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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Are we becoming too sensitive???

This week’s blog topic comes from Maya.  She sent me this great article about this major backlash that a mom of three ended up having simply due to a FaceBook post and image that she posted.  CLICK HERE to read the article.  So, I began looking into this whole idea of just how hypersensitive our society has become.

Here’s a simple example.  According to a recent Rasmussen poll, nearly 35% of Americans believe that it’s “offensive to refer to an illegal immigrant as an ‘ILLEGAL immigrant.”  Seriously??

Has America became a society of hypersensitive babies?

Literally EVERYTHING that EVERYONE does in the media - be it in television, film, radio, print or on the web - is scrutinized, held under a microscope and perpetually monitored by a number of advocacy groups. “Watchdogs” who are sitting idly by, ready to bark for the simple sake of hearing themselves “bark.” Truth be told, I probably am going to have  a number of them find this on the internet and come after me for calling them “watchdogs” and using the derogatory word “bark.” (I’ll let you know if that happens!)

Here’s another good example:  Miley Cyrus recently pulled double duty on the Saturday Night Live show, appearing as both the host and musical guest.  Now, giving the Miley her due, most people that saw the program said that she “killed it.”  Now, in my opinion, Miley is far more self-aware than she gets credit for - meaning that she is purposely doing the shock and awe to self-promote herself; which there is nothing wrong with - again in my opinion.  During the show, she poked fun at all she’s currently vilified for - including how she incessantly, and annoyingly, sticks her tongue out.  Miley joked that she wasn’t actually sticking her tongue out at all, but rather, “kept having mini-strokes.”

Guess what??  Her comments infuriated the Stroke Association, who immediately demanded that Miley issue an apology.  SERIOUSLY!!!!  (and of course, she apologized..."sincerely")

Now, before I continue, let me clarify that I’m not a big Miley Cyrus fan (as a matter of fact, I don’t have a single one of her songs on my iPhone…just for the record); nor am I making light of strokes.  To be honest, that would be asinine (great SAT word, by-the-way).  Anyone with a modicum (yep, that would be another great SAT word!!) of intelligence knows that strokes are no laughing matter.  That being said, I also firmly believe that anyone intelligent enough to write a strongly worded complaint letter SHOULD be smart enough to realize a joke for what it is - even if you considered it in poor taste or not.  I’m sorry, but I refuse to believe that even one stroke victim is currently dealing with lasting mental trauma brought on by a Saturday Night Live monologue.

Reality check: Sometimes - nay, actually, ALL the time - people say or do things that you don’t like.  For better or worse, that’s reality.  That’s life.  To be even  clearer, that’s the FIRST AMENDMENT.

One more example: Fez Whatley, co-host of Sirius XM’s popular Ron & Fez Show, recently went on a long, passionate on-air rant about a Chevy commercial that uses the word “crazy” multiple times, claiming that it was “insensitive to the mentally insane.”  Really?  As if “crazy” is a race, gender or nationality.  As if somewhere in the East Village, someone’s currently planning the next Nutjob Pride Parade (ok, that may be a bad analogy - but I think you get the idea).

Now, let me clarify that I DO believe that each one of us have a responsibility within society to be sensitive to others.  In a society it is important that we respect each other and not INTENTIONALLY degrade nor demean others for the pure sake of doing so.  Yet, with that said, it appears that our political correctness and hypersensitivity has gone overboard.  We’ve become too sensitive about things of which are by no ways or means meant to inflict harm on others.  As Maria Kang (the mom in the article that Maya sent) stated: “What you interpret is not MY fault. It’s Yours.  The first step in owning your life, your body and your destiny is to OWN the thoughts that come out of your head.  I didn’t create them.  You created them…”  (yet, she did make an apology..."sincerely")

Blog Question:

Do you feel that Maria Kang’s post was inappropriate? Has America become too hypersensitive?  Do “empty” and “forced” apologies only perpetuate a society of hypersensitivity?

54 comments:

  1. Frankly speaking, getting alienated by someone or something of our opposite interests is part of our daily routine. And honestly, that’s just reality, along with the single most burden of the complexity of human nature, which is to deal with all kinds of different but presumably “equal” species all around us. So like every other controversy, this issue is creating a dichotomy where both sides appear to be reasonable and you can’t really judge one side’s correctness over the other. In the level of appropriateness, I would say Maria Kang’s post is totally justified mostly because of the First Amendment (the most powerful safeguard to freedom of speech that many other citizens abroad covet). Also, her post isn’t deliberately targeting on anyone in specific – even though one can definitely argue that as many do. But despite all that, Kang’s stance is of a neutral term because it’s something that can be viewed either as motivation or degradation.

    As the problem now seems to infer, the level of hypersensitivity is gradually causing a social restlessness over contracting opinions. Rather than judging it in entirely negative terms, the rising concentration of hypersensitivity is perhaps, only a side-effect of the First Amendment. The excessive tolerance it grants ultimately brings about a lack of tolerance – yeah what an oxymoron but I guess it’s the origination of the issue, in which every individual becomes overly sovereign-minded.

    The “empty” and “forced” apologies on the other hand are no different than temporary patches/compromises made to appease the scrutinizing eyes of the society. Even though, admittedly, they are ridiculously little lies that are not made to be believed from the outset but just have to be there in the designated spot to satisfy the hypocritical authorities and masses. They’re middle-of-the-road solutions. They’re status-quo-armistice. I personally don’t believe these intermediary conciliations can become an influential factor in raising the temperature of hypersensitivity. Since if on the contrary - the fake apologies are not there, then the conflict would evolve even more. (The opposing camp would be like “not even an apology??”)

    Kang’s most appealing statement to me is “so if you want to continue 'hating' this image, get used to hating many other things for the rest of your life.” I mean…OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MND. If you’re not in the mood to see it, then ex it out or turn it off or shut it down and just enjoy your life for your righteous cause.

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    1. You state that "So like every other controversy, this issue is creating a dichotomy where both sides appear to be reasonable and you can’t really judge one side’s correctness over the other." I agree with your statement, however, i feel this topic leans more toward Maria Kang's side. She did not do anything that was intentionally meant as a insult to society, it was intended to target motivation. The increasing hypersensitivity in society is complete nonsense and is causing unrest in society.

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    2. Carrie, if only people were to do as you say by leaving if you see something you dont like. Honestly there is no reason to harm and offend someone if quite frankly, they haven't done anything to you.. Its kind of funny how focused on others we have become.

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    3. Honestly, your last line is exactly what's so irritating about these hypersensitive critics. No one is forcing them to keep seeing it, yet they keep acting like they're being victimized. If it offends you so much, then please, look away from the picture or article you more than likely voluntarily clicked and saw. It also puzzles me as to why so many are shocked and angry that other people don't think or believe the same things they do. How dare they practice their right to free thought, you know?

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    4. I like how you made a point about hypersensitivity being a side effect of the First Amendment. While I don't necessarily agree with it, it is none the less an interesting way to look at the subject. However, I don't feel that socializing with other humans to be the greatest burden that we have to deal with. Rather, it is one of the things that make humans so special; as far as we know, no other animal likes to make chit chat with others in their species about the weather or the local mammalian sports team. Also, I disagree with your point about how Maria Kang's advertisement wasn't directed towards anyone. The poster was designed to be aimed at mothers who recently gave birth, and are trying to use their pregnancy as an excuse not to stay in shape. It isn't designed to be aimed at one person, but a group of people.

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  2. After reading Fahrenheit 451 in English class recently, I find it interesting that this blog topic is very much related to it. We read that the reason people started burning books is because they felt conflicting ideas and ideologies in books offended too many people. It is in a way chilling that our society is becoming too hypersensitive, because it leads us to wonder what it could become.
    That being said, there's a point where something is just plain offensive in almost every aspect, and just shouldn't be said. In my opinion, Maria Kang's picture wasn't meant to be offensive. It was only meant to get mothers to want to work out more and stay in shape, which in my opinion is a good thing. She isn't necessarily saying that women eight months into their pregnancy should run two miles each morning, but that after they give birth, they should gradually work to keep in shape. In addition to this, I find the idea of people getting mad over a Chevy commercial with the word "crazy" in it particularly stupid. Did it ever occur to them that when the commercial said crazy, it most likely meant "wild and exciting", not that the car had a mental illness? However, I do feel that Miley Cyrus' joke about "mini strokes" to be a bit over the line. There was no positive connotation behind that comment, nor could "stroke" mean anything else (besides in terms of canoeing or petting something, but we all know which one she meant). I'm sure Cyrus meant no harm, but still, someone who suffers from or has suffered from strokes, or knows someone who does or has, could find that specific comment hurtful. I'm not saying that there should be no media that includes strokes, but I feel that treating it as a laughing matter is too much. One example that comes to mind is the popular show Family Guy. In one episode, Peter Griffin eats 30 hamburgers and has a stroke. Yes, some people may have been offended by it, but the episode actually had a message it was trying to get across, and the stroke was a major part of that message. I'm NOT trying to make Family Guy serious, but at least it treated a stroke like it was a big deal, where Miley Cyrus treats it like she has strokes whenever she performs!
    The post was too big to put in one comment, so I have to break it into two parts.

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    1. Actually, there's another point I'd like to make about the same show. Recently, the show was attacked for having one of the character's sister being continually beaten up by her abusive boyfriend. Situations like that are a big deal, but I'm truly amazed at how THAT particular episode was the worst thing Family Guy has ever done. One thing that Family Guy did that I find VERY offensive is that it made fun of the September 11 World Trade Center attacks at least THREE TIMES! The very idea that someone could see them joke about 9/11 is just infuriating. Again, the abusive spouse part was actually a central part of the episode's theme, but the 9/11 jokes never had anything to do with it! Once again, I feel that men should never hit women, but the show did have a message about domestic abuse.
      However, judging by what some people are getting angry over, I do feel that our society is becoming hypersensitive. Remember when Mr. Gehm told us that teachers were told to use green ink instead of red, because red was too degrading to children? Not only is that stupid, it is trying to eliminate a strong incentive for children to improve their performance. One day, we were reading sample essays in Mr. Leite's class, and one of the topics was about whether you could succeed on a path with no obstacles. The point of the answers were that if the road had no obstacles, it wouldn't lead anywhere. It reminds me of how they stopped declaring one team at the elementary school track meets the winner, and the other the loser. I can understand giving out "Participation" medals to commemorate the effort of the athletes, but if one team knows they did better (which happened to my school once), they'll just feel angry they don't get a trophy, and the other team will feel bad that they didn't do as well, and might feel even worse that they were essentially being patronized.
      Also, I feel that forced apologies that don't have meaning to them are plain useless. The entire point of an apology is to show that you feel bad about something, and you wish to make amends. If you don't actually feel bad, THERE'S NO POINT IN APOLOGIZING! It completely defeats the purpose of saying your sorry at all!

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    2. I definitely agree with your point that without obstacles nothing would really be accomplished. A utopian society is impossible and it seems as if this is what society is trying to accomplish. The hypersensitivity seems to be harshly filtering the nation where it has just become absurd.

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    3. Fahrenheit 451 was a fantastic example for this. Though we have not gone to the point of burning books and completely suppressing intellectual thought, the way we are now is exactly how the book's dystopian society was created. In the afterword, Bradbury warned about this alarming trend, citing instances where various books, including his own, were edited because they offended someone: a version of Uncle Tom's Cabin, for example, was printed with the phrase 'African American' instead of 'nigger', because, you know, nigger is a bad, bad word and the book totally wasn't referring to its historical use (/sarcasm).

      Like you said, hypersensitivity has led to the increasing untruth of apologies. Sorry doesn't mean sorry anymore. It's become a word whose main purpose is simply to shut up and appease the offended.

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    4. Brandon, the connection you make with Fahrenheit 451 got me thinking. Would this type of behavior cause a need for the government to remove books, or reading in general? It most likely isnt going to happen, however, its thought.. I mean if we did, then words like "Im sorry" would not be wasted are they are doomed to be if they continue to be said without meaning it...

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    5. That was a really good post Brandon, I liked how you compared things to Fahrenheit 451, and haha iamka I don't think that the government will go that far, in fact I seriously doubt it, such thing would attack our freedoms and I'm sure that the people of this country, despite whether they read or not would not take kindly to such an offense.

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  3. There isn't really anything wrong with Ms. Kang's post. Yes, it may seem like bragging, but she didn't purposely demean people who don't look as good as her, she just wanted show her accomplishment (plus, if people actually bothered to do their research before spewing forth hatred, they'd know that the post was also partly an ad for her fitness expertise program/website). What kind of logic did her critics use to equate her desire to remain healthy with mockery of fat people? I'm sorry but you must have some issues if you get offended by someone who decides to choose a healthy lifestyle and is proud to show it.

    There are also critics who declare that she only looks like that because she has her own fitness trainer, or she must be neglecting her kids because 'there's no way someone who has kids can look like that'. Again, if they had done their research, they'd learn that Ms. Kang is a single mother who suffered from bulimia and other eating disorders. Having kids doesn't excuse people from maintaining their health, either. Hell, it should actually motivate you to be healthy for their sake. Are we really becoming so cynical that we automatically look for ways to put down other peoples' achievements?

    And fat shaming, seriously? Now, I'm not saying that it's okay to bully others simply because they're fat (it's not). However, there is no reason to not try to be healthy, which is what Ms. Kang was going for in the first place. We've become a country where we teach people that it's okay, or even that it's healthy, to be obese, which, as the majority of health experts point out, is a concerning trend towards complacency about health. Obesity is, after all, one of the largest risk factors in heart disease. Genetics isn't even a major contributor to the rising obesity in the US, and I think the excuse that "I'm just born that way" is thrown around too often. Even those with legitimate medical conditions such as thyroid problems can take the initiative to at least being healthy.

    The US is becoming too hypersensitive, and all these forced apologies are only making it worse. By making an apology, you're justifying their offence. Your apology perpetuates a subconscious oppression in fear of repercussion, in high contrast to our right to free speech.The reality is that this world does not exist to please you and the vast majority of the 7 billion other people on this earth are going to think and behave differently from you. Recognize that, grow up, and stop whining.

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    1. I agree with you that we are becoming too hypersensitive, and that obesity is becoming too commonplace. However, I am confused with your comment on apologizing. When I read your post, I felt that you had the idea that apologizing in any form was bad, and that it is essentially a sign of weakness. Is this what you were trying to say? If it was, I feel that it is wrong, because when someone does something they later feel is wrong, they should apologize for their actions to make the situation better.

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    2. Taking into context the previous paragraphs and Mr. Gehm's prompt, the last lines were referring to empty apologies, more specifically, those made in response to hypersensitive offence. I never meant that any and all apologizing is wrong or a sign of weakness. Certainly, there are many instances where an apology is needed, and it's important to be respectful and not intentionally demean others. But I don't believe that issuing one in fear or guilt because someone overreacted and grossly misinterpreted your intents is not what free speech is about.

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    3. Hanna, you last paragraph is absolutely true. That is what occurs when people begin saying things they dont mean. Those words later go on to become cliche's and lose any precious meaning they once had. I agree with your post.

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    4. You're completely right Hannah, people are taking this way too far saying that its purpose might offend fat people. Also I like how you actually did the research into this blog.

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  4. "…grow up, and stop whining" EXACTLY! Americans need to realize that this whole issue is not logical. As you mentioned, Kang's post was just to show her accomplishments and was not targeting people for obesity or laziness. I feel america is using this as an excuse by declaring it as bullying in order to hide their un motivational nature.

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    1. Iqra, for once I think your right, its as if people are trying to find something wrong where nothing wrong is intended. I personally didn't think anything of the picture but someone obviously looked it and tried to turn it into something that is wasnt

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    2. "for once" haha rob that was my reply to Hannah by the way

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  5. Women. What are we? Sisters, friends, aunts, mothers, employees etc. In today’s world a woman’s role has become equal to a man’s. As Beyonce once put it, “She can have kids and get back to taking over the world, just like millions and millions of women do daily.” And this is true! Maria Kang’s photo is just a reminder to the world of what women today have become capable of.
    In older times, women were used to being beautiful for only a short period of time, then aging gracefully after marriage and childbirth. Whatsmore, today there is a notion of wanting to be “forever young”, evidence can be seen in the increase of anti-aging products and procedures offered to people. Kang, by advertising exercise, is offering an inexpensive and healthy method to keep up with the trend.
    Furthermore, Maria’s post is not inappropriate as it is only motivating women to not turn into slobs after having kids. She is showing to everyone that as a human she is a business woman, nonprofit founder, wife and mother of not one, nor two, but of three boys and has the capability to still look amazing. Her quote, “what's your excuse?” is nothing more but pure motivation by questioning (subliminally challenging) people’s endurance. Kang is inspiring mothers to still care for themselves, as they have stopped living for themselves, since they have started to live for someone else.
    The hatred she is receiving online is nothing but ridiculous. Clearly, jealousy from others is in the air... The idea that America has become too sensitive is absolutely true. There is a man by the name of Jonathan Lee Riches who got the Guinness world record for having filed the highest number of lawsuits in the world. When he heard of this he sued Guinness Book of World Records. How many, and what types of lawsuits could this man have possibly filed??
    Next, in ‘90’s when teenagers were acting up everyone knew it was their hormones. Now we are diagnosing them as bi polar.. This clearly shows how we are taking things and manipulating into others.

    In the end, my mother often tells me that I need to develop thick skin in order to get by. Although, by the way things are going now, I probably won’t have to, as a simple complain will be returned with an overly desired apology.

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    1. I agree, mothers and women in general should look at Maria as motivation. If she can do it, why can we?

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    2. It all matters on interpretation, its not necessarily that I think Maria Kang should be punished. She should be willing to handle what others say if she is going to say something that might possibly trigger a negative reaction. You see it on a daily basis, saying something but trying to show the opposite. We need to be willing to consider what the person is actually trying to do instead of just shut it out. Even if you still don't agree you shouldn't always jump on it like a pack of wolves.

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  6. It is my belief that society has indeed grown a tad bit too oversensitive. Protesting that picture was ridiculous, even if there was no intention behind it. As Mr. gehm stated we under the first amendment in the Constitution have the right to express ourselves freely. That on its own should crush any dispute towards that picture, but the thing is that was actually an advertisement for a fitness programme... Why do you expect, no one is going to go to a fitness programme that paints the picture of someone obese/out of shape, that defeats the whole purpose behind going to such a programme in the first place! So yes, I do believe that things have gotten slightly out of hand and society has become too hypersensitive.

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    1. I like how you pointed out that if the advertisement had someone who was obese on it, no one would actually want to try it out. However, I don't think the picture itself was what spawned the major controversy, but rather the slogan: "what's your excuse?" The picture doesn't really seem offensive at all, but I can understand why someone would get offended by the slogan, even if I wouldn't be.

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    2. Like you said in one of your comments, people nowadays love to turn things into something they're not. They overanalyze or jump into conclusions, nitpicking, trying to stretch analogies. A lot of people act like they possess an absolute right not to be offended and they actually expect others to say only things they don't find offence in.
      (Oh, look at that celebrity's comment that must somehow be directed to me, someone s/he doesn't even know exists. Or how about that stranger I overheard on the bus yesterday, his joke was about Asian stereotypes and I'm Asian, therefore he was trying to insult me. I demand an apology for hurting my feelings.)

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    3. America's hypersensitivity levels are higher than ever and there seems to be no feasible cause. Posts such as Kang's could not have been the cause of it. It was posted for motivation, not degradation.

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    4. It makes you wonder where it all started. Perhaps it was just the babying of people or perhaps just a culture change. Its true that we picked some useful things but we need to make sure we keep some old good traits with us. We need to be willing to hear another person out even if we hate it entirely.

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  7. My saying is this “You can say pretty much whatever you want but I have the right to disagree and ignore you.” So in other words I do support Maria for saying her things without fear, BUT I feel she is a conceited and stupid woman. Her attitude acts like a major tease towards women that put in the same effort but not always the same result. The backlash she got was a bit drastic by shaming her to be a woman but it’s still something she can ignore. If she’s going to go on the record with something on that magnitude she should be prepared for criticisms. I believe we have the right to say what we want, when we want, just not when it threatens another person. I do believe we should watch some of the things we say because others may interpret it wrongly. However, it’s the fact that we don’t realize it that people take advantage of. When Miley said “Mini-Strokes” it wasn’t an insult or a threat, it was just how she was feeling. Comedians I watch run into this problem a lot, but overall jokes are joke it’s very rare to see one taken too far.
    “I believe you can joke about anything. It all depends on how you construct the joke. What the exaggeration is. What the exaggeration is.” – George Carlin
    We need to stop this feelings hurt nonsense going on, it’s ridiculous. It’s been ongoing for decades now and it hasn’t stopped. Feminist groups want to ban the word “bossy” because it ruins girls’ self-esteem to be a leader. People with dwarfism prefer to be called “little people” instead of “midgets”. But even overtime that word will be change because there will eventually be a distaste for it. For instance, I think “little person” is more insulting than “midget”, you’re always going to have someone who disagrees with a word.
    I feel like this video explains how ridiculous it is. It shows how interpretations can be thrown into different kind of proportions. (Take it how you will, but I’m with Norton.)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9N6g1PMW24

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    1. WOAHHH "I feel [maria] is a conceited and stupid woman." How can you call a person you've never met "conceited" or "stupid?" Her post had a purpose and it was not to "tease" women. It was to motivate them to get fit and stay active. I feel that she is an icon and could be looked up to.

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    2. That's my opinion on her sorry, something tells me she should have ran it through a few people. She conceited for parading around her kids and her body on the internet and stupid from saying "what's your excuse?". There are people that put in the same time and effort as her with not the same result. If she is willing to put something like that online she needs to be able to handle criticism. If she's hurt by it oh well act she should like an adult and move on.

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    3. I will agree with your first thought though. Your right I can't jump to that conclusion. I think it made her come off as someone who is conceited and stupid.

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    4. I feel the problem with this blog is that you do not see that in society, even under all the over-sensitivity in it, there is a blurred, but distinct, line which differentiates actions which are misinterpreted and socially unacceptable actions. Think about it this way: these days, as with the case of Mrs. Kang, the backlash against her and the photo meant to inspire women to stay in shape after childbirth, which causes many women to go into depression, is much higher than if a guy in Chicago murders a kid in cold blood. It is morally wrong for this to happen, and it shows that while society is over-sensitive on many issues that appeals to others, it maintains a blind eye to the crime actual moral sins, which should never happen.

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  8. Society’s reaction toward Maria Kang’s post is absurd, irrational and illogical. America seems like it is attempting to become a utopian society by the prevailing actions. Maria Kang’s post can be viewed from two different perspective. It can be viewed as motivational and the second as a “prideful brag” turning out to be a form of bullying. The negative responses obtained from this picture have gone so far that an apology had been demanded. This picture was for motivational purposes, in order to get other women driven to accomplish their goals. This level of hypersensitivity is not healthy for our world and the matter is just increasing. We CAN NOT all be equal. Yes, we all have equal rights, however, this does not mean our actions have to be the same either.
    Also, the reactions are infringing upon Kang’s first amendment rights. She has the freedom of expression and speech meaning she does not owe an apology to anyone. The way people encounter Kang’s picture is what is causing the issue.
    The forced apologies are in fact increasing hypersensitivity. People such as the critics of Maria Lank feel as if they ultimately won the argument. This then influences them to judge other things to such extents. This hypersensitivity is causing social unrest and a threat to America.

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    1. i honestly find it hard to believe that this one picture created such problems. Its a picture meant to motivate not degrade anyone. People want the freedom to say whatever they want but get offended when its something they don't want to hear. Pathetic.

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    2. I wholeheartedly agree with this blog post. Society is reaching a point at which nothing can be said or done without raging criticisms, and the case of Maria Kang illustrates this point perfectly. It is very ironic how a post meant to motivate draws so much anger from the audience it was supposed to target. This is just one of many ways society has been corrupted to form a community where nothing could be said without illogical retaliation.

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    3. Iqra,
      This post is definitely true and I do agree. I like how you talked about how we can't be equal regardless of equal rights and how you analyzed the two different perspectives of the argument. You also pointed out facts I discussed in my blog post: You talked about how apologies could make critics feel like they won thus perpetuating the practice of being overly sensitive even more. The only difference is that I talked about how the media plays a big factor in the how the critics win with the apology.

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    4. I think that everyone agrees that it is absurd to judge this picture because of a certain body figure. Like how would certain people feel if she posted a picture an obese lady instead and said the same thing? Would we get the same reactions? How would that picture now change? People always have different opinions, but it's the facts that matter and she is perfectly fit and healthy, which is what this country needs. They need an stirring of the pot in order to everyone to trigger a movement.

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    5. Iqra, everything agreed except that "fake apologies actually increase hypersensitivity". I'm not arguing it's 100% unreasonable, but in most of the cases, you can imagine these forced apologies like treaties that settle the war. Even though these treaties may, or would, solve nothing and leave everything the way it is without major changes, the status quo resolution is the most ideal way to temporarily halt the contest and draw a closing speech to the issue.

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    6. people don't have voices in our society anymore, so when someone thinks they are posting a simple picture, truly they aren't douse someone out there won't like it, and the person with the picture has no voice over the many that dislike it. and i do believe that this "Over-Sensitivity" is hurting America, in ways that a normal person like us can't fix

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  9. Maria Kang’s post was not inappropriate in the least. She’s showing of the body that she is proud of. Kang is just proving that with hard work and motivation, you can be fit and reach your goals. It is intended to motivate people to get into shape. Her post should not offend anyone as it is not “bullying” and she shouldn’t have to apologize because there’s the first amendment after all. “Forced” apologies shouldn’t perpetuate this sort of society; however, the actual cause is undeterminable.
    The sensitivity of Americans has sky-rocketed over the years. Honestly, people have to embrace who they are, overcome their disorders, or let them control the way they live their lives. America needs to grow up. This is life. You are always going to come across someone who you don’t agree with, someone you feel has it easier, or someone you are jealous of. And there is always going to be someone who feels that way about you. It’s inevitable.

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    1. Nirali,
      Honestly this post is very true. Even I believe that she is showing pride in her body and more importantly that hard work does pay off. "America needs to grow up", is the key message here. It is important that we don't ridicule people for such small things, because it's just life after all.

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    2. America does need to grow up. Sooner or later we'll be noticing the little things that won't matter when we're battling for our land in a war with Iraq or Russia (just an example). Actually worrying about politics may help our country, and help us get out of our debt rather than thinking about a woman's picture that may not matter in another week or so. Maybe this picture will actually trigger the debates that are NEEDED instead or stir up more trouble because of a simple motivational picture.

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    3. you are right, what she did is not the at all inappropriate, and rather than focusing on the debt we had acquired, this will make headlines and all political issues won't. and the fact that what ever we do in life will be reticules by society just because someone is expressing them selves, is ridiculous to think about also.

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  10. In today's day and age, virtually everything seems to offend someone and that will always remain true. Looking at something in a different perspective can lead to varying thoughts about anything, in this case, a digital photo. We as Americans are becoming hypersensitive over various events that happen over the internet or even television shows. Firstly, Maria Kang's post on Facebook was not inappropriate, or at least the intentions of her post. She was just trying to convey the fact that exercising and fitness can be achieved even when taking care of young kids. Kang is trying to promote physical fitness for women to back in shape after pregnancy. It seems like when anything goes viral, there is always a large number or critics even when the post is not intending to be offensive(If you don't believe me, go on any viral YouTube video and look at the number of dislikes). Today it is so easy to offend someone that every viral sensation has it's group of critics. The critics are looking at this post from the wrong perspective and leaving out all logic from the clearly intended message of the photo. We are becoming too hypersensitive as a society largely because of social media and the general media. With each story like this one, more people are becoming hypersensitive as a result perpetuating the practice itself. The media also has ways of skewing the real story as well. Many times, it seems as though the media is in support of hypersensitive critics and in other cases it is the other way around where the media frowns upon the critics. People are easily swayed by the direction of media in their opinions so this is a big factor when considering whether we have become too easily offended. That being said, in many of these cases apologies are forced because of the media's influence on large crowds to gain following against a certain cause. These forced apologies seem to create the feeling that it is all right to be hypersensitive because it gives the critics the satisfaction that they want. Getting the apology could make critics think that they won and this mindset can easily spread, creating a greater environment of sensitive people. It seems like these forced apologies mean nothing but that is just a personal opinion and not true in society especially because of the rising number of cases like these ones. The apologies only seem to create more people who will be prone to getting offended easier.

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    1. The social media is very misinterpreted at times and it leads to all this drama. Its the fact that we can't always display how we feel on something over the internet. Somebody might type something randomly and not think about it. Another person might find that post insulting. We can't all agree even if it is dumb.

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    2. Your post illustrates the absurd qualities of today's social media platforms. In this modern age, much is interpretive, but even the most bland topics will spawn a myriad debates, mostly concerning the most outrageous of details and interpretations.

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  11. The over-sensitivity of society is definitely a huge problem with community interactions, because it does not allow any freedom of expression, just because it offends some people. For example, this mother case that is sparking outrage is simply silly. The mother was not exposing herself or her children in any derogatory or inflammatory way, so why should society blast her as if she did. It especially unnerving to hear this story because it shows how hypocritical society has become: a mother cannot post a harmless picture without causing such massive controversy, but models can expose much more without hearing as much as a comment. Society has reached a point where one cannot state an opinion without reaching some amounts of controversy, which is simply absurd. The idea of society is to express feelings and ideas for the rest of mankind to benefit from, and the over-sensitivity of society in recent times is hindering this spread of ideas from happening.

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    1. Your right it is silly that media is noticing a small picture posted by a mother. I feel like people don't know what to do with themselves they're searching for little things to pick at in order to get society talking. I guess people know her name now! Publicity is good right!?

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    2. Pranav,
      Your post is completely true. The very premise of the controversy is ridiculous and you address that issue by discussing how models can expose themselves much more with virtually no backlash from critics, whereas in this case, it caused much controversy. You also mentioned how society has reached a state where no opinions or first amendment rights could be stated without attaining much controversy which is also true and sad; but as time progresses on, this statement will become even more true with cases like this one becoming more and more in quantity.

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    3. Pranav the CON-MAN (no offense and you certainly know what I mean by that??). It somewhat becomes evident now that "to express feelings and ideas for the rest of mankind to benefit from" - first of all, that requires pretty high standards in order to comes up with ideas that benefits the rest of mankind?? Second, my point is that it's virtually impossible to have everyone expressing their opinions freely without clashes among different ideas. I'm not arguing we should all just stop expressing opinions and lose our "voices", rather I'm saying that - perhaps - it's not entirely necessary to share your contradictory thoughts in a really wide scale in an aggressive way that forces others to bind to your side (which is what the con-Maria-Kang people did and many others in an attempt to shut other people up and stain others' intentions.)
      From my own devout and respectful standpoint, if you don't like a designated action by someone, say, Kang, it'd be better if you talk behind her back instead of stirring up a whole uncomfortable contention under...almost national spotlight in this case.

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    4. instead of wars and optical issues that the country needs, our citizens and news teams basically report things that have no real significance. as in the war that might happen in Ukraine and Russia, since people only care about who posted what on Facebook and twitter, the news only shows a time for this war and updates on it that they show more about Facebook and twitter rather than what really matters in the world.

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  12. People always interpret things differently whether you believe in what they say or not. Hypersensitive is part of the problem with society, however media plays a huge role in why Americans are the way they are. Beginning with Maria King's post on Facebook, that was never there to intentionally hurt people because of one post. First off, she never promoted any negativity with the topic, and basically stated what America needs help with in one simple sentence. Motivation was the key, the point she was trying to get across, not to offend anyone whatsoever. People that believed it was a disgrace and disagreed with what she believed in, are jealous of her or insecure about themselves. People would dream for a body like that, and she accomplished a goal that many Americans would die for. I'm not saying that you HAVE to be like Maria, and that is your decision, but having a great figure gives you great health and makes you feel better about your surroundings and life overall. People also could have ignored her post instead of bash on it, if you are so happy with your figure, why do you have to make other people feel bad about themselves and what they post on a SOCIAL media site. Unfortunately, the point that Maria was trying to get across all along is something that we need help with in America, and people fail to notice the true meaning of the picture.
    There is also an issue dealing with hypersensitive people. Especially in America, people go by whatever media says, whether it's true or not. They don't judge on face to face conversations more than twitter, Facebook, and even magazines. Well sorry to break it to you, half the things that are read are either NOT TRUE or not based on real facts. Stretching the truth when dealing with the media is an understatement. Whether celebrities or anyone famous like it or not, they have eyes on them like a hawk 24/7. One wrong move, and media catches it, and next thing you know you're on the front cover of Seventeen Magazine. Because we believe every little thing social media says, it makes us hypersensitive to thing that may not be true. Also, certain things that may disrespectful, can hurt people because of certain, touchy topics that may not sit well in their stomach, however in the social media world, whatever they can get and more isn't even good enough. Disrespectful comments, are better than murders or accidents with news of deaths, on the other hand, (in my opinion) both are unacceptable. Miley Cyrus can do whatever she wants with her image and her licking everything she sees, if that's how she wants people to see her, but I wouldn't want to be known as someone who alters her ego just to get money. In reality, ignoring media and things that you may be sensitive to is the best way to handle things. Unless media may be intentionally hurting you, I think media is best to stay away from, because it will cause emotions and uprisings that may not be needed especially when you're dealing with other problems in your life.




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    1. Juliet, the one thing that really resonates with me is your statement that "one wrong move, and media catches it, and next thing you know you're on the front cover of Seventeen Magazine." It makes me think about some other factors leading to the hypersensitivity nowadays other than the guarantees in the First Amendment. And the solution comes down to the time period we live in - the Era of Technology. An exceedingly high transparency, esp. in America, via various social media sites, magazines, radio channels...can be beneficial but also can be detrimental in a way that results in depressions, humiliations, and even suicide.
      People become radical in a way that other moderate voices together stick to the social norm. Voices appear to be symbols for liberal communities, sometimes can harm individuals in destructive ways. Freedom of voices along with technology aids create places for hypersensitivity, oftentimes violent controversies (not physically but...mentally), and hysteria.

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  13. people in our world today are over sensitive, and its starting to become a problem. just like this mother case, people are taking this social media problem out of proportion. i don't think that she was exposing herself at all, or even setting a bad image at her children, its just that society will only comment on something they assume is bad just for the drama and "ratings" that will come for it. i mean honestly, everything someone does something out of the ordinary, it is always expressed to hurt the person who didi the action. meanwhile the person who did the action is being harassed for something that was interpreted the wrong way. this over sensitivity of our nation is getting out of contra and less and less people are expressing themselves as they shoo;d be doing in America.

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