1. Link the Writer
    Offline

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,210
    Likes Received:
    4,220
    Location:
    Alabama, USA

    Being politically correct or being diverse?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Link the Writer, Mar 10, 2011.

    This is something that's been on my mind for a while:

    What is the difference between being politically correct and being diverse?

    I don't think I'm being politically correct if, in my Heridon Copper mysteries, Heridon's group includes three people who are from different countries. (They're college age, btw.) These characters serve the story, even have chapters devoted to them throughout the story. They do not serve as my mouthpiece to bleat out my opinions to the world. They are their own characters who happen to be from different countries.

    In your mind, what would constitute as PC and what would constitute being diverse? How would I know if my story was becoming PC?
     
  2. Dandroid
    Offline

    Dandroid Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2011
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Canada
    some of it comes comes down to your intentionality...if you are making characters with the worry that they could be scrutinized for being an exclusive ethnicity...then that might be PC...Diversity just happens i suspect...
     
  3. Terry D
    Offline

    Terry D Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    Messages:
    200
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Southeast Iowa
    If you created those characters because you didn't want to offend anyone, then that would be PC. If they are just characters in your story -- no. Pollitical correctness is all about why you take certain actions, not the actions themselves.
     
  4. Islander
    Offline

    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Messages:
    1,542
    Likes Received:
    59
    Location:
    Sweden
    Diversity IS politically correct. Political correctness isn't bad in itself.
     
  5. Silver_Dragon
    Offline

    Silver_Dragon Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    3
    Yeah, I don't see any distinction there. Being "politically correct" doesn't mean you have an agenda--to me it just means you haven't made your story racist or whatever. Being PC could only be a problem if you've added token characters from different nationalities for no other reason than to have them there, and they therefore do nothing for your plot.
     
  6. w176
    Offline

    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Messages:
    1,067
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Luleå, Sweden
    I agree.

    PC is an agenda. It how you wan't you work to come across.

    Diversity or not is simply a fact. Either you are diverse in some way or you isn't no matter if it is nationality, age, health, abled/disabled, gender, socioeconomic background, sexuality is shown with some diversity in the book. This might be done in a PC way or not.
     
  7. KillianRussell
    Offline

    KillianRussell Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Messages:
    619
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Glasshouse
    If we were to write Ghetto thugs dialoging grammatically correct English in an effort not to offended we would be forsaking believability in the name of political correctness
     
  8. Joanna the Mad
    Offline

    Joanna the Mad Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2010
    Messages:
    170
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Planet Earth
    A story in which the different characters are from the same country isn't necessarily politically uncorrect. Thus, I wouldn't say the detail about the characters being from different countries serves the political correctedness of your story. I would say you not making any racist comments in your story does.
     
  9. KillianRussell
    Offline

    KillianRussell Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Messages:
    619
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Glasshouse
    In my story I have a Icelander Ólafur Hrafn Jorgenseen unable to pronounce his name everyone calls him Igor ,because he looks like the Russian dude that fought Rocky Balboa ...Members of the band he plays keyboards with call him a communist adding comedic conflict ...Iceland was never behind the Iron Curtain ...His dialouge is riddled with butchered English ..

    sunday side up eggs

    7 of one half dozen of the other

    beggars can't be chewers

    sum of a fish

    you can observe a lot by vatching
     
  10. Porcupine
    Offline

    Porcupine Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Messages:
    346
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Frankfurt, Germany
    I wonder if you can actually have a villain in a story and still have the story be politically correct.

    I don't consciously add or remove diversity. My stories are just as diverse as the environments they take place in.
     
  11. w176
    Offline

    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Messages:
    1,067
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Luleå, Sweden
    You know. Icelandic people has pretty much the same amount of English education as a Swedes do. He might have an heavy accent, because some people always do, but it not really likely that his English would be all that butchered. It is more likely that his English would be at the same level as mine is.

    *Edit: Wow. I though all the Nordic countries except Finland had similar English ed.
    I was wrong. Way of. They start their English education nine years later... And got a lot less of it too. I guess it would be kind of butchered.
     
  12. KillianRussell
    Offline

    KillianRussell Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Messages:
    619
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Glasshouse
    No doubt Igor is a student @ Tulane Law in New Orleans his ability to comprehend English is stellar ....However he is an artist in mangling phrases at home or abroad....Myself a Philadelphian needs sub titles when in conversation with bayou natives for him not to lag would be unrealistic....adding to his frustration he was magna cum laude english undergrad back home, nothing he learned in europe prepared him for the Yat dialect of the 9 ward ...'beggars can not be chewers'
     
  13. KillianRussell
    Offline

    KillianRussell Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Messages:
    619
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Glasshouse
    Political correctness would be abandoning ship, kowtowing to the assumption that a European education in English enables one to categorically verbally compete in every sub genre of casual American-Ese..Granted the grammar could be flawless ( although in blue collar verbal sub set grammar means nothing )but keeping pace with slang , euphemism , innuendo would be maddening !
     
  14. Link the Writer
    Offline

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,210
    Likes Received:
    4,220
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    Wow! Great responses here. :D

    To be honest, I think its better to just tell the story the way you want. If you want your characters to be...white, middle-class British people from London, then do it! If someone wants to get pissy about it, then it's their problem.

    In my Heridon Copper mysteries, there's one book where one of my protagonists spends at least half the book (including the climax) running around in a German uniform from WWI, helmet and all. They make jabs at each other, laugh, etc. I plan to be as un-PC as possible without being blantanly offensive about it.
     
  15. KillianRussell
    Offline

    KillianRussell Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Messages:
    619
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Glasshouse
    In an everyday setting beyond the walls of academia, waiting for-freaking-ever for Igor to translate/formulate an sentence is annoying and impossible ...not exposing the vexing nature of his "thinking" he can speak English because I may hurt feelings with the truth would be censoring thru political correctness
     
  16. Allegro Van Kiddo
    Offline

    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2010
    Messages:
    566
    Likes Received:
    20
    Political correctness is equivalent to lying.

    It either directly or indirectly comes from Kantian philosophy where Kant talked about an idea called the Categorical Imperative. In short, that means that if something isn't true, but needs to be true, you lie and act like it is true. It's an Enlightenment idea based on the idea that there is no god, and no morals, but we need to act like there are to have some stability in life.

    The philosophy behind the US is based heavily on this idea. The "all men are created equal" is an example to stop bullies from oppressing people. It seems the way of nature to oppress others, but if there was a god he would likely want to stop it. There isn't one, so we make laws "as if" there were.

    PC:

    This is when you ignore real differences between people, religious groups, ethnicities, etc and pretend that everyone is cool and nice. The goal is to destroy the differences by not reinforcing them. In Behaviorism causing a person to ignore a previous stimulus causes if to become "extinct" meaning to go away.

    I do not believe this works and is just a form of denial.

    I believe that full disclosure is the most important thing and that shame should be used to destroy negative anti-life beliefs and behaviors. PC drives negativity underground and you have a bunch of people who hate each other smiling and playing nice and that doesn't create change.

    I do like diversity which, based on original US philosophy, means taking in all world views picking out the good, removing the bad, and blending it all together. To do that you have to have straight talk about what is positive and negative about people and their beliefs.
     
  17. Islander
    Offline

    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Messages:
    1,542
    Likes Received:
    59
    Location:
    Sweden
    That must be the worst butchering of a philosopher I've ever read. The Categorical Imperative says (roughtly) that you should act in a way which you would like to see as universal law. For example, Kant believed you should never lie, not even to deceive a murderer looking for his victim, because that would deny the universal law of truthtelling.

    Kant also believed in God.
     
  18. Allegro Van Kiddo
    Offline

    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2010
    Messages:
    566
    Likes Received:
    20
    Bold: That is what I said.

    Secondly: You do not know what you're talking about.

    Suggestion: Read up on Hans Vaihinger, a Neo Kantian, and his book The Philosophy of As If, which is an explanation on how the categorical imperative affects everything from social institutions to math.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Vaihinger

    http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/456844/The-Philosophy-of-As-If

    Buy the book, it's only 325 dollars!
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/0415225299/?tag=postedlinks04-20

    Kant and Viahinger are the basis for Adlerian Psychotherapy and I know lots about it. In fact, the lead character in several of my novels is called The Adlerian!
     
  19. Islander
    Offline

    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Messages:
    1,542
    Likes Received:
    59
    Location:
    Sweden
    No, you didn't. You said this:

    From Wikipedia:
    I don't dispute there's a philosopher who calls himself a "Neo-Kantian" and who believes there's a justification for lying, but that doesn't change the fact that Kant himself didn't believe so.
     
  20. Allegro Van Kiddo
    Offline

    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2010
    Messages:
    566
    Likes Received:
    20
    I can tell you haven't read the material and Viahinger isn't just "a philosopher" his work is seminal.

    To explain briefly, Kant was a word play type of guy as were many people in that era. He's not going to view his version of a lie as a lie because according to him, it's beyond that level. But, that doesn't change the fact that it is in fact a lie.

    If you're a nihilist, in the best sense of the word, there's no way that the categorical imperative isn't a form of lying. In Viahinger's book, he explains the purpose of said lies. I suggest that everyone read his work as it is extremely interesting, and massively challenging.
     
  21. VM80
    Offline

    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,211
    Likes Received:
    43
    Location:
    UK


    This is what I think in a nutshell.
     
  22. HorusEye
    Offline

    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Messages:
    1,215
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Denmark
    Political correctness in the negative sense is when you violate your story, your setting or the truth itself in order to satisfy the overly sensitive.

    An good example of it is the latest Robin Hood series produced in the UK (yeah, yet another Robin Hood retelling...), where they made one of Robin's men a black man. In the context of the myth and its setting, it's completely absurd, and in my personal oppinion almost an offense to black people. It's demeaning to pamper people to such a rediculous extent. What's next? How about Friar Tuck says something flattering about Islam, or Richard the Lion-Hearted teaches a lesson on democracy and how all men are created equal?

    Equally, and very recently, Mark Twain's classic Huckleberry Finn was cleansed for every instance of the n-word. To think that you can fight racism by pretending it never happened is misguided, if not downright harmful. It's certainly no better than holocaust-denial. To be aware and ashamed of the past is a way to ensure it won't repeat itself.

    In South Park, the reaction to this hypocritical and possibly quite harmful trend was to name the only black kid "Token Black". I'll just leave my hat off permanently to Matt and Trey's razor-sharp brilliance.
     
  23. w176
    Offline

    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Messages:
    1,067
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Luleå, Sweden
    I think there still a need, as in every day life, to reflect is our unconscious behavior affects others in a negative way or carry values you don't want to spread or represent.

    A responsibility to just pause and reflect a little. The big problems coming from racism, sexism , homophobia and all the other bad -isms and -phobias don't stem from the the 1% extremists screaming "Heil Hitler!" or "God hate fags!" but the unconscious and unselfconscious choses most of us do every day.

    I think we have a responsibility to at least consider what we do, so that we can stand for our actions and what we written and be able to defend our choices according to out own values. Not a responsibility to be extremely PC all the time, just some responsibility to think and act if we feel a need to do so.
     
  24. digitig
    Offline

    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,502
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    Orpington, Bromley, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    Oh, I think he does. My philosophy prof at university was a fervent neo-Kantian, and his account matches Islander's, not yours.
    The key is that he was a Neo-Kantian; he was not Kant. His theory of fictionalism, which I assume is what you are referring to (and which is certainly an interesting theory), is his, not Kant's.
     
  25. Show
    Offline

    Show Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Messages:
    1,495
    Likes Received:
    30
    To me diversity is something that is either there or not. Political correctness is an intention. One could have diversity that is plenty politically incorrect.
     

Share This Page