How to Be PC at Whitman

Austin Biehl

A recent poll shows that 88 percent of Whitties care deeply about other people thinking that they’re politically correct. Even if you don’t care much about making a show of how PC you are, it’s important to remember that other people really do. Since it’s the appearance of caring that matters most at Whitman, we at The Pioneer have compiled a number of ways to make yourself seem politically engaged and tolerant, even if you couldn’t care less.

The best way to enhance your politically correct image is to cultivate some minority friends. This can be a feat at a place as whitewashed as Whitman, so commence your search early. Also, be sure that others are aware that your friend is a minority. This means no closeted gays since they are not easily recognized and will therefore not be helpful to your image. Also, be sure not to have too many, or you may go from pretending to care about social issues to actually feeling the need to do something substantive. This is not the Whitman way.

Another excellent way to seem politically correct lies in your ability to make PC excuses. For example, let’s say that your friend invites you to Take Back the Night, but all you want to do is eat Cheetos and play Super Smash Bros. Obviously, you can’t tell them the truth. Instead, say something like, “I’m really flattered that you would invite me. I have so much respect for that event. But as a white, heterosexual male, I’m also super aware of my insane social privilege. I wouldn’t want to subvert the narrative of reclamation that you’re trying to tell by asserting my phallic, patriarchal presence within your womanist space.” Wow. They are impressed. Do they know what you said? No. Do you know what you said? Of course not. This is the ideal situation. Your friend will assume that they are too ignorant to understand you, and, not wanting to reveal their ignorance, will smile and abandon the conversation. You can now go about your evening, safe with the knowledge that you came across as super informed and considerate.

Cultivating your spiritual side can give you an edge over the largely secular student body by allowing you to shame others of their religious ignorance. Adopting an non-Western religion is probably your best bet since being Christian will make you seem too Republican. Buddhism is a great choice since it’s very trendy right now in Western culture, and you’ll easily be able to find some wall hangings or incense. Furthermore, incorporating non-Western religions into your image will give you a great opportunity to tear other people down. Whitman students love to do this, and it’s important for asserting your PC dominance. For example, when someone tells you that they are taking a yoga class, shake your head and tell them, “I think it’s really problematic how Western culture has appropriated an ancient faith for no purpose other than working out. It’s a sickening display of Western privilege.” Your friend will hang their head in shame and you will feel good about yourself.

The most important message to take away is that being politically correct at Whitman does not require you to actually be informed, or worse, to actually care. Instead, simply focus on cultivating your image, know enough fancy words to get by, and be sure that you look better than whoever is nearest to you.