I had already typed the words but my gut prevented me from pushing the “return” button.
The four little words stared back at me from my computer screen, practically daring me to post them.
“Go get ’em girls.”
That was what I typed as a Facebook intro to a link to our story about Team Canada competing in the 2016 Women’s World Championships at Softball City earlier this summer.
But I dared not go through with it. I knew better. Somebody would be offended.
I changed the intro.
It was simple. And safe.
There’s a saying in journalism: When in doubt, take it out.
And just a few weeks later, I was glad that I did just that.
Because around the nation, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was being roasted for the way he praised Canada’s Rio Olympians.
He said, “our girls are doing extraordinarily well.”
Bad move, Justin.
Predictably, the media jumped all over him, crying sexism.
Keep in mind, this was the same media that, for days, went on and on about Trudeau’s shirtless photo bomb at a Tofino wedding.
And nobody says anything when it comes to the “boys.”
Is this tweet sexist?
— Lori Mayhew (@LoriMayhewDelta) August 31, 2016
Around the same time, Ellen DeGeneres felt the wrath of a world seemingly consumed by political correctness.
DeGeneres, who most people would agree doesn’t have a mean bone in her body, tweeted a manipulated photo of her with three-time Olympic sprinting champion Usain Bolt.
The photo shows Bolt piggybacking the TV show host while running. Her tweet read, “This is how I’m running errands from now on.”
CLICK HERE to see the photo.
Feverish cries of racism forced DeGeneres to defend herself in the face of a backlash that would surprise even Anthony Weiner.
And just the other day, The Labour Party in Britain suspended a new member over an online post about her love of the Foo Fighters.
Catherine Starr has been barred from voting in an upcoming party leadership contest because of a Facebook post she shared in March which linked to a Foo Fighters video and included the caption: “I f___ing love the Foo Fighters.”
Well who f___ing doesn’t, Catherine?
Look, I’ve been known to be a little over sensitive myself and I’m sure there are many times in the past where I have taken offense when I shouldn’t have.
Just ask my boss and wife.
But if you’re like me, you think the world has gone mad with this kind of stuff.
And we’re not alone.
According to a Angus Reid Institute poll, seven-in-10 Canadians say they self-censor to avoid offending others.
And they are fed up with it.
Perhaps emboldened by a certain political character south of the border that shall remain unnamed, 67 per cent of people agreed that “too many people are easily offended these days over the language others use.”
Seventy-two per cent admitted they hold their tongues, at least sometimes. Almost one in five do it regularly. And most don’t do it out of fear of being judged. Eighty-seven per cent said they do it to be polite. (Gotta love us Canadians).
I’m all for being polite and certainly don’t advocate being offensive for the sake of being offensive. But the next time you get offended by something somebody said, take a deep breath. Ask yourself if it is really worth getting all riled up about.
If not, simply move on.
Then, if you really want to know what being offended feels like, CLICK HERE and listen to Nickelback covering Don Henley’s “Dirty Laundry.”
Now that’s offensive.
Beau Simpson is editor of the Now. You can email him – only if you’re nice – at firstname.lastname@example.org.