I suppose it's to be expected that when the Prime Minister tries to impress university students by insulting people who are actually good at what they do, other people in the country become confused about what is appropriate speech, and what is acceptable behaviour. In the same way people protest sensitivity to difference as "PC gone mad!" (perhaps my most-hated phrase in the history of the universe), these confused individuals present their prejudices as jokes, so that when normal people object, they can accuse them of being over-sensitive, or "easy to wind up".
For a lot of my life, I've been too afraid of saying anything when the confused individuals have been my friends. I've was afraid of not being liked, and I was afraid of offending them (sometimes justifying it to myself as being because they didn't know what they were saying). I'm not sure if it's having grown up enough not to care so much for the opinions of idiots, or just having grown more confident, or knowing that I have someone who is always on my side, that I'm not afraid anymore. It's still scary to confront people sometimes; it can make my heart beat fast, or make me want to cry, or become obsessed with it. But we have to do it. We have to let people know it's not normal or okay to say things that are racist, or sexist, or any of the other -ists that are put by the wayside when the government of a country is right-wing and so all that matters is the economy. Fuck the economy. Tolerance and a good economy are not mutually exclusive, but if they were, I know what is more important to me.
I'm afraid this is getting preachy, which is isn't supposed to be at all. It's meant to be encouraging. Sometimes it feels like you're alone when no-one else has said they're not okay with a joke, or a remark. But you're not. People are chicken, and they are followers. We, comrades, are not. And anytime we speak out, we have each other behind us. And even if the morons disagree, at least they've had the truth presented to them; and while they can do their best to dismiss us, there's something about the truth that just sticks.
Who am I kidding, well-presented lies stick too. But anyway.