So I've been mulling this over for the last few days, trying to isolate what it is exactly that I don't like about banning the use of the word gay, and I came to a couple of conclusions.
First is that I don't like the cherry picking. There are so many potentially offensive words in the english language, many of which go completely unnoticed. For example how many of you are okay with using the words bitch, cunt, pussy, slut, I could go on... The number of words that are with out a doubt sexist and bigoted against women in their origin are numerous. Do we ban the use of these words? Have you personally been offended by the use of these words? For me the answer is yes and no. Yes when there was ill intent behind the use, no when the context obviously meant no ill intent. For me that's what this all ultimately comes down to, intent and context. Any word can be offensive if that's the intent behind it.
Secondly what unnerves me is simple freedom of speech. If we are unable to articulate ourselves because we are in constant fear of offending someone, constantly needing to walk the narrow path of what is considered PC, we are worse off for it.
A perfect example of our society being worse off from too much political correctness is the fact that comedians won't work college campuses:
Two of the most respected American comedians, Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld, have discussed the unique problems that comics face on college campuses. In November, Rock told Frank Rich in an interview for New York magazine that he no longer plays colleges, because they’re “too conservative.” He didn’t necessarily mean that the students were Republican; he meant that they were far too eager “not to offend anybody.” In college gigs, he said, “you can’t even be offensive on your way to being inoffensive.” Then, in June, Seinfeld reopened the debate—and set off a frenzied round of op-eds—when he said in a radio interview that comics warn him not to “go near colleges—they’re so PC.”
Comedians offer some of the best insights into the flaws and illogical workings of our society. People like George Carlin and John Stewart have been immeasurable in the contribution to the collective consciousness. Yet the embracing of political correctness would prevent this. Sometimes it's good to be offended, sometimes we need to, to make a point. I think we are worse off as a world if we cut ourselves off from being potentially offended, potentially challenged in our beliefs. I personally, do not want to live in a world where people are walking on PC eggshells.
Link to the article about comedians: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/09/thats-not-funny/399335/