During the recent Republican primary debate, the frontrunning "candidate," Donald Trump, said something that stuck out to me. No, I'm not talking about the time he admitted to bribing politicians or when he vomited a world-eating snake, I'm talking about his comments on political correctness:
This is something I hear a lot these days -- sometimes it's angry bloggers complaining about "Social Justice Warriors" or "SJWs," sometimes it's Bill Maher, and sometimes it's even actual human beings with real thoughts and feelings. So I dug into some of the "PC Suckz00rz" arguments and quickly realized that not only are they wrong, they're exactly wrong, which is sort of impressive.
6 "Political Correctness Is Inefficient And Stifling"
This is the overall complaint about all things PC, and it's the heart of Donald Trump's complaint: We don't have time for feelings because we need to focus on getting shit done. After all, we have big problems in this world: war, hunger, slavery, torture, the economy, the black leather seats in my car get really hot, there's a fly hovering around my desk that won't go away, Twitter hashtags, and so on.
Even though that intuitively makes sense, because feelings are weak and weakness must be burned to fuel the fires of Our Great And Cruel Machine, science has found the opposite to be true. Turns out political correctness actually makes us more efficient: A study found that when you have a mixed-gender group of people who are given a problem to solve and asked to consider political correctness, they generate more ideas, and the ideas are more novel. Diversity makes us better at doing shit together. For a great example, check out how The Avengers were able to defeat Loki.
Even this guy had a purpose.
And these results extend beyond that one study: Looking at Wall Street, scientists found that markets with ethnic diversity tend to work better and more accurately than markets that are all white -- not because white people suck at Wall Streeting or whatever, but a bunch of people with different conceptions and backgrounds are better at getting things done than a bunch of clones of the same guy. Which, incidentally, is also why The Avengers were able to defeat Ultron.
Notice how they were helpless until the black guy showed up?
Similarly, hospitality and retail businesses with gender-diverse workforces tend to make more money than those dominated by one gender. Don't you see? Instead of fighting over which gender is better, we need to accept that by working together we make each other stronger. Just like The Avengers. Also just like The Avengers, we apparently can never remember this lesson for longer than a couple hours.
5 "The Politically Correct Have No Sense Of Humor"
So even if diversity is good, that's not just what political correctness is about, right? It's also about limiting what words people are allowed to use in polite company, and that makes comedy impossible, as illustrated by this comic, which exploded on Reddit a while back:
I don't know if this is intentional, but this comic perfectly illustrates the backward thinking of people who are anti-politically correct: They're mad because they can't keep telling the same damn jokes we've already heard. People don't tell "a [race] guy, a [different race] guy, and a [third goddamn race] guy walk into a bar" jokes anymore because they're played out and racial stereotypes are terrible. That's not just one example, by the way -- whenever I hear someone getting defensive about jokes and political correctness, they're defending really crappy jokes. People act like comedy exists in a bubble that's independent of reality and context, which is amazing because it manages to misunderstand jokes, the human brain, and all of society all at once. Jokes live and die on the preconceptions you bring to them as a human being. Imagine trying to browse Cracked with no understanding of who Batman is -- 50 percent of our content would be complete gibberish.
"But the PC people are still saying that we're not allowed to make jokes on certain subjects, like rape! That's censorship!" First off, how did you just type a sentence into the middle of my article? Are you a witch? But, more importantly, sure: People got mad at Daniel Tosh for saying the word "rape" and Michael Richards for saying the word "come on, you know exactly what he said."
Except that's not why they got mad, is it? Because Louis CK and Sarah Silverman seem to have no problem telling jokes with those words in them and still being coddled by feminist and progressive bloggers all over the place. It seems like Richards and Tosh got in trouble for being complete assholes on stage, which is something that has probably always been frowned upon. I don't think there's any point in comedy history where it's been impolite for your audience to dislike you. Feel free to correct me.
No? No one has anything to say? How about you, straw man who spoke earlier? No? OK, next entry.