Shortly after I started my blog, I received an email from a very kind woman who was concerned that a particular blog post of mine was politically incorrect. Not wanting to be hard headed, I took a look at the blog post, trying to discern what in it was politically incorrect. After being unable to find anything, I emailed her and thanked her for her thoughts, but asked if she could be more specific about what I had done wrong. Interestingly enough, she really didn’t know, but just “thought” that what I wrote could possibly be offensive to a particular religious group.
Unknown to her, I had worked as a cultural researcher among the people she was concerned I had offended, and so I was more than positive that I had not written anything offensive. When I pointed this out to her, she admitted that she really didn’t know much about this religious group. Needless to say, I did not edit or delete that blog post!
This got me thinking about how we as bloggers should handle political correctness and if we should worry about writing politically correct blog posts. I came to the conclusion that we should not.
Below are 6 reasons why we should not worry about writing politically correct blog posts.
1. Trying to please people weakens writing and stifles creativity.
When I first read the critique from the person who was afraid that my post was not politically correct, I started to second guess what is and is not appropriate. Instead of just writing, I all of a sudden had to edit what I wrote as I went along, just in case what I wrote would be offensive to someone. That shut me down and chased my muse away.
2. Different things are offensive to different people.
Let’s face it, if I write something that is meant not to offend Hindus, I may offend Muslims. If I use language that is religious neutral, for example talking about Mother Nature instead of God, I may offend those who have a strong belief in a creator. Since people are passionate about so many different things, I’m bound to offend someone when I’m trying to please someone else.
3. People are often offended for the wrong reasons.
For example, the person I received an email from was offended because she thought maybe I was offending people, but when it came right down to it, she didn’t know what she was talking about. And we all know people who seem to make a hobby of being offended easily.
4. The only way to stand out in the crowd is to write things that go against the status quo.
In fact, the only way to differentiate yourself from all of the other bloggers out there is to say things that are different than what everyone else is saying. If you force your writing into a mold that fits with what everyone else is doing and saying, why should anyone read you, when they just as easily could read someone else who puts out more original content? This is a great reason to write blog posts that are politically incorrect!
5. What is politically correct today may be offensive tomorrow.
Political correctness changes with the times and even based on what is popular at the time, so it’s better to just be true to yourself and write what you really believe. Now if your beliefs have changed over time, that’s different. In that case, being true to yourself would be to write in a way that fits with your new belief system. But you, not others, should be the one who determines that.
6. You’ll end up contradicting yourself.
It’s kind of like lying ; your work won’t be consistent if you are always trying to please people, and if you don’t remember how you “voted” with your previous posts, you may end up later writing things that contradict what you wrote earlier.
Think about it – it gets tiring to always focus on what you “should” say rather than what you would naturally say if it wasn’t for the fact that someone was telling you what to say. If you write the truth as you see it, always, you won’t have to worry about your future writing lining up with your past writing, unless you have truly changed your position on a matter.
Don’t get me wrong; I don’t believe we should go out of our way to offend people. But just because we don’t want to unnecessarily cause people pain doesn’t mean that we need to focus on writing politically correct blog posts.
Do you worry about writing politically correct blog posts or blog posts that won’t offend anyone in any way? Or do you just write? Leave me a comment to let me know how you handle this issue.