What do Donald Trump and an Australia Day lamb ad have in common?
Each put two words at the centre of national debate: political correctness.
When political correctness first surfaced in the 70s, it was about creating a more inclusive community. Racial slurs, sexist refrains and religious insults were the main targets of a new campaign aimed at fixing inequalities.
Has political correctness created its own worst nightmare?
These days however, you’re more likely to hear about political correctness when someone wants to ban the word ‘guys’ in the workplace or clapping in school.
Nations around the world are electing politicians who proudly declare themselves 'un-PC'. From President Trump and the Brexit movement, to the resurgence of One Nation closer to home, people are demanding our leaders say it like they see it.
Critics think we’ve stopped telling the truth for fear of offending. They think a culture of victimhood prevents us from getting anything done. But mostly they feel unheard – a silenced majority muzzled by the attention paid to small groups with big platforms and influence.
Others believe increased diversity and equality are thanks to political correctness. They say the way we speak and act can include or further alienate the marginalised.
Does the dislike of PC culture throw us back to a more bigoted age?
Has political correctness totally backfired?
At IQ2, we want to criticise ideas, not people. We keep it smart and civil. As always, our audience can ask questions of speakers and you get to vote for who wins. This isn’t one to watch at home. Put down your pitchfork. Pick up a ticket. Join the debate.
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FOR: Political Correctness Has Failed Itself
is Associate Editor of The Australian
and host of HeadsUp
on SkyNews. He thinks political correctness is stifling important public debate and encouraging abusive conduct between left and right.
Jacinta Nampijinpa Price
is an Alice Springs councillor and advocate against family violence. She worries political correctness creates feel-good protests but no real impact where it’s needed most.
AGAINST: Political Correctness Has Failed Itself
is an author and consultant who runs workshops on diversity and identity. She believes free debate is only productive when there’s parametres around decency and respect.
is a comedian and author. He warns that the powerful label something PC when they’re offended and argues free speech is best used to criticise the privileged, not the marginalised.
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Drinks for sale in the Sydney Town Hall Vestibule thanks to Restaurant Associates. Doors open 6pm for a 6:30pm start.