I am offended when I am driving down the street and I see the person in front of me has hung a pair of testicles from the back of their car. I am offended by littering. I am offended by cigarette smoke. I am offended by people playing loud music in their car disrupting my peaceful day. I am offended by people talking loudly on their phones on the bus. I am offended by bad breath. I am offended by people standing too close to me in line. I am offended by the severely unbalanced distribution of wealth in America. I am offended by people telling me how to raise my son. I am offended by people spitting or vomiting on the street. I am offended that I have to struggle to make ends meet because I choose to stay home with my son. I am offended by articles telling me what career choice is best to meet single men. I am offended by police breaking the very laws they are paid to model and protect. I am offended by news headlines that pit white people against black people or Americans against the rest of the world. I am offended by other people’s feet. I am offended by the sweaty shirtless guy pressed up against me on a crowded bus on a hot Chicago day.
I am offended. I am offended. I am offended.
Every. Single. Day.
I am offended by most humans most of the time.
of·fend verb \ə-ˈfend\
: to cause (a person or group) to feel hurt, angry, or upset by something said or done
: to be unpleasant to (someone or something)
: to do wrong : to be against what people believe is acceptable or proper
I hear that you are offended by breastfeeding. Really? You are living in a bubble. Allow me to pop it for you.
Breastfeeding has many benefits beyond the physical health of the child; although science in uncovering that these are astounding. Breastfeeding provides emotional security, helps a child form attachment and trust in the world and creates a foundation for all of the child’s future relationships. Images of breastfeeding represent nurturance, love and gentleness. These all sound to me like things we could use more of in our daily lives. Our society is seriously lacking in displays of love, affection and connection; and it’s glaringly obvious the affects this has had on the way people treat each other. It is not unusual to see blood spill on the news or half-naked ladies in advertisements, but it is truly unusual to see a mother nurturing her child; to see anyone nurturing anyone. The lack of love, empathy and nurturance has affected the very fabric of our society.
You’re wasting your time being offended. I am wasting my time being offended. It doesn’t matter. It has no effect on the things we are offended by. These are personal feelings and are not anyone else’s problem. You’re offended? I’m offended? I’m offended that you’re offended! So what?
Abby Theuring, MSW