And Don’t I Know It

Political correctness [is] a modeof exercising power within an intramural contest between rival elites. In this contest, the fetishistic invocation of the “marginalized” is a tool the powerful use to increase the power of a given group, often to the detriment of the very people they purport to represent. The study shows that virtually no one who does not directly benefit from the exercise of this power (in the form of sinecures, professional advancement, or the destruction of rivals within liberal institutions) supports it.

Everybody hates it but still puts up with it.

Sexist and Not

Spiked is with me on man-sized tissues.

I think people often get confused on what kind of gendering is wrong. Noticing obvious and real physiological differences between men and women is neither wrong nor offensive. Pretending that such differences don’t exist leads people to say silly things like “pregnant people” and such. So men tend to be taller than women on average and have larger noses and hands. So what? That’s a biological fact. It has no ideological weight. Noticing it is not sexist.

What’s sexist is to make these obvious and real differences into something prescriptive and ideological. Women have smaller noses so they shouldn’t work in. . . I don’t know, wine-tasting, or whatever. Or women menstruate (again, an obvious biological fact) so they shouldn’t have jobs.

Biological differences exist. Their existence is not offensive. Dictating to people what they should or shouldn’t do on the basis of those differences, that’s where unfair discrimination might appear. (Or not, like when paraplegics are not invited to dance at the Bolshoi.)


These discussions about PC speech codes are posted to everybody on campus except for students. The janitorial personnel, the cafeteria workers, the support stuff, the building management. These are working class folks who don’t have the educational and cultural capital or the leisure to stay updated on the politically correct jargon.

Day after day, they hear that they are racist, hate-filled, transphobic, homophobic, evil, etc. Day after day, they are being hectored at work by people of upper social classes about how the basic things they think they know about life are not only wrong but bigoted. And they are afraid to say anything because they are easily dispensable plus there is no way they can win a debate with a person who has a PhD in social justice or whatever.

So they seethe and then they hear Donald Trump ridicule these PC tormentors, and they like it. They think he’s on their side. And it’s not the right conclusion to draw but it’s understandable. And we can heap abuse and burn with righteous indignation all we want. But it only aggravates the issue.