Brief thought: Tone Policing

Here’s the thing: I get that sometimes people doing social justice work can be kind of aggressive. And I get that that makes people defensive and sometimes looks like it’s a counter-productive tactic (though often those same defensive people will come back much later and point to someone’s aggressiveness as the moment they actually started thinking about x thing more and eventually led to their changing their mind about ¬†an issue). I’m not even going to argue about who’s right in this fight between “let’s all be civil and respectable and spend more time caring for privileged folks’ feelings than they’ve spent caring for ours because at least when you beg for scraps sometimes you get scraps, and moving slowly is better than not moving at all” and “this shit is serious and harmful and I am not going to sit down or shut up or move more slowly or quietly or gently”. There are actually merits to both approaches, and different tactics work for different people, so seeing people take different approaches is always good, ok?

But. BUT.

If you find yourself investing more time and energy worrying about and criticizing other people’s approaches to social justice work and telling them how they could be doing that work better than you are investing in just actually doing whatever work it is you would like to see done, then I have zero fucks or time or patience for you.

Brief thought: “over-reacting”

I think it’s safe to say that anyone who has ever tried to engage with other people in critiques of popular culture from a feminist, anti-racist, or otherwise anti-oppression perspective has, at some point, been told that they are “over-reacting” or better yet “pretending to be offended” (because it’s so much fun/because they want attention?). These same sentiments are generally implied whenever someone gets accused of being “too politically correct” (can we please all agree that this is the least useful phrase ever? What does it even mean? You care too much about other people’s feelings?).

This just makes me wonder: what kind of person do you have to be that when presented with someone having an reaction to something in that you’re pretty sure you would react differently to in their shoes (i.e. “if I was [a member of you marginalized group of choice] I wouldn’t worry about [phenomenon person is critiquing/complaining about]”), or otherwise having an emotional reaction that you find difficult to understand (i.e. triggered), you immediately assume “oh, they must be making it up”?

I’m pretty sure the only possible answer to that is “an asshole”.

Related badassery from Fannie’s Room