Who’s Easily Offended?

You are just easily offended.

When did this get to be a legitimate “get out of an argument” card?

The more I am in this writing and blogging world, the more I am making comments on other sites.  The more logical points I make, the more I am being tagged as easily offended.

Sometimes, all I have to do is post two sentences.  I can give you a recent example of this trend.  Every so often I read the blogs on ScaryMommy.com and found one citing reasons why you “should” have a second baby.  Yes, that was the word that was used in the title.  And I am only citing this article out of blog etiquette. It’s not worth reading. Trust me. Regardless, the author had the tone like she was an authority, and having a second child was exactly like trying a holiday in Ibiza or taking up Zumba.  I shared my thoughts, and two people named “s” and “Jennifer” shared theirs.

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 1.21.39 PM

Ladies and gentlemen, proof that we are still in high school no matter what age we are.  Did these two expect me to don black, curl up in the corner, and start playing my Cure cassettes again? Well, if we were in high school, I would have been tempted to put their panties up their cracks via an atomic wedgie. I must say, it’s nice to mellow with age and be on the other side of a monitor. Anyway, if you do go into the comments, I did gain some allies, but I really didn’t lose sleep over this exchange. After all, I wasn’t offended.

I am more like this when idiocy happens.
I am more like this when things go off the rail.

Annoyance is a better word to describe my feelings. All of these accusations of being thin-skinned is just another argument tactic to put the opposing party on the defensive without adding anything to the discussion. This is the equivalent of having a temper tantrum and yelling or just dismissing someone’s ideas as being “liberal” or “conservative” without taking in anyone’s points.  And as much fun as it is to call people on their weak tactics, it gets old because you want actual productive discussions with intelligent, mature people.

And we hear this all the time.  People are crybabies.  People are whiners.  People just complain and never do anything.  Our friends bitch about their kids.  Our siblings complain about their jobs.  Our parents bang on about whoever is running the government at the moment.  On top of it, I get that we are living in a hypersensitive age where there are plenty of talking heads out there shoving their opinions down our throats at every turn.  And we blow off steam too.  Glass houses and all that.  Sometimes free speech can be overrated.  Maybe we are too quick to take offense over every little thing.

I am wondering if we are just on such information overload that we are not picking up on the subtle nuances of language anymore.  Maybe we are at the point where some of us cannot filter out who is making the salient points and who is just complaining to complain.  In the blog post that I mentioned above, Those Who Gave Me Shit may not have picked up the author’s tone in her blog post for many reasons.  That I am able to understand.

When I talked to the Boffin about this, he had a different take on it.  He said the people who also deploy this tactic are the Hyacinth Buckets of the world.  If you are not familiar with the character, she is the protagonist of the British sitcom, Keeping Up Appearances.  Hyacinth is solidly middle class but aspires to be upper class.  She pronounces her last name as Bouquet.  She obsesses over her china and longs to get invites to the local elite’s parties.  But the worst thing about her is her tendency to railroad everyone around her to get them to do her bidding.  She is a bully to the core.  And the Internet is full of people like her who cannot empathize with others.  What works for me has to work for everyone else.  He certainly makes a case there.

However, that does not justify jumping out and playing the “you are butthurt” strategy.  Defend your own viewpoint.  Poke holes in the other’s person’s argument, but don’t poke holes in the other person.  If you are going to put in the effort to type, put in the effort to think too.

18 thoughts on “Who’s Easily Offended?

  1. I find that few are interested in discussion any more. Everyone talks in sound bites and posts memes on Facebook. If you offer an opposing view or even question the meme/sound bite’s validity, you are opening yourself up to personal attack. It is very discouraging. But, you know, if used properly, that line about pointing out the bathroom to get panties out of a bunch could be a good one. (looking for a bathroom sometimes myself)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aren’t we all looking for a bathroom sometimes? 🙂 Well, there are plenty of people looking for a discussion, but it is exhausting having to weed through the glurge and the sound bites to find the safe places to hash out issues.

      I found that WordPress and other blogging communities are providing safer places because we can see where people are putting in the time to write out their thoughts and who is more tolerant than others. It makes the weeding process less painful.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. When you make a thoughtful comment, as you did, and somebody comes back with a dumbass wisecrack that’s seconded by a dumber wiseass, it’s time to put the host blogger on double secret probation, Karen. If they let crap like that go on without interjection about allowing discourse to other opinions while otherwise offering their huzzahs to those who’ve commented in favor of their original take, you know it’s a stinker of a site and time to move on.

    Thank you for providing a BloggyVille address that makes me suss out where I stand sometimes. Even if I did misrepresent the Boffin’s name in my reaction to that one column. (Red-faced, still.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are right, Mark. The blogger was nowhere to be seen, and the commenters were left to duke it out.

      Thank you for the kind compliment, and please don’t feel red-faced. Like I said, it is an obscure Britishism. I am due for a second round of British Words that Should Be Used over Here. Need to drag out my notes and get on it. You, meanwhile, enjoy the Cape.

      Like

  3. The comment that you’re easily offended makes me want to keep a comeback up my sleeve–something along the lines of Well, you do make it easy.

    It all seems to be part of a trend where people think they get to tell other people what couldn’t possibly have offended them. In other words, I get to say what I want and you get to put up with it, because I know I’m not offensive. It’s closed-loop thinking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is a good line. I can keep it in my arsenal.

      I find telling the truth also works too. No, I am making a valid point. You are just accusing me of being offended to put me on the defensive. Not happening. Now where was I?

      If they want to argue over whether I am offended, game over. They distracted themselves.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “The Bouquet residence! Lady of the house speaking!”

    Yes I’m familiar!

    To your point, I have noticed this phenomenon as well. I keep telling myself it’s more trouble than it’s worth to wade in but often I can’t stop myself:

    A: (Something ridiculous)

    Athena: That’s wrong because we know X and Y are true, therefore what you said cannot possibly be true.

    A: Well if you’re so offended it must be because the truth hurts!

    Yeah, okay. I guess I must take some small comfort in the fact that the conversation remains for any fair-minded person to peruse.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s what I tell myself too. The evidence is right there to see who is making the balanced argument.

      I don’t know about you, but 80% of my brain tells me it’s a waste of my effort to jump in, but that 20% tells me that I cannot let idiocy stand. Sometimes that 20% wins. Then I end up in some sort of quixotic battle.

      I never learn.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the compliment, Elyse.

      I wouldn’t go as far as saying nobody. I think people are craving real conversation, but I also think people are afraid to try because the blowhards are shouting over the moderates. Maybe we need a radical moderate movement. Hard-ass diplomats who will say, “Sit the fuck down, and let’s work this out.”

      Liked by 1 person

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