Are Liberals Becoming Too Sensitive and Politically Correct?

being-offendedI learned at a fairly young age that when it comes to somewhat controversial debates, people often get so emotionally wrapped up in whatever it is that they fail to see the forest for the trees.  I’ve written articles that were more than 1,000 words and 8 of those words were something with which someone disagreed – and they solely focused their “rage” based on that one small part.  Never mind the 99% of the article that they were in full agreement with.  Oh, no.  They focused on that one part and that’s how they formed their entire opinion over what it is that I wrote and they read.

I’ve written numerous articles defending women’s rights, gay rights, immigrant rights, minority rights and equality, and I’ve fiercely opposed racists, bigots and intolerance in general.

Yet I’ve been called a racist, bigot, sexist, homophobic woman-hater – all by liberals.

Why?  Because while I’ve defended women, homosexuals, immigrants, minorities and the fight for true equality for all, once in a while I actually dare to call out the hypocrisy I’ve seen from the radical activists who seem unable to be even the slightest bit objective toward the causes about which they’re passionate.

Take for instance Michael Sam.  After he came out publicly he held a press conference stating that from then on he only wanted to be known as a football player, not a gay football player.  So, going by his own words, that’s exactly what I looked at him as.  In fact, in my opinion, that’s real equality.  Except once I heard he had agreed to do a documentary with Oprah (an agreement he hid from the NFL until after he was drafted) to document his quest to make it in the NFL as an openly gay man – I called him a hypocrite.

He was trying to profit off of the fact that he’s the NFL’s first gay football player after he told the world that going forward he didn’t want to be known as anything but “a football player.” He can’t say to people that he wants to be treated “just like everyone else,” while doing something that no other NFL player had ever done because he happens to be gay.

For simply expressing that opinion I got called a homophobe.  Never mind that written inside that very same article I mention how I wish him well and stated that he represents a huge step for LGBT rights.  Nope, ignore all of that.  These radical activists, unable to see anything objectively, only seemed to process that I dared to call Michael Sam a hypocrite for contradicting his own words. 

They want equality, I criticized Michael Sam as I would have done to any other player, and apparently because I treated him equally that makes me homophobic.

Then there’s the radical women’s rights people.  Wow, I really ticked them off recently when I dared to criticize their over the top reactions to high school girls being sent home for violating school dress codes.

They claim that school dress codes unfairly target women by making them cover their bodies because males can’t control their urges – and somehow this all ties into the rape culture.

Are you freaking kidding me?

Asking girls to not wear shorts shorter than where their finger tips touch their thighs with their arms hanging at their sides isn’t “shaming women.”  Because guess what, males have to follow that same dress code.  Only problem is, most males don’t wear shorts that short.  If they did, they’d be sent home as well.  If these activists are looking to blame someone, blame women’s fashion.

Here’s a fun fact: If girls didn’t wear shorts that were inappropriately short for school, there wouldn’t be a need for a rule that seeks to limit just how short these shorts can be.  Some “length limit” has to be set.  Otherwise some females would come to school with their butt cheeks hanging out.

And let’s not pretend that rules requiring shorts to be at a length around mid-thigh are “unreasonable requests.”  It’s school, not a club, the beach, the pool, a friend’s house or the mall.  School is meant to foster a positive learning environment, and the fact of the matter is skimpy clothing isn’t conducive to a positive learning environment for adults, much less teenagers.

Then there was the issue of girls being sent home for wearing sleeveless shirts that happened to show their bra strap.  This is the one where I criticized Think Progress for drastically over sensationalizing a story.

At that particular school no students were allowed to wear sleeveless shirts.  Even in the story, Think Progress mentions how males had been sent home as well for wearing sleeveless shirts.  Though they mentioned that in only once brief sentence.  The rest of the article went on some overboard rant about how this rule unfairly targeted females because more females had been sent home than males.

Here’s another fun fact: Females wear sleeveless shirts much more often than males.

How is it an unfair rule if males aren’t allowed to wear tank tops either?  It seems Think Progress only felt it was unfair because females tend to wear sleeveless shirts more often than males.

Again, that’s not “shaming women” – that’s just called style.

Now if the rules were as such where males could wear sleeveless shirts but females couldn’t, or males could wear super short shorts but females couldn’t, then that is unfair and sexist.  But that’s not the case with these rules.  They’re enforced equally, bottom line.

And can we stop pretending that women never wear skimpy clothes to attract the attention of males?  Come on.  Have we gotten that politically correct?

But I don’t believe it’s unfair at all to say to students that your shorts need to be at least around mid-thigh and you’re not allowed to wear sleeveless shirts.  Again, they’re at school.  

School is a place where students are supposed to conduct themselves in a slightly professional manner.  It’s also meant to prepare them for the real world and in the real word there are dress codes.  And most important of all, as I said before, it’s meant to foster a positive learning environment.

But because I supported these very uncontroversial and extremely common dress codes I got called a sexist, a woman-hater and someone who’s helping to perpetuate the rape culture.

Forget the numerous times I’ve written articles defending women’s rights, condemning those who’ve tried to downplay the horrific act of rape or that I’ve strongly voiced my belief that women should have control over their own bodies.  None of that matters.

All because I believe that students shouldn’t be allowed to wear extremely short shorts or sleeveless shirts to school – that makes me a supporter of the “rape culture” and a “woman-hater.”

Here’s a word of advice for these radical women’s rights activists: You do your cause a disservice by trying to take something as horrifying as rape and lump it in with something as ridiculous as student dress codes that for all intents and purposes are extremely reasonable.  It’s like the boy who cried wolf.

You can’t yell, “It’s part of the rape culture!” every single time some issue involving men and women is brought up.

Then there’s the “PC police” types. These are the people who essentially find almost everything offensive.  Basically they want a society where everyone better watch what they say or do because you never know who you just might offend.

This kind of attitude is derived from those who probably support giving trophies to everyone, ribbons for participation and not keeping score during sports games.  Because heaven forbid we ask that people overcome adversity once in a while or learn to fail and pick themselves back up.

They seem to think it’s probably better to just pad the world so nobody scrapes a knee, remove any words that might even remotely offend someone from the dictionary and label anything on the planet that might possibly result in a feeling of anxiety or depression in someone.

Have you seen the movie Demolition Man?  If you haven’t it’s a futuristic movie where people no longer have sex (procreation is done in a lab), cussing is illegal, bad food is banned and pretty much anything that might be remotely offensive is prohibited.  That’s exactly the type of society I think some of these people want.

Now I’m not saying I’m insensitive.  I’m really not.  But there’s a line we face in this country between being progressively sensitive toward the feelings of others and essentially sensitizing our society to such an extent that someone dropping a pan in the kitchen can trigger a panic attack.

Learning how to overcome adversity is good for a society.  If you don’t learn to do that, life is going to destroy you.  I didn’t have an easy life at all.  I overcame a lot in life to be where I am now.  Now I’m not saying everyone can overcome what I did, but I at least think we owe it to our society to give people the chance to try – not shield and protect them from every little thing they might face in this world.

Now I’m sure this article offended some.  I’m sure some read it, acted emotionally to it, and pretty much proved my point.  A few might have read it and agreed with some points but disagreed with others, and that’s fine too.  Heck some might even have agreed with everything I said.

My point is that just because we are passionate about some things doesn’t mean we can’t be objective about those things.  I’m a liberal, and even the liberals who sometimes drive me crazy I’ll stand up for, but some liberals really need to learn to pick their battles.

It’s getting to a point where some are going from passionate activists fighting for a good cause to over sensationalized complainers who just want to go around judging anyone and everyone for everything that they do.

Those who made it this far, be sure to check out the comments section either on the article itself, or whatever Facebook page or Twitter account you might have gotten it from, to see how many people seem eager to prove my point.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • Mr. Timm

    Sooo good! Thanks, Allen!

  • MLR

    What is it with you and Manny bashing liberals at least once a month? Why don’t you guys set aside a “bash a liberal” day and make it official? By the way, I agree with almost everything you pointed out except for Michael Sam. On that one I totally disagree and the reason is this: just because he agreed to do the documentary with Oprah doesn’t mean he wants to always be called the “gay NFL player.” The documentary probably would have offered some important insight as to the obstacles gay players face and why it was important for him to cone out. But now, thanks to people like you we’ll never know. I mean, heaven forbid he profit for making a bold decision that will help other LGBT players, right? I honestly don’t see how making the documentary made him a hypocrite. Maybe you’re being an over-the-top hypocrite police. I bet you’ve never been called that by a liberal before. And a female to top it off.

    • Evee

      Great piece! Socially, I’m a liberal. However, I often feel that some (not all) women who want equal treatment really just want a double standard that gives them all the same privileges as men without holding them to the same expectations, i.e. the dress code thing. If girls want to be taken seriously, they need to take school seriously. Seems straightforward enough to me!

    • ML

      “….be sure to check out the comments section either on the article itself, or whatever Facebook page or Twitter account you might have gotten it from, to see how many people seem eager to prove my point”

  • katherine norton malek

    I disagreed with the one topic in your article on dress codes, specifically girls being sent home because their bra straps showed. My itow issues with that one topic were 1) bra straps are utilitarian – hardly sexy looking 1) sending teens home from school is counter-productive to education. I suggested perhaps these administrators/educators were not considering these teens might be yelling “hip hip hooray” when sent home. Out-of-school suspensions is just the dumbest thing. While I wasn’t suggesting “all”, but perhaps “many” rejoice being sent home Might just be what they were striving for in the first place. Put them in an empty classroom & have them do work, alone, without their cell phones, with work to do. That’s real punishment. Versus being sent home, which is just a gift with no wrapping paper, a reward for negative behavior. Schools NEED dress codes in our current culture crisis where The Kardashians is a no. 1 rated TV show. Other than that, I completely agree.

    • Cemetery Girl

      For a teenage boy a bra strap can be very sexy! I have a teenager, and we might like to think that these kids are just trying to dress comfortably, but not all are. Around where I live, there are 7th graders wearing Victoria Secret. (And they are quite proud of their Angel’s collection thongs and bras! Back in my day, we were wearing just plain cotton or maybe that satiny material in a bra, in white or beige but maybe a pastel or print if the girl was fancy!) The girls walk around outside of school hours wearing short shorts that also have the butt ripped (I’m not sure how they pull it off since there isn’t much fabric…) Mind you, not all girls dress like this, but they’re out there. And it starts as young as 12-ish. And my daughter will not be one of them! (I may be liberal, I may loathe rape culture, but she will not be able to dress like that until she understands the view that society has, the message society gets from dressing like that. I’m not saying that I agree w that view. I’m not even saying that I never wear a short skirt or a top that is all lace or open back, but I also understand the message and use more caution. It is still a sad truth of being female.)

  • GL

    I must say I was a little surprised at your stance towards those dress codes, as most liberal articles I’ve read were pretty much uniformly denouncing them. However, after thinking about it (thanks to you), I have to agree with your position. Dress codes are a must, AS LONG AS THEY TARGET BOTH MALE AND FEMALE students. Most dress codes stories I’ve read were only directed at female clothing, which is unacceptable. As for bra straps, I have to disagree with some other comments here. I for one never want my bra straps to show, just because they’re underwear and I’m not keen on the idea of total strangers having a peek at my underwear. I may be old-fashioned, but I think that’s inappropriate, ESPECIALLY for school, as you pointed out.

    • Cemetery Girl

      I think schools are making a shift towards not specifying genders in dress codes. Personally, as long as a gender isn’t specified then I don’t see it as sexist. My son’s school lists everything as “students”, not “boys” or “girls”. Students wearing shorts or skirts, they must be fingertip length. No student my have undergarments exposed. (Boys can’t have the baggy pants exposing boxers and girls can’t have thongs poking out of low cut jeans.) No student may wear ripped jeans. (Boys can’t have them all ripped up and also girls can’t get around the fingertip rule by having the butt rips so their butt is hanging out.) No student can have hair dyed an unnatural color or have a style that interferes w learning. (No one can have hot pink or electric blue hair. Back in my days, when big hair ruled, we had a school rule that no girl could have hair so high that it prevented the people behind her from seeing. Big hair is no longer king, but neither gender can rock a Mohawk that blocks the view. And punk is kinda a big thing around here still.)

  • BDub

    This article really disappointed me, Allen. I was with you on the main idea of the article–but then you felt the need to use examples, and those examples I feel showed exactly why you, having not walked in the shoes of the marginalized groups being referred to, are missing a lot of nuances of the situation.

    For instance, Michael Sam. Have you ever been in the shoes of a gay person in a position of exposure or leadership? I have. And let me tell you, it’s a constant battle, trying to work for LGBTQ equality but not be defined by your sexuality. And I work in church leadership and theology, so keeping up that fight really influences my career direction and options. But every time I think to myself, “I’m done with this, I don’t want this to be the one part of me people look at, I’m tired of it,” I continue to see injustices against LGBTQ people and too few willing to speak out and I’m reminded of the words of my divinity school advisor who asked me , “Can you imagine being a young gay kid and seeing you in the pulpit?”

    This constant back and forth isn’t something I chose. It’s the position I was put into, because unfortunately I’m not the one here who thinks the “gay” part of me is the only important thing. And if I learned there was some guy running a blog calling me a hypocrite every time I acknowledged being gay or joined in the fight just because I didn’t want to be defined by it I’d be horrified, mad and sad.

    Don’t think being a straight white guy makes you objective, Allen. It just makes you privileged.

    • felipe63

      You really didn’t read a word he wrote about Michael Sam did you? Or if you did you’ve chosen to ignore it

      One more time……

      “He was trying to profit off of the fact that he’s the NFL’s first gay football player after he told the world that going forward he didn’t want to be known as anything but “a football player.” He can’t say to people that he wants to be treated “just like everyone else,” while doing something that no other NFL player had ever done because he happens to be gay.”

    • Allen

      I think you’ve missed the point in that Mr. Sam WAS being hypocritical (saying one thing, but doing another). If he wants to be known as a football player and not a gay football player, but then turns around and does a documentary about being a gay football player; is that not hypocritical? I’m not saying he shouldn’t do the documentary; he absolutely should as a gay role model, but don’t expect to live your life outside of the spotlight and then shine it on yourself. He IS a role model, and until this becomes common-place, he will have to deal with the fact that he is indeed a gay football player, and will forever be known as the first one of this type. He may not want to be, but he is. Kissing his boyfriend after making the draft, on the other hand, is not hypocritical, as even heteros show PDA’s at such moments, even with the cameras rolling. That kind of common-place behavior or expression is what people need to see if you want to be “just a football player”, not some sensationalized documentary about being a gay football player. And it doesn’t help to have the media complicit in the sensationalizing with how they present the PDA.

      Aren’t you the one defining yourself by your sexuality; thus perpetuating society’s defining as well? You feel it necessary to inform everyone that you are gay, instead of simply showing support for the LGBT community. Preach the acceptance and children will learn to accept themselves because of who they are; not because of who you are.

      I do not introduce myself as so-and-so, I’m gay, or I’m a gay designer, or whatever, but I do introduce my husband in social situations and mention him in conversation, just like heteros do. This in turn shows anyone and everyone, including other LGBT or youth struggling with their own sexuality, who I am as a person; no different than anyone else. I don’t need a documentary or have to shout it from the pulpit; I just live my life like everyone else.

      • BDub

        In what way is acknowledging that I’m gay defining myself by my sexuality? It doesn’t define me, but my experience as a gay person plays an important role in my perspectives on *this* issue, which is currently the subject of conversation and which is relevant. I hear a lot of people advocate “color blindness,” which has in no way eliminated racial injustice but instead glazed it over–and you seem to be advocating the sexual orientation version of that. If you truly want to be a strong ally for the LGBTQ community, Allen, it appears you could do more listening to LGBTQ people and less talking. Like I said, a lot of premises of yours I agree with, but it seems there are a lot of important aspects of the experience of the marginalized that you have yet to learn.

      • Allen

        You seem to have mistaken me with the author, and in fact just proved his point by focusing on one aspect of my response and not the entire response. I’m gay.

      • Plague

        oooooo burn

    • Patrick Scott

      The article is on point. Sam should not have agreed to any deal until he made the team and played a full NFL season. I consider it a selfish move to get paid. His coming out I applaud. He stepped out before the draft and rolled the dice. To now degrade that decision by now trying to get paid does more harm that good. I personally think he should have announced he was gay then afterwards kept his mind on making the team. Showing the other players that he is there to play football not advance any agenda. After playing a full season, then ttalk to his teammates about the documentary. There has to be a level of respect towards the team because there is no I in team.

  • jsen130

    After reading a few of the comments on this one and the original dress code article, I feel it’s important to bring something up:

    Reasonable people can have a difference of opinion, see the exact same situation unfold but view it in a different light, or simply flat out disagree. They can share the different opinion and explain their position. In fact, this should be encouraged.

    What’s not OK is getting butt hurt, name calling, or make threats. Those who do should simply be ignored to the point that they are essentially muted.

    • Noelle’s Bootcut Kittenpants

      Well said. Why can’t people disagree without becoming disagreeable?

  • Allen

    Although I do think you can be repititious at times (are you paid by the word, lol), I do usually agree with what you say; including these points. Pointing out someone’s hypocrisy is not offensive, except to the one it’s being pointed out about. Even then, if you realize your own hypocrisy you can either accept it, or work to change it. Either way, don’t get pissy because someone exposed it.

  • LiberalTimeLord

    If anyone is becoming to sensitive, its Conservatives..Specially conservative Christians who get all bent out of shape at the smallest of things that they think is against their god and religion.

    • mrwitticism

      Though I agree with some of what the author of this article has said in the past, here he’s just playing into the stereotype perpetuated by the right wing that liberals are “ultra-pc” types. I’m very liberal myself so I take exception to such a black-and-white depiction. In fact, it’s JUST PEOPLE WHO ARE UPTIGHT who are doing the complaining, regardless of political leaning.

  • Sandy Greer

    Oh, Good Lord. Nobody called the author a homophobe in Michael Sam article. Author was called a HYPOCRITE. For professing ‘support’ of Michael Sam – while pointing his finger, and calling Sam a hypocrite.

    ^^^Pot met Kettle in that article – and that’s the truth.

    This is the second time author complained he was called a homophobe. Wasn’t true the first time – not true now. It’s a bold faced LIE.

    Go read the comments yourself, Allen Clifton. Stop lying about being called a homophobe.

    Just SMH at a ‘woe is me’ – based on a lie.

  • DavidD

    The people who push these outrage breast beatings have an agenda of seeking power that they would not be able to obtain by legitimate means.They say they represent all sorts of political tendancies but they all share one thing,opportunism.
    White supremacy,sexism and homophobia are serious problems but our main problem is economic inequality.The only thing people who have to work to survive have going for them is numbers.If we are going to address economic inequality throuh the electoral system the only way we can use that advantage is unity.
    Someone’s race,gender or sexual identity is a part of who they are but it is far from a totality.We need to deal with those issues among ourselves as contradictions among friends in a positive way and not let opportunists seperate us into bantustans to be used for their own intrests.

    • Billy bob

      That is the true crux of the matter right there. I feel you hit the nail right on the head. Democrats, Republicans it doesn’t matter neither party has the best interest of the public in mind. It’s as if it’s in their best interest to keep us separated and at each others throats. We will never be effective as a people or even as a species so long as we are divided.

  • Maureen Lynch Bocardo

    I taught teenagers for over 30 years. As their brains aren’t fully developed, the majority often don’t show good judgement. I’m all for some sort of limits.

    I must admit. I got ticked off by principals yelling at me because I failed to notice the color of someone’s shoe laces or shirt or the logo on a T-shirt. With a class load always falling between 150-200 students, I had a little more to do than play fashion police.

    When I was in high school back in the ’60’s, there was no dress code for boys; but, girls were limited to only a black, white or navy blue skirt than came below the knee when kneeling down. (This was in a public school.) Girls were not allow to wear pants at all.

    I have to agree. As long as dress codes include both males and females, they’re needed. And, by the way, ask anyone who knows me I’m a LIBERAL.

  • richard

    I enjoyed your article. I agree that everyone has gotten too sensitive. Who can keep track of how we are supposed to say anything any more without offending. I am a 62 year old gay man who was raised in the 50-60’s when gay were arrested for associating with each other. THAT is oppression. Women had to ask permission from their husbands to get a job. THAT is oppression.
    Blacks had to sit at the back of the bus. THAT is oppression. I had to wear school uniforms. You know something? That was better because everyone had to wear the same thing. There was no “mine is sexier” or more expensive than anyone else. Back then young women weren’t allowed to wear pants to school, only skirts, even in the winter. That was sexist. I feel parents do their children a disservice by indulging their desire to do what feels good. Those children are in for a rude awakening when they get to the work place. A young woman being sent home because she broke a fair dress code is not part of the “rape culture.” It’s called being dressed appropriately for the occasion. If I were a teenager and I went to school in a tank top, tight jeans with no underwear (when I looked good in a tank top, tight jeans and no underwear), should I have been sent home?
    BTW. I just had an online/facebook discussion as a “Libertard” trying to dispel some myths such as “O’barry is a socialist, communist, stupid, ruined the country, hates America). Not one thing that I wrote that was factual, vetted and researched with references was listened to. All I got was foul language and I’m drinking the cool aide and can’t think for myself. Not once was what I said was at all countered. I still don’t quite understand how people who I know are intelligent, are like that.

    • Noelle’s Bootcut Kittenpants

      Both side engage in this with gusto. Just try voicing the slightest bit of resistance to any of President Obama’s policies without being denounced as racist and told to stop watching “Faux News.”

  • 2Smart2bGOP

    This is were I get a little irritated by my fellow liberals; especially those who have decided that President Obama is a HUGE disappointment because he hasn’t managed to do this, that or the other thing. We can’t be single issue Democrats and think that we are going to be able to accomplish anything. I have my own issues with our President, but I have absolutely no regrets for having voted for him twice. We have to resist the urge to make the perfect the enemy of the good.

  • Jayrod

    Personally I agree with Allen about 80 percent of the time. There are times I feel like something is being too sensationalized or a little lacking in context but for the most part it’s the fact that he doesn’t pick a team and run with it. Being a liberal is fine and well. Conforming to every liberal agenda blindly, not so much different than what the tea party does. I appreciate the fact that this author doesn’t try to fit a specific mold, actually calls things like he sees them, and holds his side just as accountable as he would his opposition. If you want fairness and equality that is EXACTLY what you’re saying you want.

    Kudos to Allen for holding the bar with out trying to bend it.

  • marelbert

    I’ll always be a Conservative Democrat,I have a 21 year old grand daughter in

  • LL11

    Agree, Allen. I’m a female “liberal”, very liberal to my conservative right wing family members, but I consider myself a moderate. I read a couple different articles about the girl sent home for the short shorts and literally rolled my eyes at the over the top comments, both from her and her supporters. She deserved to get sent home. I totally support dress codes.

    And I have gay friends and support gay rights and gay marriage, but thought the same thing about Michael Sam. He wants to be the first openly gay NFL player, fine, it really shouldn’t matter at all, but don’t pretend otherwise.

    Liberals are getting way too sensitive.

  • Agreed.

    You ever seen anyone try to fake something so hard that they go overboard ?? (malibu’s most wanted)

    I think that is where many liberals and conservatives are today. Most of them do not know what to actually stand up for, so they just attack everything. And the reason they don’t know what to stand up for is because they don’t do any research or have a true commitment to the cause (possibly because they’re just trying to halfway follow in their parents footeps [or rebel against them]).

    I’m a Christian, both personally and professionally, (I teach youth at my church), and I see it with other “Christians” all the time… Many slap on this label, and go out and promote what they think is right… but unfortunately most of them don’t know what is right and end up promoting hate and making Christians look terrible. They don’t read the bible, they don’t pray… the show up every other sunday, and then raise the Christian flag on facebook to attack gays or Muslims…. its ridiculous.

    So yea, good article. Its running rampant on both sides of the spectrum!

  • Liam

    Thank you for this. You said everything that I’ve, admittedly, been too afraid to say.

  • Everyonelovesgoodporn

    Thank you for valuing a balanced objective over the ,psychotic, reactionary pc crowd that make us in the sane liberal crowd look bad.

  • MB

    I’m a very conservative Republican and while I’m not on the same side as you in some of the causes you support, I totally agree with this article and I really respect you, the author. Nowadays I feel like so many liberals (and actually, many conservatives as well) are so very oversensitive about everything and it can really get on my nerves. As others have said… what happened to being able to disagree in a thoughtful and respectful way? It restores my hope in humanity when I see someone write such a thoughtful and objective article.