Television is one of my guilty pleasures. I could stay up all night running a marathon of the newest, hottest TV show. After discovering Game of Thrones I didn’t stop watching for anything except sleep. However as much as I love TV there are some things that undoubtedly get under my skin. I can’t even count the many times that jokes about sleeping with someone’s girlfriend or wife are thrown around as a lighthearted and inconsequential. Not only do I not find it funny, but it hit’s a soft spot for me seeing such extreme material thrown around for a cheap laugh. I’ve lived through it. I’ve been betrayed by people that I’ve trusted and cared about; People I believed cared about me. Seeing such a hurtful subject laughed about not only offends me, but triggers immense emotional pain from a dark point in my life.
However pushing to have this clearly offensive material to be censored for the sake of protecting me from my own emotional triggers is not only unhealthy, but goes against everything this country was founded upon. This is a country that offers us many freedoms. Yet we don’t have freedom from being offended. Thanks to the creative industry’s expressive liberty people have the ability to freely direct their creativity as they wish. We have only the choice of whether to watch or not. If we honestly expected creative mediums to censor themselves for the sake of protecting people’s feelings, then there would be no creative medium for people to be offended by. Everything is a touchy subject to someone. Rape is offensive because people have been raped. Racism is offensive because people have actually experienced racism. Yet people are killed in car accidents every day. People die in plane crashes. People are actually raped in prison. Yet that doesn’t stop people from joking about dropping the soap. Comedy is predicated on people taking offense, and making light of a serious situation. A general rule of thumb is that if it isn’t offensive to someone it’s not funny either.
The only thing we can do is face those things that trigger us head on. If you give power to your emotional baggage then you will always be a slave to your social anxieties. Maybe one day I’ll be able to see people joking about affairs and laugh. But for now all I can do is shrug it off and continue with my life.