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Offending someone -- does intent need to be considered?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by imjustagirl, Nov 27, 2011.

  1. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    I'm having a discussion with a friend of mine about some random things, and we got on to the topic of offensive things. He says intent has to be considered ... if it wasn't meant to be offensive, then it's not.

    I said "If I say 'fuck your mom' and you say 'my mom's dead,' then that's my bad regardless of whether I meant to insult your dead mom.'

    So what say you? Does intent matter when someone gets offended? If you didn't realize what you said was offensive, is it still offensive?
  2. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Active Member

    "The food here's so good, you'll want to slap your mama."

    My mom is dead. She died from someone slapping her too hard.

    "Oh, God. I didn't know. I'm sorry."

    Nope. Makes no difference. You offended me.

    (That dramatization in no way describes how I really feel. Yes, intent should be taken into consideration by a reasonable person, and/or once emotion is stripped away from the situation -- and if intent can actually be ascertained. But the question in your subject line is not the question you asked at the end of the post.)
  3. Care Bear

    Care Bear Guest

    I suppose it's just a matter of degrees. If someone I knew said "fuck your mom," and my mom was dead, I would be incredibly offended and most likely never speak to that person again.

    If the offender had no clue about my mom, I would be offended, but I would get over it. The person in that instance who uttered the phrase has already suffered, in my opinion, because he or she most likely feels like a complete asshole for making the statement in the first place.

    So, in summary, fuck everyone's mom.
  4. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    The University of Akron apparently subscribes to your newsletter.
  5. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    J_D how is it not? If you didn't intend to offend someone, including not knowing that what you said was offensive, does that matter?
  6. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Active Member

    EDIT: On first read, I was convinced you were asking slightly different questions with different connotations. Upon further review, while not completely conceding the point, I'll be damned if I can elaborate at this moment in a way that makes sense, so for now I am punting.

    Which is not to be confused with Punto-ing.
  7. Bodie_Broadus

    Bodie_Broadus Active Member

    I think the type of relationship I have with the person goes a long way toward me feeling offended or not.

    One of the guys I work with said to a girl the other day, "what's up Chaz Bono?" This girl is the sweetest person you would ever want to meet. I was there when the guy said it and I told him it was incredibly offensive. He said he didn't mean it that way.

    General consensus at work was what he said was very, very offensive.
  8. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Active Member

    Oh, and this.
  9. Care Bear

    Care Bear Guest

    I generally think of an offensive remark as something that a person would say knowing that there is some potential sting behind it.

    Sometimes someone makes an innocent remark to the wrong person. Hopefully, the offended person has some perspective.
  10. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    Apparently, you offended IJAG's sensibilities.
  11. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    Also, to clarify, the "fuck your mom" was me trying to make a point. That wasn't the central point of our conversation, so "fuck your mom" shouldn't be the benchmark by which everyone judges offensiveness.

    Except CB.
  12. Bodie_Broadus

    Bodie_Broadus Active Member

    The dude who said what I posted is also the same guy who once said "if I didn't know what I did was a crime while I was doing it, I am not guilty."

    So it is possible he is just a fucking moron.
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