Respect through Offense
I adhere to the concept of respect through offense. Now, to explain this idea, I am going to paint a picture for you. Imagine a Christian is walking by and sees a gay couple on the street. Now, the Christian and the gay couple give each other a nice long stair. Neither likes what they see. The Christian has a big King James Bible, and the gay couple have cut off shorts with the pockets going past where the jeans have been cut off.
Now, arguably we’re all offended by the cut off jeans, but let us move one. Who is at fault here? The Christian or the gay couple? My vote, neither is guilty. They both offended each other and both deserve to be offended. Offense is not a crime. Not only is offense not a crime, it is a sign of respect.
When you self censor yourself or allow others to make you do that,
out of fear of offending someone else because “they’re weaker
brothers” or such like, You are asserting yourself over them as their
betters or superior. Hiding your opinions from them because you don’t believe they can’t take it.
Instead, people should expect to be offended now and again. When you respect a person enough to give them your actual opinion, offensiveness and all, you’re giving them a compliment. They may even learn something or have their views broadened.
PC or Opie & Anthony
People can be insensitive, they can forget to think about everyone else in a room and say something rude. There are two ways we can deal with this, either we say nothing which could potentially offend someone (Which is everything) or we expect ourselves to grow up.
Now, I am not talking about going up to people and trying to make them cry. There is a definitive difference between offending someone and harming them.
Harm Versus Offense
To harm someone with your words is to use a connection that bypasses a person’s defenses and hurts them personally. To offend someone is to say something that agitates them. If a person starts a fight over something said, that is offense and not harm. The distinction between the two is when there is a known emotional hurt or vulnerability for a given topic or issue. Harm is done when someone deliberately hits on those topics to cause emotional distress and pain in another person.
Now, let us say a person is lording over a rape victim, making jokes about it, such a person is not just being offensive. He or she is inflicting actual, emotional harm. While there is no law against such behavior per se, it would take a special kind of piece of crap to do that. Anyone and everyone would and should be completely justified in not speaking to such a person.
The other issues to consider is when someone takes offense on someone else’s behalf.
Taking on other people’s offenses is a terrible breach of
communication. To be offended on another person’s behalf is
detrimental because there are no limits on what that person may do, especially if the victim is a hypothetical. If someone in the room is not being harmed, there is no foul.
This idea is not a full expression or guide for social behavior. There are times when being confrontational or offensive are neither beneficial, kind, nor constructive. Not everyone is well suited to being offensive either, some folks are just too darn nice!
That said, people do need to try and grow up a little.