I’m offended, he’s offended, she’s offended, they’re offended, my dog’s offended… did I mention that my dog’s offended – we’re all heading off the deep-ended! HEAVENS TO MURGATROYD, PEOPLE, STOP IT ALREADY!
To our loyal 2P News readers and visitors (all 6 of you), this is a little editorial piece that allows me vent about a topical issue that has been bothering me for quite some time, so please here me out.
At my previous employer a few years ago, I remember standing around the water cooler shooting the breeze with some fellow engineering buddies when a female co-worker/acquaintance walked up to me and said,
“Hey, you’re looking rather black today!”
Here are a few things that I could have done in this situation:
- assumed that she was talking about my milk chocolate skin and reported her to HR or Justin Trudeau;
- assumed that she was talking about the black slacks (yes, I said slacks), black dress shirt, and black shoes that I was wearing;
- just ignored her, or
- laughed out loud.
Do you know what I did? I chose option 4 and do you know what? I had a solid chuckle with everybody else there who I believe were laughing with me. I certainly did not take offence to her statement because it was funny. Yet, I can only imagine how some darkies could have reacted to it and possibly escalated the matter to the VP of HR.
There is no question that there are things that should offend people, and offend them deeply. And when that happens, it’s unfortunate, but you deal with it. That’s not what I’m talking about in this piece. But as a society in general I believe we’ve become far to sensitive to things that aren’t generally offensive.
Let’s look at the #MeToo movement. We here at 2P News unequivocally support this very worthy cause and we have done so right from the beginning. There is no place for sexual harassment or sexual assault in society today and any such experience needs to be shared publicly and the perpetrators must be punished to the full extend of the law. Full stop.
Now let’s look at the group of male engineering students from a Calgary-based university who formed the #WhyNotMeToo movement. These fine young men are saying that non-consensual sexual advances are perfectly fine with them. In fact, the fundamental idea behind their movement is that consent with them is automatic and women need not even ask. I met with the movement’s founder over coffee last week and he had this to say.
“In general, male engineering students see Far fewer butts than an ashtray on a commercial jetliner. So to all of the women out there – no matter your size, race, religion, etc. – it’s okay for you to take advantage of us without limitation! we hereby give you our full consent. What some would deem as inappropriate sexual advances we consider appropriate – we’re good to go. No waivers or other paperwork necessary. Whether it is a little groping, an accidental sweater-puppy brush-up as you walk by, we are up for pretty much anything, anytime, anywhere, and we absolutely promise not to make a big stink about it.” – Shane Napier, #whynotmetoo founder
Society should stand behind these guys, too, because they are trying to do the right thing and they mean no harm.
And don’t even get me started on the Canadian Association of Salmon Farmers recent protests around the use of the word salmon in salmonella. They believe that all of the recent salmonella breakouts in the press are having an adverse impact on the salmon farming industry and they are pushing to have the term salmonella changed to Notsalmonella.
Do we need to go back to the days of Archie Bunker or George Jefferson from the 70s? No.
But perhaps the PC pendulum has swung too far to the left over the past 40 years and it’s time for curved spacetime to take it back a little, but just not too far back.
Because at the end of the day to be offended is a choice you make, it is not a condition inflicted or imposed upon us by someone or something else.
Peace, love, and hair grease,
Dr. Darcy Flowman, 2P News co-founder