"I'm offended by that!"
"These are butt hurt comments!"
"That message is offensive to us!"
"We need to stop being so politically correct!"
"You don't get to decide what's offensive!"
"People are too sensitive!"
These phrases are the rally cries of the ongoing war that has been waged on the battle field of the internet for a few decades now. You have the offending, the offended, and everyone else with their opinion of who's allegedly "righter" or "wronger" than the other. We all but can't help ourselves now when it comes to the topic of what is or isn't offensive these days because rather than two people or a few people being able to deal with a small situation, someone has to post in on social media and get every single human being on planet earth involved often times creating more chaos than was ever necessary, because f--k you, that's why!
So let's talk about it.
So You're Offended...
Eleven years ago Donald Trump referenced grabbing a woman by the (redacted) and various other rapey style comments and since you had to hear this over your morning coffee while braiding little Susie's hair, you are offended and you're pretty sure your super highly intelligent two year old who was of course able to understand what was going on as well, was equally offended what with her tossing her Cheerios about like that! And you should be! The news you watch is generally so wholesome what with all of the first five minutes of coverage being of one minority group shooting at another, or the drunk drivers who smashed into and decapitated the group of school kids, or the Syrian refugees being gassed in their own homes, but never you mind, let's get back to being offended by what really matters in this world; the foul misdeeds of one orange hued Popsicle of a man.
Don't mind my shmarminess. I'm not discrediting your offense. You have the right to be offended like water has a right to be wet. All of this...is offensive to someone somewhere. Let's be real about this for a second. Being offended gets s--t done. You call attention to situations that other people want to skip right over and pretend don't exist. Sexism, racism, homophobia, war, pain, suffering, neglect...Crocs. All of that. You need you to be offended by all of it. You provide some checks and balances to a lot of the apathy we have in the world by people who often fail to see that anything can be offensive or damaging to someone else because it isn't happening to them personally. It's easy for them to say you're butt hurt or being politically correct because to them, they truly believe in the darkened patches where their hearts used to be, that everything is fair game, well you know, up until the moment you involve their mothers. Now...now you're crossing the line. When mom starts crying, it's game over and they realize that maybe there is a limit that exists out there.
Now before you pat a hole into your back for being who you think are the sole champions of what's good and right and holy in the universe, let's not get ahead of ourselves here. Just because you are offended by something, doesn't necessarily mean something is actually offensive. Sometimes (a lot of times) you see the bait clickable posts and pictures of someone claiming something is offensive and before you even read or try to understand what's going on, you're crying foul. You, yeah, you...you're messing with the whole entire system of checks and balances by not even being able to see that you need to check your own balance from time to time. You also can't be offended for someone who is not offended by some offending action to you.
Offense is a personal matter. You know when you're triggered and when you're not but it's not a psychic connection, okay. You're not Professor X. All you can do is state your case and hope it sticks. The good news is, some times, you'll be right, and you'll get that group of Cheetoh puff eating laptop basement dwellers to agree with you, no problem, and you'll make America great again, or be stronger together, or whatever slogan from you have no ideawhereyougotisville pops into your head, but if you're offended everyday by everything and you leave no room for reason and logic and FACTS to be a part of your offensive Richter scale, than that's a problem. No offense.
So You're Not offended...
Wait, wait, wait, let me guess. No, I said, let me guuuueeeeessssss! Don't tell me! Oooo, oooo, oooo! It's like right there, right on the tip of my reptilian tongue. You're about to quote something called the...oh, yup, that took two seconds, there it is: "The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble, or prohibiting..."
Sorry, I fell asleep there for a moment. By God....and "by God"...you also mean that you have a right to use his, her, it's name in free speech...you are a card carrying member of these here United States of America (or wherever else, I forgot for a moment GaG is global...#differentrulesapply) and in turn, you have a right to say what you God d--m well please! (I'm censoring for my offended folks of course, but you f--king get it).
If you had a quarter for every offensive thing you said and did by someone elses account, you'd be that rich a-hole bank exec from Wells Fargo making your peasant slave employees get enough fake accounts so you could build your fifth home on some island with actual natives! But listen, you're putting your foot down. You refuse to be responsible for how everyone else feels and thinks about what you do and how offensive it allegedly all is. You're human. You're flawed. You say dumb s--t! So what? Your defense will always be...that we all do it. And you're right. Some of us just apparently do it better than others and we don't get caught. The world you want to live in is one where people don't take things so seriously all the time. A world where a person can be forgiven for their actions and not made to suffer for the rest of their lives over a few words. A world where a joke, is just a joke. Can we all just make that world happen you stupid cun...
Woah, woah, woah! Free speech is totally awesome, but free speech has never truly been free. There are consequences for what you say sometimes even if you don't believe there should be. Just try telling your girlfriend she's a fat cow on her birthday or your boyfriend, that your last boyfriend was a better lover...in the middle of having sex with him. How's that working out for you? Free speech, if anything, is a rather complicated ball of tangled Christmas lights. Just like those offendable offendees are offended by seemingly everything in your mind, it doesn't mean they are always wrong.
Sometimes you can't see the offense, phobia, or ism because you can't or don't want to see it. To see it may mean to acknowledge some horrible dark truth about yourself that years of therapy have yet to unearth so it's easier to tell some one, they need to get over it. Like the offendables...not to be confused with the lovable group of aged and once forgotten action celebs of the Expendables, you've got to employ some checks and balances and realize that for every thousand somethings that are supposedly offensive, a few actually are offensive and action does need to be taken against it or that person responsible for it.