A way back Wednesday moment…from 2013
“It’s now very common to hear people say, “I’m rather offended by that”. As if that gives them certain rights. It’s actually nothing more…than a whine. “I find that offensive”. It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. “I am offended by that” Well, so fucking what.” – Stephen Fry
I recently read the above quote on Twitter. It got me thinking about what it’s like to be offended by something someone said or did.
There is going to be a time in one’s life when they are going to be the offender, and there will be a time when they are the offended. There is no way of avoiding that.
I completely disagree with this quote. It is a person’s right to be offended by something they either see, hear, taste, smell, or feel. If a person states they are offended by something that person isn’t “whining”. They are stating their opinion: they are offended by whatever the issue is. They could be offended by hearing you say to them “so fucking what”. People could be offended by looking at the nude photos of a woman who isn’t your wife that they see on your Twitter profile. Women could very easily become offended by you referring to them as “cunts”. Which, by the way, women are not “cunts”—just as much as men aren’t “needle-nose pricks”. We are all human beings and deserve to be treated as such.
People could be offended by your music, your writing, your cooking, your bad breath, your farts. Saying “I find that offensive” has every meaning. I am letting you know my opinion. By saying that I have no right to feel offended by something is like you telling me I have no right to be alive. My saying “I find that offensive” has every reason to be respected as a phrase, just as the phrase of “so fucking what” has every reason to be respected as a phrase.
I know I have offended many in my time and I have the right to offend them as much as they have the right to state that they are offended. As with everything else, in most cases you can avoid being offended by disregarding the situation (except in some instances—if you’re locked in a room with someone with a bad case of gas, good luck).
When it comes to being offensive, maybe we need to start thinking about how our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children, co-workers, bosses, would feel about what we are going to say/do/eat, etc. before considering doing it. Also, we need to ask ourselves if we would be offended by the issue. If we need to think about it, we probably would be offended.
It seems to me that the person who has a problem with people being “offended” is really the one who is “offended”. After all, if they weren’t so bothered by the phrase “I find that offensive”, they wouldn’t have a need to say anything, now would they? If they don’t like me being offended by their offensive ways, then “so fucking what”.