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Okay, here’s something consistent that we all seem to be fighting about: what is and isn’t okay to say or do.

“You can’t use racial slurs” versus “I can use racial slurs as long as it’s against my own race”.

“That’s commercial’s not offensive to women; I’m not offended by it” versus “that is such a sexist commercial; it deeply offends me”.

In almost every way we push to show our uniqueness. We like to be part of a group, but we also want to stand out. Then we find ourselves confined by the beliefs and “rules” of the group in such a way that it is almost bad to be unique in your beliefs. A personal example is the fact that I feel like I can’t say that the song Blurred Lines is not offensive to me without sounding like a “bad woman”. I am not going to tell you you are not or should not be offended by it, but others have spoken in a way such which makes me feel as though I cannot say I truly support women’s rights without hating that song.

I just read a post in which a woman–who also calls herself a feminist–argues that she has every right to joke about rape and abuse because she has been through it, and humor was the way she was able to survive her trauma. Apparently, another woman–who is a feminist–told her that a feminist couldn’t make jokes like that because they degraded women.

Women can call other women cunts and bitches and get away with it, whereas men are sexist pigs for using those words. While some women argue that you can’t use those words, regardless of gender, and still support woman’s rights.

I have friends of ethnic minorities who talk about their own ethic groups using derogatory slang (jokingly), while other friends (both white and non-white) are hugely offended by these words.

We are all different!

What is true for one person is not true for all. If find something offensive that doesn’t give me the right to go and say that it is offensive to all women. Yes, there is certain behavior that it seems safe to say is offensive to almost all in the group (treating that particular gender, race, religion as inferior for example) but a lot of the rest is a very gray area. We need to stop generalizing, stop pushing our offenses on others, and start to realize that different “groups” do not contain identical people. This behavior is just as ridiculous as going up to a man/woman/black/white/Christian/Muslim/etc and asking them to answer a question behalf of their entire group and then assuming that answer to be the case for all other men/women/blacks/whites/Christians/Muslims/etcs. It doesn’t make sense.

Let’s all learn to think more. Think before we generalize and think before we act. Just because one female friend is okay with you using the word cunt, doesn’t mean the other is. Get to know the people who are around you, don’t just assume what will and won’t offend them. You can’t know their background or family. Everyone is different even if they belong to a certain group: learn to treat them as such.

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