That is soooo offensive!
Let's talk about offense, and getting offended. Do you? I don't, and it interests me quite a lot when certain things offend one person, but not another.
What offends you, and why?
Does a word offend you? A concept? A noise, smell, look, taste? I'm not talking about things that offend our sense, but things that offend our sensibilities. I believe that the nature of offense starts with taking things too seriously. If you take something so seriously that the presence, or absence of it, somehow offends you, you're probably taking it to seriously to begin with.
For example, why does the "N-word" offend people? I know the answer of course, but if you think about it, what is there really to get offended about? Taking offense at something is essentially a knee-jerk reaction; a backfire of sorts. Nobody ever stops to take the time and wonder if that which offends them, is worth the possible confrontation that might ensue. When someone says something that offends us, why don't we just let it go? Logically, the more things you let slide off your back, the less confrontations you'll get into, and therefore, the less danger you actually put yourself in. Now, of course, not all offenses lead to confrontations, but even minor ones, such as someone taking offense at someone suggesting something about them. Why care? Personally, I think that if you take offense at something, you're taking yourself too seriously.
The reason I bring this up is because of situations like the following. Crazy civil-rights extremists that want to ban words. Sure the words hold bad meanings, but if nobody took offense at them, the confrontations which are brought about by their use would simply go away. People who get offended at certain humor, for example. Why? How could you possibly get offended at something you don't like? If you don't like it, don't listen/watch/read, or participate in it. It really is that simple.
Part of the problem is that we really do live in a reality where all we believe, we must assume others believe as well. It's a way of checking ourselves. If I don't like something, then you probably don't either, because why would I be the only one who felt such a way.
The way I look at it, there's absolutely no reason to get offended at anything. Even if someone insults your child. What is going to get accomplished by starting a fight, getting arrested, etc... Worse, is when someone gets insulted them self. That makes the least sense because if there was no physical harm done to you, there's nothing to be upset about. Nothing happened. Someone just said something. Get over it.
Anyway, sorry for the rant, but shit like this interests the hell out of me because it is one of the main reasons for human conflict. We actually get upset at things that other people don't mind. Its deeper than that, and often involves culture, religion, etc., but if we all just stopped, and realized that there's no reason to get offended at anything, a lot of conflicts would go away.
Unfortunetly, human nature usually kicks in, and since most people don't take the time to think about anything, we, as a species, often act impulsively at perceived threats where none exist.
so go ahead, flame away. call me a liberal hippie. I can take it. I promise I won't get offended!