That’s a tag that may as well be put on everything these days.
Before you get your pitchforks, hear me out. Yes, I know genuinely offensive things exist. There are some things I’m offended by, so I certainly can’t say nothing is offensive. However, I’ve noticed some people seem to actively try to be offended. I respect that different people are offended by different things, but what I cannot respect is when people are offended by things that truly have zero to do with them.
I’m talking about a person’s personal preferences and no, not matters like who they prefer to date. I mean things like what TV shows they like and what foods they can’t stand. That kind of stuff.
Seems silly to get offended over such a thing, doesn’t it? Why would what someone likes to watch on TV offend anybody? But it does. I talked about this a little in my post about death threats, but even without death threats, people can be very vicious. I’ve talked several times about the mess a fandom I was previously part of has become because of a rift between fans who prefer the older seasons versus fans who like the new ones. But why? Why does anyone have to give an explanation for liking or not liking something beyond “I like/dislike this”, and have their reasons deemed to be the right or wrong ones by other people? In short, why are people’s personal preferences about trivial things put on trial?
Is it even possible to have an explanation for everything someone likes or dislikes? I like strawberries above all fruits, but I can’t tell you why. I have no idea. I just do. I don’t like the color gray. No idea why. I just don’t. Why are fairies my favorite mythical creatures? Why do I hate snakes? I have no clue or explanation for any of these. However, they’re how I feel and that should be enough. Yet, for some people, it’s not.
Even if “offended” is too strong a word, these people are still getting mad someone does not have the same likes and dislikes as they do, or that they’re not keeping quiet about it. Why should they? I know the whole world isn’t the USA, but to my knowledge, the internet is for everyone to freely and openly express themselves. Why should someone have to be quiet or censor themselves in a certain way (not tagging a post, etc) because someone else can’t deal with seeing things they don’t agree with? I walk out in public and see multiple things I don’t agree with, but I can’t tell anyone to stay home because I don’t agree with something I see of them. The internet is hardly much different.
If someone wants to talk about or give reasons why they feel a certain way, that’s fine, and they should understand they’re opening themselves up to criticism if they publicize it. But making someone feel they have to explain whatever feelings they have, especially over something as insignificant as entertainment media, is little more than being mean-spirited. At the end of the day, it’s how they feel and those are their personal preferences. They’re called “personal” for a reason. Personal is defined as: “of, affecting, or belonging to a particular person rather than to anyone else” or “of or concerning one’s private life, relationships, and emotions rather than matters connected with one’s public or professional career“. In other words? It’s. Not. About. You. It’s only about them and their feelings.
I believe anyone who’s angered because someone doesn’t like something they do, and further angered if it’s for reasons they don’t agree with, or vice versa, needs to take a cue from my favorite queen.
Because, really, someone’s personal preferences do not affect you. Their personal preferences are about them, not you. Remember, everyone’s entitled to free speech, and that right doesn’t end because you don’t like what they have to say.
And if it really and truly does bother you so very much, here’s a nifty idea: try a blog! Then, you can control who speaks and who doesn’t on your space. That suggestion tends to get people mad, but it’s more productive than complaining about seeing things you don’t like in spaces you can’t control.