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josie's avatar

What is behind the fairly recent appearance of the "Cult of the Perpetually Offended"?

Asked by josie (22950 points ) September 14th, 2010

In my lifetime, when people disagreed with somebody’s opinion, they would say things like, “I don’t agree”, “You might want to check your facts” or even “You’re wrong about that”.
Now, often enough, people say “I am offended” when they hear a differing point of view. Speaking personally, this happens to me more on Fluther than in my normal “in person” life (I know that I am easy to disagree with, but offensive?).
Anyway, what is the official beginning of this trend?
Wouldn’t it be psychologically healthier, and less dramatic, to simply disagree, rather than be offended?

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23 Answers

iammia's avatar

I’ve never ever been offended on here, people perhaps are a tad too sensitive. Everyone has different opinions which i respect…it would be a damn boring place if everyone agreed!!

ucme's avatar

They’re sychophantic arseholes, that’s what’s behind it. Political correctnesss gone mad. The professionally offended are always going to rear their head from time to time. Best ignored or laughed at, whichever you prefer.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

There has always been and will always be,people who look for reasons to be offended.
See the last line in @ucme ‘s answer ;)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Well if your opinion is an insult directed at me or at a group I feel I belong to, then not only are you wrong but I am offended. You can’t just be a jerk off and say whatever may come and then say ‘but that’s just my opinion, I have the right to sound like a jerk off’.

stratman37's avatar

Who cares when it started, let’s work toward ENDING it!

Cruiser's avatar

I see nothing new at all and in my 5 years in the cyber playground difficult people abound…always have and always will. I call them “Catnip”!

NaturallyMe's avatar

I think ucme said it well. :D Some people can get offended because you innocently used the wrong words (according to them of course) in describing something during a perfectly innocuous conversation. They irritate the crap out of me!

tranquilsea's avatar

I am very opinionated. Something I had to come to terms with is that I will hurt and shock people who are not used to having their beliefs challenged. This didn’t bother me when I was younger but it started to as I got older. I learned how to challenge people without offending them and life got much better.

The difference between RL and on-line is that you have much more to lose in RL so many people moderate their behaviour. On-line many people are much more confident and will say things they would not say in RL. Add to that how, with the written word, you don’t get the benefit of inflection and facial expression and you can see how much harder it can be to get your point across in the way you want.

CMaz's avatar

I believe that people tend to “take offense” first. Then, hopefully, fall back on reason. Getting a grip with themselves.
A knee jerk response coming from an abusive world. But, that should be left at the door, when coming into the house of Fluther.

Because here, reason is the season and we have so many questions to ask. Some simple, some heavy.
Plenty surprise. But, all should first and foremost be seen as legitimate.

I personally tire of questions that are taboo to be asked. And are easily (“legitimately”) dismissed, due to the controversial nature. Just to avoid talking about it.
(who you kidding)
There should be nothing that should take offense. Because everything has a reason. Why look for trouble where trouble is most likely not.
I.E. Everything has an answer.

Find out the why. You will discover the how.

Otherwise, if Fluther Offends you. Stay away and make @bob a sandwich.

Trillian's avatar

People are so concerned about their individual rights that any disagreement with their world view is difficult for them to deal with and they actually feel that thier rights have been infringed upon. They have no concept of the rights of those others. I would guess that many of these type of people were never told “no” by their parents. Not learning to deal with the little no’s as a child makes it almost impossible to deal with the larger no’s as an adult. So they are unprepared for an uncaring world which is not ready and waiting to cater to their every whim and tell them how great they are.
So yes, there are a whole bunch of people out there just looking for something to take offense at, and who then expect some form of compensation, be it monetary or an apology, or whatever.
Here’s life for real: If you leve your house at any time during the day, if you turn on a device which lets in the outside world like a tv, radio, or computer, chances are you’re going to see or hear something with which you disagree. Get over it. Stop expecting everyone to see everything your way. Not only is it not ever going to happen, it is something that should never happen. Get used to the idea that other people have ideas which differ from yours. Accept it, and if you have enough intelligence, find out what they know and expand yur mind.

CMaz's avatar

“I would guess that many of these type of people were never told “no” ”

Or have been told ‘no” too often. Now is their time to stand up.

tinyfaery's avatar

I guess it started when certain people decided that they no longer needed to be respectful (the cult of the perpetualy offensive) or considerate of other people’s feelings.

Yes, people think their rights outweigh the rights of others; however, it seems that the ignorant and disrespectful think they have the right to purposely offend others and then laugh it off and tell others they are too sensitive.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@tinyfaery Yeah, the ‘geez, lighten up, you don’t have a sense of humor’ trope – one of my very favorites.

Jaxk's avatar

I find this question offensive.

downtide's avatar

It’s very rare I find anything actually offensive. I thinkit started with the whole “political correctness” movement, and people becoming more aware of how much more serious it seems to say “That’s offensive” rather than “I disagree”.

Fairylover78's avatar

Good question man…. It does seem like WAY too many people take things personally these days. Even Jokes! Just because I dont agree with you does NOT mean I am attacking you as a person or saying that I am better than you, I just happen to disagree with your opinion….now if I were to say ” Your a Moron for thinking that” or ” Can you get any Dumber” then, by all means get offended, in that case, I directly told you that you were a dumbass… I think it all starts with the Media dude, everytime someones feelings are hurt it becomes a News Story, all kinds of stuff is forced in our faces now adays. I enjoy Family Guy for instance and I laughed at a particularly Hilarious albiet untasteful spot and was told by a ‘friend’ that I was disgusting and they were offended…. well, seeing how that person wasn’t doing what I was laughing at ( atleast I hope not) and it was a TV SHOW for my ENTERTAINMENT I was completely thrown by her reaction…it was funny dammit!

ratboy's avatar

Some of us are simply by nature more sensitive and fragile than the hoi polloi so that we find hurtful such deliberately cruel phrases as “Cult of the Perpetually Offended.” Simply put: rude offensiveness offends us.

Ron_C's avatar

I’m an easy going guy and the only thing which perpetually offends me is the fact that Bush and Cheney have never been on trial for their numerous offenses.

So my question is where do I sign up and who is the cult leader?

CMaz's avatar

Apparently @josie is.

iamthemob's avatar

I don’t see how this is a new trend. Everything seemed to offend everyone in the Fifties…in the Victorian period…in the court of Mad King George.

It’s just easier to get offended than to try to address something with a counterpoint.

cockswain's avatar

I had to think for a while but I thought of two things that actually offend me: the spread of misinformation (intentional is worse), and The Human Centipede

EDIT: I just realized I didn’t answer this question at all. Sorry for the shitty answer.

CMaz's avatar

“Everything seemed to offend everyone…”

This is true, but we are here (supposedly) to question and convey a point. Hopefully learn something.
You cant go to the beach and not expect to get some sand in your shorts.

As far as I am concerned, free thinking being a virtue.

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