Are we all just getting a little bit offended by EVERYTHING?
PUBLISHED: 18:23 19 September 2018
This content is subject to copyright.
Rachel Moore says we are all getting too offended by too much - isn’t it time we became more thick-skinned and let people have their say?
A culture of offence has insidiously enveloped the country. Someone somewhere is bound to be offended by something.
The fear of causing upset by even the most innocuous statement is hindering and even denying our civil liberties and threatening the rights of freedom of speech we hold so dear.
The obsession with being offended – choosing to feel personally and mortally wounded by comments not aimed at any individual – is in danger of censoring and thwarting opinion, posing serious harm to debate and discussion and limiting our use of language.
A senior Metropolitan anti-corruption squad officer was this week revealed to be in danger of losing his job for alleged racist language for using the phrase “whiter than white” while briefing colleagues.
Astonishingly, offence was taken by someone who saw – or looked for – a racist connotation. A complaint to the Met led to the police watchdog taking it up for investigation.
Sounds like a joke, a sitcom scenario to poke fun at political correctness gone barmy, but an officer’s career is on the line for language interpreted by one person to be deliberately intended to offend and that had “racist undertones”
He used the time-honoured phrase to emphasise that officers must be faultless in their inquiries, but now he could face an internal investigation for gross misconduct, the most serious disciplinary offence for a police officer.
No wonder policing is in a right pickle. An experienced officer is put on reduced duties for uttering a phrase that originates from Shakespeare when forces are under-staffed.
I’m dying to know if the complainer was actually offended personally – and how he would justify that offence – or if he or she perceived someone might be offended by it somewhere so deemed it racist.
“You’ve hurt my feelings” is a very modern whine by grown ups who should know better. To be offended is a choice we make. Get over yourself.
What’s been lost in this hysterical objection of the thin-skinned is the understanding of the difference between a general view expressed and a personal insult.
People are very quick to be upset and hurt by generalisations, and play the victim, by comments not even aimed at them.
The result is that authority has become terrified to cause offence, or be deemed to be politically incorrect so, fearful of putting a foot wrong, and seeing fear of offence everywhere, it uses a hammer to smash an egg so it can be seen to be doing the right thing, whether it is right or not.
It must placate any potential offence-taker, just in case.
It’s this excessive exaggerated personal outrage to comments perceived – and it is perception that is the hinge of the issue – to be a big ify and offensive.
The thin-skinned collective are the first to say they believe in free speech, then are quick to try to quash it if it upsets them.
I really don’t know how these people, who self inflict upset on themselves about statements, views and opinions that don’t even concern them, let alone are aimed at them, make it through life.
These are people who can take offence and personal affront in an empty room.
Social media fuels the fire. An innocent observation quickly crescendos to accusations of “bullying” before you can say Twitter,. In 2018, bullying means saying something others don’t like.
Two weeks ago I wrote about the need for us all to take responsibility for our health and do what we could to avoid morbid obesity. The rising numbers of morbidly obese in this country is a well-documented fact.
It attracted a fierce reaction from anyone even mildly overweight – and those who weren’t but who had taken offence on behalf of those who were and might have been offended – who were enraged that I had “judged” them and was “fat shaming.”
Some demanded an apology for a view, aimed at no one in particular, that many people chose to find personally offensive. I’m still confused about what I was supposed to apologise for?
Say what you like about me and I won’t be offended. Taking offence is a choice. I’d rather defend that person’s right to say it and express themselves freely.
Freedom of speech is a right that people have died to defend.
No one has died from taking offence.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Eastern Daily Press. Click the link in the orange box above for details.