Once upon a time Jody got an inquiry from a fellow writing a study of the word 'motherfucker.' Here is her take on the enfranchising of "feeling insulted" as an equivalent of actually being harmed.
Dear Jody Scott,
I'm writing one about the history of the word motherfucker. I see that in your 1951 novel you used the euphemism "motherjumper." Do you recall how you arrived at that word, and what you encountered after its publication?
Well: publishers are understandably paranoid about what the public will and won't accept, because they get letters all the time from angry people who won't buy their product and back in 1951 you absolutely could not say "motherfucker," so "jumper" seemed an acceptable replacement.
However, anyone who gets upset at a mere word is quite ill and needs help, especially when screaming and shrieking about how "insulted" they've been.
Could anything be crazier? Imagine being "insulted" by a mere WORD!
I feel that there should be educational centers where such a person can go to get destimulated. I know of one such method; they call it "Bullbaiting" (term copyrighted).
Imagine that you are terribly upset by the word--let's say--"Lollipop." You go in, pay your fifty bucks, have a seat and are immediately besieged by several people whispering and shouting "Lollipop!" at you.
Soon enough, no matter how "insulted" and "upset" you once were (insisting "But 'lollipop' demeans my entire race and species and I'll never get over being upset and anyone who uses such a terrible word is insensitive and should be fired if not executed" etc.)-- no matter how restimulated you formerly were, you can now go out laughing and feeling happy as hell, as if the weight of the world were lifted from your shoulders and life is looking rosy once again-- all because of a mere word.
Just think: there are people who can torture with grim-faced relish but who get horribly upset at the little word "torture," as if words can hurt you. They can't.
Words don't condemn confused humans to a life of hell on a small, toxically contaminated planet; people condemn people to a life of hell on a small, toxic etc. etc. etc.