These days, we, as a society, seem to be getting more and more hypersensitive.
Students are demanding “safe spaces” where the First Amendment does not apply because they think Freedom of Speech should be a one-way street and don’t want to hear ideas that challenge their carefully crafted worldviews. Students are also getting “healing places” because merely hearing certain ideas they don’t like “brutalizes” them. Stereotypes — though based in reality and often humorous parodies — are now considered “hateful” and “damaging” when it used to be that only “sticks and stones” could hurt people, not words. People are worried that any public mention of race is considered “racist,” even further redefining the term from its original meaning. We can hardly discuss anything without violating the so-called “Politically Correct” rules (that are always changing). People have stopped recognizing mothers on Mother’s Day and fathers on Father’s Day, for the ridiculous fear of offending those who selfishly don’t want parents to be celebrated because they didn’t have children of their own. It’s even reached the point where the celebrants in houses of worship, now feel compelled to say, “Please stand … as you are able.”
Do they think that those of us who cannot stand won’t remember and hurt ourselves as we try to stand up? [grin] Do they think they need to be “sensitive” to us because we don’t want our disabilities to be overlooked? Really? It doesn’t help anyone to focus on what people can’t do.
Why don’t they say in church, “Sing as you are able” for those who can’t sing? (By the way, you can count me in that group too.) Some can’t sing, some can’t stand, it’s no big deal.
Why is there such a rush to be so sensitive? Sure, it’s good to be aware of others’ feelings, but when people expect me to be emotionally hurt or wounded at the mere reminder of my being a member of a minority class (that ostensibly needs to be protected), it does me no favors. Tiptoeing around issues serves to reinforce feelings of victimhood from the fact that life is not fair, and treating real issues as taboo tacitly supports the notion that someone or something else is to blame. Fortunately, I don’t buy into those lines of thinking, but a lot of people do. They are “wounded” at the drop of a hat and they’re looking for reasons to be “offended.”
I don’t ever try to offend anyone. But I also have enough respect for people to treat them as adults that are not crushed by addressing reality without coddling them. For that reason, I’ve chosen not to participate in so-called “political correctness.”
The next time you think something might be “offensive” to someone, stop and think if you might be disrespecting that person by expecting them to be thin-skinned or a “victim.” Then just treat them like an adult who is not wounded by reality.
Where have you seen avoiding certain subjects reinforcing the victim mentality? Please share in the Comments.