megwrites: Beast, from Beauty & The Beast looking coiffed and unhappy. (beauty&thebeast)
[personal profile] megwrites
I had to remove somebody from my f-list (not that they'd notice/care) because I really, honestly couldn't take it anymore and it was that or cause a whole lotta drama.

I just want to scream.

I get it, okay. I GET IT. Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and a scary percentage of the Republican Party are engaged in some really rancid political tactics based on odious, racist, sexist, homophobic, and otherwise bigoted ideologies. I get that they lack compassion and sometimes even Earth logic. I get that they say hurtful, horrible things on the daily and that they are a destructive force in American politics. I'm there with you. Really.

But calling them crazy in every single post in which the topic comes up? That's not only excessive, it's deliberate. That's where I draw my line and decide that your posts stop being worth listening to.

If you can't think of anything better to assault someone's politics besides calling them "crazy", then you're not really writing anything that I need to waste time on. Either get more creative (and more FUCKING AWARE) or GTFO. Or in this case, expect me to stop listening.

Glenn Beck is not crazy. He's a lot of very bad things. For one, he's a total fuckmuppeting asswipe who is currently douchecanoeing his way across America spewing more rancid shit out of his mouth than a geyser under a clogged sewer. He is a no-good, self-serving, bigoted liar and hypocrite. But Glenn Beck is not crazy.

When you call him and his ilk crazy, you're not hurting them. Because in these discussions, nobody is actually, seriously considering that Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh or 50% of the Republican Party are suffering from mental illnesses.

You are however, succeeding, in hurting people who live under the stigma of mental illness. Because you're reinforcing that crazy (read: mentally ill) = loud, obnoxious, dangerous, rude, unpleasant. You're reinforcing that the rhetoric of mental illness is just another way to dismiss people we don't like.

And BTW, if you are considering that Glenn Beck has a mental illness, you're also being very inappropriate. I don't care how vile and disgusting a person's politics or beliefs are. Their mental health status? Not your fucking business. Speculating on whether someone is/isn't mentally ill? Not your fucking place.

That's another note, just so we're clear. Speculating on whether someone has a mental illness is very inappropriate and all kinds of ablist. Unless that person comes out and says themselves, "I have [insert thing]", you keep your goddamn speculations to yourself. Because all you're going to do otherwise is reinforce stereotypes. "He's good with computers and bad with people, he's probably autistic!" or "She washes her hands a lot, she must have OCD!"

Because you know what? Maybe that guy at the computer is actually great with people that aren't you and your fellow coworkers. Maybe he's just uncomfortable in an environment where people speculate about such things and thus, doesn't want to engage with those people. Hell, maybe he's just really tired and doesn't have the spoons to hob-knob around the office.

Maybe the woman who washes her hands a lot is just trying not to get the goddamn flu because she's got two kids and doesn't want them to get sick!

You don't know these things, but when you sit around speculating, you just give a big ol' green light to yourself and everyone out there to buy into stereotypes.

And so what if they do or don't? Why do you feel it's your business, why do you feel entitled to know these things? Why is it so important that you know (at least in your own mind) who is and isn't mentally ill? Are you afraid a mentally ill person will stand next to you and you won't know it? Are you scared that you might accidentally treat this person like you would a non-mentally ill person, that you might give them too much respect or trust or affection or honor?

What is it to you whether someone is or isn't?

If someone's behavior is bothering you, you address the behavior in an appropriate manner. But whether that stems from mental illness or rudeness or just plain cluelessness is not your fucking business. And it doesn't matter. Other people's brains are their own, you need to respect that.

So stop it, okay. Just stop. And if you don't, then please don't expect me to stick around to listen to you. And certainly don't expect me to respect you in the morning.

ETA: Something I thought of later.
From: [identity profile]

For instance, I personally find the use of douche and its cognates offensive on many levels, to the point of sexism. I think it's degrading to women--why is something used by women for purposes of personal hygiene now an (often hilarious) insult?

That's interesting, and I can see the validity in it now that I think on it.

It didn't immediately strike me as sexist (which does NOT mean it isn't). For me personally, I never previously saw douche as being personal hygiene but as something unnecessary that women were pressed to use because they were being shamed about their bodies and the fact that NOTHING on the human body (whether genitals or morning breath or armpits or hair) smells like roses. So for me, to use "douche" is to associate that word with something unnecessary, rude, invasive, something that is traditionally part of shaming women about the completely natural functions of their bodies. I always sort of saw it as a reclaiming - but I might well feel different if something like "tampon" or "maxipad" became an insult.

But I don't think that invalidates someone who is upset and sees the association with women's genitalia as part of the insult. I'll definitely be keeping your point of view in mind next time I want to whip out "douche" as an insult. Especially if there might be a better word at hand anyway.

After all, I really, really get uncomfortable when people use "cunt" or "pussy" when they're not talking about the literal body part. Especially if "pussy" is used to denote cowardice in a man. That gets me really angry.

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