Are Millennials To Politically Correct?
The question of whether Millennials are to PC has been floating around for a while. It first really got my attention when I heard comedian Jerry Seinfeld say something about not doing stand-up on college campuses anymore because they were too PC. I was like wow! Seinfeld’s comedy is considered offensive?! This is the comedienne that talks about socks getting together and plotting an escape from the dryer!
I could only imagine the response Millennials would have to the late great Sam Kinison.
More recently there has been movement on college campuses to shut down those whom a faction of Millennials disagree with. And by shut them down, I mean be disruptive to the point of not letting those they disagree with speak. Aside from being a dangerous president, it also has the potential to backfire. It can turn independents against those who would silence their opposition, and perhaps offer sympathy to those the protesters abhor. And what happens when those with an opposite point of view shut down people with whom they agree?
So to answer the question do I think Millennials are to PC, I will say yes, I think some are. However, the PC nature has risen across all generations. It is inaccurate to singularly brand all Millennials with this label.
Hey if you’re a millennial reading this, don’t feel bad about all the put downs and blame thrown your way. As a Gen Xer I can tell you I experienced “generation shaming” from the Baby Boomers when I was in my 20’s. When older people miss the “good old days” blaming the youngins, is one thing they do. But I digress…
Next question. Why have we become so PC?
Well it is safe to say we are evolving from a time when we were the exact opposite of PC… Where we were as offensive as hell. And even far worse, and on a different scale, were things like racism, sexism, anti-antisemitism, homophobia, and fat/image shaming. Issues that have seen great improvement but that we are still struggling with today.
If the improvement of these issues, if the empowering of those who would have formerly had to repress their feeling has led to too much PC, which to a degree, I agree that it has, well, this over-correction is understandable and in many cases, warranted.
Hopefully this over-correction will correct itself in time. The ability to laugh at yourself, and not take everything so seriously is a valuable tool to get through life. And while intentions should not be a complete get out of jail free card, they should count for something when you are sitting in judgment of others.
Further, to be easily wounded and triggered by a joke or by a well-intended (or not) person who you disagree with, may be indicative of a deeper psychological issue that rather than joke shame, or look to be offended at every corner, your reaction should be explored.
On a deeper level, silencing those you deem too offensive to hear speak, silences conversation, silences opportunity for learning and growth. Silences the ability to expose others for what you deem to be flaws. To those who like the PC direction we are taking, especially the millennials, remember, there will be a generation that will come after you. They will evolve and in many cases rebel against what came before them. That is part of the cycle of life. Veer too far in one direction and you might not like what comes next.