How Easy Is It To Offend People These Says?
Something tells me I already have.
“I tell you, we are here on this Earth to fart around, and don’t let anyone tell you different.” Kurt Vonnegut
A young woman went on social media last year with a video apologizing for all the millennials out there. Her name was Alexis Bloomer and, outside of looking like a millennial, and talking in her car like a millennial, she didn’t come off like a millennial at all. In fact, some people even went so far as to say, “Where does she come off calling herself a millennial?”
I have it on good authority, though, that she is a millennial, having graduated from the Dan Rather School of Journalism at Sam Houston University. Despite these qualifications (and Dan Rather), some people still didn’t take too kindly to her speaking on behalf of all millennials.
“How dare she?” one woman demanded, referring to her own millennial children as the sweetest, most downright honest human beings alive.
Telling it like it is should get you accolades, not a thrashing from individuals with their panties in a knot.
That may be true — and I’m sure Alexis wasn’t trying to step on any toes — but you’ve got to hand it to her for outright honesty. Telling it like it is should get you accolades, not a thrashing from individuals with their panties in a knot.
Unfortunately, not everybody likes being told what is and what isn’t. That’s when the skeptics come out ready to bitch slap anyone who moves.
“She needs to grow up and realize she doesn’t speak for millions of a generation,” one viewer scoffed. “So pull up your big girl panties, young lady, and join the rest of us grown-ups.”
That raised the hackles of quite a few people. They obviously don’t mind a journalism school graduate laying down some smack, but this guy was clearly being insolent. Smacking a smack-talker can get you in a lot of trouble, especially when you start mentioning “big girl panties.”
That’s the thing about honesty. Give an honest person some lead and that honesty can quickly turn against you. It’s not so bad when you’re young. Mistakes are part of growth. It’s when you’re older — and should know better — that it makes you sound, as Kurt Vonnegut once said, like someone “putting on a suit of armour to attack a hot fudge sundae.”
My favourite form of honesty is the “fed up” kind. Take the case of Emily Lyons, CEO of Femme Fatale Media Group Inc., including Lyons Elite Luxury Matchmaking. Emily took to LinkedIn with a savory lambast called: “I Am Not Your Babe.”
“I have a simple question:” she started out, “when did it become acceptable workplace behavior for men to call businesswomen “hun” or “babe” or “darling” or any other such demeaning pet names?”
Especially when it’s followed by Emily recounting an incident where a man called her “hun” on the phone. It’s not often you get referred to as a German nomad responsible for killing Catholics.
Well, that’s a good opening. A salvo across the foredeck always works. Especially when it’s followed by Emily recounting an incident where a man called her “hun” on the phone. It’s not often you get referred to as a German nomad responsible for killing Catholics. Who wouldn’t get upset?
I remember a waitress in Florida asking, “Would you like pie today, hon?” Somehow I don’t think she was calling me a German Catholic killer.
Anyway, Emily got a lot of support from women agreeing that it can be very annoying being a femalepreneur in today’s society. Courtney Rosebush pointed out that everyone, men and women alike, should be recognized for their talents as workers and business people, not their “honeyness”.
“Pet names and terms of endearment should not enter in the equation, even if the person means well,” she said.
Now, she didn’t go as far as Emily, who said, “It’s time — actually, it’s far past time — for this kind of lecherous behavior to end for good….Because I’m a CEO. Entrepreneur. Dream builder, Innovator. But I am not your babe.”
“Apparently,” she said, “if you’re a model your hot shots are the only thing you are in the eyes of some people.”
And more power to Emily for being so forward with her credentials. As she pointed out, it’s particularly difficult for women in the modeling industry to be taken seriously. “Apparently,” she said, “if you’re a model your hot shots are the only thing you are in the eyes of some people.”
She’s got a point, and a lot of women were quick to agree, until one woman asked: “Does the same go for women to women interaction?” Fair play. You should be pretty familiar with someone before you start calling them “hun.” Even Germans know that.
One commenter, Bruce Beswick, took slight exception, pointing out that a senior officer at his company — female — called someone “Hon” when she squeezed past them in the hall. He was pretty sure she said “Hon” and not “Hun,” but, as Bruce, pointed out, “It does seem everyone is looking to be offended today.”
That’s the thing about honesty. Some people will take you to task, calling you a fraud, a big mouth, a “hun” lover. But, on the whole, responses tend to be favourable — certainly more so than when you stick to political correctness and essentially say nothing.
Even if we don’t agree with Alexis or Emily, we’re proud of them. At least they’re speaking their minds. Isn’t that better than closing them?
Yet we’re tired of people saying nothing. Even if we don’t agree with Alexis or Emily, we’re proud of them. At least they’re speaking their minds. Isn’t that better than closing them?
And if I’ve offended anyone with the picture above, believe me, I only did it to get the ball rolling here. I wasn’t trying to be insensitive. It’s just that, when I hear “big girl panties,” I see big girl panties.
Okay, now I get where it’s offensive. If it helps, you should see what I’m wearing.
Robert Cormack is a journalist, blogger and novelist. His first novel “You Can Lead a Horse to Water (But You Can’t Make It Scuba Dive)” is available online and at most major bookstores. To read more of Robert’s articles and stories (absolutely free), check out robertcormack.net
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