On Being Offended

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Rome collapsed because the pipes used to transport water within the cities were made out of lead. The elite who could afford piped water ingested huge quantities of lead, and their brains rotted.

Okay, I know this is a vast over-simplification, but my point is, there’s a reason why the ancient Romans basically lost it. What reason will future historians have for the intellectual collapse of America? When did this country stop even aspiring to be the land of the free, and become the land of the easily offended?

I’ve been wanting to write a post on the topic of victim thinking in feminism, but Tricia pretty much says it all. When you read it, be sure to watch the video … It’s chilling!

Freedom Through Empowerment

I was having an on line spat recently with a person who was upset that another blogger whose post we were commenting on had used the word “policemen” and she had gone so far as to call him sexist for doing so. I at first assumed she was joking, merely feigning outrage because she was losing her argument with him, but sadly this was not the case.

After chiming in with what I thought was funny fake outrage over her being outraged, I was told in all seriousness that my being a woman does not give me the automatic right to talk about “gender-specific patriarchal language and societal constructs “ because I didn’t understand their meaning. Right. Well someone excelled in their Women’s Study courses I see.

The notion that my gender doesn’t give me instant credibility on what constitutes supposedly oppressive language towards females is preposterous. I’m a woman (not…

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About Belladonna Took

Into my second half-century and still trying to figure out what to be when I grow up. Born South African, naturalized American, at constant risk of losing my balance and landing ass-first in the Atlantic. A wife, a mom, a daughter and sister, kind of a grandma. Until recently a full-time dog rescuer, now more concerned with rescuing myself. User of dog hair as accessory, decor and garnish. Technical writer, strategic thinker, occasional entrepreneur. Voiceless poet and storyteller. Born again Christ-follower and former missionary schoolteacher chewing on some uncomfortable questions. Ignorer of rules, challenger of assumptions, believer in miracles. Skeptical libertarian, equal opportunity despiser of politicians and assholes. Gonnabe gardener, wannabe beekeeper, Monsanto-hating tree-hugger. Morbidly obese chocaholic, with a horse I don't ride because I might break him, and if not he would probably break me.

7 responses »

  1. Amen to these observations !

    I was recently stringently remonstrated by a self-professed “Progressive Liberal” because I referred to black people as ‘Negroes’… Apparently the correct term (this decade) is ‘African-American’… I informed this Progressive that I know ONLY three or four actual African-Americans, one of whom I married… And, as it happens, they are all White. American Blacks are NOT ‘African’… not unless they, personally, came from Africa and became Americans.

    Years ago I decided that words can only hurt if you allow them to do so… Folks need to learn to be not so thin-skinned. As an example, having spent years in South America, I speak Spanish at professional translator level, which causes consternation to many of the Hispanics in our area who see a large, blue-eyed, light-skinned person who is not supposed to speak their language. They use a word “Gabacho” which is Mexican slang intended to be very derogatory towards Whites. I refuse to be offended by it and humorously refer to myself as El Gabacho.

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    • I don’t see any reason not to try to do the PC thang, if I know what it is. Although I do resent calling black South Africans “African”, as that implies I’m not African – which I bloody well am!

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  2. If you can turn a word so it no longer hurts, more power to you–I’ve heard it done and it’s wonderful. But sometimes the hurt’s too great, or the toxic intent behind the word’s too much, or the history behind it still has too much power, or, hell, whatever–the possibilities are endless. The point is, not everyone can do that in all situations at all times, and we have no right to blame them if they don’t. It’s their experience. Their response is theirs.

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    • I think intent is significant. If someone is intentionally trying to hurt me, particularly if it’s someone whose opinion matters, then certainly the hurt becomes something I have to deal with. Also, if someone is aware that I have a preference and deliberately chooses not to respect my preference (I’m thinking, for instance, of the transgender person who wants to be known by certain pronouns), that’s also painful.

      But when some yahoo is ticked off at me because I cut in front of them, or because I don’t share their world view, and they attack by calling me fat, or a bitch, or racist (because I grew up in South Africa), or tell me to go back where I came from … That can be unpleasant, but it doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t say a single thing about who I am – in fact it’s all about who they are.

      I think, though, what this article is talking about is any attempt to force everyone into a single box. “You’re not a feminist unless you believe such and such.” “If you’re a Christian, you by definition believe and do such and such.” All the bullshit over what is and isn’t politically correct language. I think that snares and stifles us all, and I hate it. And I particularly hate when someone tries to squash me into a victim box – because yes, of course I’ve been victimized – who hasn’t? But I choose not to define myself by that experience. I choose not to define myself by the opinions and perceptions of people who want to demean me.

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