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.
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.
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.