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MURDERcomplexx

Marriage Equality and Other MOGAI/Queer Rights

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Or my honest display of emotion could be the thing that make them remember that they are talking to a real human being with feelings and a deep connection to these issues, bringing them from an abstract concept to a tangible reality and helping them to better understand the impact of their attitude.

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I... I have to chime in here. While I get what a lot of you are saying, there's something inherently unsettling about being told 'if you're in an oppressed group you need to shut up, smile and be nice to people even if they come in acting like a jerk if you want them to possibly take you seriously'; and then in the same breath shutting down actual GSM folks' anger over someone not queer using a slur that isn't theirs to try to reclaim. It's just... creepy and makes my stomach twist; maybe because I've already been kind of trained to keep 'unpleasant' emotions bottled up and hidden; that I can't be upset and angry over something for whatever reason.

 

Again. I get the idea that anger and hostility might turn other people off, but they're (from what I've seen) generally people who would keep pushing even calm people until they snap, or don't really have much intention of educating themselves in the first place.

 

(ETA: I've just been lurking for a while and my thoughts on this whole situation are... kind of complex and muddled. Again, I really do get that if you're going to try educating someone, then you do need to at least try remaining respectful and you shouldn't go shouting at them. It was the 'only rant in private' thing that really bugs me, since... a lot of us don't have that outlet save for tumblr/forums/etc, online places specifically designated for GSM people and that are meant to be safe. But it's the internet, so how can it really be 'private'? If someone butts their head in there and starts making the place unsafe, you bet I'm going to get angry and snap-- this actually happened just a few days ago on Chicken Smoothie's GSA thread. A user was making some extremely rude/triggering remarks. People were even nice at first, trying to explain that no, it was not the space for them and they needed to get out because they were seriously upsetting several regulars. They refused to listen, anger ensued, they got warned and eventually their things removed. I've never been a fan of the 'if you can't say something nice don't say anything' mentality, because sometimes? People need a kick in the pants and to be told off. I only support it *in these kinds of situations* if someone is specifically running an education blog/forum/whatever for people not in the know. But if it's a place for marginalized groups to come together to share experiences/talk/just have a place of their own? It's their space. Don't tell them not to get angry, don't expect every member of a marginalized community to be educators all the time.)

Edited by Dr. Paine

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I strongly dislike the feeling I get after snapping at people-it's very disappointing when things escalate that far, no matter who is responsible. I feel like it's always the worst when you know the other person was just winding you up and you went for it anyway-it feels like you have no good choices when that happens. Sorry you had to deal with that.

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Earlier on Tumblr there was someone really upsetting my friend with a bunch of slurs and insults aimed at him for being trans. He told me about it on skype and I pounced on the person before my friend could get too upset. The person accused me of trying to earn brownie points with the LGBT people because of my behavior, but it wasn't that. It was because they were really upsetting one of my friends and I would do that for any of them in any situation. It's not the first time I've had people insist I'm not a genuine ally though. I'm more likely to chew someone out than my friend is because well... I have no problem telling someone off when they deserve it, I don't keep that stuff inside.

 

Does that really make me a bad ally when I'm just trying to protect my friends?

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Earlier on Tumblr there was someone really upsetting my friend with a bunch of slurs and insults aimed at him for being trans. He told me about it on skype and I pounced on the person before my friend could get too upset. The person accused me of trying to earn brownie points with the LGBT people because of my behavior, but it wasn't that. It was because they were really upsetting one of my friends and I would do that for any of them in any situation. It's not the first time I've had people insist I'm not a genuine ally though. I'm more likely to chew someone out than my friend is because well... I have no problem telling someone off when they deserve it, I don't keep that stuff inside.

 

Does that really make me a bad ally when I'm just trying to protect my friends?

... that person is so wrong I can't even find the words for it, and you should go chew them out again ._.

 

Helping someone when they honestly can't speak up themselves? That's fine, especially if it's out of concern for a friend and they're okay with it (which I'm fairly sure is the case here). The only real issue is if you have someone who's calling themselves an ~ally~ and they are the one hurting (things like using slurs, perpetuating stereotypes/ignorance, or acting like they're the go-to authority in all situations) the people they're trying to 'help', and keep that behavior up even after they've been asked to stop/told how damaging it is.

 

You're doing good. Keep it up.

Edited by Dr. Paine

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The person was in now way an ally, even if he had made that claim it was obvious he only wanted to start trouble. Believe me I chewed his ass up.

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Or my honest display of emotion could be the thing that make them remember that they are talking to a real human being with feelings and a deep connection to these issues, bringing them from an abstract concept to a tangible reality and helping them to better understand the impact of their attitude.

Certainly in the case of feminists it's made me avoid you all like the plauge. Directing anger at me when I have personally done no more than ask a question (or, in some cases, merely be there) is one of the fastest ways of making me avoid you, and I know I'm not the only one.

 

*shrugs*

 

You'll keep doing what you are doing anyway. It's not like my words are going to change your mind about snapping at people, nor are my example of personal impact. I rather wish they would, but I can't see it happening. All I can repeat is that I very much disagree with your approach, and think it is alienating to possible allies.

 

Nor, please note, did I say that people whos actions show what they are like were not an exception. I said that snapping at people who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time isn't, in my view, acceptable. It remains unacceptable.

 

Getting frustrated with someone who has personally repeatedly ignored being told to stop what they're doing is a different matter.

 

@Dr Paine - just for the record, you do remember me, right? This isn't a case of straight white cis-male telling GSM folk what to do, it's a case of one GSM person challenging another and saying "I don't think you are using the right approach.". I still don't.

 

Although I am beginning to wonder if there's some level of culture going on here, as the only one who seems to agree with me is Fuzz."

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@Tikindi: No, I do remember you-- and to be fair, I wasn't directing it at any 'cishet' people, it was to the overall attitude, doesn't matter who it's from. I just find it unsettling and creepy to be told by anyone to just 'suck it up and smile' or just... give the impression that everyone has to be an educator and maintain the maturity and level-headedness required for that. I don't know if that was your actual intent; I'm sure it's not. But that's really how it's coming across-- unless you're talking off-line, in private, with completely like-minded people and there's no chance of someone else coming in who might not agree, you have to act all professional and courteous and be a good example even if you've endured an awful day (whether it's just a bunch of little things like being late and aches and pains, to having dealt with pretty nasty discrimination/etc). For a lot of people, that kind of bottling up is just... very unhealthy, god knows it is in my case.

 

Yes, I see how running into a rant or someone who's angry can be off-putting. I do completely agree that if someone is asking an honest question, the response shouldn't be to scream at them; and in fact you should just try to be nice on the whole in general. But the way it was all worded and the way the idea comes across... again, it's hard to explain properly, but it's something that really freaks me out and disturbs me to the very core, probably in the same way you feel about people who tend to be more confrontational and shouty.

 

(I really am sorry if I came off as rude/singling you out, Tikindi, I really wasn't D: Like I said, I'm just having a lot of problems putting it into words, and I really can see both sides of it and blehhh I'm going to just hide now. I think a lot of it's coming from the fact that I was recently told that pretty much everyone in the house ultimately follows my example, which is kind of the last thing I ever wanted to hear and. ... shutting up now. And sorry for all the edits-- I'm just trying to get as much info/clarification out as I can, and sometimes that takes a lot of re-reading/re-thinking.)

Edited by Dr. Paine

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No, you have hit it pretty much spot on. I'd firmly say that all initial contact with people should remain polite and friendly at all times (and, yes, regardless of whether or not you've had a bad day). If honest questions are being asked, a polite response to them is required.

 

Exceptions can and should be made for individuals who have repeatedly pushed and pushed, or who insist on repeatedly using slurs, and continue even after a polite request to cease. But asking them nicely should always be tried first.

 

Please note I do consider members forums to be 'private' spaces. Goodness knows I'm on a couple of aspie ones, and those are places where venting is appropriate. Tumblr, however, and large open-membership forums such as this one, are the internet equivalent of the middle of a town.

 

I just... cannot and don't accept a whiny "I've had a bad day." as an excuse for being impolite. Well, yes, I've had bad days to. We all do. I also cannot accept having been asked a question frequently as a reason to get mad, even if the question is particularly stupid and/or borderline offensive (Funnily enough I get that more because of red-hair than I do because of being either trans or bi). Everyone deserved the benefit of the doubt, so unless you have personal history/experience with the person concerned I think they are only due a certain level of polite and respect until they prove otherwise.

 

Although do note that, certainly in person, it is extremely possible to be polite while also shutting down any possibility of discussion or argument. Polite & courteous doesn't mean doormat.

 

And I think all this because I think that if we *aren't* all educators, then we'll have people actively undoing the good work of others. One bad experience can turn people off an entire movement. Which means, yes, it is the personal responsibility of each and every one of us to ensure that people don't hvae those bad experiences. They're not going to truly support our rights until they truly support and recognise us as people. And shouting at them really isn't the way to go about that, I'm sorry.

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I see then.

 

I guess we just disagree on... well, most of that. (And from here on out, this is mostly just stating my opinions on this whole thing, it's not directed at you specifically ^^' Though I'd like to say that I tend to see tumblr and most forums as a bedroom in a giant shared house, rather than the middle of town. While others can come in, it's still your space, and if you put up a sign saying 'do not enter'/'only x may enter', it's basic courtesy to stay out. If someone goes in and messes with stuff, then whoever they're messing with has every right to get angry.)

 

I don't always see 'I've had a bad day' as whiny, since... well, most of the times I've seen it used and explained? It's a damn bad day. (Once again, giving a personal example, saying 'I've had a bad day' means I've gotten hurt and I honestly have yet to meet anyone who can still be properly polite under that kind of stress. If you (general you) can do it? Fantastic, you have my full respect and admiration. But I would never expect that of the average person-- I won't necessarily be happy to get snapped at, and I've often been on the receiving end of pain/sickness/stress-induced rage; and oh yeah. It sucks. It is best to try and be calm and walk away, but I understand that sometimes, it's just not possible, and it's just plain wrong to expect that of the average person.) Sometimes you can't just walk away and calm down, sometimes it's post a good, long rant or huddle up crying for a few hours. If it's on your own personal blog, you are completely entitled to that rant and to not be harassed over it. (And before anyone says anything, no I do not agree with pouncing on someone who's misinformed and just posting a question on their own blog and saying 'go die'/similar comments, that's just as wrong and rude. If you choose to directly respond to that, then you are taking on the role of an educator... though posting your own separate rant is entirely fair game. I'm also somewhat leery of people who go on some kind of supremely hateful, slur-laden ragefest and then do something to make it explicitly visible to whoever they're ranting about, since that's less venting in your room and more like screaming it for the whole house to hear...)

 

I do not want and should not have to be an educator, unless I specifically choose to take on that role. No one should, no matter who or what they are. Should I expect anyone wearing a Batman shirt to know all there is about comics and educate me when I'm trying to get into them? Especially if I go up to them out of the blue and ask for answers they probably don't have? It's just... putting way too much pressure on people who already have enough going on in their lives as it is.

 

I do not believe it's my personal responsibility to be some paragon example of GSM people. I have my off days, I have things that really tick me off and get me ranting, I have things I love and get really excited over, and I usually do try to be a decent human being. But I'd much rather just live than constantly act like I have to be a credit to my sexuality (granted the trope page is 'you are a credit to your race', but the overall idea is the same) and play perfectly nice to get the same basic rights as the majority. (And no, I don't think anyone should have to be expected to be a credit to whatever they are born into or judged strictly for that, since race/sexuality/related things are out of people's control. I can't imagine any sane person who'd advocate that. As I've said before, my big issue is if someone is calling themselves an ally of anything and they're talking over, silencing, insulting, and/or otherwise hurting the people they're trying to 'help'. Using a position of privilege/power to call attention and educate on topics but deferring to actual members of the community when they want to take over/when needing to show what the community has to go through, and making sure to represent everyone? Good! Making it all about just being a good ally and crowding out voices of the community/acting like you're the top authority and claim to know exactly what they're going through *empathy can only go so far in that-- I would never say I understand exactly what a trans* person goes through and can speak for them, for example, because I have never and will never have that experience. Instead, I would readily defer to someone who is if I was ever asked about it*, or only supporting people who are 'good examples' of the community because they're closest to the majority? Bad!)

 

It's not my job to teach when there are so, so, so many other people who have taken that responsibility, who are level-headed and mature and can react calmly to the worst sorts of people and are probably a hundred times more educated on the subject than I am; when there are tons of resources available just by some simple google searches or simple books. I will try to direct others to them if needed/asked about something, but if it's just on my page? Chances are I'm letting it be known that I'm angry and outraged over something that's really disgusted me-- shouting may not always win friends, but I agree with Jace and Sock. Let others see the hurt they cause. Even if whoever started it doesn't get the point, there will be others who will.

Edited by Dr. Paine

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Certainly in the case of feminists it's made me avoid you all like the plauge. Directing anger at me when I have personally done no more than ask a question (or, in some cases, merely be there) is one of the fastest ways of making me avoid you, and I know I'm not the only one.

Yup. That is one reason I will not call myself a feminist any more; I don't want to be associated with that mindset. I am a PEOPLEIST, and the anti-maleness of MOST (sorry, but it's the truth and I am 68 and was around when Berry Friedan first surfaced, and I hailed her book as revelatory - which it still is; it's what happened afterwards that was so vile !!!) feminists is enough to make me anti-feminist, it truly is. the HATE, the disdain - it's sickening.

 

And as an aside, why burn your bra ? It isn't a symbol of oppression, it is worn for COMFORT, for heaven's sake. That was a defining moment for me, the bra burning crap. It was plain silly.

 

Although I am beginning to wonder if there's some level of culture going on here, as the only one who seems to agree with me is Fuzz.

 

Fuzz is beginning to feel the same way about you wub.gif !

 

A soft answer turneth away wrath. It works.

 

ETA the educator thing. I have had terrific and GENUINE I KID YOU NOT arguments with two lesbians of my acquaintance, who KNOW that if I would accept my sexuality (which is lesbian, they know this) I would be happier. (I have accepted my sexuality. It is hetero AT THE MOMENT, but if I fell in love with a woman, it would be exclusively not so for the duration of that relationship. I am one for making love to whomever I am in love with at the time, and totally monogamous during that time. But I don't fancy either of those two !)

 

It cuts both ways.

 

But the soft answer approach is really good for your blood pressure, and saves on headaches.

Edited by fuzzbucket

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ETA the educator thing. I have had terrific and GENUINE I KID YOU NOT arguments with two lesbians of my acquaintance, who KNOW that if I would accept my sexuality (which is lesbian, they know this) I would be happier. (I have accepted my sexuality. It is hetero AT THE MOMENT, but if I fell in love with a woman, it would be exclusively not so for the duration of that relationship. I am one for making love to whomever I am in love with at the time, and totally monogamous during that time. But I don't fancy either of those two !)

 

It cuts both ways.

 

But the soft answer approach is really good for your blood pressure, and saves on headaches.

...

I am... honestly really not sure what you're trying to say there in regards to the education point?

 

If they're butting in and saying you're gay when you know you're not, that's... ... they're... very wrong and shouldn't even have said so to begin with because that's just. not. right? And is really stupidly rude on several levels? ._.

 

My point was 'I am queer I am not an example or teacher on the subject and there are better resources by smarter queer people out there to explain the GSM rights movement go look at them', not 'hey YOU ARE SECRETLY GAY AND YOU MUST ACCEPT IT OR YOU'RE WRONG'.

 

(I'm sorry xd.png I've been very sleep deprived against my will the last week or so, so things may not be processing right and I'm just really lost right here. If I completely missed or misunderstood what you were saying, I'm sorry. And I am sorry you had to go through that, that sounds... grueling. Props to you for staying calm xd.png)

Edited by Dr. Paine

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...

I am... honestly really not sure what you're trying to say there in regards to the education point?

The point is that everyone has their own agenda and prejudices and blind spots - whether educated or not - and pushy remarks of any kind from anyone for whatever reason (and yes that includes ill-informed rudeness) will happen and are unpleasant.

 

I imagine when slurs are directed at your sexuality - or your hair, or your status in life - you feel - less benevolent towards the person making that slur ? The same can often apply to the person blasting you for MAKING a slur - and if that slur wasn't intended that way at all, and you didn't mean what they think you meant, or simply didn't know that what you said was factually wrong - you are going to feel less warm and fuzzy towards the person blasting you for saying what you did.

 

If I say (let's be totally out of this subject area for a minute so as to avoid any possible anything xd.png) to some adult writing in pencil that only children use pencils, and they scream about how bloody damn rude I am to say such a thing and I am so wrong and I am discriminatory and.... - I am a} not going to learn anything from the encounter and b} I am going to be reinforced in my feeling that pencil-users are stupid and juvenile. If they just calmly said "I don't think so - I am 35 years old and it works for me" and left it at that - I might start to change my mind.

 

Some people are just so far into their own issues (which I am sure is the case with those two lesbians I know - they cannot see the hetero POV in ANY way - just as so many bigots cannot get YOUR POV) that they are offensive. This applies also to those oppressed among us - some of them are - to be honest - as bad as their oppressors. I cited those two unlovely ladies as examples of the fact that YES LGBTQ people often get a very bum rap, and that disgusts me, and I speak up (LOUDLY !) whenever I hear a slur or a stupid joke or plain misinformation bandied around.

 

But that not all of them are as blameless as the group as a whole would have us believe, and getting angry often doesn't help when someone says something wrong at your expense. Showing others how perfectly lovely you are is the best way to - well, show them how perfectly lovely and NORMAL LGBTQ people are. And YES MANY of my very BEST friends really truly are (I am still in mourning for one who died recently...)

 

And sorry - but who better to educate than one who is there and KNOWS ? I will be only too happy to explain how come I feel as I do about my own sexuality. Because IMHO every single person's sexuality is different from everyone else's anyway. (Now hit me. I can take it and I will be polite !)

 

Edited because a chunk disappeared. It was a good bit too and I dunno where it went sad.gif and I forgetted it... I too am sleep deprived.

Edited by fuzzbucket

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thumbsup to fuzzbucket and Tikindi, though I can understand why one gets mad at times. We all have bad days, feel stressed, have problems etc., but then, those are in most cases not the fault of people who might ask a question.

Overall, I think the reaction should depend on the situation...

If asked politely and with genuine interest, I really think one should answer politely, one can say "Sorry, this is not a good time to ask, please ask later or ask so and so or look at this or that website.."

If the person is asking or saying something unacceptable, well...again it depends I think.

At a neighbourhood get-together and elderly lady told all people proudly that for her an f2m also present would always be the little girl playing with her kid ...not funny, him being long post-op. Another neighbour told her off immediately, but in the end, the one who looked stupid, was her, because the person in question passes rather well and doesn't in the least resemble a girl anymore.

She didn't say anything anymore, but really yelling at her or arguing wouldn't have helped at all, because she was so set in her ways.

So, getting mad wouldn't have done anything for anyone..

 

If a person was behaving bad intentionally, making slurs, insulting etc., he or she is - my guess at least - trying to make you mad, so by getting angry and yelling, one would do just what they wanted. Trying for a witty remark or simply ignoring would be much more helpful, IMHO, especially for your own nerves *g*.

 

As for the whole credit to one's gender/race/whatever thing....I think we should all try to be a credit to humankind, which in my opinion inculdes trying to be the best we can. Sure, we are only human, we are not perfect and we have bad days..all of us, but we we can still try, can we?

 

But thats only my 2 cents....

 

 

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Aah, okay. I think I get it.

 

But again, that just runs back to... I don't want to have to be perfectly lovely just because I happen to be queer and I just might be someone's first example. No one wants that kind of pressure. Yes, I try to be a decent human being, like most people do. But I get angry. I do stupid things, I do mean things, I get passionate whether it's through love or hate, I do kind things and I do things that make zero sense. That is normal human behavior and that's what I'd like it to be recognized as.

 

Continuously saying 'no show them you're nice and good and they'll come around!' is just... it's (in my POV) akin to saying 'you can be gay just don't let anyone else know and don't show your attraction!' It's telling people to forcibly repress part of themselves and their thoughts in ways that are mentally and sometimes even physically very unhealthy, and just... well, not normal. I am sorry I keep bringing this up, but it seems to be the core dividing point between some of us, and I just ask... can you at least see how being told that can really hurt? That it can put a lot of unnecessary extra pressure on a lot of people who are already just trying to get by on a base functional level? It's just feeling like unless you behave perfectly, you have no valid opinion and should feel ashamed and that you've done something wrong for your cause by being mad or upset and showing that instead of being quiet and walking away. (Edited to add the underlined.)

 

And no, no group is blameless/without their jerks ._. I have never seen that kind of mentality-- in fact, I've seen way more things reinforcing just the opposite.

 

If someone's being offensive and unnecessarily rude, no matter who or what they are, I fully support calling them out, whether it's as polite and kind as humanly possible or a rage-induced lambast detailing why it's wrong and showing incredible proficiency with vulgar language. (Besides, it's always good to remember that the really loud, overly rude, mis-informed radical ones are almost always the minority in virtually everything. Feminism has radical 'kill all men' folks, GSM have 'het is ew', Christianity has Jack Chick and WBC... but does anyone actually take them seriously?)

 

And I do agree, there is no one better to educate than someone who is personally experiencing what's going on. But not everyone in that minority is going to have the knowledge, maturity, or desire to teach and it is really bad to expect that of them. Yeah, I'll speak up when I feel motivated to and share my experiences if I feel like it (I've had to dive in a few times and explain that no, demisexuality and pansexuality do NOT have interchangeable definitions since that personally caused me a LOT of grief), but not on-demand, and especially not when there are (again) so many more better-equipped people to deal with it, just a few clicks away. If someone so chooses to educate whenever? Good on them. But don't force that on everyone else, that's all I ask. Let that be their choice. A lot of people may still just be learning the ins and outs of even the big points, some people may be too afraid to talk, some might just only talk when they've been pushed to a breaking point. It's just rude and unfair (to both parties!) to try making someone who doesn't want to be someone's mentor into one, and will probably just lead to even more hostility and hurt feelings.

 

(And I do agree with you on that last point, no hitting will be involved xd.png That's why I'm kind of moving to just defining my sexuality as 'queer' because I vary so much... Everyone's a little different, some just fall under larger labels easier than others xd.png)

Edited by Dr. Paine

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Aah, okay. I think I get it.

 

But again, that just runs back to... I don't want to have to be perfectly lovely just because I happen to be queer and I just might be someone's first example. No one wants that kind of pressure. Yes, I try to be a decent human being, like most people do. But I get angry. I do stupid things, I do mean things, I get passionate whether it's through love or hate, I do kind things and I do things that make zero sense. That is normal human behavior and that's what I'd like to be recognized as.

I'm not wild about being the first deaf person you might meet either - but that's life, sadly. I am fairly sick of saying yes I can hear some stuff but if you will mumble with your back to me, please don't be angry if you end up with a G&T rather than a spritzer... I have asked you to face me when you speak more than once - and so on... (and yes that doesn't sound too offensive - but I have - once - been told that if I can't handle social situations, I should stay home...! blink.gif - for the record, I said I thought I was handling it rather well, but that maybe he wasn't xd.png )

 

I do agree with you. And I would never suggest that I have never lost my rag and been deeply awful myself (mostly, actually, when chastising someone for a slur - as in "That is horribly racist, and if that is the way you feel, I would like you to leave" - said at someone else's party where I had no right to ask them to leave - though other guests then did join in with saying he was racist xd.png)

 

But it does tend to help if one CAN take the behavioural high road here !

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But it does tend to help if one CAN take the behavioural high road here !

Well, yeah xd.png You'd be hard pressed finding someone who'd say otherwise.

 

But the high road isn't the only road, and not everyone's going to take it. All I ask is that you don't completely dismiss someone/shut them down because they happen to take another road-- it all (well almost all) leads to the same place, some are just rougher than others. And sometimes that kind of passion can do more to win hearts and get the message out there than anything else.

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That's been kinda my point, Paine. Not that we should absolutely be perfect 100% of the time - but that we should aim to be. We're all going to fall short occasionally, we're human. I just don't agree with the people saying that it's a perfectly fine response. In my opinion it's not, and I think the world would be better if we would just aknowledge that it's not the best way to respond.

 

There's nothing wrong with failing occasionally, but it's wrong to say you shouldn't try simply because we'll all fail at some point.

 

I'd rather see people aknowledging that, yeah, they had slip and they're sorry for shouting, and then moving on with life. Rather than see people getting mad and then defending their anger as the proper response. That has been what my issue has been with. It's okay to make mistakes, and I think angry responses *are* mistakes, as long as you own up to the fact and apologise for it. Don't blame someone else because you had a bad day - it's not *their* fault. Apologise to people who have asked innocent questions if your original response to them was snappy.

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Anger is an understandable response because the people involved are human beings. It is not an ideal response, but it can affect positive change-recognizing that you have hurt someone so badly that they are provoked to anger is a powerful thing. There are better choices to make if education is your goal and you are fully capable of choosing them. People who ask honest questions deserve to be educated, and it is unfortunate that they occasionally pick the wrong person to ask.

 

I don't think anyone has said we shouldn't try not to be angry, only admitted that it can happen, it will happen and sometimes it's even going to make someone see reason. As I've previously mentioned, snapping has occasionally had good results in my experience-people who've pushed too far have acknowledged they did something wrong and peace was made. I learned quite a lot after saying something racist to some first nations people and getting very thoroughly yelled at. As I previously said, it's not a preferable choice for education-at the point where yelling happens it's usually about getting that person to leave you alone for better or worse. It's unpleasant for both people involved.

Edited by WereJace

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Sadly the people who say awful things are human being too. Maybe more flawed than some others - but they too are human. They too have bad days. And they may have been blasted by one of the LGBTQ people who say awful things back, which may have coloured their attitudes.

 

Losing your rag is totally understandable - we all do it - but it can also serve to perpetuate exactly what needs to be stamped out.

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There's a difference between understandable and acceptable. You appear to think it's an acceptable response, I clearly don't. For me if you *do* slip and get angry it's regretable and should be apologised for, preferably immediately but if not after some time has been taken to cool off.

 

Justifying why you may have been angry is, to me, making excuses for unacceptable behaviour. That's just the way I was raised about these things. You don't make excuses, you apologise. Shouting automatically puts a person in the wrong, regardless of what they are shouting about. That's too deeply ingrained in me for me to view it any other way.

 

That another person may be being snide, insulting, or just clueless, isn't any justification for responding with anger. And I don't think justifying angry responses do anyone any good.

 

If I'm honest about it all I can see is that anger on one side leads to anger on the other, and that opposing positions become ever more entrenched. What I'e seen of American political issues doesn't exactly change my view on that either - I don't see anyone moving towards middle ground, only opposing sides getting increasingly nasty about one another.

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Of course it can, and if your goal is to educate, you have failed. But if your goal is to get them to leave you alone, it can succeed remarkably well. Not a great thing, but a thing that happens. (This was an answer to fuzz.)

 

I understand that you feel that way, Tikindi. I think we're just going to fundamentally disagree on the acceptability of open anger as a response to bigotry. I feel that it is an understandable in-the-moment response that has unpredictable effects on the person on the recovering end. I accept that it happens and that both sides of the shouting can learn from the experience. I don't think the shoutee deserves an automatic pass because the other person got angry first-unintentional harm is still harm, and hopefully someone (possibly even the shouter) is able to explain the response. If they decide to be a bigot afterwards, that is their decision.

Edited by WereJace

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-snip for length-

Er, the people I'm talking about are NOT the general social justice side of Tumblr. Social Justice on Tumblr =/= ~Tumblr Social Justice Warriors~. They're like... Y'know how every fandom has the one part of it that's just... Really annoying, gets everywhere, and nobody in the fandom wants to be associated with them? Or like how the WBC is for most Christians? That's what the ~Tumblr Social Justice Warrior~ people are to the general idea of social justice on Tumblr.

 

Y'know, the straight white cishet men who demonize other straight white cishet men for daring to ask a GSM individual or POC questions. The white people who scream from the rooftops that all white people are monsters by virtue of having been born white. The "allies" who are only doing it because it's the "in" thing to do. The people who's only source of information is other people who share the very hateful views they do and who never bother to do actual research or talk to the very people they're defending.

 

The people who actually will outright tell people they're "allies" for that they're wrong about their own personal experiences. The people who will scream louder when presented with more reliable information from better sources because they can't handle the idea of being wrong.

 

The people who NEVER attempt to have civil discussions (like I said, I know we all lash out at people sometimes--and sometimes that reason is just because they're part of a group that opposes us, it happens. But these people rely on that as their ONLY method of handling anything, even if they're part of the very same group they're demonizing)

 

 

As for the educating themselves... All that stuff you listed? To somebody who has no idea where to begin, that might seem incredibly overwhelming. So they go to a person they've seen posting about their GSM experiences, and ask if they could share some information with them.

 

Like, the other day I got a very polite ask from somebody going "Hey, I saw you mention you're asexual in a post. Can you tell me more about asexuals and what that is? I've never really talked to somebody who was openly asexual before, and I'd like to know more."

 

But there are people on Tumblr who would scream about "how dare you ask me, EDUCATE YOURSELF IT'S NOT MY JOB TO EDUCATE YOU" in response to that. THOSE are the people I take issue with.

 

There's a difference between butting into an upper-level discussion for "information" and asking somebody who is openly part of a group about that group in private.

 

Naturally it depends on many factors. If they just go harassing random blogs for information and stuff, no, that's not okay. But like I said, I HAVE seen times where people respond to fairly neutral messages simply asking for more information with a violent, "SCREW YOU NOT MY JOB" response--even if the blog in question doesn't have a clear "Don't ask me" stance.

 

 

Just, though, a warning: The idea of "if they lash out in anger, just remember that you don't know what that person may be experiencing" goes both ways. You have no way of knowing if the person coming to you is asking from a position of privilege on Tumblr. How do you know that person you just snapped at and insulted and called a monster isn't just a confused, scared person who's starting to realize they're a member of your community and is reaching out to others in that community for help learning about their own community? You can't know that, unless they explicitly state it or it's stated on their blog.

 

Anger is a weapon--and it can be a great tool. But you need to be careful with it, because even if you're reacting defensively... You can cause very real damage to an innocent person if you react with anger when it wasn't called for (obviously people trolling, or trying to confirm bias, or being fake allies, etc. is not counted here)

 

 

I'm NOT saying nobody should ever react with anger--but that there is a time and a place for that, and the people who use anger as their first and only method of handling things are the people who are a problem. Not the person who snaps because they're having a rough time and they've answered the same question 20 times including recently. Not the person who's unable to handle one more thing at the moment.

 

No, the problem people are the people who react to neutral or polite questions with frothing-mouth RAGE and hatred, the people who rely on "snap first, then violently insist that your attacking the person for daring to ask you a question is the most justifiable thing ever to happen" as their method of handling things.

 

 

Personally, for me, if I get a question that is worded more or less neutrally I try my best not to answer it if I'm in a bad place. I've even said before, "Look. I'm not in a good place to answer this without sounding really nasty right now, ask me again another day." And generally, when I'm up front about it not being a good time to ask, people go "Okay, I'll try again later. I hope things get better for you/whatever is bothering you goes away".

 

Or I'll just ignore it, and if they ask if I got it I'll just be like "Yeah, sorry, I can't answer it right now I'll get to it when I can, but I got it" and again--people are generally understanding when that happens.

 

The times I usually answer in a snappy/sarcastic/nasty way is when a question is clearly problematic, and if i DO snap at an innocent... Well, I TRY to apologize for it when I can, though I admit I don't always since I'm not perfect.

 

 

I KNOW we all snap at times. We have a bad day, we have a lot of stuff that happens. I'm specifically saying there is a very real problem--especially noticeable in certain circles on Tumblr--where unjustifiably hostile reactions are the go-to way of dealing with things. Not the people who had some random jerk break into their safe place. (Though, honestly? No. Tumblr is NOT a safe place. It is a public forum used by all kinds of people. Tumblr is NOT a loving, accepting place unless you fit a very narrow, very specific mold. Which is going to change depending on what part of Tumblr you're on. Also, Tumblr is NOT a space provided specifically for certain groups. I get venting on a forum or in a topic that's specifically for that purpose--but a place like Tumblr is a public site.)

 

 

I'm sorry if I'm doing a censorkip.gif y job of trying to explain what I mean here. I seem to be doing that a horrifying amount lately.

 

But the basics of it is I'm NOT saying you should never react with anger--but that it shouldn't be the go-to method of handling everything INCLUDING neutral or polite questions. And that there is a section of Tumblr that IS very toxic and dangerous that claims to be about "social justice", but it is NOT the proper social justice section of Tumblr--it's basically to the SJ part of Tumblr what the WBC is to Christianity

 

 

And I feel like I'm rambling at this point so I'll just shut up now, since I'm doing a bad job of explaining what I mean anyway.

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Eh. tl;dr version: Don't be an angry censorkip.gif** because that's awful no matter who you are.

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