So I’ll just go straight to the point: Am I the only one who thinks that this whole ‘offensive’ thing has gotten way out of hand at this point?
Everyday you wake up to one story or the other where someone has said or done something offensive and now their head is on the line. We talk about freedom of speech only when it relates to things that we agree with, every other thing is offensive. People get offended when they are ignored, others get offended when they are made the centre of attention. People get offended when none of their kind is represented in a certain gathering while others get offended for being the majority. It’s easy for anyone to get offended these days. All you have to do is pick a side of any argument and you will find that you have inadvertently offended someone. You can also decide to believe in a certain school of thought only to realise that your belief is offensive to the person standing next to you. People are bullied because they take a stand for something they believe in, they are bullied to let go of their beliefs because it has become offensive. Look around you and you will find someone offended by your hairstyle, or the colour of your skin, or the texture of your voice or even your silence.
Yes, we have become the most offended generation of all time.
In all of this ‘offensiveness’, my attention was drawn quite abruptly to one that very much stopped me in my tracks. It was an excerpt of a Fox News interview I saw on Facebook where Cathy Areu of Catalina Magazine and her companions have suddenly become offended by the use of any word that has ‘MAN’ in it. She’s on a campaign to get ‘MAN’ removed from words like ‘Wo
man‘, ‘ Manchester’, ‘Gold man Sachs’ and most probably ‘Hu man‘. Basically, the word ‘MAN’ should no longer exist because it is offensive, and sexist, and offensive, oh, I said that already. Or maybe s he wants it used only in words affiliated with the male per son.
How about the word ‘Com
mand’ and ‘Repri mand’? Does the rule apply to them too?
Anyway, I’ve begun to think of alternative words we could use for ‘Wo
man‘ that passes the sexism test. Do let me know which you prefer.
WO-SPECIE . . .
This is just ridiculous. How far are we willing to go in our bid to turn the world upside-down?
Well, I thought that was the most ludicrous thing I had heard until I saw another video of Lady Cathy talking about branding what s
he terms ‘sexist speech and thought’ a felony that will result in incarceration. S he claims that any man (apparently, according to her, these crimes can only be committed by men) who uses sexist speech or thinks sexist thoughts will eventually go on to commit violent crimes, so the best line of action will be to ‘nip it in the bud’ before they eventually turn out to be the criminals s he anticipates them to become. S he is very much satisfied with them being taught a lesson in prison with the hopes that they would come out better people than they were sent in.
And now the million dollar question: What is the standard for this sexism?
Interviewer: “Is it sexist for a man to open the door for a wo
man or is it sexist not to open the door for a wo man?”
Cathy: “I think it’s a case by case basis. I think if a wo
man (oh no she didn’t 😱) is offended . . . then yeah it might be the wrong thing to do . . . “
Basically: THERE. IS. NO. STANDARD.
So a man might be unlucky to meet a certain lady who thinks it’s sexist to open the door for her, she gets offended, and he’s thrown in jail.
As if the world doesn’t have enough problems of its own, we have decided to add some more by becoming a bunch of people with no self-control, making up for it by crying like babies over every little thing that seemingly
upsets offends us. And we are selling this idea to the generations coming after us, through the media and every other outlet available. Then we go ahead trying to condemn bullying amongst children when the root of that tree is the same as the one for our ‘offensiveness’. Children who are bullied are mostly those with some form of difference, and the bully is mostly offended by that difference and expresses it by bullying. Yes, we see it happen with children, but that apple didn’t fall from a coconut tree . . .
So do we turn a blind eye to anyone who just plain insults us because of any differences we might have? Are we supposed to become numb to the effects of the very things that cause us pain? Don’t we have the right to be offended?
I remember when I worked offshore on the North Sea as an MWD (measurement while drilling) Engineer. There was a particular Directional Driller who asked me to perform a certain task. After I was done, and for whatever reason, the only thing he could tell me in response was that I was ‘good for nothing’. That had to be offensive. And yes I was offended, even though I never confronted him (and no, I never reported it to HR). Did I know why he said that to me? No! Was he being racist? Was he being sexist? Did he just have a bad day? Does he deserve to go to prison? I guess there lies the problem. The offence could have been birth from virtually anything, so could I really know? Would it then be right to brand him as racist just because he’s white and I’m black; or sexist, because he’s male and I’m fe
male; or a bigot because he didn’t like the way I performed the task; and any other brand that has been coined to encouraged ‘offensive-ism‘? When we become victim, judge and jury over everyone who offends us over the slightest things, we become the problem. Yes, there are people out there who are just out to hurt others, and surely we should protect ourselves from such, but when we become overly sensitive that every little thing offends us and makes us overreact . . . MAYDAY!
One truth about life is that no one can really please everybody. But do we go about nitpicking, finding fault in everything everyone says, making a big deal out of what is actually nothing and fighting the cause of becoming notoriously angry people for really no cause at all?
And at what cost?
If you find that you’re easily offended by anything, especially things that do not even make any logical sense at all (I know you might not see it that way at this point), then most likely there is a deeper problem within yourself that needs to be addressed. And I’m no psychologist or therapist so I cannot diagnose what exactly that is, but I know Someone who can reach deep down into your heart and give it some well-needed peace, all you need to do is ASK.
And if you think you’re doing alright getting offended, why not channel that energy to something more productive, like go pick all the litter on your street, or volunteer to wash your neighbour’s car, or just go to bed.
This world doesn’t need any more offended people, quota’s full!