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Where to draw the line?

Journal Entry: Fri Nov 11, 2011, 2:42 AM

Some what controversial, so beware ...and something that has been on my mind for a while... I actually want to talk about two things that are quite interlinked.

What is okay to joke about? Are there things you see as off limits? do you believe joking about something ' e.g death, murder, drugs, rape, homosexuality, gender,  religion, historical events etc' is good or bad?

Do you believe jokes supply relief, help soften attached stigmas and make issue easier to talk about? or do you believe they minimize the issue and do more damage than good? 'e.g referring a girl as a 'bitch', simply because she is a girl, implying someone getting beaten at something is getting 'gang raped', using the word 'gay' to describe unpleasantness or someone being an idiot/lame.

I myself joke about everything, there is little I won't joke about but I am sensitive to whom I tell these jokes too, usually close friends or people I know won't be offended by them. (obviously there are some topics I consider worse and others I consider minor and would joke about in public.)

How do you feel about it? should people be more sensitive/politically correct, or should people toughen up and stop taking everything so seriously?

That brings me to another topic? No matter what you do/say, there will always be someone somewhere who will be offended...this is just a fact of life. So tell me what is the strangest thing that someone has become offended by? whether you have witnessed it or have heard about it from someone else?

I remember someone getting offended by a conversation me and my friends where having ( can't quite remember what it was about? but I think it was just talking about stuff on the weekend and fanfiction or something? not sure), and being promptly and quite heatedly interrupted by a girl telling us" to stop talking about complete shit, you guys always talk about complete shit"? Just note, this was a personal conversation between me and a bunch of friend not involving this person at all...who later went on to talk to her group of friends about having orgasms while giving birth and about how sexually arousing Edward Cullen is... ( I am not making this up I promise!) ...:iconfacepalmplz:....

Asides from that, someone got offended at me to the point of it becoming physically violent because I told them "horse meat is actually edible"

(Speaking of political correctness...NZ is awful when it comes to this! I heard while I was back in school that the nursery rhyme 'bah bah black sheep' in primary schools and kindergartens was banned and now they have to say 'bah bah rainbow sheep' because the other version apparently promotes racism?... Also a garbage man is referred to as a sanitation engineer and these are only the examples I can pull of the top of my head at the moment. (please share if you know of any from your area/country)

If you have opinions on either/both of these matters feel free to share them.

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Navrasend Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2011  Student Photographer
Well, of course you are right, you never know who might be offended with anything) But it doesn't mean people should not joke. Our life would be very boring without jokes.

But still I believe there are some of the topics, you counted them yourself, that possibly can offend many people. Maybe, it would be better then, not to make this themes as a subject of jokes.

About political correctness, well, I think that sometimes it is really too much.)) When it becomes, absurd already, maybe that's the line) We can't change the history, songs, etc))

Anyway, the nicest position of me is not to be offended with anything and take it easy)
Hedgehogian Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I don't like death jokes. They are offensive, but it's OK to slip. Some girl I used to be friends with told a Jew/Death Camp/dead baby joke everytime she saw me. It's rude. I don't like rape jokes either.

Other than that I tell pretty much any joke e.e;
but I've had a situation kind of like yours!
Except me and my guy friend were talking about religion, and she (girl from above) stomps over and yells at us because she doesn't want to hear what we're talking about...then she goes on to talk about the porn she watched that night and penises...
jadeshadow Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2011
It's a pretty fuzzy line. Unfortunately someone's bound to get offended (even if they're just being completely irrational about it). I stay away from "rape" jokes, because rape isn't at all funny. Other than that, pretty much everything is fair game.
M-G-Studio Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
You have to be careful about the jokes you say to people you may not know so well or who don't know you so well. We all have a different style of joking. See my joking style is dry sarcastic so I tend to make fun of people without actually meaning what I say.. some VERY close people like my siblings get that and they laugh when I say (what would be considered as being offensive) with a straight face cause they know I'm joking but people outside that circle don't understand my joking style and they find me offensive.

The thing is, you never know what people have been through, so by not getting to know someone very well, you may hurt them by joking about something that triggers a painful or sad memory. So it's not really about what you say, it's about who you say it to and what kind of views they have. You have to really know someone on a personal level to joke about something big.. cause joking about rape to a rape victim isn't a funny thing.
zookimer Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
(forgive me, this may get long.)
For most things i'm pretty lenient - For crying out loud, my friends and I make racist jokes about each other! Our Hispanic friend is "mexican buddy," Our well-endowed half-black leader is "Chocolate Milkshake" and I myself, having not much of a background in that area besides a little Cherokee about six generations back, am simply "White Trash," Just to name a few. We all make some pretty bad jokes, most of them would have other people shaking their heads in disgust, but there are lines we dont cross, and it's all in good fun.
Everyone in my high school makes some pretty bad jokes once in a while, most of us cuss at least once in a day and most of the time it's calling each other "bitch" no matter the gender, and once upon a time someone even gave - better sit down for this one! - decent reasons to federally legalize marijuana.
And while I can stand for all this, it still pisses me off when people start in on "faggot." That's just too far.
For Godess' sake, using "gay" for something you dont like is stupid - Being gay isnt a bad thing, and using the word in such a way only says to me that you arent confident in your heterosexuality to appreciate whatever it is. Calling someone "faggot" isn't funny - It's just rude and it crosses that line that I mentioned earlier. It is probably one of the most derogatory terms for a person i can think of, right up there with "nigger" and such.
....Tirade over. Sorry for adding one more to the stack piled up in your inbox.
W0lfxer0 Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I've actually been threatened by someone for telling dead baby jokes. There's not too many lines I won't cross.
13th-ZodiaK Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Student General Artist
Ba ba gay sheep...

^Nothing is sacred... :iconeyebrowplz:

I joke a lot and about pretty much everything, since nothing is sacred. It helps me "deal" with reality. I say "deal" because my "dealing" with reality is by ignoring reality and by living life in denial of all things cruel and unfair. When confronted with them, I will react, usually negatively (sadness, guilt, anger, fear) but I try to ignore them, mostly. And even though I say nothing is sacred, this isn't exactly true. As a kid, I did a lot of embarrassing stuff, and to this day my family still jokes about it, usually just by saying the punchline: example, "I demand a piece of chocolate!" and "I vont to suck yor blod...." After a few years, I got used to it, and the only joke they continued using was the chocolate one (long story). But the vampire joke, with the blood, I have never gotten over. The reason for this is because when I was eight, I had the most terrifying dream of my life, and I have never had a worse night than that one. I dreamt I was being chased by Dracula and he was threatening me with terrible things, things a relatively sheltered eight-year-old girl would never have encountered, using strange words I'd never heard before. Despite these new words, I clearly understood his meaning. When I woke up, I went to my mom and told her about it, and I was going crazy trying to remember what he'd said. In the end I gave up and said "He said 'I vont to suck yor blod.' ", which made my mom laugh. The next day, she told us all about it at breakfast and it became the new joke. At first I was mad, as usual, and eventually I got over it. But then, when I grew older, I suddenly remembered what it was he'd been saying, which was giving me gruesome details on how he was going to kill me and eat me and drink my blood, but what he kept repeating over and over was that strange new word: "rape". He kept repeating that he was going to rape me, and since then I've become very sensitive to that. So that and Jesus are the only "sacred" things.

Other dangerously controversial conversation topics include Justin Bieber and Twilight.

Since nothing is sacred, I often joke about things being gay if there are rainbows involved. This is not because I'm anti-homo, it's because I think it's funny.
CookieMonkeyPoney Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011  Student Digital Artist
I can make light out of anything, but I can/can not tolerate the "N" word.
GRANTdotcom Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011
Honestly, some people don't even know what they're talking about when they make jokes about being 'raped' by thier friends when hugged or stuff like that. Does that make it bad? Depends on the audience. They're just friends having a good laugh- go for it, joke about it, it doesn't hurt you. If there's someone genuinely offended- apologize, explain yourself and move on. What they do after that is their business. If you take it too far, usually someone has to tell you because I sometimes don't realize the things I say until someone comments.
sietai Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I've written papers about this.
I believe that the line exist where you aren't actually hurting anyone.
as long as nobody is personally targeted, the joke is usually ok.
there are exceptions, but as the model goes:
-If I make fun of a group of people in a way that it's obvious I'm joking, nobody should be offended.
-If I make fun of a group of people in a way that it's obvious I'm joking and somebody decides to take offense [ESPECIALLY if they do not belong to that group of people!] the person being offended is often causing more disgruntle than the person who made the joke.
Aquamarina1 Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011
tastefully done jokes are funny about pretty much any subject.
bad jokes are offensive.
except, joking about someone's weight isn't funny to me, because i know so many people with insecurities about that.
YugiKitten Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
People can be weird
And it makes me feel like the person who got mad at the "horse meat is edible" topic might be a "My Little Pony" fan =_=U
Serenity279 Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011
the last part of your journal reminded me of passage in George Carlin's When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?. He talks about euphemisms: for example how a secretary is now known as an executive assistant. The USA in particular are known for being prudes :shrug:
SnapBanditWolf Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
My friends and I are incredibly offensive. One of my friends has an imaginary obsessive gay stalker called Ramone, two of my male friends are to be my "house-wives" in the future and told on a daily basis that no, they are not getting new shoes or jewellery and they should get back in the kitchen. This never leaves the group.
However, you can offend anyone with anything you say. But when I make jokes that could cause backlash, I generally do it with people I know, who are much worse than I am for the most part.
animefanxD Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011  Student Writer
hummm.......I think that it wasn´t your fault, I eman you can´t prevent how people will react to erverything you say, if you don´t like just don´t lisen.
Just try to don´t be mean xP
notyourlittlesister Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011
jokes are something i really only tell to people i know, and that know me. that way i know they won't be offended, or hurt. i am a very blatant person, and if my friend is being stupid and too sensitive i tell them that. if someone doesn't like the way me and my friends are joking i tell them off because it is really none of their business. i can understand that some people have been raped, molested, have family members that have been murdered etc, so i stay clear of joking about them until i know the person better. not necessarily because i don't want to hurt them, but it causes a lot of drama and it's not my place to make fun of them. i've found nothing that offends me, and i don't really take things seriously.
Frazzled-Niya Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You will always offend someone with a joke. Personally I don't really like jokes about rape; more often than not the victim is left with some sort of trauma or hatred. That being said I don't think the topic should be completely dismissed and not talked about.

I find though that if you try and take notice of the type of people around you or the forum you are talking on you can normally avoid offending people on a large scale.

If you make a comment or "joke" about something that you know will get a rise out of people you have to be prepared to get some angry comments.
PhoenixofLife Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm pretty intense with the jokes. I don't care, the people around me don't care... Now I wouldn't say anything like that to a child or a complete and total stranger (unless they were being dicks). I don't draw lines except when it's about someone who's died. (unless they're in the media alot..l. face it... they would love it). But I see them as jokes and for the morons who can't understand that then so be it, but I live in a free country with the freedom of speech and I'll be damned if someone tries to politically correct me. I have always used queer as strange, and when I say, "You're so queer," that's how I mean it, but people are so caught up in being politically correct that they can't tell I WAS being Politically Correct. They always think I'm bashing the gays. I'm not. But people are people and jokes are jokes. Why is it okay for some people to get away with it (like comedians) but not normal people? People who are always complaining about rasist people are ususally the most rasist of them all.

I guess my story would be a recent one. I grew up with my gpa being a very prejudice person. He disliked black people who were bums and thugs because he was a cab driver and two black men robbed him and cut his throat for some change, (he lived). So he would use every foul word to describe them. Except the term "coon." Now I'm a camper, so I always called racoon's 'coons,' and I had a friend who's last name was koonz, so she called herself the coon. I was in a marsh and they were talking about how some places don't bag items, and the place where koonz worked did, unless you got her (because she was lazy). I said "If you go to the Kroger down by our house, the only one who won't bag your groceries is the coon." People freaked out around me and I had no idea what they were going on about so I took my stuff and left. My aunt was freaking out and I had to be told what I had "done." I felt bad, but I was pissed, because I hadn't done anything wrong and people just assumed I was a rasist because of a word I 'apparently' misplaced. People who take things too seriously are annoying and are jackasses because they then try to verbally bash you so they feel better about themselves.

There is one group who I believe crosses all lines, and that would the Westboro Baptist Church, or the Westboro clan. These people pervert religion and are currently the most disgusting, rasist group on the planet. They pickette funerals of fallen soliders and constantly yell at the families while they're trying to bury their loved one. It's sickening. you can watch youtube vidoes of them .
mothquake Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I can't stand people who make jokes about everything, including what you've stated. I know someone who made a joke about having a bad life in reality. Said person put up a journal that had, "there's a lot of drama going on in my real life. I'm gonna go on hiatus." and then at the end in a very small, crossed out font was, "lolol I'm just kidding"
I find that to be very, very insensitive, especially because I'm one of the people who actually have a tough time with life because of drama.

Well, I confronted the person about it a while ago, and the person said that they've seen other journals of the same nature. That is by far the worst excuse ever. It's not a good thing to do. People will get offended by it.
SoHappyToSeeYou Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
my only limit is pedo bear jokes.
lysealoo Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is an issue I have to some extent as well. I joke, and I joke about a lot of politically incorrectness.

Like you, I limit my joking around certain people- but at the same time I've actually become one of those people somewhat and I find myself even using the "r-word" less and less.

I have a niece who is now 5 years old who has Down Syndrome. So while I still make jokes here and there, I've had to change the way I joke about mental handicaps for her and myself. While the jokes are funny at times, I've learned it really does hurt more people than those who HAVE the disability. But it doesn't make me a stickler that goes around dictating what jokes can be told. I enjoy mostly all jokes. They're jokes, they are meant to lighten topics usually. By being a stickler and forcing people to change their habits- you're not being any better than a person who tells Gmilf jokes at Granny's funeral. It's insensitive either way.

I think it really depends on the sincerity, and sensitivity of not only the audience but the one telling the joke as well.
atsuko-tenshi Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I agree with you. People should be more sensitive/politically correct- especially with people you aren't familiar with. When it comes to serious and political matters like violence, abuse, orientation, ethnicity, religion, etc, it's not okay to exaggerate.

I find myself to be very sensitive to most racial prejudices. I mean idgaf what people say to me about my nationality but if you're insulting others I won't accept that. Ethnicity as well as beliefs and some personal preferences or values don't make the individual. It may be a factor that makes them who they are, but the whole is not equal to the sum of the parts. I hate hearing any sort of racial slur and while I find it okay to make fun of your own race, you should be proud of who you are. Even though I'm Asian (Japanese and Filipino) ethnically, I'm an American and I'm proud of it :dummy: LOL

I think that if you don't let it bother you, then people who just want to be mean or trolls won't find it as a weakness. They don't have anything to say to make them feel they have power and control over you.If you show them that what they personally think doesn't matter to you, then whatever they say can't hurt you.

As for those who are stating their own opinion or are completely oblivious or ignorant, there's no need to be upset that they don't agree with your views. You can try reasoning with them that there is a different way to look at the situation -that they may have not thought of or learned of before- and you may be able to make them reconsider what's their opinion.

When talking with your friends, I can understand that many of us use overly mainstream vocabulary. It's fun to tease friends with sarcastic, witty speech and whatever is said usually isn't actually meant at that extreme. If your friends get offended though, I believe it's best to apologize.

Personal story orz
I would tease my sister and call her a weeaboo because she loves anime and Japanese things. She even at one point changed the search engine design to have vocaloids in the margins and switched the language to Japanese LOL. It's fine that she loves a culture, but I suppose I felt she had too much favoritism and believed she may not value her other ethnicity or nationality as much. I think the term weeaboo implies that one loves Japanese culture to an extreme even though they aren't Japanese. Although we have Japanese nationality, we are American. One day she told me that she looked up what it meant and she said it had a negative connotation, she also rather be called an otaku. I laughed and said It's true, she preferred otaku because it's Japanese. She ended up crying and I felt so bad ;A; She told me that there's nothing wrong with loving a culture and I made it seem like a bad thing. I was annoyed and assuming that she did not have pride in being filipino or american, but she just was enthusiastically sharing her love for what she does currently know about some of her heritage. That sort of passion does not affect how she feels about other nationalities. anyway sorry so long OTL...
turketspy Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011
My friends and I will joke about pretty much everything. Except mental illness. We draw the line there. And we watch who we joke with in relation to the subject. But we pretty much joke about everything. Hell, my mother's even decided that my 18th birthday cake is going to be penis-shaped. And my step-brother's getting a set of boobs for his. xD
MacCarrickLuv Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I understand and sympathies with people who get offend from being hurt badly in situations like rape, or from trauma and try to keep certain topics/jokes to myself until their ready to heal more.
I'm like you in the aspect that I see humor in allot of things for the most part. lol
I've come to the conclusion from my personal experiences that when someone jumps down your throat for you voicing your opinion, it usually ties to insecurities in the person and they knowingly, or unknowingly attack you for it.
Be the topic of Anime, tasty horse meat ,ect. I mean, if you think about it, why else would they react in such a way? To get upset, offended, or just pist off over a silly topic that doesn't affect you in the slightest to me, shows the need for more self-reflection and deep honesty to ones self.
I'm trying to see it this way; I have my opinions from personal experience and other people have their own from their experiences. There are no right or wrong topics or answers, just different perspectives of said topic/answer.
But hey, that's my two
Namaste my friend. C:
MIDNIGHTsong Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011
Very few things are off limits for me as to what can be humorous, but what actually comes out of my mouth depends on who I'm around. More because I don't want to start a fight over something that really doesn't matter, like a little joke. Over all, western culture has become waaaaaay to concerned with political correctness. Overall, if there's no ill will behind it and isn't trying to be offensive, people shouldn't get their panties in a wad. Race jokes are often time my favorite, so it's really annoying how touchy people can be about it. Especially white people, which is weird.
Example: My room mate, joking around, told our friend J'nee, who is black, to get her a piece of cake at a birthday party. J'nee puts on this ridiculous face and this super fake southern accent and says, "I's free! You ain't ma masa no mo!" and I just about died laughing. Everyone else around us is looking around trying to figure out if the joke was offensive or funny. XD
DarkLordRinku Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Dang, there's some crazy-long responses here!
PhilipGlassmeyer Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
toughen up definitely, people these days have become way to sensitive I mean I get my feelings hurt too and the next day I can laugh about at people being able to take jokes makes the world a much better place then if we just joked about appropriate things.
emokirby16 Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
People basically think they can joke about whatever the hell they want. Jokes nowadays usually do have a personal connection to people, but that doesn't exactly matter, because people will joke about it, and will KEEP joking about it, as much as I hate to say it. As long as a few people find it funny, it's okay to keep joking about it...
(by the way, I love your journals. They actually make me THINK! haha)
Immortalium Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Some people I know are offended if a story has gay characters in it. Even if they don't have "gay sex" or do anything sexual at all, if a character is gay they'll turn of the TV.

It's hard to know what's offensive. I was having a conversation with a friend about how I thought the word "cunt" is offensive. She said she didn't care, that she often refered to herself as such.

Some people don't like the movie Resevoir Dogs because of the racist/sexist dialogue. (The movie itself is neither racist nor sexist). The actress Rosario Dawson liked the movie so much, it was what got her into acting. She even worked with the director in a later film.

So if you say something offensive but mean no offense, I don't see that as a bad thing.
TheSkaldofNvrwinter Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
"I believe you can joke about anything. It's all how you construct the joke." - George Carlin.

"People say rape isn't funny. I can prove to you that rape is funny. Picture Elmer Fudd raping Porky the Pig. See? You'll probably say Porky had it coming to him." - George Carlin.
StarBaby1 Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011
I don't like jokes about retards, diseases, or anything OVERLY sexist or racist. But if it's mild I'll laugh at it.
I'm ok with most everything else as long as it wasn't meant to hurt anybody. ^__^
Caffinatrix Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Hobbyist Artist
Every joke has the possibility of offending someone somewhere. I guess jokes are okay as long as they are meant as just that, a joke. People have been taught to be overly sensitive about things or not sensitive enough. It's the way things are now. I guess if you joke just keep that in mind. I myself joke about EVERYTHING but to people I am close to.
Blooming-tree Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011
I think everything's okay depending who is listening. ;)
Personnaly i asked my father to stop doing jokes on chinese people when i'm here, because i have some in my friends and feel sorry about them who are nice people... i'm affraid they could feel unease :(

So yeah, everything is fine, just be carefull on who will hear it XD
Nanakonomidori Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011
I think joking about things, takes the tention too ^^...
Although I, too, speak mostly to my closest friends, excluding the fact that I dn't exactly have many of them either.
fact is, a friend would know your joking and some people aren't.
Some people say meaningles word, and not joke.
Like call people 'gay' because of doing something stupid. The obviously know the person isn't gay. but they think gay is a bad thing. THAT IS BAD
But whereas me and my friends joke around about him being gay, it wouldn't be because we hate gays, or because he is stupid, but just to joke around him liking a certain person which would obviously be a lie for the sake of the joke
if this was understandable you get my point
musiqueen Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
In my opinion, people trying too hard to be politically correct often leads to them being more offensive than if they had just been straight about it.

In terms of offensive jokes, it's really situational to me. There are a lot of socially taboo/politically incorrect topics that particularly offend me (racism/xenophobia, sexism, homophobia, and ableism all hit close to home), but depending on how they're delivered I may or may not mind. The hows and whys can be complicated, but as a general rule, if the joke is made deliberately, in a way that I know is intended as a joke (and the teller obviously knows it's politically incorrect), and I know the person to joke like that with some amount of indiscretion (if you're going to make racist comments, why not do so about all races, including your own?), I'm generally going to let it pass, maybe even laugh a little. If someone makes a comment or joke in passing, it tends to bother me more.
Amadoodles Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011
OH yeah ,I also remember that the bah bah rainbow sheep thing appeared as a part of one of our English comprehensions in our final English school exam XD
Amadoodles Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011
Mkaing jokes about somethings can have two effects I suppose. Mediums such as theatre are often used to challenge or raise awareness about important issues by using stereotypes or making fun of certain races/cultures/events etc. Because they're jokes, people are more willing to open up to them, and when they open up, they often internalise the underlying messages. It also does open up a platform from which people can start to feel more wiling to talk about these issues as they are no longer taboo.

ON the other hand, it can potentially make light of many things that are in fact important. Saying things like 'aww that exam raped me' or just making jokes about certain things can help to perpetuate negative stereotypes, as well as potentially making certain issues seem unimportant or less serious than they truly are.

So I don't believe that there is any 'right' or 'wrong' way. Its like most other things, it depends oh how and where it is used.
KorukiKonaru Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011
The song "Laugh Kookaburra Laugh" has been edited in a few primary schools in the south because apparently "gay your life must be" is now potentially offensive (or it may just be some whiny little homophobic parents worried about their precious children's safety, I don't know what it is exactly :|). I think it's now something along the lines of "happy your life must be"?
Whatever it is, it's butchery.
ArtofChase Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011
I personally think people should be more considerate of others. Internet culture has kind of glorified this ideal that saying anything anywhere is okay, regardless of who it hurts. Making jokes at others' expense in earshot, even if they're "not a part of the conversation" is just cruel and demeaning. Being considerate of others will get one much farther than making rude, insensitive jokes. The world would be a much better place if, every time they got the urge to say sometihng offensive, they told people something enouraging instead.

I remember this one time my (then) fiancee' and I were playing a game together. An item of little consequence droped to me. All of a sudden he started calling me a "bitch" and laughing his head off. I asked him to please stop, but he just kept saying it over and over again, and laughing until I cried. To him, it was okay. he didn't see anything bad by it. After that, I suppose it became my nickname, because he knew he would get a reaction. He wound up cheating on, then dumping me.

I played a male character in his game, so after that, he told all of his firends I was "some fag he felt sorry for." They started making gay jokes about me where I could hear it, but not saying TO me. That way, I couldn't react. Like I wasn't a person. They thought it was just all in good fun. They said it was none of my business what they said and that i shouldn't be offended.

His reasoning for putting me through al lof that? He didn't want his girlfriend to think he was a cad. I kept his secret, evne when he joined in. Because honesty, integrity and kindness should mean something. To this day, I am positive he never actually meant to hurt me. On some level, he just didn't care enough to take others' feelings into consideration.

My point is, just becuase you don't direct your conversation at someone doesn't mean they cant' be offended. i am sure there are some subjects that, if you heard strangers discussing loudly, you'd be offended. The best remedy is to treat everyone with kindness and respect. It's not hard. Just wheneveryou want to make a joke at someone's, or some gorup's. expense just say sometihng complimentary to the people around you instead. Rather than making a joke about death or rape tell a funny story about something that's happenedto you or a loved one. Nothing too embarassing. Just something you both found amusing. Rather than insulting a friend or loved one in good fun, state something you like about them instead.

It's very easy to see the positive aspects in the people we care about, but sometimes it's not so easy to see it in ourselves. Positive reinforcement and encouraging comments have a far more positive effect than rude jokes and cheap insults.
Skatora Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Warning: Super long, but contains great stories about stupid customers:

I work in a cafeteria-style restaurant, and people get offended by the littlest things! Like today, a woman came in and explicated that she only wanted "vinaigrette" as her salad dressing. When I explained that we had several different varieties of vinaigrette, she angrily demanded "just plain vinaigrette."

I then started to suggested our balsamic vinegar, but the customer hastily cut me off before I could finish talking, saying that was what she was trying to get all along. But the moment I poured it onto her salad, she freaked out.

"Is that just regular vinegar?!" She cried out. "Ew, why would anybody want just vinegar on their salad? I told you I wanted vinaigrette!!" Needless to say, I made that woman another salad (this time with raspberry vinaigrette). And she left the line in an angry huff.

The best offence I experienced was this crazy-psycho-pregnant lady a few months back. Now, maybe it was the hormones that made her so angry so quickly, but she was legit balls-off-the-walls crazy.

So this pregnant lady comes up to the line and demands that we make her a grilled sandwich, but instead of deli meat, she wants us to make her sandwich with the chicken we put on our salads. This is against company policy--we cannot contaminate sandwich items with salad items, and we kindly tell the pregnant lady so.

And that's when she starts to freak out. She starts screaming, "I'm pregnant! I can't eat deli meat! There's deathly bacteria on deli meat that will kill my baby!"

Now, I'm married and thinking about kids, so I've done my fair share of research: I know that consuming any cold meats (like deli meats) while pregnant is not recommended because of the possibility of harmful bacteria. However, if you heat the meat to 160* F (which our panini grills do), then you shouldn't have a problem with bacteria.

Note: It's any meat that hasn't been recently heated to 160* F. Our salad chicken sits at roughly 35* F all day. It's just as bad, bacteria-wise, as our deli meats.

So, back to the story: This pregnant lady is being more combative than any other customer I have EVER tried to deal with, and that's saying a lot. She MUST have her sandwich with chicken, not deli meat. I have one of my co-workers go into the back to ask my manager for help, and the pregnant lady demands that I ring her up for her sandwich that's still in limbo, cutting in front of other customers to do so.

I ring her up, and the total is about $5. And she proceeds to pay me with a $100 bill. Ugh! It's super annoying to receive bills that big for just a small purchase, because I now have to count out a zillion smaller bills in change. Who seriously pays for a $5 sandwich with a $100 dollar bill?

Anyway, I digress, but my manager comes to the rescue and tells the pregnant lady it's against company policy to mix items from our salad line with items from our sandwich line.

The lady starts screaming again about how ridiculous and rude we were being, and demands to get her $100 dollar bill back, which I kindly return to her. She then tells us that she's never coming here again and storms out of our restaurant, slamming the door as hard as she can for good measure.

The best thing was that right behind the crazy-pregnant lady in line was another pregnant woman, who kindly orders the same sandwich that the crazy-pregnant lady was trying to get, and eats it with no problems. I mean, we both knew that if the meat was heated to 160* F, then all that harmful bacteria gets cooked away.
TurtleWithSoup Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Student General Artist
As long as who you talk to isn't hurt about it, I say go right on ahead!
Torotix Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2011  Professional Interface Designer
Urghhh I hate the over sensitivity people have nowadays. I think that it's ridiculous for one person to speak on behalf of a whole group, especially racism and homosexuality. You are some caucasian guy? Don't tell me I'm being racist when I'm not. You're not gay? Don't tell me I'm being offensive to homosexuals. People are just worried about everyone else. I hate society.
Aurion-Magnus Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist

So I dont really know how to start off here, but I do believe the area thats 'okay' is probably just imaginary. I mean, not everybody is gonna agree where it is, so it's pretty much a big blurry grey area. Maybe here's a way to think about it: You have two people. Person one says says 'rape'. This causes person two to throw a fit of anger and fuss at person one. Both people are now unhappy. SEE HOW THAT WORKS? Perhaps that shows that not everybody is gonna agree with everyone else. (actually that was a crappy way to explain something I think).

:bulletred:HAVE YOU SEEN THAT COMMERCIAL WHERE THE GUYS ARE AT HOME AND SAYING 'GAY'? If I remember right, they are at home MINDING THEIR OWN BUSINESS and using the word GAY to describe whatever(sorry I cant remember very well), and then A RANDOM STRANGER WALK INTO THEIR HOUSE and tells them how offencive that is. OKAY so FIRST OFF: The dudes where in THEIR house and she just BROKE IN. I mean c'mon that makes NO SENSE. If it was HER house, then yeah, that'd be different and they shouldn't say that if it offends her. Then when you think about it, she HAD to have been tresspassing outside and eavesdropping(I thought that was just weird). THIS CROSSES THE LINE FOR ME BECAUSE IT WAS IN PRIVATE:bulletred:
:bulletgreen:OR HOW ABOUT THE GIRLS ARE AT THE MALL? They were trying on clothes and ONLY talking to EACH OTHER. The first girl askes how the top looks and the second girl says it looks gay. OKAY. SO. MINDING THEIR OWN BUSINESS AND NOT TALKING TO ANYBODY ELSE, RIGHT? So right then, a girl walks up and says something like "You dont realize how offencive that is. Its not like I go around saying 'oh thats so girl-wearing-a-blah-blah-blah'", however that went I cant remember. All I could think about was 'Really? Is this all you can come up with?' BUT I guess I can kinda understand because it WAS a public place, but still; it was a PRIVATE conversation and she had no business to butt in like that.:bulletgreen:

Ther are however some people that can actually take a joke, even when its about their religion, race, sexuality, ect. Take me and my bro for example. She knows that I am a Christian, and I know that she is gay. Well a few days ago she sent me this link [link] . Even though it was about the Bible and all, I though it was funny. So I told her "PFFF

She did not even care(that I know of). So I guess my point is that YES, you DO have to be mindful about what you say around people, but it's probably okay if the people know you pretty well. Buuuut anyways, I would just like to be honest and say that I DO use words like gay, retard, black, white, asian, mexican, douchebag, historical references, ect. in jokes AND everyday launguage. Of course, I AM VERY MINDFUL about who I say it around and such. AnD AlSo, I guess I REALLY SHOULDNT post this, but here is a journal I posted quite some time ago, and, to be honest, I do realize now how immatue I was being when I put it up. (Also trying to vent because of how hard everyone was trying to push gay accecptance on me even though I refuse) BUT BE WARNED, this has some SERIOUSLY offencive content. [link] Its still inedited, so I really am warning you if you want to read it. I realize that YES, I went WAAAAYYYY OVER THE LINE HERE.

Perhaps I got off onto the wrong subject, but maybe some of this is relevant? I dunno, I probably didnt quite hit the mark.
AgentTexas Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2011  Student Digital Artist
There are some things I don't joke about but they are very few. For instance I won't call someone "gay" because I think they did something lame, instead I'll just say "that was totally lame". I do feel sensitive about death a bit, but I can deal with(and do) plenty of jokes from my brother. I can't really think of anything else off the top of my head, but those are the main ones anyway.

I love when you do these little discussions, it's interesting to read people's opinions :D
DreamingHero Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ah drawing the line....since our world is more..grey....and not white and black,it is hard to draw a line.

I think the world needs to relax a bit,make jokes as long you keep in mind how serious the topic actually is.

My friends and i often make jokes in public and we often get side glances.

And old women once told us that we not only talk shit but smell like shit too and that it is no wonder that the current youth is so messed up..This was the moment where i said. " Yes,the current youth is most likely messed up due the previous generation who were GREAT IDOLS. No wonder we are RUDE . " Side was in a full bus,it was hot and we offerd the old woman a seat yeah >>' said befre..there is no black and good and bad. We could do something that is good for us this would be bad for others though. There is some kind of balance in our real..frontir...

And racism is bad...i live in germany..We have alot of turkish people in the country and as soon as it is mentioned to not accept any new foreign people anymore,we are called racists. There was once even the idea to introduce something like a greencard,that was swiftly called racism...but other countries can do that without called racists...isen'T that discrimiatnion..and also kind of racism?
Kotuo-chan Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2011
My friend and I often joke about our stance politically, with her being a socialist and me being a capitalist. Once when I made a joke about socialism, another girl in class shouted at me with the words "Shut up! You know nothing about socialism, so you have no right to say anything!!".

Personally I find myself joking about anything, but only with people I know won't react badly to it. I can't be bothered with explaining to dumb chicks. Or men for that matter.
Roxas4ever Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Actually, you know what I don't understand? The 'N' word. Why is it okay for black people to call each other that word, but no one else can? NO, I'M NOT SAYING I THINK WE SHOULD ALL GET TO SAY THAT WORD. My point is: isn't that word offensive regardless of who uses it? I feel the same way about women calling each other bitches. If a guy says it, it's a big deal (well, in this day and age, not so much I guess :/ ), but for some reason it's okay for women to demean each other with it? I don't get it... *shakes head*
Roxas4ever Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
It's hard to draw a line, but there is stuff that just is not okay :/ For example, I get annoyed when people use the terms "retarded" or "gay" to describe stuff. I feel like there are so many other terms that can be used to get the same point across, that you don't need to use words like that. I dunno, though...that's personal preference, I guess.

I used to joke about suicide all the time with my friends (and, occasionally, I still do on accident. I have a dark sense of humor, and it's a hard habit to break), until I started having friends who had attempted suicide. That's when I became aware of the pain and suffering behind it, and became ashamed at how I had treated the subject previously. Mental illness is another one that really pisses me off now. You do NOT joke about something that makes people's lives a living hell.

I guess, overall, I'm kind of a tightass about these things ^^; A lot of it is context, though. I dunno. There are other things that don't bother me. Like animal cruelty humor (not that I find it funny, but I don't have a gut reaction to it either). Or, sadly, racism. My sister makes racist jokes all the time, and, without realizing it, I've become rather desensitized to racism '~'

Ahhh, now you know more about me than you probably ever would remotely care to know :roll:
Kissy-Fishy Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2011
I'm not really sensitive about anything except death. I don't like when people joke about it and I myself can't joke about it. Anything else is fine, really.

Once my friend, who is Asian, got offended about being Asian. It went like this:
"Oh look, there's a bunch of little kids sitting in the gym."
"Yeah, some Asian guy is giving them a lecture about drugs or something.
"Did you just call him Asian?"
"...yes. Is that bad? I mean, you're Asian, aren't you?"
"I can't believe you said that!" *storms away*
So yeah... don't know what that was about.
Hawnaw Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
you brilliant person who posted that video as the first comment, you are wonderful, and i commend you on your video and humor finding skill!!

as long as you know the correct time to joke.. like with friends, family, or with people who you know will not get offended.
then speak your mind, and share you humor. when people get riled up over a joke, or something you said half-heartily... thats all the more fun.
if people cant respect you for your own sense of humor, then they shouldn't listen to you.

i mean, of course.. they're are correct and incorrect times to say things.. but its your job to sort out when that is, because you're the one making the comment.
now, the people who just sit there, listening in on someones conversation just LOOKING for something to get offended by... you're not half as cool as you think you are, so shut up and dont listen.
we all get offended by different things, and should respect that.

just keep your head on straight, and don't say something you'll regret.
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