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Being Offended

I find that I don’t understand the desire or willingness to be offended.

It’s not that things aren’t offensive; they certainly can be. S*hole countries! God and guns! Binders full of women! Baskets of deplorables! (… the latter two of which weren’t actually all that offensive, but were purposefully taken out of context for political gain.)

The list of potential offenders is endless, granted.

But what bugs me – what OFFENDS me, if you want to be humorous and slightly inaccurate about it – is that people latch on to these things and hang on for dear life. “Binders full of women? IT IS TIME TO HOWL FOR BLOOD!” … never mind that Romney was actually saying that they had plenty of qualified women in mind for various things, which isn’t offensive at all.

(It’d actually have been MORE offensive had they not had women known to be qualified for positions… and yes, yes, I know, there are those who are now muttering to themselves that SURELY this was segregation by gender and was therefore also offensive.)

The rush to being offended is dumb; it leads us down a path of idiotic tribalism (where eventually every tribe has a single member, making EVERY OTHER HUMAN an “other” and therefore a threat.)

I don’t think it’s necessary to “stop being offended” – but it’s time to really consider whether being offended is worth it. Sometimes it is!

But we need to be very, very careful about being offended – eventually our having been offended becomes the noise with which we’re identified, and our outrage serves for nothing but creating spaces between us and our tribes – and evil lives there.

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