It comes to us from a male comic, but the message is strong and comes up frequently in discussions of feminism, gender equality and other issues of social awareness: “Political correctness” isn’t (or shouldn’t be) a dirty phrase. Everyone has the right to object to what you say—just as you have the right to express an opinion or make a joke—and mutual respect, rather than shutting down speech and comedy, expands it.
Listen to what Paul F. Tompkins has to say on jokes, shock, effective delivery, outrage, changing tastes and more. We think it not only applies to comedians on stage, but to anyone with a funny story or message they’d like others to hear. Next time you’re called upon to exercise a little restraint or show a little respect—or even to be “politically correct”—embrace it as the opportunity it is.