‘Edgy’ teenage boys preface their online presence with ‘I don’t care if you’re offended’ as if it rails against all that society stands for. Dead baby jokes, rape jokes, beating women jokes, racist jokes, homophobic jokes, holocaust jokes, transphobic jokes, and a host of other ‘material’ is wheeled out over sites like 4chan, Reddit, 9gag, and even Facebook (especially Facebook, with pages dedicated to LAD culture and ‘edgy’ young men’s humour), as though those words are ammo against society by the number of people who say ‘that’s not okay’ or ‘that’s not funny.’
The tragic irony comes from the inarguable fact that such jokes and comments do nothing to transgress society at large. They are anything but radical, or against the grain. They normalise, reinforce and capitalise on expectations and inequalities upon which modern western society are built on. The people who are offended, the ones who call out the bigotry are accused of being ‘silencers,’ as though they are oppressors in cahoots with society to stop our brave white teenage boys from making their edgy jokes, when in reality, their calling out against bigotry is the most transgressive and radical act of any of these exchanges.
Now, when a woman, a person of colour, a trans* person, a person of any other sexuality than straight or another marginalised person of society offends a white, straight, cis man – THAT is a transgressive act. That is when offence becomes radical and political. But if you’re a white boy feeling edgy because you’ve made a joke about Rhianna getting beaten by Chris Brown, you can shut up and go sit in a corner."