Political correctness is a term used by opponents of the movements for social equality that grew during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s – movements that argued for human rights and against discrimination. The term refers to the belief that it was difficult to express views that might offend minority groups without being criticised as being, amongst other things, racist or sexist. Opponents of political correctness claimed that small powerful groups such as feminists had gained control of public debate in the media and universities and made it impossible for people with different views to get a hearing.
The political correctness argument has led to people feeling free to make generalisations about issues, including refugees and Indigenous land claims, that cannot be supported by facts. It has also led to a move away from bipartisanship in policies such as immigration as political groups seek the support of electors with more extreme views.
10 March 2002