Magdalena Środa

    is a Polish philosopher and feminist writer. She is professor of ethics at Warsaw University and regular contributor to the daily Gazeta Wyborcza and the weekly Wprost. She was active in the Solidarity movement in the 1980s; from 2004 to 2005 she was the government Plenipotentiary for the Equal Status of Women. Her books include The Idea of Dignity in Culture and Ethics (1993); Individualism and its Discontents (2003) and Women and Power (2009). „Political correctness, so unpopular these days, involves a number of rules that let us co-exist even though we might profess different truths. We may dislike or despise someone for believing in a different God, for having a different skin colour or sexual orientation, but we must not treat them with violence or use the language of hatred, which implies real hatred. Applying political correctness thus does not mean we betray our own truth; instead it shows we understand that there can be more than one truth. If we are incapable of understanding this or if we are too attached to our own truth to accept the existence of other truths, we should at least pretend to be tolerant. Such ‘pretence’ has made Europe a civilized place, resulting in genuine dialogue, understanding and peaceful coexistence. Principles of political correctness have thus become a significant form of truth in Europe. And that is why we have to defend it even at the expense of other truths.”