Playing With / Political Correctness Gone Mad

Basic Trope: An individual or group is very zealous about not offending people.
  • Straight: In Tropestan, certain words and actions are forbidden either by custom or by law. (They may be replaced with new terms that are supposedly less offensive.)
    • Alice innocently brings up guns. Bob yells at her telling her, bringing up the latest school shooting and accusing her of being tone deaf and insensitive.
  • Exaggerated:
    Bob: How dare you tell a story about people dying when people are actually dying in real life?! You're a disgrace!
  • Downplayed:
  • Justified: There are words and actions that can be very offensive, especially when committed by certain groups.
  • Inverted:
    • Tropestanis cause each other affront with near-impunity thanks to Refuge in Audacity.
    • Deliberate Values Dissonance
    • The "politically correct" version of something in Tropistan is solely based on whoever got the power, taking the definition to its most literal meaning. Tropistanis dread the day a misanthrope is in charge, because it means that the "politically correct" term for everything is whatever is the most anti-society at the time.
    • The "proper" word for something is deliberately whatever word that the listener hates the most, because Tropistan loves making its people feel as low as possible. It's the user-friendly words that need to be replaced, and anyone who uses them will be "properly" corrected to use uncomfortable terminology.
    Alan: I was thinking about maybe going out with some friends—
    Bob: Shh! The term is useless deadweight now.
    Alan: ...Right. Going out with some "useless deadweight" for drinks tonight.
  • Subverted:
    • Certain words, topics, and actions have a time and place.
    • Certain actions that are taboo in Tropestan are in a piece of media, and portrayed as completely normal and acceptable.
    • People live a certain way, that is stated to maintain a functional society, but the society is very misogynistic/xenophobic/religiously-based/etc., not the conventional definition of politically-correct.
    • A privileged class (like oligarchs, patricians, aristocrats, etc) are held to different standards than everyone else. They are allowed to be as offensive as they like while other people are punished for it. These people may or may not be the Moral Guardians (in dystopian fiction, the latter is much more likely) but at the very least they have nothing to fear from them.
  • Double Subverted:
  • Parodied: People who break the rules of political correctness have to drop money into The Swear Jar, or have their mouths washed out with soap (lye soap if they caused particular outrage), or write the rule they broke on the board 1000 times.
  • Zig Zagged: Some words, actions, and topics are acceptable in polite society, others are acceptable in certain contexts, and others are not acceptable at all.
  • Averted: There are no rules or laws governing self-expression of any kind.
  • Enforced:
  • Lampshaded: "Shhh! You can't say that word anymore! You Wanna Get Sued?? Or beaten up?!"
  • Invoked: Some person or group finds a certain word or action offensive.
  • Exploited:
    • A petition is circulated by Moral Guardians and other concerned citizens to get certain words bleeped out or stricken from Tropestan's vocabulary.
    • A feminist conference spells "women" as "womyn," to appease its more radical attendants.
  • Defied:
  • Discussed: "Why get offended? It's just a word! Get over yourself!"
  • Conversed: "I'm not sure whether to laugh at the sheer audacity of it all or whether to be offended by how much they're making light of liberal groups."
  • Deconstructed:
    • Authorities are so obsessed with not offending anyone, that society ends up becoming a totalitarian (or something similar) run entirely by zealots.
    • People's ideas end up getting rejected because one person finds it "offensive", reducing the chances of society ever developing.
    • Political Correctness has become hypocritical or biased in that while they respect the feelings of the offended, they don't respect the idea or feelings of the unoffended.
    • Tropestan's morals and rules eventually decay into Blue and Orange Morality.
  • Played For Laughs: Fee Fi Faux Pas
  • Played For Drama: All Crimes Are Equal, Jaywalking Will Ruin Your Life, Stepford Suburbia


Back to Political Correctness Gone Mad
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/PlayingWith/PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad