I’ve never been on tumblr…yep, that’s it. I don’t tumble…er, tumbl? Apparently I’m supposed to spend all my time there or something. Like I get my social justice warrior card removed if I don’t, or it’s the only place I could have possibly learned all the well-known terms I use, or something. I’m not exactly sure, but that’s it really. I don’t tumble.
As a self-proclaimed social justice warrior, I don’t actually find it insulting when you call me a social justice warrior. Like, oh no, how could I possibly handle your accusation that I take injustice seriously? Who could ever do that? I should be ashamed of my humanism!
Every time you say “political correctness,” I hear “treating others like humans.” So when you say “You’re being too PC,” I hear “You’re treating too many other people like humans.” And when you say “Society has become too PC,” I hear “Society has started treating too many other people like humans.” And when you say “Stop being so PC,” I hear “Stop treating so many other people like humans.”
I don’t think that we, as 7 billion human beings, can only accomplish one task. So often people say things like “why are you worried about trans issues when there are people starving in Africa?” I’m sorry, I didn’t know it was either or. Are you gonna start holding a gun to people’s heads like “Stop helping all those trans people or the Africans are gonna get it”? Or am I allowed to care about both? Again, there are 7 billion of us. You’d think with those numbers we could deal with multiple issues.
I’m not a hippie, nor am I an emotional wreck. I have my issues, but I tend to be a fairly levelheaded and logical person. In fact, I’m accused of being overly logical more often than I’m accused of being overly emotional. So can you stop picturing me as a weeping heap in the corner? I’m trying to make the world a better place, not create my own in-door lake!
I don’t want to put trigger warnings on everything. I also don’t have much respect for people who say things like “If they put a trigger warning on that when I was a kid, I never would have watched/read it.” There were trigger warnings on things when you were a kid (at least, there were if you were a kid in the 80’s and later). We just called them ratings! We still have them. They say things like “Warning: graphic content.” I don’t know about you, but that never stopped me from watching anything. In fact, it made me want to watch a lot. And listen to certain bands. Why on Earth would trigger warnings on books be any different? Are we going to set up a series of tests where you have to follow the clues until you find the key attached to the outside of the Eiffel Tower before you can read the book or something? Of course not. If you let a warning on a book prevent you from reading it, isn’t that decision on you? Maybe you don’t want to have a panic attack. Personally, having had those in the past, I can’t fault anyone for trying to avoid them. Or maybe you’re just scared. Whatever your reason for not reading a book, that’s your decision. I won’t blame you for it. But if you’re going to regret not reading the book, read the damn book! That said, I don’t want trigger warnings in my University classroom. I don’t want my professors to feel like they can’t bring up something. The problem is, they already feel this way. Why should my professor lose his job because one student complained to the dean about a slight they think he made about their religion? One of my professors had that happen. Trigger warnings don’t cause that phenomenon, treating schools like businesses does. I’m not a bloody product for your consumption! Stupid society…
It’s really hard not to hate some people. I don’t like hating, because I don’t want to waste my energy on people who don’t matter. But some people…it’s like they’re trying to be social pariah. Like, seriously. MRAs? Let’s insult as many people as possible and see how long it takes everybody to realise we’re nothing more than a hate group. Women are clearly in control of everything. They control men with their bodies! Men who get raped clearly need to be mocked. LGBT people are delusional. Only straight white cis men who hate women as much as the MRAs deserve respect. Anti-choice (Pro-life) activists? Let’s tell people who have had abortions how they are murderers who deserve to be burned and then lie to them so they abide by our personal beliefs. Donald Trump? Just…seriously? Trump? Why? Why would you do that to yourselves?
Yes, I’m biased. I realise this. There is no way around it. We’re all biased. But at least I’m aware of my bias. I’m aware that, as an atheist, I have a bias against theists. I’m aware that, as a feminist, I have a bias against non-feminists. I’m aware that, as a member of the LGBT community, straight cis people are just fucking annoying. Um…I mean…cis straight people confuse me. Seriously, how can anyone fit so nicely into a box? Doesn’t it get crowded in there? I realise that, as a mentally ill person, I hate your brains! They work so nicely. You can go out and network without having a panic attack. Do tests make you want to throw up? Because tests make me want to throw up and I really wish they didn’t. Can I have your brains? Then again, I like how I think. I like me quite a lot actually. I think I’ll keep my brain. What was I saying? Oh yeah…I’m biased. And that’s actually a good thing when kept in check. After all, I wouldn’t have any reason to want to make the world a better place without my bias.
I have privilege. And yes, I check it. I don’t just tell you to check yours because you have more than me. We all have to check our privilege. After all, I’m white, educated, and middle class. I live in one of the richest countries in the world. I speak English.
I’m not always sure what to do or say when it comes to social justice issues. That’s why I listen to the people in the group. I don’t know what racism is! Not really. I’m white. I’ve never had to experience it. So if a black person says “that’s racist” I sit up and listen. They obviously know better than I do, and who am I to say their experience doesn’t matter. Likewise, I want people to listen to me when I say something is transphobic. Unless you’re trans, how do you know if what you said is transphobic or not? Dialogue makes progress possible, but dialogue doesn’t work one way. We need to let others talk, and we need to listen to what they say. And we need to be open minded about what we hear. That doesn’t mean we agree with everything we’re told, but it does mean we’re willing to consider it.