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  1. Moth
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    Moth Active Member

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    I'm Offended!

    Discussion in 'Debate Room' started by Moth, Dec 2, 2015.

    I'm not really. If anything, I'm tired of people on the internet getting offended over the smallest things.

    Take the recent drama over an OCD sweater (Link). One silly little slogan, "Obsessive Christmas Disorder", and people are boycotting and petitioning to have it removed from sale.

    Am I the only one who thinks that's really stupid?

    And not only is it stupid, it actually does more harm than good to whatever cause these easily-offended people claim to be supporting. Most people with OCD don't give a rats ass about some silly sweater; either they'll think it's dumb and and continue shopping without another thought, or they'll think it's actually cute and funny and might decide to buy it because it's lighthearted and unserious.

    Most people with mental illness just want to get on with their lives, they don't want to be painted as victims at every turn - which is exactly what these people are doing.

    What is it with people and wanting to be offended, wanting to be the victims?

    Don't even get me started on Tumblr!

    Mental illness is an issue. Trust me, of all people to know what living with mental disorders is like. And yes, people should raise awareness and fight stigmas and help people with mental illnesses and all that.

    But this isn't helping anyone. It's just making people who actually fight for mental health awareness look like whiny idiots.

    And this is just one thing that people have chosen to get offended about recently. I'm sure everyone reading this can think of many times where people have gotten offended over nothings and non-issues.

    Anyone else sick of this online culture of self-victimization, or is it just me?
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    There's no debate here, you are absolutely right. :p This kind of PC is waay over the line.
     
  3. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm offended by this post.




    :supercheeky:
     
  4. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    In light of the holiday season:

    Do you remember when a feminist group in NZ (or was it Australia?) demanded to change Santa's "Ho ho ho!" because its offensive to women?
     
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  5. Bookster
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    Bookster Banned

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    Earlier this year, a woman tried to gin up some outrage over t-shirts which said, "Sun's Out, Guns Out" on the grounds they glamorized firearm violence. Even after the fact that biceps are often referred to as 'guns' was explained to her, she doubled down on her stupidity and continued to whine. People like this have some sad need for attention, I think, and feigning outrage is one way to get it.
     
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  6. NobodySpecial
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    NobodySpecial Active Member

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    Do you remember the J.C.Penny billboard drama? The billboard advertised a white and black tea kettle, some group decided the kettle looked a bit too much like Hitler and demanded the advertisement be removed.
     
  7. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    @NobodySpecial
    I don't remember that.
    Remember the JC Penny controversy over a gay couple with a kid advertisement?
     
  8. NobodySpecial
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    NobodySpecial Active Member

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  9. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    I guess I do see Hitler now that it's mentioned...
     
  10. outsider
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    outsider Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm offended by the abundance of whiny, uber-sensitive, anally retentive, pseudo-liberal bastards in first world society today.
    Genuinely.
     
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  11. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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  12. Bookster
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    Bookster Banned

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    There was also an uproar over a Cheerios TV commercial which depicted a bi-racial couple that forced General Mills to shut down the comments section of their website, but that was a case of outright bigotry, rather than the political correctness we've been discussing. I'd guess the JCP thing was the same.
     
  13. NobodySpecial
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    NobodySpecial Active Member

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    Not necessarily just PC run amok, but the tendency of some people to go out of their way to find something to be upset about.
     
  14. BrianIff
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    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

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  15. Adenosine Triphosphate
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    Adenosine Triphosphate Old Scratch Contributor

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    That shirt is the OCD analog of making a minor joke about a particular culture or racial group. I don't think this sort of global reactivity is very useful, but it's a fairly easily result of trying to apply sensitivity across the board instead of restricting it to your own social tribe. In some ways, it's a mirror image of traditional bullying, which puts both on roughly the same moral level.

    With that in mind, can anyone here propose a coherent, non-contradictory method of judging speech that avoids both the extremes of "be offended by everything all the time" and "anyone who has feelings is a fucking pussy"? I'm speaking on a philosophical level, not a legal one.
     
  16. Ben414
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    Ben414 Contributing Member Contributor

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    As much as I find annoying people who get offended by everything, I still find them less annoying than the people who use them as an excuse to say we should be able to say whatever we want about other people and other people have no right to take offense. If I had to choose one or the other, I'd take the former every time (although I'd rather choose neither).

    IMO a large part of it has to do with the intended connotation. For example, calling someone a "retard" or "fag" is supposed to be offensive toward someone, implying that there is something wrong with that group that deserves ridicule. Saying you have Obsessive Christmas Disorder is not supposed to be offensive; it's a stupid pun that sells t-shirts at Kohls for $10 with $1 of every purchase going to the Salvation Army.

    The consequence of this is that we can't judge it based solely on the text. Not only the context within the specific group communicating, but also the context within broader society. Even if a group of people communicating with each other don't intend for the connotation, if everyone who hears them will interpret that connotation then that has to be part of the evaluation.

    That's just the negative part of it, which has to weighed against the benefits. Because the benefits are so small (they could use other terms that won't produce this effect without any appreciable difference in the benefits gained from the communication), the negatives often--but clearly not always--outweigh the benefits.

    All of this is in generalities without explicit weights, but it's a generalized process of how I make these decisions. In situations like this, I don't personally see any reason to take offense and I think very few people would. But in other situations such as the usage of "retard," "fag," "pussy," etc., it doesn't take much to change my speech slightly and there's legitimate reasons/widespread occurrences of negative connotations, so why wouldn't one change their speech unless they're being overly dogmatic and/or narcissistic?

    EDIT: Oops, forgot to talk about the making light of something serious portion of the evaluation that could add to the potential negatives and is especially relevant to this situation.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2015
  17. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Is this honestly a thread where we're supposed to post about being offended when other people are offended too easily?

    I know, you're not using the words I'm offended. But that's the meaning behind the statements, right? You're objecting to someone else saying that they object to something.

    At some point, it just gets really, really circular.
     
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  18. Adenosine Triphosphate
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    Adenosine Triphosphate Old Scratch Contributor

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    Like politics.
     
  19. BrianIff
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    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

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    Whoa, whoa, whoa...did you just step into the third order of the offence chain? Just kidding.

    I think it's kinda nice to have a thread like this, maybe not as a permanent hey-guess-what-I-found-guys thread, but a forum to frankly discuss what's legit and what isn't out there. Personally, I ate, slept, and breathed progress for years and if I could go back in time I'd do things differently. Not saying it doesn't represent my views, but there's a lot of paranoia out there about causing offence, and other people who genuinely want to be an agent for positive change, but whatever their environment, they can get a second opinion here.
     
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  20. Erik-the-Enchanter!
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    Erik-the-Enchanter! Contributing Member

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    I do think sometimes people get upset over small things that don't really need to be fussed about...but I also think there are a lot of people who try to shut down other people's opinions by saying "they're just being too sensitive". For instance, in high school our principal told us guys couldn't dress up like girls for Halloween...and I honestly didn't have a problem with it, and I was one of the three or four openly gay kids at my school, and the other ones didn't really care either, so I don't understand why our heterosexual principal was so concerned about it. I could have been wrong, and correct me if I am, but I really didn't see problem with the jocks dressing like cheerleaders, I thought it would be funny and a little kinky, lol.

    But then there's instances like when someone stole a skateboard from the skateboard club afterschool. For a couple months, this white skateboard guy named Jeff came after school with a bunch of expensive skateboards and let people ride them and taught them how to do cool tricks. He also had a black assistant named Cody (who my best friend Rhonda had a major crush on), and Cody was the best skateboarder I've ever seen. One day, Jeff found that someone had taken a skateboard. Jeff was royally pissed and paced up and down the PE yard yelling at random kids asking if they took the skateboard and then he started shouting racial slurs, like "black monkeys" and "wetbacks" and stuff like that.

    It turned out, Cody was the one who had taken the skateboard and he had gone down the street to Taco Bell...and he came right back with it. But the damage was done and Jeff was asked not to come back anymore. I was upset that Jeff had called young teens those horrible words, but I was mainly upset that he had ruined Rhonda's chance of hooking up with Cody, since Cody stopped coming back when Jeff was fired. But when I was expressing to Rhonda how mad I was about the whole situation in class, the white teacher tells me that I'm "overly sensitive" and that I should get a thicker skin.

    What kind of teacher tells a student that he or she shouldn't be upset that an adult called them racial slurs? I mean, really? So that's the flip side to this whole thing, that some people take the "oversensitive" thing too far and just use it to belittle the causes of other people or racial groups.
     
  21. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've always felt that Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is quite an offensive diagnosis for those who suffer from it...after all, Disorder is anathema to them.

    To the OP, my daughter has a T-shirt with the slogan that "The voices in my head sing opera". She did, however, think that it would be best not to wear it to her job in a high-security mental institute, where she was dealing with murderers, rapists, etc.
     
  22. NigeTheHat
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    NigeTheHat Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think there's a difference between finding something offensive and finding something stupid. Besides which, I think the OP's more about the reasons for being offended, rather than the offence itself.
     
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  23. SilentDreamer
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    Oh....please tell me it was Australia!! It was probably us,...(I'm a New Zealander...) but still please tell me it was Australia...hehe
     
  24. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I write for an international feminist webzine and a while back someone wrote a letter to us saying that the "Campus Cutie" series has an offensive title ("cutie" is offensive) because it objectifies women (not men, of course, who are also interviewed for the series every week) or something. That's when I'm totally ok being a hyporcrite and objecting to this person hypersensitivity -- although, I guess I shouldn't say I'm offended by that kind of attitude. It's not like my feelings are hurt or I'm worried her attitude will hurt other people's feelings, so I don't think our reactions are actually equivalent. Anyway, our editorial team luckily agreed there's no need to take action because the line has to be drawn somewhere, but I guess it could've gone the other way too if I had been surrounded by the kind of people who take offence at the name. But then I would quit writing for them because I also have to draw the line somewhere.

    This war against offense creates an atmosphere of fear, imo. People have lost their careers and reputation because they made the wrong kind of joke, disagreed with ("harassed") the wrong person, wore the wrong kind of shirt on TV, blurted a racist slur in the privacy of their home... But sooner or later it will turn against those who wage this war when they fail to practice what they preach, which is no surprise 'cause the line to toe is perilously narrow. I find this hardliner crowd is like the snake that keeps swallowing its own tail.
     
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  25. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think you mean "the line to tread"...toeing the line is an old bare-knuckle fighting term, referring to the requirement for the opponents to "toe the line" (place their toes against a line drawn in the centre of the ring) prior to pummelling the living daylights out of each other. In that context, the thickness of the line is irrelevant - unless it be a yard thick so neither fighter has long enough arms to reach his opponent!
     
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