Dispute Over Political Correctness
Dispute Over Political Correctness
  • Reporter Yoon Ju-Hwan
  • 승인 2024.02.03 15:01
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▲American college students are protesting to call for PC / The New York Times
▲American college students are protesting to call for PC / The New York Times

  In recent years, Political Correctness (PC) has flamed among diverse fields ranging from politics to education. The term PC means the social movement based on an idea to avoid discriminative terminology, expression, and policies against a particular group of people. It originated quite a long time ago, before the 21st century, but it has floated on the surface of every media and became today’s main issue. Early PC started in, word itself, political situations such as a dispute in the French Revolution and later left-wing discussion in the U.S. followed by the advent of the present PC containing multiculturalism, feminism, and even gender diversity in the 1990s. It could be encapsulated by egalitarianism throughout our society.
  One of the topics of 2023 in a nutshell is PC in movies; some insisted on the diversity of characters, and the movie industry began to change existing characters to PC-reflected characters such as the Black Little Mermaid. This is the case of releasing a PC to the public and it has stimulated controversy over PC, while early PC intended to remove unfair discrimination or illegal convention. The screen companies claimed that they wanted to expand their market beyond race, gender, and class, thus lots of movies joined this trend by changing certain aspects of content.
  However, there has been lots of criticism over PC emerging all over society. One of those opinions is that the flow of the PC is insane and radical rather than gradually proceeding. The existing movies excessively focus on PC, making the story faint and even deviate from its original storyline. In this way, traditional religious customs could be distorted. In the U.S., people prefer to use the salutation “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas” because Christmas contains Christian references and there were claims about universality. PC is rapidly absorbed in our daily life and many people have difficulty following this tendency.
  Through this spread of PC, the violation of the freedom of expression was raised. In 2023, the student union at Cornell University suggested that media contents covering violence and racial hatred should be alerted by warning signs based on PC, but the president of Cornell University denied that resolution, saying it intrudes on the freedom of expression and added the necessity of learning how to encounter the challenging idea. As such, one of the reasons for opposing PC is due to the preservation of free expression.
  Meanwhile, still many people assert that PC is based on its principle of caring for minority groups, respecting diversity, and humanitarianism. It is true that all races, genders, majors, and minorities are not perfectly equal in status. Proponents argue political correctness should be strengthened as long as this absurd reality exists. Since minorities have a small proportion in a massive society, they are more likely to be excluded and PC should be a keystone for radiating their identity. This point has extended to political areas and recent policies are immigrating in a direction that involves PC.
  PC is still on the desk of debate, but it prevails centered around organizations like the government and corporations. Recently, Koreans also ruminated about it by embracing refugees and discussing homosexuality. Besides, some people said the film industry would hire not only black actors but also Asian actors, broadening the market. As such, PC has settled in society while considerable opposition exists, and it is resembling a double-edged sword.