Mar. 9th, 2009

wondersheep: (FF - Whip this out | madelineanne)
From [livejournal.com profile] synecdochic, emphasis mine (you'll see it down there).


5. If someone says to me anything that essentially means "you are perpetuating the pain that our society causes me" ("this X is troublesome", "this X is racist,", "this X is sexist", "this X is ableist", etc), no matter how the statement is phrased, I need to immediately stop, take a deep breath, and not even begin to attempt to refute this statement, explain why the explainer is wrong, or offer alternate readings of the scenario until I thoroughly understand why that person is saying this. To do otherwise is to leap to the defensive and cause harm to the person doing the pointing out, especially if the person pointing this out is already hurting.

5.1. In fact, even once I understand why that person is saying such a thing, even if I disagree that X is troublesome or if I believe that X has an alternate reading, this does not change the fact that the person who has pointed it out is hurt by X.

5.2. Historically, the tactic of pointing out alternate, non-racist (sexist, ableist, classist, [...]) interpretations is used to silence the voices of those who are experiencing pain, by attempting to dismiss, trivialize, or explain away their reactions as unimportant.

5.3. Historically, the tactic of pointing out that a different -ism or -phobia may also be influencing or causing the situation is also used to silence the voices of those who experience that pain, by attempting to deflect the conversation to the discussion of a different form of privilege and oppression, thus dismissing, trivializing, or explaining away the reactions of the people who point out the situation.

5.4. I should, therefore, strive not to do either: no matter what my intent might be in sharing my opinion, no matter what my opinion might be, I should constantly ask myself whether adding my opinion will or could be interpreted as an attempt to silence others. I will fail at this more often than I will fail at anything else on this list, because I am an opinionated person and my rhetorical style is often strident. I should not allow myself to use this as an excuse. I should do my absolute best to remain mindful of this trap.


There's plenty of good stuff in it. You should go read it.

ETA: I keep forgetting to pimp [livejournal.com profile] verb_noire! GO! Read submission guidelines! Donate the cashy monies! THIS IS GOING TO BE AWESOME OMG!

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