Why taking offence is good

Small acts of resistance

Some think that the tendency to take offence is a “snowflake” generation thing, a sign of oversensitivity and a habit to grow out of. But instead of dismissing offence as the hurt feelings of the thin skined, we should take its main effect seriously: the undermining a person’s social standing. Taking offence then at behaviours that disrespect us is a small act of resistance, a signal to others of one’s social worth, argues Emily McTernan.  

Many dismiss taking offence as merely a matter of having one’s feelings hurt. An inclination to take offence is regarded as an affliction of the supposedly oversensitive ‘snowflake’ generation. Some even suggest there is a growing ‘culture of taking offence’ over what seem small details of our social interactions, like flirtatious remarks. But these are all mistakes. There is nothing new about taking offence and nor does it simply indicate hurt feelings. Instead, to take offence is a way to defend against small a

Continue reading

Enjoy unlimited access to the world's leading thinkers.

Start by exploring our subscription options or joining our mailing list today.

Start Free Trial

Already a subscriber? Log in

Join the conversation