1990s Political Correctness -

Jeff Heaney

kiwifarms.net
To all the Kiwis who can actually remember the 1990s (LMAO you're old), what was political correctness like back then? Obviously things started getting insane around the 2010s but political correctness has always existed. I was just curious, what did it look like in the 90s, a time when gay acceptance was only starting to be a thing?
 

Pissmaster

True & Honest Fan
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I was really young so I don't remember much, but I remember the extent of it pretty much being unsure if I was supposed to call black people "African Americans" or if "black" was okay.

Turned out, "black" is okay to actual black people, and the tiptoeing around with things like "African Americans" is really just done for the sake of cranky old white women. I also remember asking at one point why black people act different than anyone else and got in big trouble, but never actually had it explained as to why I was wrong to even just ask.

So that's from the POV of young child me, anyway. Also making fun of gays was still universally acceptable, you'd even see little jokes about it on prime time TV.
 

Pygmy Giraffe

kiwifarms.net
It was very mild and most often used as a low-effort punchline for comedians and late night TV hosts. Most leftists at the time were still valuing freedom of expression as a self-evident good, and fully understood that standing up for controversial opinions was different than agreeing with them. The closest you got to current year "culture" were the more militant feminists becoming louder with their man-hating agenda, but it was mostly confined to academia and certainly not broadcast over all media organs at blaring volume. You didn't see anything approaching the broke-brained authoritarian tantrums you get today.
 

Recoil

Tactical Autism Response Division
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Oddly enough, I think that the N-word held more power back then. The rap explosion of the late 90's-early oughts really robbed 'nigger' of a certain heft that it used to enjoy because one almost never heard the word being used ironically (whereas nowadays it's fairly rare to hear it used genuinely IRL).

The big difference is that people were so much more naive back then, they ate the narrative they were fed and that was largely the end of it. The questions that we find ourselves asking one another in Current Year just never came up.
 

Syaoran Li

Subscribes to Soldier Of Fortune
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kiwifarms.net
I was a small kid in the 90's, but a lot of the PC culture of the 90's did hang around into the first half of the 2000's.

Granted, this is from the mind of a small kid, so I'm mostly going to be bringing up stuff like kids' shows and the like.

Most of the PC culture of the 90's was just politeness, sappy PSA's, and diversity via tokenism like the Burger King Kids Club or kids shows like The Puzzle Place and Captain Planet.

But the token diversity of the Burger King Kids Club and similar kids cartoons was different from the woke forced diversity of today, with blackwashing, ugly gender blobs, and utterly unlikable "strong wahmmen" of 2010's pop culture.

Like, the white males weren't portrayed as inferior to the minorities and females, with the noted exception of Captain Planet, which was pretty mild compared to the stuff you see today.

They were all on a mostly equal footing and sometimes you'd have the white guy be the leader of the group, but it was mostly a coincidental thing.

Looking back on the media, especially the more ephemeral stuff like commercials and old sites or archived news articles and footage, the PC culture was mostly just "don't be an asshole" more than anything else.

Like, gay rights wasn't a new thing per se, but normies viewing it as a legit movement was very much a new thing.

Gay jokes were still very much a thing in pop culture, and teenagers often used gay as an insult all throughout the 90's and 2000's, but true and honest full-on homophobia and gay bashing was condemned, especially after Matthew Shepard got killed.

"Casual homophobia" of jokes and ribbing was acceptable, but was also kind of seen as childish and immature as you got older, especially as the 90's gave way to the 2000's. Like, it was okay and expected if you were a kid or a teen, or even in your early 20's in some areas.

But once you hit your late 20's/early 30's, being openly homophobic was seen as pathetic unless you were an outright redneck or hood rat. Everyone had a more "none of my business/you do you" mentality for most of the 90's and 2000's, barring the fundies or fringe groups like the lefty proto-SJW's and OG Antifa punks or Neo-Nazis and Militia spergs.

Actual homophobia involving physical violence or threats was a huge no-no even back then.
 

Pissmaster

True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Beavis & Butthead was the epitome of 90s culture in animation.


No way you'd get away with stuff like this nowadays.
(just the RuPaul part)

Notice how there's no problem with Beavis being attracted to a black person, but Butthead rips on him for being attracted to a guy in drag. That's pretty much something you'd not see past the 90's.
 

Dom Cruise

kiwifarms.net
It used to be more about the extremes, ie don't call people faggot, nigger, spic etc, ya know, actual hateful slurs, not "microaggressions"

Basically don't be blatantly hateful and treat people like garbage just because they're a different race, Religion or sexuality than you, people getting killed is what used to cause outrages, not mean words on Twitter.

And it was absolutely never predicated on hatred of whites, of wanting to give white people a "taste of their own medicine", it was completely understood that respect is something that goes both ways.

In other words it started off as a genuine attempt to try to make the multicultural and multiethic America work, it could be cringy and lame even at the time though, which brings me to...

But the token diversity of the Burger King Kids Club and similar kids cartoons was different from the woke forced diversity of today, with blackwashing, ugly gender blobs, and utterly unlikable "strong wahmmen" of 2010's pop culture.
the Burger King Kids Club is when I first really noticed political correctness as a kid, it just struck me as so artificial.
 
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Robert Sanvagene

Autistic Lives Matter™
kiwifarms.net
Back in the '90s, PC culture hadn't yet become fully weaponised. As I recall, it was more a case of embedding the useful stuff from the '70s and '80s into society. It was a time when people could still openly discuss issues like diversity and equality in a more pointed and direct way, without running the risk of being cancelled.

It was also a time when blackface and brownface were still acceptable in specific contexts. My fellow boomer Ausfags may recall a sketch comedy show from the early '90s called "The Late Show", which opened with two dudes doing a double-team standup bit followed by a fake news update. Said news update would usually include an interview with a public figure of the time; many of whom weren't white. The funniest one ever was Archbishop Desmond Tutu; all traces of which appear to have been scrubbed from the 'Tube. The second funniest one ever was Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, who was infamous for his womanising. Even an Amerifag can see that this is funny because it's taking the piss out of his womanising and not out of the fact that he's a Paki. You don't even need to know what cricket is to get the joke (although it helps).

 

Hollywood Hulk Hogan

nWo 4 LyFe
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
I was a small kid in the 90's, but a lot of the PC culture of the 90's did hang around into the first half of the 2000's.

Granted, this is from the mind of a small kid, so I'm mostly going to be bringing up stuff like kids' shows and the like.

Most of the PC culture of the 90's was just politeness, sappy PSA's, and diversity via tokenism like the Burger King Kids Club or kids shows like The Puzzle Place and Captain Planet.

But the token diversity of the Burger King Kids Club and similar kids cartoons was different from the woke forced diversity of today, with blackwashing, ugly gender blobs, and utterly unlikable "strong wahmmen" of 2010's pop culture.

Like, the white males weren't portrayed as inferior to the minorities and females, with the noted exception of Captain Planet, which was pretty mild compared to the stuff you see today.

They were all on a mostly equal footing and sometimes you'd have the white guy be the leader of the group, but it was mostly a coincidental thing.

Looking back on the media, especially the more ephemeral stuff like commercials and old sites or archived news articles and footage, the PC culture was mostly just "don't be an asshole" more than anything else.

Like, gay rights wasn't a new thing per se, but normies viewing it as a legit movement was very much a new thing.

Gay jokes were still very much a thing in pop culture, and teenagers often used gay as an insult all throughout the 90's and 2000's, but true and honest full-on homophobia and gay bashing was condemned, especially after Matthew Shepard got killed.

"Casual homophobia" of jokes and ribbing was acceptable, but was also kind of seen as childish and immature as you got older, especially as the 90's gave way to the 2000's. Like, it was okay and expected if you were a kid or a teen, or even in your early 20's in some areas.

But once you hit your late 20's/early 30's, being openly homophobic was seen as pathetic unless you were an outright redneck or hood rat. Everyone had a more "none of my business/you do you" mentality for most of the 90's and 2000's, barring the fundies or fringe groups like the lefty proto-SJW's and OG Antifa punks or Neo-Nazis and Militia spergs.

Actual homophobia involving physical violence or threats was a huge no-no even back then.
The biggest difference I remember is that "fag" and "gay" were common slurs in the 90s. However, in the mid-late 2000s that changed quickly. PCness about trans was completely different. Insulting trans people was very common back then and no one would bat an eye.

Race-based PCness really wasnt that different from today what I remember, although, it was mostly things like African America vs Black, and "People of Color" was considered something only old racists used.
 

XYZpdq

fbi most wanted sskealeaton
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
the family from Saban's Masked Rider is probably also worth throwing in alongside the Burger King Kids' Club and the Planeteers
I recall fag being kinda not-that-kosher even by the late 90s but by the early 00s it and gay in general shifted more towards "thing / person I don't like, especially online". I blame video games and South Park.

in other matters I would peg the OJ trial as when that most gamer-est of all words crossed the line from "things only jerks say on tv to show that he's a jerk or is still said in a news context" to "nobody says it in media"
 

Syaoran Li

Subscribes to Soldier Of Fortune
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
It used to be more about the extremes, ie don't call people faggot, nigger, spic etc, ya know, actual hateful slurs, not "microaggressions"

Basically don't be blatantly hateful and treat people like garbage just because they're a different race, Religion or sexuality than you, people getting killed is what used to cause outrages, not mean words on Twitter.

And it was absolutely never predicated on hatred of whites, of wanting to give white people a "taste of their own medicine", it was completely understood that respect is something that goes both ways.

In other words it started off as a genuine attempt to try to make the multicultural and multiethic America work, it could be cringy and lame even at the time though, which brings me to...



the Burger King Kids Club is when I first really noticed political correctness as a kid, it just struck me as so artificial.
So much this.

And the thing about 90's PC tokenism that separates 2010's PC tokenism is how it's all presented.

Like, the Burger King Kids Club was artificial as fuck but it was a different kind of artificiality, the whole thing didn't have the moralism that stuff like Steven Universe, Woke Marvel, or most of the Tumblr shit have, nor do you have the favoritism.

Like, the women and minorities weren't presented as better than the white males either in the literal or moral sense. Everyone was more or less on equal footing.

Kid Vid was the leader of the club and he was a blonde white guy, but he's also the coolest of the club from a kid's perspective and I think he was designed before the rest of the club was. In all honesty, I think he might have appeared in ads before the rest of the club did.

Compare that to all the woke shit from 2012 onward, and I think that's what separates the "PC" culture of the 1990's from the "SJW" culture of the 2010's.

Both were artificial as fuck, but PC culture was genuinely well-intended even if it was annoying and dumb.

SJW culture is more aggressive, revanchist, petty, Machiavellian, and just downright cruel.



Makes sense, since I get the feeling that 90's PC culture tried to hark back to the "peace and love" ideals of hippies but also trying making it work in a mainstream way instead of a counterculture

A lot of those PC types were former hippies who went Yippie to Yuppie but didn't go full neocon or traditionalist.

The neoliberals of today were the ones who were cunning enough to actually make it into the big leagues of society and they view culture and ideology as a mere tool.



Meanwhile, SJW culture is more evocative of punk rock, and has been fixated on punk culture from day one to a cargo cult degree.

The hipsters from the start of Current Year gave way to pretentious neo-punks with a bearded soylent sycophant element being the remnants of the hipsters who didn't go punk.

It makes sense since the modern Antifa movement of North America emerged from hardcore punk in the 80's, and punk has always had this autistic obsession with purity and not becoming a "sellout" while also having a strong sense of conformity through "non-conformity".

Those two things are the main reason why punk has always sucked and was never good to begin with, no matter how much everyone likes to tell themselves otherwise.

Coincidentally, those purity spirals and hivemind conformity are the two elements of punk rock that the SJW's actually live up to. Everything else is a ridiculous affectation

But the SJW's are tools of the neoliberals, and they refuse to see that they are pawns.

The Religious Right similarly got played by the neocons, which is why so many traditionalist fags hate the neocons and go on about "hurr durr what are we conserving?" because nobody else in the 21st Century wants a theocracy aside from the Muslims.

The SJW's are the kind of useful idiots who will get dropped once they're no longer useful.

The only reason why everything's gone fully off the rails is because the corporations are going full tilt into the SJW mob all at once. I get the feeling that happened mainly because the neolibs are getting desperate and are making one big final move.
 

CheezzyMach

Hulkamania Brother!
kiwifarms.net
The biggest difference I remember is that "fag" and "gay" were common slurs in the 90s. However, in the mid-late 2000s that changed quickly. PCness about trans was completely different. Insulting trans people was very common back then and no one would bat an eye.

Race-based PCness really wasnt that different from today what I remember, although, it was mostly things like African America vs Black, and "People of Color" was considered something only old racists used.
TBH aside from the fact that sex appeal is all but gone from Western media now the big difference between the 90s and now is that in the 90s blatant tokenism was called out more wheras now it's practically mandated.
 

Mr. ShadowCreek

kiwifarms.net
I remember in elementary school third grade had to sing a Hanukkah song. It was "Oh, Hanukkah". All the kids would sing Christmas songs the day before Christmas break started. The teachers sang 12 Days of Christmas. I don't remember any Jewish kids though. Of course, religion was something never talked about.

Save the Rainforest was also a big thing. I'm not sure if schools even do that anymore even though it ties into global warming.
 
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Syaoran Li

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I remember in elementary school we had to sing a Hanukkah song. It was "Oh, Hanukkah". All the kids would sing Christmas songs the day before Christmas break started. The teachers sang 12 Days of Christmas. I don't remember any Jewish kids though. Of course, religion was something never talked about.

Save the Rainforest was also a big thing. I'm not sure if schools even do that anymore even though it ties into global warming.
Now, I remember in Elementary School learning about Hanukkah and a few other Jewish customs despite their being no Jews in our poor white trash Appalachian community.

Catholics were the closest thing to a religious minority there at the time, and it was assumed everyone was some flavor of Christian. Any atheists or agnostics who were there probably didn't say it out loud since it was the late 90's/early 2000's and the Religious Right was still a big deal down there at the time.

Still, we were taught about Hanukkah mainly as part of a wider trend about learning about other cultures and customs. Like it was treated as no different than learning about Mardi Gras down in Louisiana and France or about how in Japan, bowing is customary instead of shaking hands.

Now, I do remember that we had a Christmas-themed program just before Winter Break where teachers and students would sing songs with a holiday or winter theme, and one year they sang the Hannukah Song, but that probably had more to do with it being 2000 and Adam Sandler at the peak of his popularity at the time.
 
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