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What to do if you're offended

What to do if you're offended

I have a popular feature on my Facebook page called Dood of the Day, which is exactly what it sounds like: a photo of a hot guy in very little clothing. Generally speaking they’re nothing more daring than what you’d find in public advertising anywhere — although I do take pains to ensure the men are of differing body types and ethnicities. 
 
About once a month someone will complain that the Dood of the Day photo is offensive and use one of two arguments to justify the complaint.
 
The first argument is something about how people should not be sexually objectified and that my posting of buff guys is somehow damaging to the self-esteem of less genetically gifted men. 
 
The second argument suggests that certain people, while not offended themselves, must think of their children, spouses or co-workers who might accidentally see their news feeds and be fatally offended by the image of an attractive man.
 
But it’s not enough for these people to complain because I have offended them. They also want me to stop posting the Dood of the Day, despite the many positive and humorous comments and viewings the feature receives. 
 
Yes. We now live in a world in which some people believe that everyone else’s enjoyment should be sacrificed at the altar of the offended few.
 
It often works, particularly with the religious folks. Draw a picture of Allah, write a play that suggests Jesus might be gay or have fun at the expense of the Mormons’ magical underwear and you will hear from them loud and clear, sometimes with deadly results.
 
And yet these same religious folks will preach hatred and even murder against the queer community in the name of the gods they serve and then take umbrage when right-thinking people are offended enough to fight back. 
 
I will often make this point on Facebook after another rabid god-channeller has suggested there’s nothing wrong with the imprisonment and extermination of queers by stating I hope someone kills the god-channeller first. Suddenly, all of these straight people are responding to my suggestion in an offended manner because “we’re supposed to be better than our enemies, hate should not be met with hate, etc.” 
 
The truth is, I don’t want to kill anyone — but I do want straight people to know what it feels like to have someone call for your death from time to time. One might hope putting them in our boots might create some empathy, but, sadly, many just don’t get it.
 
That’s the thing about being offended. It doesn’t always work out the way you hope it will. For every repressive religious regime that tries to create a world where members will never be offended, there are those who are drawn to things simply because they are offensive. 
 
Writers, directors, comics, painters and artists of all types have built sound careers based on their ability to offend the right people. 
 
That bogus protest group One Million Moms, who are offended by any sort of gay representation and threaten to boycott the store or institution hiring the queer spokespeople, have such a pronounced reverse effect I’m beginning to suspect they’re actually a very canny gay marketing group using the right’s own tactics against them.
 
And then there’s the “ambush offence.” These ones are sneaky, and you have to be very careful not to fall into them, as poor little Gwyneth Paltrow did recently when she dared to tweet the title of the song “Niggas in Paris for Real” while cavorting with Jay-Z and Kanye West. Suddenly people were calling little Gwyny a racist for quoting the title of a song written by two friends. Some have suggested white people should refer to the song as “Paris for Real.” Frankly, different song titles for different races sounds a lot like different drinking fountains for different races.
 
 And finally, there’s the canny offence. This is the well-conceived offence that is sure to get everyone talking. A perfect example is a show that was a ’90s cross-country fringe piece called The Happy Cunt. This show got more press because the papers didn’t want to print the title than it would have if they had simply printed the title.
 
No one lives in a world where he or she will never be offended. It happens to everyone, everywhere, all the time. No one knows this better than the queer community, which is pretty much always under attack by some dark force. We know there are offences that are genuinely worth fighting for and offences where the best thing to do is turn away and carry on because what you can’t see or hear can’t offend you.
 
And should I offend you, you have a number of choices. On the computer you can defriend me, hide my posts or block me. In real life I’m mostly indifferent to the fact I’ve offended you, so your best choice is probably just to fuck right off. 
 
No offence intended.

Comments

Jesus Saves!
This is the same Brad Fraser who wrote that filthy play so all you can expect is nudity and sex. And One Million Moms is a HUGE group (there are 1,000,000 in the group remember) of law abiding women who only have the best interests of their children at heart. What a waste of time reading this article and comments again!
no women in your inclusive facebook?
Why no pics of women on your site, Brad Fraser? Doods can include women. You viciously chastised the gay mens' community many times in print for having bars that catered only to men. You once wrote that you could not stand to be in bars that were not mixed with men and woman. Yet here you are discriminating against women in your Facebook because of your own desire locus (presumably based on your statement that you post men you find hot). Maybe that's what a lot of those gay men you trashed way back when for separatism were also doing -- just getting our own desire locus on like you are doing with your facebook. You dished it out back then pretty hostile. Maybe your nasty hostility to gay men who didn't socialize like you expected us to is coming back to bite your ass.
Flim Flam comment
Sounds to me like someone was unfriended and blocked on Facebook by Mr. Fraser for belligerent, shrill, long-winded screeds, and is still smarting and fuming about getting kicked to the curb months later. On the other hand, it's lucky that Mr. Fraser wrote this Xtra column, so his jilted ex-Facebook followers could have the last word in the comments section here, since they can't do it on Facebook anymore.
Long con
Lets go fishing together sometime Chad. Your good with the bait. I'll bring the pole.
long con
@Michael Pare: So let me get this straight. As some sort of long con, Brad started posting Dood of the Day as far back as 2010 as grist for a column that only began in 2012? Do you find that your tin-foil hat interferes with your cell phone reception?
Flim Flam column
Lets not pretend Mr Brad Fraser started Dood of the Day for his and friend interest. He did it so he could write this article and no other reason. His closing argument is a falsehood. You can delete him. If you don't live up to Mr. Fraser's exceptions of a egotistical gay man living in the 50's HE deletes you. Mr Fraser is part of the old boys club, and will never change. I sadly miss the writing skills and human interest stories by Paul Gallant and Brent Ledger.
Doods
JP- the qualifier for all of those descriptions is hot. This is a relative thing and I post what I find hot. You'll find bears and thinner guys as well as guys of every background in the albums that are compiled.. The only thing they have in common is that I find them visually stimulating. I'll look forward to seeing your feature showing the men you like. ;-)
Ummmm....James?
James, re: your comment about Brad's column being "really meant for the opponents of QuAIA" and that "the author" (that would be Brad Fraser, whose name is at the top of this page) is "mocking Jewish people." I'm going to assume your shrill comment isn't satire, but in case it is, nice one! If it's not satire, may I point out that the article is about Brad Fraser posting his "Dood of the Day" pictures on his Facebook page, and the fallout? Just curious--did you also ruinyour heavy metal LPs in the 80s by playing them backwards to see if there really WERE hidden Satanic messages on them? Too funny. It's a lovely June day. Get yourself down to a Church Street patio and order yourself a nice pitcher of Sangria, enjoy the afternoon, and relax. You're way too uptight.
hardly
I'd love this piece entirely if it weren't for this statement: "although I do take pains to ensure the men are of differing body types and ethnicities." I see your Doods every day and they are very, very rarely of differing body types. No skinny doods, no fat doods, no average doods. All buff, toned and fit doods. That's surely your prerogative, but don't claim you're so fully rounded and representative. You're being just as selective in the images you choose to show as religions are. If you have posted more different looking doods, I'd love to see them because, well, I'd love to see them.
More Xtra support for QuAIA
I assume that this column was really meant for the opponents of QuAIA. I assume that the author is mocking Jewish people who feel offended by QuAIA's hateful message at Pride - just like transgendered people who felt offended by the transphobic ads run last year by Rev. Charles McVety's Institute for Canadian Values. See http://www.xtra.ca/images/trans_ad1.jpg If QuAIA gets free rein to offend Jewish LGBT people at Pride, then why deny the “right to offend” to McVety or any other transphobic or homophobic group?

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