Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Fizzing with rage

I'm not easily offended, so I'm often astonished at how easily other people take offence at things that seem to me quite trivial.

Am I very resilient, very thick-skinned, and very self-confident, or am I just totally insensitive and unable to understand why other people feel so hurt and upset by something?

If you wear something associated with another culture, this is "cultural appropriation". If you don't agree that trans women are women, this is "transphobia". If you criticise female circumcision or honour killings, this is "disrespecting other cultures". If you don't accept someone else's version of reality, this could be a "hate crime".

There are no doubt plenty of people who would chastise me for being middle-class, for being privileged, for being well-off, for sounding posh, for being complacent, and so on, but I'm not going to lose any sleep over it. I'm certainly not going to fizz with rage and demand grovelling apologies. People are entitled to their opinion, even if I think they've got me all wrong.

Obviously some remarks really are offensive - condemning homosexuality as an "unnatural perversion" or describing women as "crazy and hysterical". But other remarks are more tactless or tasteless or stupid than offensive. Getting worked-up over every stupid remark is a pointless waste of breath.

In a society that values freedom of speech, of course some people are going to say things that upset others. Yes, they might be offended for a while, but it's hardly the end of the world. If they stop to reflect, they might even see some truth in whatever's being said.

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." - Evelyn Beatrice Hall

29 comments:

  1. I am thin skinned and have a volcanic temper...but am rarely 'offended'.....no point wasting your breath on fools.
    However, I draw the line at being expected to adopt their idiocies.

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    1. Fly: I have no temper and I'm rarely offended. But like you, I won't sign up to dogma, fashionable beliefs, or absurd conspiracy theories.

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  2. I've never heard it called fizzing with rage, but I like that, it makes me think of a shaken up bottle of soda getting ready to explode. As you said, some things are highly offensive, but there are also people who seem to look for opportunities to get offended and/or take things out of context.

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    1. Danielle: This is often the case, things are taken out of context and twisted to mean something that was never intended.

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  3. Not to mention "cancel culture" and all that entails. But yes, certain comments/remarks enrage me. Especially ageism, anti-women remarks, etc. I wade in. I'll not be remembered as a woman who kept her mouth shut for which I am grateful.

    XO
    WWW

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    1. www: Oh yes, cancel culture, aka censorship. It's not enough to be offended, the offender has to be silenced and vilified.

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  4. I like Andy’s comment, “If we’re younger I would work up a towering rage, but I don’t have the energy for that any more.”

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    1. Jean: I never had a towering rage, but at my age I'm certainly less keen to wade in to some controversy or other.

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  5. Does a person's right to say anything end when it hurts another? Not offends but actually hurts? I never understood that old "sticks and stones" saying because I always knew words could hurt.

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    1. Linda: If a remark is actually hurting someone, then it's unacceptable. But some people say they're hurt when really they're just spoiling for a fight.

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  6. Cultural appropriation is the most difficult to understand because we were raised to believe that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. However,be not heard anyone say that criticizing honor killings or female circumcision is disrespecting a culture. Should we also say that about polygamists marrying 12 year olds?

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    1. Bijoux: "Respecting other cultures" is the main reason why there have been virtually no prosecutions for FGM since it was made illegal in the UK in 1985.

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  7. You're not thick skinned, you just have enough whiteness and maleness to be at the top of nearly every privilege ladder and because you're at the top you have the luxury of being the most powerful. In a position of power you can think or say whatever you want because there are no consequences for doing so.

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    1. Kylie: Well, I might be privileged but I can still be offended and I can still be denied things. Privilege only goes so far. I certainly can't say whatever I want, there are certain rules of politeness and courtesy.

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    2. Yes, I generally find that the most privileged are the quickest offended

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    3. Kylie: I think you're right. They expect everyone to be fawning and obsequious and bristle straightaway if they aren't.

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  8. I can't remember what the question was...
    I got a bit narked when posh people started going all 'Mockney cockney' just to be on trend - but I could put them in their place simply by being the genuine article. And in any case, being narked isn't the same as being offended.
    Sx

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    1. Ms Scarlet: I agree, the fake cockney accents are really irritating. I can imitate cockney pretty well but I wouldn't dream of pretending it was the real thing. Jer get wot I mean, sweet'art?

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    2. I don’t usually rage with people but may clearly state my disagreement to some statements. All depends on the person, situation. Sometimes a look, abruptly turning my attention elsewhere or walking away to not engage with someone can make a more impactful statement then words — plus spares wasting my time and energy on an interaction that isn't going to go anywhere anyway.

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    3. Joared: I'm the same. I don't usually engage with people who have totally different views, I just walk away. As you say, taking them on isn't going to get you anywhere.

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  9. I am not easily offended and very rarely get into a rage. I can get upset or annoyed but, that usually passes quickly and I get back to my normal placid and cheerful state. My friends and family remark about this quality often and I am even called a Swamiji for being so.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swami

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    1. Ramana: Me too. I don't rage, I just take offensive remarks in my stride and move on. They're usually too trivial or ill-informed to waste any time on.

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  10. I don't let other people's opinions get me mad.

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    1. Mary: Me too. It's just a waste of time and energy.

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  11. I'm not easily offended but I used to get quite worked up over other people being rude or horrible and would voice my opinions. Nowadays I'm much more calm and laid back (unless it's personal). So many people nowadays are quick to argue or criticise. I read something interesting a while ago "Life is too short to get into arguments with strangers on social media"!

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    1. Polly: Yes, it's fashionable to argue or criticise rather than letting things go. It just means a lot of unnecessary hostility and bad feeling.

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  12. If you let someone get you mad, then you give away your control is what I remember hearing or reading (or a variant of that thought). Maybe, it's my age now but I engage in conversations that seem to be going no where but downhill. I would much rather walk away. And, it seems the media is more the cause of rage these days.

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    1. Beatrice: That's right, you're giving up your control to someone else's agenda. And as you say, if the conversation is going downhill, why bother with it anyway?

      The media - and especially social media - are full of angry, belligerent people trying to whip up conflict.

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