... is what I see every day when I come to Gaia. 91 replies as I write this post... must be a good discussion, huh?
You see, I was accused only last week of offending someone... I was accused of intentionally going "out of my way" "just to offend".
The person saying this didn't get offended because her "ego" wanted to be offended.
The person felt offended, because something very dear and precious to her was being treated in a manner that felt disrespectful, belittleing, even ridiculing to her.
She didn't say she was offended because she is manipulative, power-crazy bitch, nor because she expected me to defend myself.
She said she was offended, because she was offended. She could see the offense clear as a day.
What she expected of me was to stop mocking something that is valuable to her.
Why didn't I?
My intention was not to offend her, attack her or to be disrespectful about something valuable to her. I was talking about something totally different, even saying something good about the thing that was valuable to her, but I used a word she finds disrespectful, offensive and ignorant. The word has a totally different value to me.
I think she is overreacting, reacting on a mere word, and I explained why I use that specific word, explained that no offense was intended, on the contrary, using the word she wants me to use is disrespectful, offensive and ignorant to others. This is the reason to why I started using the word in stead of the other, and the reason to why I will not change back to the word she wants me to use.
Also, in my mind "I am sorry I unintentionally offended you" should be enough.
I shouldn't be asked to change my vocabulary according to the personal sensibilities of one person in the crowd. I'm sorry, but if the word offends you, stay away from discussions where I am. Or learn to close your eyes, take a deep breath and jump over the word. I use normally several thousand words in my posts, and I would not have used this word again, had I not felt the need to explain to her why I use the word. Had she just jumped over the word, she wouldn't have needed to see it again.
Lastly, the word was not a necessary part of my post. The Cultivator could have jumped in and edited out the whole sentence, a third in a series of examples. I wouldn't have noticed anything and wouldn't have objected - I wouldn't have objected even if the Cultivator had asked me if it was ok to remove the sentence.
Changing the word from my choice to the other woman's preference would have been violating my freedom of expression, though, and that would not have been ok with me.
None of this is important, though. She was hurt. Something I said offended her, and the situation needed to be balanced.
Is a defense against accusation futile? Never! But, I'm a lawyer, not a psychiatrist, so I would naturally see the situation from a different point of view. From my point of view the accusation is not enough to make one a victim and the other a perpetrator. In my mind people are innocent until proven guilty, and if you accuse someone of something, you must also be able to prove them guilty, otherwise the accuser is the perpetrator and the accused the victim.
I have noticed, though, that especially in USA it is enough to accuse, insinuate and slander, for people to think your object is a villain :-D
I try to remember when I was offended... It's more "hurt"...
Worst case was when my husband was told not to talk about how stupid, egocentric mothers with brams irritates him, because he doesn't have children and won't, because his wife cannot get children. Oh God... even the memory hurts.
I have always wanted children. Some young actresses and singers who are pretty idiots being pregnant is offensive. That all kinds of idiots, people who believe you have to beat your kids for them to grow up as "good people", people who "teach" their children things by hurting them, people who would rather disown or kill their child than have a gay child or daughter who is unmarried teenaged mother, these people get kids. I don't.
Now, I'm 40 and the pain is disabling me more and more, so I couldn't take care of a small child as it is... and perhaps I would have given them all kinds of nasty hereditary problems. Nevertheless, I can't imagine I would be a worse mother than anyone else.
Then, the reason to why we don't have children is not in me... and my husband knows very well that I wanted kids and he couldn't give me them. Saying that thing to him was like spotting a fresh wound and someone just had to push their thumb straight into the wound and twist.
Thirdly, anyone has the right to express their opinion on anything, and no-one has right to tell another to shut up, because one lacks some imaginary experience. She would have told him to shut up, because he is a man, if we had kids.
All this makes it especially offensive.
Now, we have this "egos love to be "offended"... So now I am a bad person - because that is what "ego" means here in Gaia - because I have feelings? Oh dear...
(About a slightly different issue: I too hate mothers with brams. I have been au-pairing kids and been in town with a bram, and I know how to operate the bram to cause the least trouble to my environment. I also have the consideration and patience to allow my environment to accommodate me and my "obstacle", and to see I don't block the road. Many mothers seem to think they are God's gift to mankind and use the bram as if it was a bumper. I have been shoved around by mothers with brams, and 3/4 don't show any consideration when they take up the space in elevators, escalators and public transport. They don't thank you for holding the door open or helping them to lift the bram in the buss, on the contrary, they expect you to do that, and if you can't, you will be at least looked at as if you were worthless and mean, if not berated for not "thinking". :-Z I never did anything like that when I was in the traffic with bram, so I know they don't NEED to act like some effing queen bees.
I also know that my husband has the same experience I do...)