Put Away The Fainting Couches: What is and isn’t an Insult

Posted: June 29, 2015 in fuckery
Tags: ,

(CN: mention of slurs of various sorts)

There’s this thing where apparently being called a ‘racist’ or a ‘terf’ or a ‘homophobe’ is somehow considered such a great insult that there are pearls clutched and couched fainted on and ‘how dare yous’ thrown around, and frankly, I’m done with it.

Of course it is, White Guy

Of course it is, White Guy

It’s something that I’ve seen on the left and the right.

I don't "support" you, but don't you dare call me a name like "homophobe"

I don’t “support” you, but don’t you dare call me a name like “homophobe”

…and it freaking annoying.  It’s derailing. Suddenly people have to take time out of their day to either reassure said person with their honor so besmirched, or arguing about “are they or aren’t they”, and the whole bigotry thing gets mostly ignored.  That isn’t the kind of ‘allyship’ we need.

What we need are people willing to get over their ‘honor’ whenever such accusation are tossed about and either (A) do some serious self examination and LISTENING to the people affected by the accused bigotry (If you’ve been accused of saying/doing something homophobic, and most of the people defending you are straight, you might want to check yourself) or (B) stick to your guns.

By “stick to your guns”, I mean quit complaining about being called such and stand by your statement. Understand that this may mean that those affected and their allies might continue to consider you a bigot and might not want to hear from you again.*  You’re just going to have to deal with that.  You can’t, say endorse someone who says that transwomen are just men affected by autogynophilla, say that you’re not a TERF, and expect transwomen and their allies to take you seriously.  That’s not how that works. Intention ain’t magic.  If you’ve caused offense, you either give enough of a shit to apologize (even if you don’t understand how – and surprise opportunity for education yay), or you unapologetically stick to your guns.

See how that works?

Also, these are insults: faggot, nigger, -tard, tranny, ugly, stupid, piece of dogshit rotting in the sun, professional victim. Words said with the intention to hurt, to harm, to reinforce stereotypes.

Homophobe, racist, terf, sexist, ableist, aren’t insults.  At the very least, they are descriptors.  Or a clue.  Now it would be super duper awesome if everyone took the Jay Smooth route of “what you did/said/supported was BLAH-ist” instead of “You’re a BLAH-ist”, but you know what? Expecting the marginalized to carefully curate their words all the damn time so they don’t sound so harsh and hurt someone’s feelings is bullshit.

So put away the pearls (or wear them with something cute), use the couch for something else than fainting, take responsibility for yourself and realize that there is something more important to deal with than hurt feelings and bruised honor at accusations of bigotry.

Like, you know, actual bigotry.

*Oh, and finding one or two of those marginalized who agree with you to push forward is shitty too. We’re not clones, we get to disagree with them and you. It’s “LOOK, I have Black friends” to the max.

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