Age of sensitivity furthered by political correctness
By ALEX SPENCE
In my home, I was built to have tough skin. Honesty was the only option, and “sticks and stones” was something to live by. While hurting another’s feelings was never the goal, it did not stop us from telling the truth.
As I have grown up, however, it seems people are more willing to hold their tongue than give an honest opinion, our political leaders included.
In no way am I declaring support for Donald Trump or his candidacy. However, I believe he has risen to the top of his party by throwing political correctness out the window and giving people honest answers, despite the sensitivity our population has clung to.
Featured on the magazine TheAtlantic.com was a letter from an anonymous writer, titled “Trump is a corrective to American Culture’s Pathologies.”
In the letter, the writer attributes Trump’s political success to his “defiance of the prevailing culture of political correctness.”
He also goes on to explain that he believes it comes down to “a perception that America has already drowned in a post-modernist nightmare of moral relativism, from which extreme political correctness and protest culture stem.”
In other words, crazy as Trump may be, he has gained a fair amount of respect for his honest tongue.
However, political correctness exists far beyond the podium of the politicians. It is integrated into each and every one of our daily lives and the madness has to end. I have an honest comment and an honest opinion, and I hope to God the leaders of our country do as well. As children in school, were we not told to wish happy holidays instead of Merry Christmas?
Were we not trained, even at a young age, to edit our language in hopes that we would not offend one another? Where has that gotten us?
As of 2015, however, we have reached a new age, the age of sensitivity, some call it. And I for one find this title overwhelmingly appropriate.
As does Laura Kipnis, a professor at Northwestern University recently found herself at odds after writing and publishing an all too honest article titled “Sexual Paranoia Strikes Academe.”
Her article centers around student-teacher relations, and the melodrama that almost always seems to follow.
She questions the authenticity of allegations made by students, specifically ones stating that the “all-powerful professors” forced them into something, whether it be a drinking or sexual activity. Why is it so difficult to say “no,” she questions.
In her blatantly honest words, she writes, “Gropers [have] become rapists and accusers [have] become survivors…Recall that it was incest victims who earlier popularized the term ‘survivor,’ previously reserved for those who’d survived the Holocaust.”
“Personally, I’d start by promoting a less vulnerable sense of self than the one our new campus codes are peddling,” Kipnis said, referring to the coddling of college adults that seems to be spreading like a disease.
Following the publishing of her piece, Kipnis endured a long investigation after students who were offended by her article filed Title IX complaints against her.
Although I can agree that sections of her article may have pushed the boundaries, especially for victims of sexual assault, I have to say that the response legitimized our conceived age of sensitivity.
No one took the article for what it was, an honest piece. Instead, people attempted to quiet her voice because her words were not politically correct.
If we have been coddled our whole lives, and treated like children, how then would we not respond as such?
If society had not made us so afraid to step on people’s toes, maybe we could make a difference. Maybe we could actually stand up for what we believe without the fear of controversy.
The sensitive souls our society is grooming will not stand in the way of honesty. Sylvia Plath must have been light years ahead of her time when she said, “How frail the human heart must be.”