The PC Trap


Self portrait, the inner anorexic, www.carolineallen.com

I knew an artist who after having an abortion used dolls for an art project — she ripped off their arms, blackened their faces and hung them by their necks from the rafters.

Too gruesome? I certainly hope so.

The single greatest oppression to the artist spirit is political correctness, and it seems to me that PC attitudes are taking over the country.

How can you be a writer or artist if you’re focused on not offending anyone, if you’re trying to make your art pretty and acceptable? How can you be an artist if you are putting your true feelings (usually the difficult and dark ones) into a box, locking and hiding them in your psychic closet? As artists, isn’t it our job to tell the truth? Isn’t it our job to scream out our bloody rage on canvas, on paper? Wasn’t the artist who had the abortion just being a great artist by expressing how she really felt?

I’m finding so much of the writing in the US and so much of the visual art so boring. The music scene seems to be the only radical place left. Many writers and artists seem to be writing what they “should” feel instead of what they really feel.

As a coach, I fight against this all the time. Many clients expect me to be together, perfect, all-knowing, full of profound compassion. We have a paradigm in this country where clients expect perfection from their coaches. In the artistic realm, you would think that people would want radical, outside the box, eccentric, even bitchy coaches to guide them.

Not so. I’ve lost clients because they thought I was too weird — most notably a mother who couldn’t get her head around the fact that I was a single woman artist in her 40s. Isn’t that the kind of coach you want? Someone who isn’t in the box that you find yourself living in?

At any rate, I’m just exhausted with all the political correctness. Radical art keeps us all radically alive. Where are you pulling the punches in your writing? Where are you hiding? What one thing could you write that would piss a lot of people off?

Write it.

I’m a writing coach, and offer free initial consultation. Contact me at CarolineAllen@aol.com. www.artofstorytellingonline.com

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One thought on “The PC Trap

  1. Kudos, Carrie! I’d add that the only thing the artist should watch out for is not to project their own anger onto other groups or people!

    And for the record, you aren’t weird, so you are super awesome!

    Like

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