Has political correctness gone too far?

The debate over whether or not there is a place for political correctness in modern society is not always black and white.

  • Political correctness is often seen as a debate between two extremes, but there are nuances in the middle of the spectrum. Is there such a thing as being too PC, and if so, where is that line?
  • While philosopher Slavoj Žižek, comedian Lewis Black, and actor Jeff Garlin acknowledge that some topics can be hurtful or even oppressive and should thus be approached with "good taste and self-restraint," they also argue that PC culture has tipped the scales far beyond being balanced. "If we continue to move in that direction," says Black, "then we're going to be living between uptight and stupid and there'll be no in between."
  • Simultaneously, others—including Paul F. Tompkins, Jim Gaffigan, and Martin Amis—argue that political correctness aims to change things for the better, especially for groups who have been marginalized and discriminated against, and that not being sexist and racist, for example, is not actually a heavy lift. "The fact of the matter is these people are the people of today and you might be a person of yesterday if you can't adjust and you can't be in tune with what people think is funny anymore," says Tompkins.

Working for Harvey Weinstein was a 'brutal experience'

In 1998, former New Yorker editor Tina Brown went into business with Harvey Weinstein. That was a colossal mistake.

  • Tina Brown was never sexually harassed by Harvey Weinstein, however in 1998, she began a business partnership with Weinstein founding a new magazine following her success rebooting The New Yorker.
  • She describes the experience as a "colossal mistake" and Weinstein as a brutal bully who abused and humiliated his staff and left Brown shell-shocked. The venture was dropped, and Brown's regret is that she didn't pull the plug as soon as she learned what Weinstein was like behind closed doors.
  • Before you get into business with anyone, get to know who they are, advises Brown. Make phone calls to people who have worked with them in the past, and draw a line in the sand so you do not become roped into a bully's world.
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Grownup bullies might literally have less brains

A study reveals these brains exhibit less cortical surface area and gray matter.

Image source: Lopolo/Roman Samborskyi/Jozafephotographer/Shutterstock/Big Think
  • A study finds grownup bullies' brains exhibit a smaller cortical surface area and less thickness in their gray matter.
  • Bullies' executive function, motivation, and control of affect are likely affected.
  • The adult brains of adolescent bullies who've outgrown antisocial behavior don't exhibit the same shortcomings.
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Losing sleep over rude colleagues? Build a 'psychological buffer.'

Your co-workers could be causing your insomnia.

  • A new study has shown the reasons why incivility at work causes sleep problems such as insomnia.
  • Negative health problems associated with workplace stress include cardiovascular disease, negative mood, and increased blood pressure.
  • The researchers suggest creating a "psychological buffer" between you and your workplace through a variety of techniques.
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Why the 'alpha male' stereotype is wrong

Big and strong? That's not what makes an alpha male, says primatolgist Frans de Waal.

  • The cultural notion of an alpha male as a strong, mean aggressor is rampant but wrong. The reality is more complex.
  • Frans de Waal notes two types of alpha males: Bullies and leaders. In chimpanzee society, the former terrorizes the group while the latter mediates conflict.
  • The reign of alpha male bullies usually ends poorly in the wild. Chimpanzee bullies get expelled or even killed by their group, while leader alphas are somewhat democratically kept in power, sometimes for as long as 12 years.
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