Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Should I Be Offended?

I have run into this problem a lot during Self Improvement Summer. When someone says something mildly offensive, I'm never sure if I should call them out on it or not, because everyone will get annoyed, but they're being ignorant, and I want to enlighten them.

Examples of things that are offensive:
  • Sexism
  • Racism
  • Transphobia
  • Homophobia
  • Biphobia
  • Any other sexuality or gender phobia
  • Prejudices
  • Stereotypes
  • Judgements
  • Gossiping, especially about someone you know
  • Generalizations
  • Ignorance (This could be taken many ways. Examples of offensive ignorant things:
    • Insulting a band they've never listened to.
    • Disliking a food they've never tried.
    • Giving advice on something they know nothing about.
    • Making an argument without checking their facts.)
Examples of things that are NOT offensive:
  • Insulting your favorite band. "Have you ever heard of Cage the Elephant? Their music sucks! It's so unoriginal." Instead of, "Cage the Elephant is my favorite band! How could you?! I don't think we can be friends. Also I'm blocking you on Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest and Myspace. And Quizlet," I would suggest "Really? I love their music! I find it very original. Did you know that for their Melophobia album, they distanced themselves from the influence of other music? 'Melophobia' actually means 'the fear of music.'" (sorry, I got a little carried away there with Cage the Elephant.)
  • Insulting your outfit. "Oh my god, Becky. What are you wearing?" "It's my favorite outfit. If you don't like it, shove it."
  • Insulting you personally.
Examples of situations where you should/shouldn't call people out on something that's offensive:
  • Anything that sounds like a light-hearted joke and isn't very offensive: let it go.
  • Anything that sounds like a joke with a bit of sincerity: call them out on it.
  • Anything that's actually offensive: call them out on it, but be respectful. Instead of saying, "WHAT HOW COULD YOU POSSIBLY SAY THAT?!? OMG THAT WAS SO SEXIST YOU PIECE OF SHIT," say, "That sounded a bit sexist. Do you mean to say [insert less sexist way of saying what they just said]?" People hate being wrong, so don't make it look like you're correcting them. Make it look like you're tweaking or adding onto what they said.
Basically, the main guideline is: if people will get annoyed at you for being offended, don't call someone out on saying something offensive. If people will agree with you for being offended, call them out on it for the greater good and so that they don't offend anyone else. This post may not have been that helpful to you. I apologize. I mostly wrote it for myself, to help me learn when to and not to get offended.

No comments:

Post a Comment