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Class and Offending Women

jhunter's picture

Class today had me thinking a lot about what it means to be labeled "offending."  What is it we are afraid of in offending people with our words or actions?  It seems that, as a class, we've agreed that censoring oneself and withholding thoughts in order not to offend, is actually more offensive than taking the risk to share.  But there is the other edge of offending about which we didn't speak, the type of offending that causes one to be marked as an "offender."

I came into my room after class and saw Offending Women on my bed and thought about how many different meanings that phrase had depending on where one puts emphasis and how one defines both what it is to offend and what it is to be a woman.  In our class, we discussed taking the risk to offend each other with the knowledge that one action won't define how we see a person.  But some people don't have the ability to risk offense because a single mistake can and will define them forever as an offender, as someone who has offended in the past and who society sees as likely to offend in the future.

The language in our readings and that we use in class continues to fascinate me...