Is Not Being Offended A Human Right?

Mad People

Mad People

I’ve been reading Treaty and Equal Rights Convention papers and UN Women papers for the last two days and it crossed my mind that I haven’t noted a single line of description which says, “We have the Human Right not to be offended.” With that being such a primary Feminist stage, perhaps I missed it? Is “Not Being Offended” throughout the day, a right? Is it a matter of Equality?

For me, in regards to HeForShe, this is an awareness question. We need to have clear ideas of where our focus is best served. Jumping on something, or someone, merely because they offended us, is a lot of work and quite frankly, creating a world where no one is offended, is the sort of whitewashed effort that hides death camps, historically speaking.

I don’t have the answer. I’m asking. Is that area truly a right and is it important enough to spend energy on — while suffering the obvious consequences in other areas? Is it a fight you wish to fight?

But most of all… Is It A Right?

I’m going to leave it at that and perhaps jump in to the comment area with you later.

*NOTE: I am inviting differing opinions with this post, in fact I am encouraging them. Please keep in mind that the Other has a voice, and is equally vouchsafed to her opinion — no matter what. Within this discussion, as with the rest of this website, I will not tolerate attacks or hate.  You may disagree as much as you like. You do not have to agree with anything here to enjoy yourself here unchallenged. Disagreement does not require threats or hate to communicate effectively. Posts of that nature will be deleted without warning and depending on the magnitude, I may decide that the author is not welcome. Equality does not offer the right to attack or threaten.

NOTE: Updated on Dec 5, 2014

#shirtgate (?) Sorry, I can’t be reasonable here, because it was wrong. I say this after weeks of reading, writing and discussion and I do not say it lightly. Not only wrong, but it was criminal. As it was criminal I feel a lot of women should have been arrested. From all reports, a large percentage of feminists are pissed off about it — as am I .

It was short-sighted, over-done, had no purpose, served no goal and set feminism back in the eyes of the general public, about 20 years. — No.. that’s not an exaggeration and it is a serious injury.

Feminism as a movement has political clout… hard won political clout and without that clout there is no way anyone is getting any closer to equality – because without political power you have no method to effect change in the government. If you have no voice, you can’t speak. But what about the speaking we did with #Shirtgate you might reason. That wasn’t a voice. That was noise.

The only reason Matt responded was that he was for womens rights and was not your enemy. Personally, I’m not your enemy either — but I would have not only told you all to F-off, I would have found a shirt that had pictures of actual naked women, not half-naked, and worn that until if fell from my body in rags. I might have gone so far as to hire a porn star driver to get me around town so I could show off my shirt. — but that’s me.I’m not a sheep. I don’t go for bullying and  I don’t care who is doing it.

Three girls, in high-school, were raped, and instead of backing them up, the school officials attempted to bully them into silence. – Where was your outcry there? Well I’ll tell you where it was. The YesAllDaughters told you not to show up. They are not feminists. Maybe you can shrug that off with a “if they don’t’ want us that is their prerogative and nothing off me.” But – – from where i’m watching — it is nothing off you because you no longer have it . But that is only one area —

The basis of the action is wrong. “we have the right not to have to deal with that offensive type of thing any more…” ..

Really? Where did you get that? See, I don’t have that right. I’m offended by sexist actions every day at work and I don’t have the right throw a fit about it. I don’t have the right to walk down the street without the fear of attack or without having to deal with someone trying to stop me or engage me in one form or another. And i’m a fairly large man with the same problem Christopher Walken has — generally people believe I’m violent on sight — just because of the way I look, and my size. That doesn’t stop them from offending me though. There are men who hire body guards to get them from the door to the car without out being accosted. So… why do you have this right? Where did you get this? I would really like to know.

The only people I know who have a right like this(well they claim it is a right) is a small population. If you were to wear something offensive to them, they, like #shirtgate did, would attack. They would grab you off the street, take you to prison, whip you, and perhaps stone you. If they didn’t stone you they would rape you just about every day you were in prison for the crime of offending men and god by what you were wearing. ISIS is one of those groups. Of course they would probably just behead you and get it over.

Now.. Matt — that’s his name by the way — Matt, he was attacked, insulted, publicly humiliated to the point he was ashamed to go see his mother — for 5 straight days. Phone calls emails, women screaming at him outside of his house, death threats.. it was horrid.

So what is the difference between the women who attacked Matt and the religious values of the men of ISIS? Not a damn thing. that’s what. You both have conjured an inflamed view of your importance, and your worth. And worse than that, you devalue everyone around you. NO.. EVERYONE, not just Matt, because you were like that before you saw that shirt. Those women do not see anyone as having value except themselves.

Those actions were not feminism, they were not women’s rights, they were not in defense of being objectified (which most of you don’t have any idea what that means at all). The Objectification theory was written and published in 1997. It has never been more than a framework theorem. No empirical data was ever gathered which showed it to be anything more than a framework theorem. Also, Roberts, one of the women who authored Objectification theory did studies  afterwards and discovered by the results that it actually proved to be exactly the opposite as was proposed by the original paper in 1997.

Tomi-Ann Roberts returned to Colorado College,  with much different ideas on her mind, most of them going toward the essay of Rebecca Walker.

Roberts does three papers, which attempt to clarify the theory for her, but wind up pulling her down an unexpected direction. Then, in the Handbook of Experimental Existential Psychology Roberts  gives us a glimpse and then a flood of this unexpected direction the work has led her too. (p.78)

according to the position that we have provided, objectification of women serves an important existential function — it strips them of their creaturely connection and thus provides psychic protection from the threat of death. Thus it is not surprising that women objectify other women,  additionally, it is also not surprising that women also objectify their own bodies, a phenomenon referred to as “self-objectification” and demonstrated by numerous studies ...”

The 180 degree turn on what objectification is, and what it means, and who it means it too, is quite radical. However Roberts in her return to Colorado will hold on to these ideas, as well as refining them. It is always a noteworthy trait of a researcher to be able to drop their preconceived ideas and accept the direction further research reveals. It is unfortunate this trait is not as prevalent as it could be

So, according to the studies in this area, not only was that shirt NOT a threat to you at all, objectifying is something required — though not fully understood, but something, which is beneficial – Hey, I didn’t write the papers, but it does make sense that who you are, and how you feel and the rights you have are All completely up to your words, actions and deeds and are not affected by any outside environment or agency. That’s how men have them.

If I am not sexist – I learned this back in the 80s — If I am not a womanizer or a bigot or a hate monger — no amount of screaming and accusing is going to make me into one, and I will not accept the mantle or the guilt. It is insulting, sure, it is even hurtful — but i’m not going to be guilted into doing something different because you’ve  suddenly decided that a perceived and indefensible wound gives you the right to devalue my life. And the fact that you would try, that you would even make the attempt, tells me that that not only will I not, but I should not submit to your decries — because bullies suck.

18 thoughts on “Is Not Being Offended A Human Right?

  1. Short answer: No. I assume we’re talking about rights in terms of basic Constitutional type of right? Generally, the courts do not recognize even a civil action claiming emotional injury without an accompanying physical one, as evidenced by the ubiquitously included IIED (intention infliction of emotional distress) tag-on in every plaintiff torts lawyer’s briefs. If we were to ask the courts or our government to intervene when someone has uttered words someone else found insulting or offensive, it would lead to absurd jurisprudent consequences, menacing clogs in the judicial pipes, not to mention a mockery of the First Amendment. What about some especially emotionally sensitive persons? People can easily be offended, plus there’s always the egg shell skull theory. Oi!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you. I’ve gotten a couple of messages from some readers that they are working on answers as well, so I’m going to refrain from comment at this point.. but wanted to thank you for stopping by.


  2. I think it’s possible to draw some sort of line here, at least for the sake of argument. (I’m not sure how that line would play out in the judicial system, however. In the U.S, you have the right to drink 16 beers in an afternoon while watching TV at home. That right ends, however, if you then get into your car and become a menace on the highway. Similarly, the question of offensive behavior could revolve around whether the offending person was going out of her or his way to be offended (such as overhearing a profane conversation in a restaurant or bar not directed at them), or whether the offending speech or action was aggressively aimed at that person and intended to humiliate them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nice, and well met by the way. There is a distinction, if I recall which is very close to what you just offered that deals with the Constitutional First Amendment Right of Free Speech. Yes, you have free speech, no you may not yell FIRE in a crowded movie theater.

      Very good point. Thanks for bringing that up.


  3. According to the Oxford English dictionary the term offended means “Resentful or annoyed, typically as a result of a perceived insult: he sounded rather offended.” We don’t have a right not to be offended. What offends one person may not offend another. I may be offended that the dictionary example cited above assumes a male subject rather than using the gender neural “they”. It’s subjective. A reader of this post may be offended by the choice of dictionary I’ve referenced. That was my choice. A choice I have because I live in a free country that has a commitment to achieving women’s equality. If we reduce the idea of equal rights down to whether or not people can / cannot be offended we vastly undermine them.

    “Isms” eg racism, sexism, that would be considered causes of offence in the context of this post, are not about being offended. They are about being treated unequally. Addressing these issues and calling out the people, organisations and states that perpetuate these inequalities is an attempt to redress the balance. In a world where there are women who do not have rights, who cannot go outside without their husbands say-so, where women who are kidnapped and sold for sex, and where women who are often among the most financially vulnerable… being offended is the least of our worries.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Kristy. I really appreciate you stopping by. “… being offended is the least of our worries” you would think so, yes. I thought so less than a month ago.

      I feel through your words that you may have expected a question which was a little more challenging. Perhaps I could have made it so, but I’m not really looking for answers — I’m looking for the right question. Answers are easy. Everyone has answers. If they don’t have one right then, they can find one fairly easy or make one up.

      The right question though, that’s golden. Knowing the right question is what brings Equality closer. This seek I’m doing right now is to find a question into a caustic line of logic. I’m pretty good at what I do, and for my efforts, this is important… I’m being vague and I’m sorry. I’m wary of influencing.

      Thank you again, and if I can return the favor, don’t hesitate to ask.


  4. This is a pretty vague dialogue, but I’ll do my best to parse it and offer my own insights.

    You say, as the crux of this post, “Do we have the Human Right not to be offended?”

    Well, to begin with, on a semantical level, what do you mean? That humans have the right to ignore what offends them (or not take action, by extension), or that humans have the right to never be offended by another? I know these may appear to be the same thing, but they’re not, obviously. One requires the receiving party to actively accept that offense is a part of life, and the other requires the rest of the world to bend (an impossibility). For the sake of the rest of my comment, I’ll assume you mean the former.

    I do not think it is something that can BE a right, or not, honestly. To be offended is something that is mundane reaction, built on instinct and ethics and morality, and even if I backtrack later and say “I choose not to be offended by what just happened” it still exists that for a time, I was, and thereby, the feeling of being offended was there. If I edited your phrasing to say, instead, “Do we have the right to not act upon what offends us?” then yes, I think we do.

    It is not a judicial argument, but an ethical one. There is no one power that could encompass just a thing. It just comes down to ethics and the morality of the people in question. I would go so far as to say that it is highly encouraged in this modern era of mixed cultures and religions that people DON’T act on what offends them (and many who do act do so through slacktivism, rather than risk actual harm to their personal status quo). I am a bisexual, liberal, passivist, and atheist, and many of what I see on the net (alone!) offends me. Yet in order to preserve myself, to preserve my quality of life, I “choose my battles”, those arguments of which my passion has a true stake involved.

    But, to say it is a Human Right is probably taking it too far, at least so narrowly defined. For instance, in the United States, we have the basic human right to practice our own religion without harassment. We do not have the human right to abandon our country in its time of need (drafting), even if the conflict offends us. Rights, as I’ve seen them, tend to suggest no action is required from either party, and even though you say “the right to not be offended” it suggests that now, there is a requirement to act on offense, which is far from the case.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I need more stars on my Like Button Alex *******************************
      And you need to stay the hell out of my head, or Nicky is going to beat me with a stick.. and she’s reallly good with those sticks.

      I’m going to close this one up and bring another to the table. I’ve gathered enough insights to move forward with my project. .. Now I’ll tell you what all of this was about and hopefully make good on my promise that you would not be wasting your effort.

      Matt Taylor, shot a bullet, at a bullet, while riding on the back of a bullet, and made a bulls-eye. The feat was absolutely amazing. The man is a god. I’m not even into space physics and I can recognize that this man’s creative and mental powers are far beyond mine. I can barely hit the trash can with my paper wads. They interviewed him in his lucky shirt, made by a female friend of his and friend of the family.

      Feminists screamed.

      We all know the story. The man was attacked for more than three days. He made an apology and that wasn’t enough. He was persecuted, publically ridiculed and privately harassed, over a shirt.

      I wanted to know why. With my commitment to HeForShe and Emma’s stance on Man-Hating, it is my aim to find solutions to this reaction.

      Why came down to five reasons, then two. Perhaps 1.7.

      One of them was what I was looking for insights for with this question. “When someone puts smut like that in my face, it is my Right to defend myself” — said literally hundreds of comment posts on news sites across the nation who printed a story about this event. “It is my Right.”

      When you approach this sort of problem, you move like detectives in a homicide scene. You keep your hands in your pockets, you don’t talk, and you look at everything. You measure everything. You weigh everything. The responses will never be logical, so toss that tool out of the window on your way home.

      Read Alex’s post over again and think about it from this point of view and the insights are stunning. The rest fo you did beautifully as well, and gave me an idea that I would no have come up with, had you not come over.

      Let’s talk about that idea. Feminists (radical, obviously) say they want equality with men. Feminists say it is Their Right to defend themselves. That they do not have to endure sexist shit like this shirt. They have a right to see and learn about the comet too. Why should they have to be offended while doing it?

      Kristy said — ““Isms” eg racism, sexism, that would be considered causes of offence in the context of this post, are not about being offended. They are about being treated unequally”

      Winter’s Bridge said — “Similarly, the question of offensive behavior could revolve around whether the offending person was going out of her or his way to be offended (such as overhearing a profane conversation in a restaurant or bar not directed at them), ”

      Brussels Griffon x 2 said — “Short answer: No. I assume we’re talking about rights in terms of basic Constitutional type of right? Generally, the courts do not recognize even a civil action claiming emotional injury without an accompanying physical one”

      The offense is not an offense if it is being perceived as an inequality. But men don’t have this “Right”. We’re offended all the time. Some get violent at an offense though, against their manhood, their ego or there mother/sister/wife. Some even say things after like, “Hey, had to be done.” But we don’t think of it as a right. We’re still going to jail. It is better defined as a responsibility than a right. A burden in fact. I mean, here this guy just insulted my sister, now I have to risk jail and getting my ass kicked because he is an asshole. What kind of Right is that? No thank you — oppress me! And it doesn’t fit the inequality mold either. I mean… there is no man out there who sees being offended by how a person dresses….

      Actually, there is a group of men who see how a person dresses exactly like that, isn’t there. And they take that offense seriously. And Brussels is right, it is too common and too personal to be taken up by the courts. When it happens it has to be dealt with right then. Right there. Publicly. The punishment isrendered by the victim of this heinous crime. The crowd around them serve as witness and even help with the punishment — which could be whipping, humiliation… or stoning. It should always depend on how badly the woman offended these men, but these situations can get emotional, and sometimes in the heat of the emotions, a fist is swung too hard and she is dead. Did she just show her bare head under god? Or did she flash the skin of her leg, or wink at someone. Those are pretty bad. Those assaults on the man could tempt him. So this is an assault on his soul. You threaten a man’s soul, well …

      And yes Winters, it shouldn’t be that these men are searching these women every day all day for signs of offense but they do, and so the feminist have the right to do that as well. Right? Equality?

      Anyway… it’s a start and if packaged properly so that the Other can hear me, a good start.

      And yes, I know. My brain is a bit twisted. But, there it is.

      Now. The other cause for this reaction is also a perceived assault. Frequently over the last five years, this line of thinking as been perpetrated by feminist bloggers. They don’t’ seem to care that it is mis-information. They pour it out anyway because their audience likes the show. It is suppose to be an improvement stance. This too is mis-information and actually the opposite is true, if.. this was the case.. which it is not.

      This incitement is called Objectification theory which was derived in 1997 by Barbara L. Fedrickson, a psychologist, and Tomi-Ann Roberts, also a psychologist. They came to this theory through the suggestion that the human body is constructed (physically built) not only through biological changes of growth and environment, but through sociocultural practices and discourse. This theory rides in on the back of inter-disciplinary works — from Brodo (1993) And Foucaut (1980) in philosophy, E. Martin (1987) in cultural anthropology, K. Martin (1996) and Shilling (1993) in sociology, Kaschak (1992) and Ussher (1989) in psychology…

      The trouble is that this theory has never been more than a theory and a framework. Empirical data has never been gathered to support the theory. The theory persists only through the efforts of a small group of feminist psychologist and sociologist who continue to write papers and publish under the subject, and to do studies which don’t produce any clear determination as to the value or to abandon of the theory completely — though there is some skepticism about this last.

      One such skepticism points out that no medical or brain specialist have been called in or allowed to help with these studies. And for a framework whose main goal is soundly in the biological realm — suggesting that the body itself is damaged and shaped by Sexual Objectification — that the physical brain is affected by the viewing of pornography — or that men are altered by these viewings to the point that reality and entertainment crossover — leading men to act on the Objectification of the women as if the man’s brain was physically programed by these sexually charged encounters — is very odd..

      Personally I believe the reason that neuropsychiatrists and other medical researchers have not been asked to share in the studies, is because we now are very sure that the brain (the actual organ) doesn’t function as described in the 1997 Objectification theory. Each further study and paper have conceded small amounts toward this result, but also kept the theory alive — but I don’t see this as a basis for chastising entertainment or those who enjoy it, be they male or female.

      Tomi-Ann Roberts (Colorado College) who helped create the Objectification theory, is still a member of the American Psychological Association Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls.

      She also backs, condones and defends a campus newspaper called the Monthly Rag.

      The young women with whom Roberts works with at Colorado College, where she is the Director of the Feminist and Gender Studies Program, are women who are overtly encouraged to explore things like pornography and sexually suggestive public displays and understanding sex acts that were once taboo and still are in the United States, and in the world. They explore sexualized language and publish a wordplayful newsletter entitled, The Monthly Rag.

      In the spring of 2008, Roberts spoke out in the Rocky Mountain News to publicly defend and to explain this publication by the Feminist and Gender Studies Program at her College:

      Our program’s bathroom publication, the Monthly Rag, is itself something of a parody, if you note its title, which emphasizes the idea of women being ‘on the rag.’ It is meant as a playful, informational flier regarding “taboo” subjects related to women’s bodies and sexuality. It is one of several bathroom fliers sponsored by groups on campus…. [In one issue] our flier has a point of historical fact with “Did You Know” as its heading. In it the term vagina dentata is explained. (The vagina dentata, or ‘toothed vagina,’ appears in the myths of many cultures, representing castration fears.)

      The issue of the Monthly Rag which Roberts particularly defends is one also that announces a free lecture “My Life as a Feminist Porn Activist” (and two books for sale, Hardcore from the Heart and Dr. Sprinkle’s Spectacular Sex) by Annie Sprinkle, Ph.D., who is described in the publication as a “World-Famous Prostitute & Porn Star turned Sexologist & Artist.”

      In Roberts’ Program’s publication, there is also “The Bitch Manifesto,” which is printed as follows:
      Bitches — clomp upstairs, stride when they walk and don’t worry about where they put their legs when they sit. the have loud voices and often use them. Bitches are not pretty.

      The “Word to Know” on the flier’s left column is “Packing,” a way to change one’s sexual appearance as if sexually titillated, “a form of gender play, gender bending, transgender identity, transitional identity for transsexuals, drand, and/ or to imply sexual intentions to a partner.”

      The same publication serves as a newsletter to publicize events, such as the one with Sprinkle.

      The Program flier spices up the announcements with questions such as:

      “What is Feminist Porn?
      Can Feminist Port exist?
      Who is active in this industry?
      What do they do?
      What do they stand for?”

      Roberts is concerned, she states, about finding healthy ways to give girls and women agency over how they may re-present themselves in public sexually. As non-objects. Her basis appears to be an acceptance, of the natural methods of taking in information by the brain (the organ) and insuring, with trained awareness that “what is there is not me” so that personal value is not affected in any way by the presence of sexual displays of women, or even in the engagement of sexual thought and identification.

      You can see a copy of the newsletter here:

      Click to access 66b48367dce00830b700437a788de2ac.pdf

      Entertainment is understood by our brains (again, the organ) as not being part of our lives. It is not seen as fiction. The brain doesn’t work that way either. What comes into the brain through the various senses and nervous system routes is accepted as true by default. Our Minds may correct this assessment and value to the information — which it has to or accept the default — but only to a certain extent. The brain believes itself as well. So if you remember it, the brain holds it as true.

      However, true or not, the brain never makes the mistake that it is the other. While every hour of her day she could be treated as a Sexual Object, her brain will never accept that input to the point of believing it. — as show by many of the studies designed to give greater to the Objectification theory.

      A good paper on this is Descartes’ Error Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain by Antonio Damasio
      Copyright © 1994 Antonio R. Damasio

      Spider-Man? Sure! The neuroscience of suspending disbelief NORMAN N. HOLLAND
      Evelyn F. and William L. McKnight Brain Institute, University of Florida

      Thank you all for the help you offered. It looks like i have some work to do now.


  5. Is not being offended a human right? On its own, I guess not.

    Yet, as a means to equality between persons (which is a human right), not being offended may be a necessity. Not for everything, obviously: if I serve you food your ex-wife used to make and you get upset, I don’t think that falls under not being offended as a means to achieving equality. But if I, say, make personal and homophobic comments in a debate regarding gay marriage, this doesn’t merely upset people: it offends to the point of preventing the achievement of equality. This doesn’t mean free speech is violated, or we are just being too ‘PC’ nowadays – it simply means free speech and equality must work together, not prevent the reality of the other.

    Let me elaborate:
    The fundamental right of freedom of speech doesn’t mean you get whatever platform you want to shout from – the USA doesn’t negotiate with known terrorists for a reason: some people, some groups, have chosen to violate conditions of equality when exercising their freedom of speech (and obviously in their actions, too, in some cases), and therefore we shouldn’t give them the platform to speak freely when it will cause offense to the extent that it hinders equality.

    In considering the right and debate of freedom of speech we must consider what will be said in any given context: if it involves hate speech or incitement, that’s a bad thing for equality and therefore for society – it isn’t just petty upset, it’s causing offence to the extent that it targets the equal social status of certain people/groups, which is unacceptable. It is unacceptable to cause such offence to people that they feel unsafe, and it has further continuing ramifications for them – either psychologically, or due to hateful incitements stemming from others who engaged with the initial perpetrator.

    The other thing to consider is environment and context. Recently a top UK university has had to stop a debate regarding abortion going ahead – criticised greatly, because surely universities should be spheres where freedom of speech is praised. The issue is that that university is not just an educational establishment, but the home of many people – residents have every right to feel safe there, and the college has an obligation to make it safe. This isn’t just about students being upset about the décor or disliking the showers, and getting offended about the room sizes offered – it’s about an unrepresentative all-male debate about abortion in the home of many women who could be triggered by the hateful and guilt-tripping comments (which would inevitably be made) not being conducive to equality between persons. It prevents these people contributing to the debate due to the threatening and hateful atmosphere, and therefore also makes them feel unsafe – preventing their right to exercise their equal status in their environment.

    We also need to consider how we frame our freedom of speech: some subjects aren’t up for discussion. ‘Should we euthanize all gays’, or ‘enslave all black people’… these things are totally unacceptable to even put up for debate. Anyone who chooses to support such notions is generally not given a platform to: their freedom of speech is restricted because their speech creates offence in people to the extent that it prevents their enjoyment of equality. Commenting on certain topics isn’t just exercising your personal freedom of speech – it incites hate and violence outside of your own comments.

    So on its own I guess we don’t have a right to not be offended – but if some forms of speech even comes close to preventing or hindering equality between persons, necessarily the right not to be offended in this context exists.

    Liked by 1 person


      Well said. aisydaisy12, and certainly well met. I’m going to give this some thought before responding. You bring up so many good points that It is difficult, after only two readings to untangle them in my head — which is not a comment on your clarity, but rather your accuracy.

      The one point I note — which I’ll provide so that you know where my thinking is at this moment, is the point you make of timing. For example, being threatening. If I, like say, Christopher Walken, only appear to be poised to threaten, it feels that you believe this is enough. Though no wound has touched, and no word has announced injury soon to come, reaction is warranted. — such as this :

      “– but if some forms of speech even comes close to preventing or hindering equality between persons, necessarily the right not to be offended in this context exists.”

      Even comes close? This could be a matter of political difference only. A view point I am not use to living – but as a HeForShe, I should be able to work under because the whole of the world is not guided by the same descriptions — for example – I was raised with “Innocent until proven guilty.” But France, the UK and many other countries — which we are likely to be addressing in some supportive capacity — do not all live with that perspective.

      Also, I look to the definition of offended vs incited.

      resentful or annoyed, typically as a result of a perceived insult.

      past tense: incited; past participle: incited
      encourage or stir up (violent or unlawful behavior).
      urge or persuade (someone) to act in a violent or unlawful way.

      To me these are very different effects. The most telling difference is the matter of origin, and the other a matter of intent. Offence is from me, about you and my perception of you. incite is from you, at me, and your perception of me, with the intent to cause harm either to me, or through me. Also note that offended is a descriptor of emotional state, whereas incited is an action deliberately waged against me.

      I wholeheartedly agree with the many debates which has led to the current laws regarding Incitement and it not being a voice protected by free speech. Absolutely agree with those descriptions and points of note. But to fall prey to fear in the form of mere perception — this is … well, like I said, I need to think further on this, because it is not the only point you breach.




      • Hmm. I think the issue with incite and offend: me being late to your party may offend you, or saying I dislike your shoes may offend you. If I say I dislike your religion or sexuality, it may not only offend but can incite hatred and violence (obviously this is dependant on the context and relationship between people – there is no, one size fits all, answer). Also the matter of origin: offence is from you but caused by the incitor, who doesn’t have to mean to incite this. We need to be careful to avoid getting too close to talking about sensitivity or ‘manning up,’ because it doesn’t help the debate at all. For example only a homosexual is qualified to determine when speech is homophopic – offensive and inciteful – rather than a hurtful comment (unrelated to sexuality) that causes offense, and we must be careful not to dictate to the marginalised who most need their equality recognised what is offensive in this manner and what is not.
        With regard to coming close vs happening: this is fair enough, in my view. The crime of assault in the UK specifies the fear of safety, or fear of imminent harm – no harm need actually occur. This is to provide a remedy for victims who were terrified or threatened but cannot pursue another remedy as they were not physically harmed. Often with offence/incitement/equality related speech the harm isn’t physical. It’s social – in terms of equality – and therefore far more dangerous. There should be a remedy to prevent those coming close to this to stop them before the damage is done – physical harm will heal a lot quicker than this harm does.


  6. Quick Question: Do you recognize the right of ISIS to not be offended by criticism of their beheadings (because they will be annoyed with you if you do)? Or the right of the catholic church to not be offended by Gallilei’s or Kopernikus’ discoveries?


    • Well – those aren’t rights. See, a right is : something which is just or virtuous; correctness, justness
      Demanding the right not to be offended — and I don’t care if you are the pope, is called tyranny. To assault someone under the guise of being offended is either insanity, or criminal.

      I asked the question for other points of view, and was given some seriously good offerings. I love them, but I would doubt very strongly that anyone (on this page or off) actually accepts the idea that someone has the right to behead them because they happened to feel offended by their presence. That is a disregard of life which is beyond psychotic.


      • Or perhaps I read you wrong.. which .. honestly.. is the more likely of the case — Ive been hammering books and writting up notes on some of the projects so much lately..I’ll go back to my notes a couple of days later and wonder if I ever used spell-check anymore. 🙂 and I’m starting to question my memory.. think I need a few days off here soon. — but its just so damn fun and immersing I can’t seem to pull myself away.

        Never had a clue feminists were this fun.:-)


      • „I’m always a little amazed to her someone state that.“

        This will go away as you will hear it much, much more often in the coming years.


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