Why Is Being Offended So Offensive?

I just read an interesting piece (by the ever interesting Kate of Eat The Damn Cake) and it got me thinking.

Someone says something rude or insensitive and a person is hurt. God forbid. They didn’t laugh like everyone else, they didn’t shrug it off, they were offended.

Which then seems to offend others. Hmph! Jane can’t take a joke! Jimmy can’t hear racist humor without cringing…can you say DRAAAAMA QUEEN?! I barely mentioned her weight and she got moody!

Whaaat? Aren’t we all still allowed to be sensitive? Don’t we have a right to our own feelings- which I would like to point out, aren’t always immediately controllable. Even more, should we have to control our reactions/feelings for others sake.

Like I can’t take offense or I might offend others. Wouldn’t want anyone to think I’m being a wimp. You know, a girl with emotions. Ew.

Why is a demonstration of vulnerability or sensitivity so upsetting for people to witness?

In a time when lots of whats funniest is just mean shit said in a hilarious fashion, no one wants to be the prude who just. can’t. laugh. No, we all use our sense of humor like a shield, deflecting those comments that hit so close with a sparkling laugh.

I think maybe its all very instinctual. Very primal. Maybe it goes back to the logical thought that if you have a weakness- best keep it to yourself. Weakness is dangerous. If people know we’re sensitive to a subject they know how to get under our skin.

And on the opposite end…when we see weakness we pounce. A bit of respect is lost. We try to be the dominate one when we see our opening.

I think its time to rethink titles like weak or offended or funny. Offended is not always too sensitive. Sometimes weak is NOT saying anything. And funny….well often times it isn’t really.

Still, I personally can’t decide which is harder to watch; a crowd of people laughing off horrible things or the random person who isn’t capable of hiding their emotion…and speaks up.


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