"Yo Mama" jokes overheard between 13yo’s…
Did you know Godzilla has a wife? Yo mama.
When Yo Mama puts on a bathing suit, people yell Tsunami!
Yo Mama so ugly, she’d turn Medusa to stone.
Did you get offended by any of those? I hope not! They weren’t intended to hurt anyone, just joking among friends. Teenagers make an art form of sarcasm and teasing. They say things to each other that would make the PC police cringe. But friends know each other, and they know a friend wouldn’t say anything to hurt them on purpose. Joking around about each others’ differences is how you know you’re accepted.
The Golden Rule: Treat others as you would like to be treated.
If everyone did this, peace would be easy. Unfortunately, humans are very competitive. We have different skills and compete to be the best - Survival of the Fittest! Oftentimes, some people look for negative attributes in others and draw attention to them to make themselves feel better or to get a laugh from their friends. Especially teenagers. This is not joking around. This is bullying.
Discrimination is “the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.” But the second definition is: “recognition and understanding of the difference between one thing and another.” How opposite these two different connotations from one word are. We should be able to recognize our differences, but in a positive way! Different shouldn’t = bad.
The blurry lines of joking vs discrimination are crossed when someone says something derogatory in a public setting or to others they don’t know very well. No matter the intention, people will take what is said in their own way -- they will laugh or they will be offended. And in today’s society, people seem to be offended more easily, to the point where just stating a fact can send someone racing to their safe space.
We could all use a tougher outer protective layer. Self-confidence strengthens us when real bullies throw their verbal darts. Don’t let anyone else define you. A healthy self-esteem is the best defense against ignorant discrimination.
But we could also do well remembering the words of mother: “Think before you speak!” When joking, make sure those around you know it’s joking. Use common sense. There’s a time to joke and a time to hold back. Watch what you say and the tone in which you say it. And if you offend someone, you can apologize and let them know you weren’t trying to hurt them. Ultimately, you can’t help how someone takes what you say. If your heart is in the right place, that’s all you can do.
Thanks so much for hosting me, Heather! I so appreciate your support and friendship! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Tara Tyler has had a hand in everything from waitressing to rocket engineering. After moving all over, she now writes and teaches math in Ohio with her three active boys and Coach Husband. Currently she has two series, Pop Travel (techno-thriller detective capers) and Broken Branch Falls (fantasy adventures). To squeeze in writing, she economizes her time aka the Lazy Housewife. Make every day an adventure!
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Thank you for coming, Tara! Best of luck!
We should all remember that if we don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all. Especially on the internet!
I love this..."A healthy self-esteem is the best defense against ignorant discrimination."
I need to share that with my son and make sure he believes it.
To all my blog friends, near and far, I wish you merry / happy / festive days and let's hope 2017 is kinder to us all.