Millennials want everyone to know these 5 things about political correctness — which older generations don’t understand
The heated debate about political correctness is often misunderstood.
While many individuals across generations dislike the pejorative use of political correctness to represent censorship, a closer investigation reveals generational differences in the desire to use inclusive language.
Millennials know that using appropriate language invites rather than restricts productive conversation. Creating a supportive environment makes space for all individuals to feel welcome in sharing their opinions, rather than fearing that people will demonize their personhood and attack their character based on their identities. Thanks to the internet, Millennials are citizens of the globe and ambassadors of social justice. Unfortunately, not all generations understand how using certain words or phrases prohibits dialogue and hurts other people.
To discover five things that all millennials want older generations to know about political correctness that they don’t understand, read the list below.
1. There is a major difference between ‘being honest’ and spewing prejudice.
You have the right to share your opinion, but you don’t have the right to make people feel threatened. Using emotionally charged words that make others feel frightened for their mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing — even if it does not impact you in the same way — is morally wrong.
Prejudice means possessing strong unfavorable opinions about a person based on their demographics and cultural affiliations. While we all have varying degrees of prejudice, using yours to purposefully harm others, or refusing to stop saying words that others find hurtful, is bullying. Just as you want a teacher to intervene and protect your child from a bully, it’s okay for others to give you the opportunity to correct your behavior when your words are offensive.
2. Political correctness is not about censorship, it’s about showing respect.
Censorship is a coercive attempt to hide something from people. Asking people to use more inclusive language is not silencing their voice, it’s inviting them to use language in a way that promotes productive conversation.
The purpose of political correctness is to treat all people with the love and respect they deserve. This means calling people by the pronouns they use, and avoiding words and phrases that stereotype and demonize entire groups of people. You can still possess whatever ideology you follow and you can still share your opinion, you’re just being asked to do so in a way that is not hurtful to others.
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