The Dichotomy of Political Correctness

 

If we cannot publicly discuss certain subjects, it seems perfectly reasonable the media shouldn’t either.

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When it comes to political correctness, the media has no qualms in dictating to the public what should be considered appropriate or inappropriate for such things as race relations, sexual content, violence, religion, actions at work, even humor. If you happen to make a faux pas, you are quickly taken to the woodshed where you are disciplined and re-instructed in terms of what is right and wrong. From this, we now know what racial expletives and jokes are permissible and which are not, what we can or cannot say about sex in public, violence, and what behavior is appropriate in the work place. As I mentioned, this is primarily being driven by the media, particularly television and movies.

Yet, have you noticed the media doesn’t exactly follow its own rules? I have seen too many sitcoms who cannot seem to get a rise out of their audience without some mention of male or female genitalia. Basically, they have defaulted to toilet humor. Had we made the same comments in public, the PC police would have likely taken us to the woodshed.

Television commercials alone are aplenty discussing erectile dysfunction, women lubricants, sexually transmitted diseases, condoms, feminine protection and hygiene products. Even for senior citizens we are bombarded with ads for diapers. Whereas public discussion of such subjects is frowned upon by the PC police, television has no problem with such subjects. For example, we are now warned about four hour erections, genital yeast infections, and how to stimulate sexual arousal.

So, my question is simple, if we have to be politically correct, why isn’t the media asked to do likewise? What is good for the goose, should be good for the gander, right?

I believe what we are witnessing is a reversal of censorship. Years ago there were public censors monitoring the media and instructing them what was permissible and what was not. Such censorship boards have long since disappeared and, seizing on the opportunity, the media is now dictating what we should think and say. Interestingly though, they fail to police themselves.

It’s not that the subjects or words are particularly offensive to me (although I cannot bring myself to openly discuss “menstruation”), it is the hypocrisy of the media I object to. If the media is going to be critical with the words and actions of the public, I see no reason why the public should hold the media to the same standards. If we cannot publicly discuss certain subjects, it seems perfectly reasonable the media shouldn’t either.

Could it be the almighty advertising dollar sways the conscious of the media? No, it couldn’t be. After all, they have too many scruples for that; don’t they?

Keep the Faith!

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Tim Bryce is a freelance writer and management consultant located in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. As an avid writer and speaker, Tim discusses everything from business and management, to politics and morality, to systems and technology, and our ever changing world.