Disclaimer: This is an opinion of mine so please take it with a grain of salt and please understand where I am coming from, if you disagree, then I applaud you to let me know why.
I have always wondered about why people get offended by jokes and this is my take on the concept and an analysis of the topic.
First of all, what is a joke?
“a thing that someone says to cause amusement or laughter, especially a story with a funny punchline.”
One of the many purposes of a joke is to essentially uplift a certain thing but at the expense of another, for example, go back to when people would make fun of you as a joke, of course, it caused people to laugh but ultimately, it was done at the expense of you, bringing you down with the purpose to uplift someone’s feelings or to make someone laugh.
Majority of the time, when a joke is said, it is always targeted at those who are most vulnerable. For example, have you ever noticed that there are more black and Mexican jokes when it comes to racist jokes but not white people? Or what about its always females being at the butt of a sexist joke but never a male? A reason for this could be due to the fact white males tend to be more dominant in leading position and always tend to be the centre of attention in history. Thus, you rarely ever hear a joke resulting in them being the victim which may have led to the term SJW being coined by Liberals because it is women and black people who tend to be at the talking point of Liberals and their idea of them being oppressed which I think is perfectly fine.
Of course, you are a human being, you do not like it when someone tries to bring you down to uplift one’s self-esteem or another’s, so you respond with anger or hatred or negative feelings. This is essentially where the offended part comes in, you get offended by the joke that was made at your expense and you try to dismiss it, to retaliate and society has somehow formed a sort of hatred to a natural human reaction.
Jokes are subjective in nature, one must not have to like a joke, one must not have to hate it, and this is accepted, especially in the nature of dark humour which takes it to the extreme but the same thing also applies to the nature of one’s opinion. You can disagree and agree with it. So when you, the person whose self-esteem was sacrificed to uplift another, goes and makes it vocal, other’s will of course berate and become upset at you for committing such an offence to their eyes. This, of course, will be identified as hypocrisy to the trained eye but it goes to show how jokes and being offended can go hand in hand.
I believe both are natural. Jokes essentially cause people to be offended naturally, and when that offensive nature is vocalized, people will then be offended by that vocalization of the offensive nature of the joke and thus, the cycle repeats. Jokes must be criticized and criticism of that joke must be heard and debated, not just shouting “your an SJW who can’t take a joke”.
Conclusion: This is why jokes are very dangerous to the co-operation of society as it can cause arguments to arise between factions (those who are offended by the joke and those who are offended by the vocalization of the disapproval of the joke), but they can also cause society to progress as it helps to heal the pain of a tragic moment or uplift a group’s self-esteem.