Social Question

josie's avatar

Is the pressure to be Politically Correct selectively applied?

Asked by josie (29297points) December 15th, 2018

I do not mean in the arena of the oppressor vs the oppressed. We already know that only some people (oppressors) must be politically correct.

I am talking about something else.

If a person has a drug and/or alcohol problem, it seems to be perfectly OK to recognize that they have a problem. In fact, I can make the argument that people hope that by saying it in some cases, the abuser or addict might finally realize that they have a problem, and take steps to save themselves, their families, and the society from the costs and burdens associated with their problem.

But if a person is obese, it seems to be regarded as inappropriate to discuss it as a problem. Science and medicine know it is a health problem, shortens life, contributes to heart disease, cancer and diabetes, and that it drives all health costs up in addition to taking up space on airplanes. But talking about it socially seems to be Politically Incorrect. In fact, bringing it up might make one guilty of the social crime of “body shaming”.

Isn’t that an inconsistent application of a principle?

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47 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

Absolutely. On this site, for example, you get modded if you call someone a liar or a nazi.

LadyMarissa's avatar

I’m not convinced that obesity is as big a health problem as the medical field seems to want us to believe!!! I see it as another gimmick for big pharma to sell us high priced meds to assist the heavier people in losing weight. I have a friend who weighs 550 pounds. Over the last 40 years EVERY time he went to the doctor they told him he wouldn’t live to see his next birthday IF he didn’t lose weight. He’s now 72 years old & doctors are amazed at how healthy he is!!! Yes, some other obese people do die young; but some really skinny people die young also & the doctors say nothing about it!!! There are more obese people than skinny people, so there is more money to be made with the obese!!!

canidmajor's avatar

When is it socially acceptable for anyone other than a close person to mention a substance abuse problem? I cannot think of a circumstance where it would be OK to discuss or mention such a thing if one was not a medical professional being consulted or a close friend or family member being concerned.

And really, the same thing applies to overweight or underweight people. Unless you are close to the person, and have reason to express concern, why would you think it’s OK to mention it?

We know how much you are disgusted by fat people, @josie, you mention it often. It seems to be difficult for you to simply let people be. A fat person, like a person of color, is visible in their fatness, which factor alone makes them a target. They know they are fat. They are probably as aware of consequences of that as you are.

Maybe approach the subject differently. Instead of being outraged that other people are not doing what you want, maybe be grateful that they are restrained in their attitude towards you.

janbb's avatar

Could you substitute the words “politeness” and “respect for others” for “political correctness?” would that help you understand the concept better?

josie's avatar

@janbb

No problem with the substitution as long as the expectation is on everybody.

When it is only placed on certain classes of people, it is Political Correctness.

kritiper's avatar

It would depend on the strictness of the applicator.

notnotnotnot's avatar

@josie, read @canidmajor‘s response again, especially this:

“When is it socially acceptable for anyone other than a close person to mention a substance abuse problem? I cannot think of a circumstance where it would be OK to discuss or mention such a thing if one was not a medical professional being consulted or a close friend or family member being concerned.

And really, the same thing applies to overweight or underweight people. Unless you are close to the person, and have reason to express concern, why would you think it’s OK to mention it?”

This should clear up any confusion you seem to have.

If you are still confused, try typing out a conversation or two to illustrate what is causing your confusion. Elaborate on what type of healthy talk is being repressed due to this “political correctness”.

notnotnotnot's avatar

@josie: “Isn’t that an inconsistent application of a principle?”

Also, I’d love to hear what principle you feel is animating “political correctness”.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I think it is.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@LadyMarissa Obesity kills. I’m 100% convinced that for the vast majority of people they would be much, much healthier if they maintain a healthy weight. There is rock solid science to back that up. There are outliers who can somehow remain healthy but they are the exception and not the rule. If there was some big conspiracy to sell us more drugs then pharma would want us to be fat. There is big money in diabetes, cardiovascular, cancer and pretty much any preventable disease you can name that have higher risk factors just based on obesity alone.

It’s not anymore ok to be obese than it is to be a smoker, a heavy drinker or anorexic. Some light shaming is probably warranted IMO but fatness is an epidemic that is not getting the attention that it deserves.

canidmajor's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me: ”Some light shaming is probably in order.” by whom? By strangers on the street? By @josie who thinks that remarks about body size shouldn’t come under the heading of Political Correctness? And what, exactly, is “light shaming”?
And as long as it’s called “light shaming” you can get away with it, but if someone calls it “bullying” it’s not OK?

Yikes. What a world.

And I’m out.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I think the difference is in the fact that while drug and alcohol addiction are regarded as behavioral deficiencies, there are societal taboos on criticism of physical appearance, particularly when the cause is not readily obvious. Assumptions about gluttony or overindulgence are socially unacceptable as long as medical/ genetic causes aren’t eliminated.

seawulf575's avatar

Okay, let’s look at this another way. Ever walk by a druggie on the street? Or see them panhandling on the street corner? I mean when they are really down….living in a car or on the street, unbathed, dazed and staggering or passed out. Do you walk away from that person? If they ask you for money, do you tell them to get lost? Do you look at them with judgement in your eyes? Do you just look away in disgust? If you do any of these or many, many other things, you are shaming them every bit as much, if not more, than people do when they are accused of body shaming. In fact, you are probably shaming them in the exact same way as fat people are shamed.
Obesity IS a health issue. A build up to fat in various internal organs, build up of plaque in the arteries, stress on the heart to pump blood through much more material, stress put on various joints due to having to carry the extra weight, contributing to diabetes….all these things contribute to poor health. In contrast to @LadyMarissa, I don’t see obesity as a ploy by Big Pharma as a way to sell pills. They sell far more pills to treat all the side benefits that come with obesity.
But interestingly, both drug addiction and obesity have a couple things in common. Both are really hard to correct and both can only be addressed effectively if the person involved is willing to go to the mat to do what is necessary to change. And before you start saying I’m heartless, I am officially obese and I don’t do what is necessary to change. I’m not speaking out of class here.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@canidmajor By no means that kind. From people who care and love that person and in a way that expresses concern. Bullying is something completely different, it’s out of meanness and is uncalled for. The intent behind bullying is to gain personal satisfaction through causing harm on another. Encouraging people to lose a little weight or not smoke or drink too much, sometimes even doing so harshly are worlds apart. Obesity is a serious problem that affects 1 out of 4 Americans and it’s high time we really start to acknowledge it like we do addiction or mental illness. Sometimes that may take tough love but it’s always a touchy situation that is best handled by the people closest to that person who know what they need to hear.

KNOWITALL's avatar

This is crazy, I agree with @canid. Just leave everyone alone, its not your business and no one cares what some randoms think or theyd ask.

chyna's avatar

Light shaming @areyoukiddingme? Who do you think you are? It’s NEVER ok to shame or bully anyone. Light shaming to you could be out and out bullying to the person you direct it to.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Jesus, ok perhaps “shaming” or “light shaming” was a poor choice of words because nobody can seem to separate that from bullying or being cruel or mean. See the first response by @canidmajor because that’s my viewpoint even if she did not see it that way either. What I’m describing is more like an intervention when speaking about individuals. When we are speaking of the whole “fat acceptance” is dangerous as hell and is soooo the wrong path for us to be taking. We need to be addressing the complicated reasons why people are getting bigger and we need to be doing this right now. I said 1 in 4 people was obese but I looked up that statistic again and it’s actually one in three and projected to be more than half the population in just 10 years!!! This is not ok and you’re certifiably insane if you think otherwise. I currently have about 15–20 pounds to lose myself so it’s not like I’m speaking from the side who does not have a problem with this.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t think it’s OK either. I agree. We need education. People need to hold themselves accountable, and stop blaming outside sources. At the very least, stop over feeding your infants and toddlers so they’ll be ahead of the game.

However, some people actually like being obese. My daughter dated a guy, very briefly, who was almost 400 pounds. He liked being (in his words) a “Big guy.” My daughter finally got just frustrated with the whole situation. He couldn’t get on the floor and play with the kids. They could only have sex in one way. He was hoarding and hiding food. They eventually broke up.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I have my doubts that some people really like being obese. I think the poor man you describe was trapped in a cycle of addiction and denial. How do you quit an addiction you have to continue to live? Not an easy problem to solve. It’s not something that most individuals are equipped to handle. As much as I am for personal accountability this is bigger than that. There needs to be a paradigm shift in our culture regarding food and level of activity.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I agree. And it starts in the home.

janbb's avatar

I do see a difference between fat shaming a person you don’t know and talking to a close relative about your concerns about their weight or smoking or drinking or drugs. You might get rebuffed but that is totally different from posting pictures from Walmart of strangers online or pointing out fat people on the street.

Besides politeness and respect for others I would like to add “common sense” to my substitution for “political correctness” which is one of those buzz words that is usually just used to denigrate.

rojo's avatar

Political Correctness, and the backlash toward it are both solutions in search of a problem. The rules (that appear to be unwritten and inconsistent) are certainly applied selectively perhaps in part because what is, or is not, political correctness is so ill-defined. Or rather defined as such in such a random nature as to render the definition meaningless.

seawulf575's avatar

Political Correctness is a weapon used to silence opposition and to try moving public opinion.

stanleybmanly's avatar

It also serves as a convenient form of misplaced derision from demagogues intent on influencing the uninformed.

rojo's avatar

Political Correctness, like the War on Christmas and Impending Rampant Socialism, is a fearmongering tool used to whip up indignation against an imaginary enemy and as such lends itself to misapplication and misuse both accidentally and purposefully..

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Newspeak and political correctness are synonymous.

Dutchess_III's avatar

The word “racist” gets thrown around these elementary school classrooms at least once a day. Today a kid, who was himself Hispanic, made the comment that “all Mexicans have Candy Crush on their phones!”
And cries of “That was so racist!” went up. Sigh.

Sometimes I talk about my dog. I always mention that she’s a white German shepherd. I am instantly called racist by a couple of kids!

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III See, that’s a real problem. We are not just teaching kids to stand up for injustice, we’re making it a joke to them. That is so incredibly sad.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Kids are the ones who make it all OK in the end, and that’s how they do it. They make it a nonissue. They don’t care what color another kid is, any more. They don’t care if a kid is gay anymore. It’s the adults with the hangups that care.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III I never cared either and I’m a 70’s child. It’s been brought to my attention more in the last decade than ever before in my life, and I hate it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I an sorry it makes you uncomfortable to face it, but I think it is something that needs to be brought to our attention. We’re both white so we don’t have to deal with it the way people of color do.
Hatred against LGBT people needs to be eradicated too, not ignored just because it doesn’t affect us.

The kids don’t have any problem just letting it go. It’s the adults who keep it alive.

KNOWITALL's avatar

It doesn’t make me uncomfortable, I always knew racism exists but I never saw it in RL.

Dutchess_III's avatar

You said, ” It’s been brought to my attention more in the last decade than ever before in my life, and I hate it.” Why do you hate it?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III
You don’t have to be ‘woke’ at age 10. When grade-school children are in trouble for trying to kiss another kid in class and all that, it’s gone too far imo.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I thought you were talking about the last 10 years. Not the first 10 years of your life. But per your scenario…was the kid being kissed against their will? Was it disrupting the class? So much depends on the circumstances of that kiss.

ragingloli's avatar

Nonsense. A sex offender is a sex offender, no matter the age. Lock’em up.

mazingerz88's avatar

I never paid enough attention to this issue of “political correctness”
since I first heard it several years ago. I don’t know what it is.

But I heard people say too much of it is bad. I think now I’m interested to know what the heck PC is and when is it too much or just right? lol

Have no doubt a great thread about PC already exists here in Fluther.
( I may even have participated
but remembering it would be a miracle )

Whenever I use my celll to search for something though, I don’t get any helpful links.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Bascially it means do not make any sort of comment, good, bad or neutral, on a persons color, ethnicity race, financial position, nothing. I once posted a question that noted that, before the Spanish conquests, Mexicans were 100% Native American Indians, and most of them still retain strong physical characteristics of Native Americans. Oh my God. People lost their minds.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@mazingerz88 Definition: the avoidance, often considered as taken to extremes, of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.

Example: So used to be black people were called negroes, then blacks, then Black Americans, African Americans, etc….I mean some people care, some people don’t, but some people try to be less offensive and take it very seriously, while others think using black is fine regardless of what anyone else thinks.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Any more it’s considered an insult to comment on the the color of their skin. I mean, just the mere mention of it trips some people out.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III It’s exhausting. That’s what I was trying to explain to you the other day.

Some people make a huge deal about not seeing color, which means we should just see each other as fallible humans, make allowances and try to be kind. But now, everyone is wanting us to see color, so we can see discrimination and abuses, yet to me that seems more divisive. Make sense?

Dutchess_III's avatar

It is. I got beat up when I asked why Scrabble wouldn’t accept the word “Squaw.” I grew up thinking it simply meant a married Native American woman, like “woman” vs “girl.” Apparently, however, it’s an insult and I was supposed to know that.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III I got chastised for calling my friends parents Ma & Pa Kettle. I just meant they had a lot of kids and stuff, but mom explained it was an insult and why. Needless to say, I was not invited to hang out at my friends house again. It really hurt my feelings tbh, I couldn’t make it better or apologize enough. :(

Dutchess_III's avatar

Aw. And why is it an insult?

Dutchess_III's avatar

In 3rd grade I called my good friend a nigger. The look of betrayal he turned on me just shattered me. I went home and asked Mom what that word even meant.
I don’t think I ever apologized, verbally, but I was a lot nicer to him from then on.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III They were poor hillbillies with like 16 kids.

@Dutchess_III Oh no…that’s terrible, but you didn’t know any better at the time. :(

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh. I knew OF Ma and Pa Kettle, but not much beyond that.

Yes, it was well deserved lesson.

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