I’ve been noticing a hilarious (to me) trend of people who aren’t offended by anything becoming offended by everything. Everyone finds something offensive that other people are okay with, and (I might get myself into trouble for saying this) for the most part that is okay. I mean, I think in any case there are certain lines that you should never cross, particularly when a slur comes out. But I’m someone who does enjoy some dark, questionable, and sometimes pretty offensive humor. And I think that’s okay because I have lines that I won’t cross and there are things that I do find offensive.
So what makes something offensive? I think it comes from your own personal experiences. I think that everyone has something that they are offended by and those jokes will offend them. I think that everyone is different and there comes a point where there are certain things that you just need to respect. There are some dark jokes that I love that I would never say in front of some people, because I respect their right to be offended by that joke. Just because I find it funny, that doesn’t mean I should assume that everyone else does. It’s called “respecting the line”. And I don’t get offended at my “overly sensitive snowflake friends” because they gasp in horror or just tell me “Yeah, that crossed a line.”
There are some things that I find it to be ridiculous to get offended about. For instance, I think it’s ridiculous when people get mad that some people refuse to go purchase something at a store or watch something on television because of their personal beliefs. It’s call “capitalism” and it’s the basis of our economic system. I choose not to purchase food from Chick-fil-A or purchase items from Hobby Lobby because I find their policies and beliefs abhorrent. That’s okay. That’s my right. If you don’t want to purchase from Target because they are pro-pride, that’s your right. We can choose not to support something because of our belief system. It’s not cancellation; it’s capitalism. Then, those same people refuse to purchase items because they believe that organization wronged them somehow. So, the offended by offense are now offended. It’s a vicious cycle, really.
If I said a joke (and the type of jokes I find hilarious are the ones that most groan/wince at but still laugh at because they are both appalled and find it hilarious) and my friend said “You know, I don’t feel comfortable with that joke”, I wouldn’t say, “Tough crap, grow a pair.” I would say “I’m sorry that you felt offended by that”, then just not say a joke like that again. It’s not bowing down to pressure; it’s being a decent-freaking-human being. I understand that my experiences are different from theirs and that while I may not understand why they found it offensive (or even if I do), it’s their right to be offended.
Now, how does social media play in here? See, I find stuff that I think is questionably offensive sometimes on social media and I do this amazing thing where I don’t start a fight. I don’t report the post. I don’t even say a thing. I just scroll on by. Because social media is a place where people don’t tend to have enlightening conversations that allow people to see another point of view. People go there to pick fights and come out the victor in an internet argument, the type of argument when there are really no winners.
So is it offensive? To some people, something is offensive. To others, it’s silly. And that’s okay. Maybe if we listen to each other sometimes, we can learn something new.