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Are we too easily offended?

You’d be forgiven for concluding that it is fashionable to be offended. Most days when you switch on the morning news there is yet another story hitting the headlines that is sparking outrage.

Of course there are some stories that do offend. I was recently offended when Tony Abbott, the Opposition Leader had said, ‘Shit Happens’ with regards to the death of a soldier in Afghanistan. It’s a ridiculous statement when you have grieving families. I thought the guy lacks emotional intelligence. I can understand how his words could sting a grief striken family. Yes shit DOES happen Tony but this kind of shit shouldn’t be happening! But the unjust war deserves a separate post…

However a lot of the time the political correctness police irritate me immensely. There are times when contention is no doubt valid but there are a lot of times when political correctness has become tyranny with manners. It becomes a witch hunt. We seem determined to squeeze a public apology out of the person. Sometimes I wonder if we’d be happier if we could tie them to a pole and throw tomatoes at their face all day long. Perhaps it is the human condition to be offended, react and then take pleasure in seeing the person suffer. Perhaps it goes back to ancient times? It maybe makes us feel superior and better about our own faults.

In some pockets of society we have an inability to tolerate difference. Being offended is a clever smokescreen to hide behind fear. These ‘offended’ people refuse to tolerate differences in life style choices, differences in opinions, odd quirks and different choices. This generally means these people are offended because they don’t like/understand/relate to the offender. Perhaps people should take a big step back, look at the bigger picture.

A large part of me feels we should be offended about the important issue’s. I really don’t care if a superstar says a silly thing, a famous person goes on a 3 day drinking marathon or another person in the public eye has an affair. People will always make stupid choices in life and they will always make mistakes. That’s humans for you. No one is immune to saying and doing incredibly dumb things. I do care about the big issues though. Surely we should be upset and offended that right now as we sit at our computer, sipping on yet another cup of warm tea, digging into the biscuit tin – a child has just died of starvation. George Bush is playing golf and admiring the view whilst a young person has died in a war he demanded. Young girls and women are being trafficked out of their home country, their bodies sold for another beings sexual pleasures. That’s offensive.

Ask yourself, do we need to seek more tolerance of each other? Do we need to back off big time and mind our own business? Are we just too touchy these days? Or are we right to be offended about certain issue’s? Certainly we need to be offended enough for us to make a positive difference and actually take action about the serious problems we face in the world today.

Tell me what you find offensive. Tell me what you think. Your opinion counts. You have a voice.


About Alana Munro

Writer. Mama to three, wife to one. Red wine consumer.


2 thoughts on “Are we too easily offended?

  1. Good article, it seems large sections of society are almost waiting there with bated breath to react to some non offencive statement or action of an individual or group. What exactly is being offended?……..its not something that physically hurts a person does it actually damage someone mentally when they are offended. Being offended or mock offended as it should be known in many cases really is more fashionable than ever. The gutter press have a hand in perpetuating this type of thinking by writing articles about different religious groups offending one another this then filters down into many aspects of life. Recently I watched a comedian who apparently offended his audience by telling gags that were a bit close to the bone i.e. dark humour, the people who were there watching would be well aware of his reputation and style before attending the show yet some chose to be offended by certain aspects of his gig. This then makes headline news because Mrs Goggins of Moonee Ponds thinks the use of the word Fuck in a stand-up comedy gig is an offencive term. Don’t watch him then where does the likes of Mrs Goggins find the time to be offended and then the additional time to write to the paper or phone the radio station to complain. Hopefully I haven’t offended any delicate souls.

    Posted by Zoe | February 9, 2011, 6:38 pm

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