Why It is Time to Cancel the Cancel Culture



When it comes to cancel culture, some love it and some hate it. Like much in this nation, it is a subject that divides most people. At root, cancel culture is about establishing new social norms through ostracism. When a person fails to live according to the standards of political correctness, that person is in danger of being canceled, which can be anything from relentless online trolling via social media to being fired and blacklisted from whatever industry in which one works. Essentially, it is not a new phenomenon. Hawthorne wrote about it in The Scarlet Letter: Hester Prynne was cancelled and ostracized from her community for violating norms regarding adultery. Today’s Puritanical culture of political correctness has different standards for men and women, blacks and whites, and insists on those differences as a form of making reparations for perceived gender and racial wrongs committed by an immoral patriarchy. Of course, not everyone agrees with that viewpoint, which is why the subject of cancel culture is so contentious. This paper will provide a sample of topics and titles regarding cancel culture. It will also provide an outline and sample essay on the subject of cancel culture to show how this issue can be discussed.



Essay Topics


1. Does cancel culture help or harm society?



2. Is cancel culture unjustly expecting perfection from everyone?



3. Does punishing people for past mistakes really help to promote the common good?



4. Cancel culture is a Communist tactic to enforce social rules and instill totalitarianism.



Essay Titles


1. Why It is Time to Cancel the Cancel Culture



2. Falsely Accused of Harassment, Yet Cancel Culture Took His Job Anyway



3. Rush to Judgment: How Cancel Culture Has Undermined the Principle of Innocent Until Proven Guilty



4. Cancel Culture is Just Another Name for Social Media Mob Rule in a Time of Political Correctness



Essay Outline


I. Introduction


a. What is Cancel Culture?


b. How it affects the world


II. Background


a. Manifestations of cancel culture


b. How it operates


III. Comedy


a. Joking is a cathartic way to help people deal with differences


b. Cancel culture sees all offensive joking as bullying and impolitic


c. Not allowed to make offensive jokes


d. Comedians have to be PC for fear of being cancelled


IV. Karens


a. Karens demand conformity


b. They lecture at will


c. They do not allow anyone to have any fun that they deem irresponsible


d. Everyone becomes a Karen in the PC cancel culture


V. Puritanism


a. Cancel culture is a form of Puritanism


b. No one is allowed to have any faults or make mistakes


c. Cancel culture forgives no one


d. It is malicious and undermines the spirit of Christian charity that fosters true community


VI. Conclusion


a. Cancel culture is a cancer on society


b. Cancel culture should be canceled





Cancel culture is the idea that anyone who offends the politically correct sentiments of the Left will be canceled, i.e., tarnished on social media, boycotted by Leftist consumers, or piled upon by activists until the company that employs him feels enough pressure to terminate his employment. Canceling a person for holding offensive beliefs is something the Left takes pride in doing. They see it as part of their mission of militancy to establish new norms of thinking and behavior in society. The problem is that not everyone agrees with the worldview of the Left, so it creates tension in society. Those on the Right or of a Libertarian mindset reject the Left as “woke,” a term that is meant to belittle the Left’s activism. Even beyond this contention is the fear that the cancel culture has created in society: people feel more inclined to follow the norms of political correctness for fear of being canceled by the cancel culture mob. This creates obvious effects in society.


Essay Hook


Cancel culture is responsible for establishing a pattern of new cognitive and behavioral norms in society that are likely to transform all subsequent generations of Americans into good little Party-line following acolytes of Big Brother.



Thesis Statement


Cancel culture has killed comedy, turned everyone into a Karen, and unleashed a new wave of Puritanism on American society.







When the era of political correctness got going for the first time in the 1990s, there was a response among some subcultures that was aggressive and hostile. The 90s saw the punk revival and the advent of grunge bands like Nirvana. But by the end of the decade, that music had largely run its course. To some degree, so too had political correctness. George W. Bush won the White House in 2000, and for the next 8 years, the mainstream media did not push too hard on certain taboos. However, as the new 21st century wore on, a new technology platform emerged—social media. Social media quickly became the de facto place for human interaction, with celebrities and stars now speaking directly to fans and followers for the first time ever. It made everyone more open—but also more vulnerable when the next wave of political correctness arose.


That wave arrived in 2008 with the election of President Obama. The Left now had the opportunity to push its “woke” agenda once more, and it has been doing so aggressively ever since. The election of Trump in 2016 was like the punk revival in the 1990s—only this time the mainstream media (with the help of social media activists and Big Tech) did not allow the outspoken hostility of Trump to put a damper on the political correctness wave. Instead, it inaugurated cancel culture and began using it to push back on the “patriarchy” and the traditional norms that stood in the way of Leftist values. The #MeToo campaign shook out a lot of confidence among those who believed they were untouchable by the mob. Today, everyone lives in fear of cancel culture because they have seen that their careers and lives could be destroyed if they say the wrong thing or raise the ire of the Left.


Cancel Culture Has Killed Comedy


Few know more about that than comedians—from Louis C. K. to Roseanne Barr to Norm Macdonald (who tried to defend them both in public) to Shane Gillis who lost his new job on SNL after it came out that he made a joke about Asians that the Left viewed as horribly stereotypical and reason enough to cancel him. Jerry Seinfeld is on record saying that cancel culture has killed comedy (Schwarz, 2015). Ricky Gervais lobbed a figurative bomb at both cancel culture and Leftist Hollywood at the Golden Globes (White, 2020).


Yet not all comedians are cowering in fear. Dave Chappelle literally will not stop making fun of the “Alphabet people” aka the LGBTQIA+ community. He still has the support of Netflix—for now. But almost all other comedians have had to tone it down and avoid certain subjects for fear of outraging the “woke” mob behind cancel culture. Will there be an inevitable backlash against this cancel culture as more comedians like J.P. Sears gather steam on YouTube? That remains to be seen.


PC Policing Has Made Everyone into a Karen


Another big problem is that cancel culture has turned everyone into a Karen. People no longer feel obliged to mind their own business when it comes to what others may think or say. Now they feel obliged to be the PC Police and monitor everyone’s conversations, asserting themselves as though they had some God-given authority over the wills of others. It is very much like the Bolshevism of the Soviet Era in the sense that the PC Police of cancel culture show no mercy, no restraint, and no empathy: their goal is simply to stamp out and destroy anyone who dares to say something that undercuts their “woke” ideology or who makes the mistake of committing a sin against the 10 Commandments of Political Correctness.


Puritanism Run Amok


At root, cancel culture is nothing more than Puritanism rearing its head all over again. The best depiction of Puritanism in American literature can be found in Nathanael Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. This is a story about a woman named Hester Prynne who becomes pregnant and has a child—all while her husband is away from the colony. Obviously she has committed adultery but she will not say with whom she has committed this sin. The Puritans of the colony, suffice to say, cannot countenance this apparent slap in the face to their most-refined and august sensibilities—so they effectively cancel her. She has to live on the outskirts of the colony like an isolated, fringe cast-off, and when she does step foot in public she has to sport a giant letter “A” for Adultery, which signifies her sin—that way everyone in the colony knows to avoid her. It is a horrifying portrait of how self-righteous and cruel the “woke” mob can be. Today, we are seeing this same cruelty emerge all over again.




Cancel culture is very much a plague on society: whereas society is meant to be a place where people can live and work together without fear of isolation or reprisal for “wrong-think,” it has become a place where everyone lives in fear of saying the wrong thing because it could mean being stripped of the right to work, the right to live, the right to speak, and the right to be part of the community. Instead of canceling everyone for past sins or for comments that go against the PC doctrines, more charity and humility could stand to be seen. It is only through charity and humility that real brotherhood can emerge. The kind of uncharitable enforcement that cancel culture demonstrates is deadly to all society.




This sample essay on cancel culture—along with the various sample titles and topics—should give you a good idea of how to approach this subject. It is obviously one that not everyone is going to agree about, so a paper on cancel culture could really take different forms. One could write an argument piece on why he thinks it is good and beneficial; one could do a pros/cons approach. It all depends on how comfortable you as a writer are in addressing the subject from multiple points of view. It may be that you simply want to write a scathing rebuke of counter culture. If so, that can work too, so long as you support your argument with important facts and points that can help the reader see where you’re coming from. In the end, it is all about how to best communicate your own point of view.





Schwarz, H. (2015). Jerry Seinfeld hates political correctness. So we ruined 7 Seinfeld episodes by making them PC. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/06/10/jerry-seinfeld-hates-political-correctness-so-we-ruined-7-seinfeld-episodes-by-making-them-pc/


White, A. (2020). Golden Globes: Read Ricky Gervais’ Scathing Opening Monologue. Retrieved from https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/transcript-ricky-gervais-golden-globes-2020-opening-monologue-1266516

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