This Politically Correct stuff is just going too far. I never did like the concept of anyone being treated with kid gloves just because they were…whatever. That seems to me to only accentuate the differences that are trying to be eliminated, and awfully condescending. Most people don’t need laws or rules or oaths to be decent human beings. I am going to narrow this whole PC fiasco down to the subject of critiquing.
In the olden days before Politically Correct was born, writers understood the difference between constructive criticism and a negative, personal flame. They knew what they were going to get when they asked for a critique, and used what they could to improve their work. Or they ignored it. It certainly was not a crime for a reviewer to point out an area that wasn’t working for them.
In today’s world if you give a critique, there will be more than one person protesting the reviewer, and reminding them of the old adage, “If you can’t say it nice, don’t say anything at all.” This charge is not always led by the writer. It’s often led by a PC observer who has not read the work and doesn’t intend to; nor cares if the criticism hit its mark and is valid. They are only concerned with the feelings of a writer, and it being posted on a public forum.
If a writer intends to share his work by publishing it, even if it’s an online writer’s group, they are opening up their work to constructive criticism. It doesn’t matter if it’s a writing to release their pent-up emotions or just for fun. If it’s posted publicly, they are publicly asking for opinions. What they do with those opinions is their business. But, no one has the right to insist that all feedback be praise. Nor do they have the right to restrict the public comments to those that rave and praise.
If they truly don’t want critiques or low rates, all they have to do is post an author’s note at the top of the page stating this. Tell the readers it’s a personal piece and they aren’t looking for reviews. They can still receive readers and stars. Readers should respect their requests and not critique the piece! Read, Comment and Rate is okay.
Keeping constructive reviews private robs the members who view the public review page of the opportunity to learn and grow.
It keeps those members who do want constructive feedback from receiving it because…
these PC advocators are very good at discouraging the reviewers who want to help.
Imagine, a writing site where constructive reviews are not encouraged.
Catering to a small group who complains of constructive feedback is done to the detriment of those who hope to publish someday. Anyone who writes merely to bask in the warmth of praise isn’t interested in publishing in the same way. He is a dabbler. He doesn’t want or need critiques. Some don’t, and that’s okay. But, they really should say so.
They should not set the standard for those who are ready and willing to work hard. A writer wants to tell the best story he’s capable of telling. He’s willing to put in the hard work, and he will at least try to accept ‘negative’ constructive feedback. He might cry and hit the wall, but he always comes back. He isn’t destroyed by one or two critiques. A real writer knows the difference between a personal flame and a constructive critique.
If a writer has the nerve to post and share his work in a public forum, he has the nerve to receive criticism without falling apart. We should be giving him the right tools to strengthen his writing, which will strengthen his confidence, instead of assuring him his work is already perfect and he doesn’t need to listen to those mean ol’ reviewers.
By giving only Politically Correct reviews, we’re keeping them down where they will never learn and improve. That’s not politically correct, in my opinion.
Now tell me, is that nice?
Harriet is an author on http://www.Writing.Com which is a site for Creative Writing.Her portfolio can be found at http://www.Writing.Com/authors/storytime so stop by and read for a while. She specializes in reading and reviewing new writers.
Graphics Credit: http://votingamerican.wordpress.com/2011/01/05/america-muted-a-humorous-look-at-the-mess-political-correctness-has-made-in-america/