Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me.
When I was growing up, that's how you responded to someone being a jerk or saying something unkind.
Now, it seems, the response to getting your feelings hurt is making sure that never ever happens again. For some reason, hurt feelings have been likened to an emotional bullet wound, and instead of simply developing thicker skins, we've become so egocentric that we believe no one's feelings should ever be hurt. We've become word police who make sure everyone feels like the bright, shiny snowflake they think they are. Nothing could be more dangerous to our society.
Instead of focusing on real issues, such as violent global conflicts, deteriorating resources and irreversible climate change, we're exhausting ourselves to make sure no one's feelings get hurt.
RuPaul got in some trouble for using the word tranny. Joan Rivers got in trouble for not being the most politically correct person, in terms of her jokes. But what people fail to recognize is the intention behind these words and these jokes.
As a fierce LGBT ally, RuPaul wasn't being intentionally offensive for using the word tranny. She's a drag queen, for crying out loud. And Joan Rivers wasn't standing up on stage and offending people intentionally. She was using her biting, admittedly less-than-politically-correct humor to comment on life. She made jokes out of things we were afraid to talk about, bringing them to the forefront. If that's not admirable, I don't know what is.
The intention behind their words was not to harm, and that's been lost in this word-police hysteria. Intentionally offensive language, such as homophobic, racist or sexist words, should absolutely be eliminated from our vocabulary. There comes a time, however, when we've eliminated too many words to even communicate, and I fear we're getting to that point.
Being offended isn't the greatest feeling in the world, sure, but whining about it and creating a huge fuss isn't going to help. Get some thicker skin and call it a day.
You're not going to be more confident if you police the language people use around you.
Just because you fall down and skin your knee doesn't mean roads need to be made with rubber. Do your best not to fall down again and you won't skin your knee.