D

    • someonewhoknows profile image

      someonewhoknows 8 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

      Would that generic holiday play be in a government building? That's a no no.Then politics and religion don't mix well anywhere.

      What no more religious cards for the "holy" days? Now that's going too far!

      The u.n. is the most politicaly correct toon.

      Is that a gay parade?It certainly isn't gay pride.

      That last catoon is so lame it must duck season or there are a lot of lame duck bills going around congress

      Try drawing a cartoon about a secret society like the skull and bones

      it'S more correct than polite.

    • countrywomen profile image

      countrywomen 8 years ago from Washington, USA

      Nice funny pictures. I agree sometimes PC goes too far but at the same time too much liberties with art would also be counter productive if it ends up hurting too many people. I guess there is a thin line that shouldn't be crossed. Thumbs up.