What does it mean to be offended?
There is a lot of talk going around right now about things, people, ideas, dogs, cats, and gorillas (not me the other guy…RIP Harambe) that are offensive. Some will say you don’t have the right to be offended and suck it up buttercup! Others will say that constant offense is akin to harassment and harassment is akin to harm.
I am not here to settle that debate. What I want to know is what does it mean to be offended or offensive?
Let’s start at the basics.
I think the definition says a lot…
causing someone to feel deeply hurt, upset, or angry.
actively aggressive; attacking.
That sums it up right there. Hurting someone’s feelings or attacking them.
There is a world of debate between those two definitions.
First we need to recognize that there two definitions and that they are equally valid.
What we as rational people need to do is to be able to determine which one an act is.
If you feelings are hurt you need a hug, a kick in the ass, or a solid look in the mirror. You do not need a law, a safe space, someone to get fired, or a media frenzy.
If you are attacked you need help, you need to be heard, or you need things to change. You do not need to be marginalized, forgotten, told you are overreacting, or made to feel bad for being the victim.
You need to be honest with yourself and figure out which you’ve experienced.
Realize that if you react wrong you are harming others.
If you are attacked/offended and brush it off you are letting someone get away with it and they will do it again to someone else and you are going to have to bear that.
If you have your feelings hurt and lose your mind and start acting hysterical you harden your listening audience to the needs of those truly attacked. If you don’t shake it off, suck it up, and move on you can become an obstacle to those that have been truly attacked.
You need to decide for yourself.