Can You Have it Both Ways?

I’m annoyed. I’m annoyed by people who are easily offended.
Recently, I’ve been the offender. Twice, actually.

One of those times I shared a meme on Facebook. I didn’t write it and I didn’t draw it. I read it, I laughed, I shared. And in doing so, I offended someone. Lots of my friends also saw the humour in the meme, but one person was offended and ruin it for the rest of us.

I’m told I’m entitled to my thoughts. Thank goodness. I think that’s fair.

And then I’m told my thoughts are mean spirited and offensive. So think what you want, enjoy your freedom of speech, and then suffer the consequences when you dare to say what you want.

 

Halloween Haters Unite

The other day, my mother-in-law was telling me about how some people in their apartment building were complaining about the Halloween decorations in the apartment entrance. Let me rephrase that. They weren’t necessarily complaining. They were slipping anonymous notes about their abhorrence of the Halloween decorations under the caretaker’s door.

I had seen the decorations when we had been there a couple a week ago. I had noticed them but I hadn’t taken any particular notice to them. To me, they were not particularly offensive or in bad taste. However, my opinions were obviously not shared by the older tenants of the building. I’ve seen my fair share of distasteful, offensive Halloween decorations. But I don’t make a point of complaining to the home owner about it. Or leaving anonymous letters in their mailboxes.

Not only had they complained long and hard about the Halloween decorations, but one woman had had the audacity to tell the caretaker she “stunk.” Apparently, the lady had been approaching the caretaker in the hallway, raised her jacket to cover her nose, and made a rude comment about her scent.

I was shocked. I know adulting is hard. I’m 40 years old. I’ve technically been an adult for over half of my life.

But I thought people in their 60s had perfected the adult thing at their age. Maybe she was only 59 years old. Perhaps she hadn’t reached the magic age of maturity.

 

Facebook Fights

Yesterday, I was procrastinating by hanging out on Facebook. I went into a group I’d recently joined and read some of the posts. The leader had posted an explanation, apologizing for the many emails that had recently gone out. Part of it was a technological glitch, the other part was advertising for a program she had launched.

I understood. I’ve tried my hand at launching online courses and I’ve sent sales emails. Not multiple emails a day, mind you, cause that’s not my style. I’m not an in-your-face kind of salesperson. I’m not a salesperson, period. But kudos to the brave salespeople out there trying to make a living.

The next post I read, someone had taken the liberty of expressing her disdain for all of the emails she had received from the group leader. Several other people echoed her words in the comments, saying how it caused them so much anxiety to read each and every email. And I’m sitting and thinking, “Have you ever heard of the delete or unsubscribe button?” A small argument erupted, some of which I was a part of. I tried to be polite and tactful, but all I could think of was, “why are people so sensitive?”

I kindly shared my story of unsubscribing from more than one email list when the emails started to bother me (dare I say I was offended? No, I felt bad about myself but I knew that it wasn’t the writer’s fault. It was my perspective and SHE wasn’t out to get me.). I was told, “Not everyone deals with things the way you do.” No, it’s so much better to bash the leader in a private forum of almost 5,000 people and create a small movement to prove your point.

 

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Tolerate-Everything, Meet Easily-Offended

Today, we’re supposed to accept everyone with open arms. Everyone is entitled to their religion. For the most part. Just take God out of it.

You can change from a man to a woman and we’ll put you on a magazine cover and call you brave.

You can fight for which bathroom you want to use and we’ll support your efforts.

But don’t post a meme that makes me feel childish for playing video games when I’m a 32 year old parent.

And don’t tell me where I can breastfeed. I know boobs are all about sex and I’m scarring my baby for life, but feeding them in the bathroom is disgusting.

We’re told our opinions matter but…don’t post them for everyone to see. You may offend someone.

How does that work?! How can you claim that we are allowed to believe whatever we want but we can’t express it, in certain cases?

You can have your opinion. In fact, you’re encouraged to believe whatever you want!

Just don’t tell anyone else what you think. You’ll probably offend someone.

It doesn’t make any sense to me.

 

 

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