Because we talk about a LOT of different things on our show, we get a fair share of complaints. We read every single one, and to be fair, most have a good point, even though we might not agree with it. I don't have a problem with someone making a valid complaint and sometimes they even convince me to see things their way.
Lately though, there's a huge trend of people looking for things to be offended by. Remember a few years ago the woman who called our show complaining that we shouldn't say, "I'm starving" because there are actually people starving in the world.
A few weeks ago, we talked to a very intelligent woman who was upset that she saw a pillow in a store that said, "Forget beauty sleep, I need my skinny sleep." She felt it sent bad messages to young women who are already overly concerned about her weight. I didn't necessarily agree with her that it had an ill-effect on people, but I did appreciate her concern that it did.
Last week, Beyonce' and an executive from Facebook started their "Ban Bossy" campaign because the feeling is that is discourages young girls from wanting to be leaders. I don't think that banning the word will have any effect on young girls' attitudes about leadership and it's a misguided "fix" at a much bigger problem. I have daughters who are very strong women, educated and great leaders. In fact, my daughter Beth has such a strong, leading personality, that I promise, you DO NOT want to @#% with her! :)
A few weeks ago on Facebook, I posted this picture.
Everyone realized it's purpose was to make you go, "Oh yeah! That's kinda true!" or "Yep, that happened to me!" Or maybe even, "Nope, that's not even close!"
But I didn't expect this complaint:
"Hey Dave Ryan, there's something about this photo that bothers me.
Would you please take it down? Thanks.
Please remove this from facebook, this is wrong. Please donot (sic) base
things on gender."
Wow. Seriously? SERIOUSLY? Is this what we can expect? Having an opinion is one thing. Forcing your opinion on someone through censorship? You and I are seeing this more and more. Someone gets offended, goes on social media, gets more support and pretty soon, boom. You are censored. You are told how to think.
And if you don't go along with it, you are lumped in with the people who really are the problem. The people who really do discriminate, who carelessly promote irresponsibility or hate. While there are people who genuinely do discriminate based on gender, here's a person who, instead of taking the trouble to really make a difference, goes after a simple post on Facebook that no one else found offensive.
Yes, I get that sometimes the little things amount to big things. The problem is, going after little things is exhausting and endless. If you want to make a difference, think big.
I tell my kids that the world is full of things that they won't like. It's like walking past an annoying yapping dog every day on your way to work. You can let the dog bother you, stop walking, cry about it, beg him to stop and call the cops. Or you can keep walking and get on with your day.
There are lots of things that can rub us the wrong way. There always will be. Pick your battles or be ready to battle at the expense of everything in life that's a whole lot more fun!