Misplaced Thinking: Getting Offended by the Wrong Things

Discussion in 'Intellectual Talk' started by Nathan54AB, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. Nathan54AB

    Nathan54AB Familiar Face

    89
    0
    43
    +0
    0
    -0
    Recently I got a slap on the wrist for having a swastika in my avatar (I changed it so that it's more of a spiral now). For those that don't know, the swastika is originally an ancient East Asian symbol that stands for creation and good luck. The word itself is Sanskrit. Hitler adopted it for the Nazi flag and turned it so it whirls counterclockwise, giving it a different meaning. The swastika I had was not the Nazi-oriented one. It whirled clockwise. I did not intend to promote Nazism in any way, yet someone got offended.

    Anyways, the point of this topic is about where the line should be drawn before we get offended at something. Really, anyone can go around getting offended at something for various reasons to get it censored. The reputation of people and symbols undeservingly get tarnished a lot based on how history is written, how popular culture perceives things, and often times when certain groups who use the symbol give it a different context by the very act of using it as with the Nazis and the swastika.

    I can think of another example - the Confederate Flag. It is regarded as a symbol of racism nowadays because of the Ku Klux Klan's frequent use of the flag, but it was originally used by those who were fighting for a cause that was less about racism and more about individual state's rights. However, that is debatable.

    My point is that it's stupid to get offended over some symbol because some fringe group uses it. It really shows some misplaced thinking by the ones getting offended. Get offended at the group, not the symbol! Symbols are inherently neutral. They only have any meaning based on what meaning we give them.

    Food for thought:
    Should the Girl Scouts be abolished because their standard uniform looks similar to Hitler's uniform?
     
  2. Princess MeowsePad

    Princess MeowsePad real life princess Retired Admin

    15,218
    458
    370
    +715
    20
    -0
    My thinking is that we can't just go around banning everything that offends someone. In real life, where you need your right to expression, nothing that's "offensive" should be banned as long as the person who's saying/doing/whatever the offensive things is not being violent or violating anybody's rights. However, in a private setting (e.g. a forum), I don't mind if people remove something that could offend people. A forum, ideally, is somewhere you go to enjoy yourself.

    In fewer words, personal freedom to express yourself in real life is vital. On a forum, it's not vital.
     
  3. David

    David Valued Contributor Valued Contributor

    7,793
    12
    185
    +12
    1
    -0
    You need to change the conformist view of mainstream society. Sure you can ramble on about it being a shameful thing because we've attributed that as what we now perceive it to be, but if people can change the meaning of something, then surely we can change it back. You need to get mainstream society back on the other side of the argument which isn't easy. You need to impact society, and if you can't, then it will stay as it is.

    Also, you need to consider who is being offended. Is it that their background has made them have negative views towards certain symbols/ideas? Does one country take insult and the other doesn't? For someone to say that this is "bad" or "misplaced" is dependent on the context of which they are coming from. Just creating this topic is evidence that certain people/societies take insult, whereas someone in another country/society will think of this topic being silly and of no point. Why do you see it as a negative thing? Does someone on the other side of the world think it is as well? To be realistic, if a group/society has never heard of such a symbol, they won't take offense.

    The thing about symbols is that it's associated with a group. Sure you can be offended by the result of the practices of the NSDAP, but the symbol is a reminder of that group, hence why people take offense. Using the symbol can also appear to be promoting the NSDAP, whether accurate or not, and this is also another reason why people are offended.

    The swastika symbol has been used for over 2.5 millenniums, eg. Greco-Roman society to an Etruscan pendant to the Sanskrit usage, and so we can change the meaning of it, over time. It may still be too early to change its meaning as there are the memories of the Third Reich but I think over time, the meaning will definitely change, again.
     
  4. ItsZippy

    ItsZippy Up-and-Coming Sensation

    354
    0
    58
    +0
    0
    -0
    People find it offensive because of the connotations. Out of respect, I would not post a swastika, because of what it represents. It is a well documented fact that words/symbols will always lost positive connotations if a negative one is developed. Should this mean we should not allow it though? In public life, I think, so long as you're not using it to explicitly offend, freedom of expression says that you should be allowed it. Personally, I would not; if you want to, you can. At somewhere like Forum Promotion, that doesn't apply - those in charge deem it offensive, we have to accept that.
     
  5. freebird

    freebird Familiar Face

    76
    0
    43
    +0
    0
    -0
    For a public venue things we post are seen by general public and allowing something makes it look like that venue endorses it. Doesn't mean it is so but as you said reputations get tarnished by how things appear. If it were place somewhere else in the world targeting a different audience they might not care less. Personally I know the history of the symbol but would definitely hesitate in allowing someone to use the symbol. Keeping your site free from hate group associations is a good thing I think and web hosts usually like it that way too.

    To your last question girl scout uniforms should be abolished cause their dumb looking IMO. :p
     
  6. o Ginja Ninja o

    o Ginja Ninja o Acquaintance

    42
    0
    43
    +0
    0
    -0
    IMO, the Swastika was tarnished when the Nazis used it and it shouldn't be used again in case people get reminded of those dark days.
     
  7. Gimgak

    Gimgak Madly Diligent

    +8
    0
    -0
    So you're saying we should forget the holocaust ever happened then?

    I see.
     
  8. InfiniteJest

    InfiniteJest Paragon

    1,298
    0
    88
    +0
    0
    -0
    >Implying everyone has the background knowledge needed to know that the swastika has other meanings besides the horrible genocide related one
     
  9. MissTake

    MissTake Valued Contributor Valued Contributor

    +0
    0
    -0
    What you failed to say in your OP was your reasons for wanting to use the symbol as an avatar?
    People may very well have misplaced thinking especially if there is no story behind the headlines?
     
  10. Zaborg

    Zaborg Web Designer

    +1
    0
    -0
    It's just an avatar. Who cares what is on it? Really.
    ...I'm out of words actually, this is just insane.
     
  11. katy perry is hot

    katy perry is hot Seasoned Veteran

    3,613
    0
    88
    +0
    0
    -0
    How did he fail to say that? He said "I did not intend to promote Nazism in any way, yet someone got offended."

    And prior to that, he made clear "that stands for creation and good luck."

    I don't see how it was wrong of him to have that as his avatar?

    And yes, it's not just around here lately, but people seem to get offended by everything nowadays. My guess is that it's a part psychological thing. If a member sees your swastika avatar, chances are they are not offended directly, but just want to backseat moderate and feel tough for indirectly forcing you to change something. Same thing has happened to me before on this site at least a dozen times. Then the staff see it and think that the world is going to end because some member is acting like an idiot and reporting crap left and right, and feel that they need to address it, so instead of taking both sides, they just take action on what the report said. It's not just this site but it seems like it's almost the nature of a forum moderator in general on any site to think "oh no this person is offended by this, even if I think it's stupid I'm not going to stand up to it because I don't want to lose the member". The same thing is observable in real life. For example I worked at six flags one summer and I was at the front entrance area and this guy came in with a shirt that said "Tell your boobs to stop staring at my eyes" and some guy maybe in his 30s was next to me because I was stamping his hand, and said that the shirt was offensive. Now, I personally thought it was funny, as did my supervisor who was right behind me, and probably every other person in that park. Let's be honest here, was this 30 year old guy really offended, or was he just trying to feel powerful? Obviously the latter. So anyway, I had to tell the guy to turn the shirt inside out or he wouldn't be admitted "as per park policy". Funny thing is, about 15 minutes later, some guy walked in with a shirt that showed someone's head being cut off and some naked girl on the ground licking the blood up. Of course, that's totally against our park policy, but since no one wanted to make some BS power grab, we didn't say anything. I suppose the shirt was for one of those crazy metal bands or whatever.

    In the end, people report things for dumb reasons, and since the staff doesn't have the balls like they used to stand up to the BS, you'll have to just obey it and put a happy rainbow as your avatar. Be careful though, because some members may mistake it for a gay pride flag, and report you to the admins.
     
  12. Gimgak

    Gimgak Madly Diligent

    +8
    0
    -0
    Yeah like what happened to pixel pirate...
     
  13. InfiniteJest

    InfiniteJest Paragon

    1,298
    0
    88
    +0
    0
    -0
    +1 for truth
     
  14. Justin

    Justin Valued Contributor Valued Contributor

    +0
    0
    -0
    It may have two meanings, but that doesn't mean the first meaning of it doesn't offend someone.
     
  15. katy perry is hot

    katy perry is hot Seasoned Veteran

    3,613
    0
    88
    +0
    0
    -0
    So because it remotely looks like a swastika someone is offended? Doubt it. Like I said in my post, it's just people wanting to get their moment of e-power by reporting someone.
     
  16. Gimgak

    Gimgak Madly Diligent

    +8
    0
    -0
    Speaking of which... Irviding's avatar involves a naked woman with a suggestive look on her face. This is pretty offensive to me and my people and I advise FP remove this and banhammer Irviding for life.


    I mean it.
     
  17. katy perry is hot

    katy perry is hot Seasoned Veteran

    3,613
    0
    88
    +0
    0
    -0
    Actually a cotton candy cloud is covering her ass :rofl:
     
  18. Hotspot

    Hotspot Up-and-Coming Sensation

    496
    0
    58
    +0
    0
    -0
    My post is only related to the title of the topic!
    There have been numerous times where I was offended by something and went psycho, but then after a while I would learn that what I would get angry at was actually just a miscommunication or me misreading something. Then after that, I would feel like a complete idiot.
     
  19. Watch Me Sink

    Watch Me Sink Madly Diligent

    +0
    0
    -0
    I occasionally get offended at things, then I look back and see the humor in it. If it is something to be blatantly offensive, then I recommend the person to a forum or association where such remarks would be considered normal. I'd go on with further examples, but I'm skating on thin ice here.
     
  20. pandaa

    pandaa Valued Contributor Valued Contributor

    +1
    0
    -0
    A lot of forums do exactly what you described... it's horrible, because people do NOT put up with that kind of crap for long.