I don’t often hesitate to express my opinion about things. I’m not talking about my favourite brand of chocolate or my thoughts on the latest fashion trends. Usually, I will feel provoked by an incident or something someone said.For me, I think it is important to challenge others that are being offensive rather than just shaking your head disapprovingly or ‘leaving it’. This is because if you don’t challenge people’s perceptions, nothing would ever change.
I saw a really good quote on a social media site recently. I have no idea who it belongs to, but here it is:
“Offensive things aren’t offensive merely because they hurt feelings- they’re offensive because they contribute to the societal harm of marginalized groups. The end goal isn’t to get everyone to love each other, it’s to destroy power imbalance”
I get frustrated when people eye roll me if I’m trying to explain why something is offensive. Maybe it’s because I “go on about it too much” or “over analyse”. But if everyone just put up with those that are close minded, social change would never progress. It is also so important that if you are in a position to contribute towards making someone think differently about an issue, that you take that opportunity. This isn’t just because of the overall difference that could make. But because you could be saving the next ‘victim’ who would witness the homophobic or racist slur, which may affect them more that the person might realise.
I am not by any means promoting arguments and conflict and I am definitely not sending you out to shout at anyone who might say something slightly insensitive. You need to pick your battles. But communication and education can make such a huge difference in our society.
So, get talking!