political correctness

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”.

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