Avoid taking offense to comments

Blake Howell and Blake Howell

In the past month or so, my newsfeeds for both Twitter and Facebook have been blowing up with news articles and videos of racial, gender, ethnical, etc. attacks. In all of these stories and in all of these videos, the people posting them cry out for us onlookers to observe the horrors of man’s harsh words and actions.

While a good number of videos and articles that I have read possess credence to the claim of terrible things done by terrible people, I must admit that a large portion of these people are just picking at and complaining about the dumbest, most trivial things in the world.

For instance, last week I watched a video that had been shared by several of my friends on Facebook (all girls). The video addressed gender roles and feminism through its theme of what it means to do anything, “like a girl.” All of these people were saying things like “must watch,” “so powerful,” and “united we stand.”

The phrase “like a girl” is just an expression, and an extremely light-hearted expression at that. Yes, you could read further into it and claim that it suggests inferiority and is dangerous in terms of other social implications. But let me ask you something: when you and a friend are walking down the road, your friend trips and falls and you laugh, are you actually laughing at their pain? No, you are most certainly not, nor would your friend honestly believe you to be laughing at their misfortune. You and your friend understand that it is human nature and a necessity to make light-hearted jabs at one another in order to create a bond.

Every pair of best friends I have ever known has all made fun of each other without mercy. But what do friends have to do with the distraught woes of injustice and persecution? Simple: best friends know the other to be joking and therefore take no offense to the light-hearted jab. In short, this is how we should all act. Stop overthinking these stupid phrases and words, they’re just jokes. We’re human beings—we went to the moon, we went to the bottom of the ocean, and we discovered electricity! Are we honestly going to waste our time and potential by bickering over every little phrase that someone with a microphone said that offended him or her? I certainly hope not.

Now by no means am I saying things like feminism and other social injustices are items unworthy of discussion or action, but please realize the difference between a light-hearted expression and an intentional expression or action with actual malice.

These phrases and words are our assimilated culture; their original or literal meanings have nothing to do (in most cases) with the connotations in which they are used today. So the next time someone says you throw like a girl, or calls you gay because you like a certain movie, just know that whatever was said to you has no meaning and is nothing but empty and assimilated words of light-hearted companionship.

Take it on the chin, learn to laugh at yourself as the rest of us do or should do, and quit being so sensitive.

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