Article by Mercedes Azurdia
I’m gay, libertarian, atheist, and a classic nerd. I’m also a woman, born and raised in the countryside of a third world country, with an undetermined historic family tree.
From almost every point of view, I classify as a minority.
But does that mean I have a right to feel offended when someone says women are weak, gays are disgusting, atheists have no morals, or countryside people are ignorant? Yes, I have.
Although, that right does not imply that the people who say or think it must be punished.
Being offended is a subjective reaction. Yes, it depends on one’s feelings and thoughts. In other words, being offended is a choice.
I can get mad at people for being homophobic, and I can tell them to shut up. I can be against some sort of organized system of beliefs, and I can tell people to stop believing in it. Yet, I cannot force them to do as I think, mainly because after all, they have the right to feel offended by anything I am or represent to them.
It isn’t until someone crosses the border of the subjective realm into the objective aggression, that the other can claim there is an action that needs to be stopped, i.e. A hate crime. But why go there? Why are we so sensitive about what others think?
Well, I don’t know. But, whenever we victimize ourselves, we are actively reinforcing the idea that feelings are more important than facts.
I have just read a very extensive feature on The Atlantic about how college students are being protected from words and ideas they don’t like. The article demonstrates that this increased protection on their sensitivity has gotten universities to ban books, suspend teachers, or even, expel students. Just over emotions.
While it is true that a xenophobic, homophobic, or sexist person is an idiot – in my humble opinion –, they should have the right to be it, as long as they don’t objectively hurt anybody.
What I have learned through years of disappointing remarks about anything I am, is that people will think whatever they want, and I cannot change those ideas, even with evidence in hand. Those are the cold facts.
The only choice I have left is my reaction over the comments that would offend me. And that is to simply stop caring at all.