Every once in a while, someone makes an argument I’d like to refute, but I can’t for some reason. In the context of this blog, it often comes up when someone ignores my comment policy and I’m thus unable to publish and respond to what they wrote.
Often, it’s not that big of a deal, because the comments I’m unable to publish are either pointless (like a random string of bigoted expletives or threats of violence) or just the same argument over and over again, saying the same things that have already been said, and that I’ve already responded to, in full, multiple times.
Frankly, I’m losing a bit of patience with that one, especially in the context of the entry that MRAs love the most. I’m getting tired of repeating myself, and comments start to become so damn repetitive that I have to just tell commenters to read what I’ve already said before asking the same damn questions. If they were asking if my opinion had changed since I made those comments, I’d at least partially understand, but so often it’s blatantly obvious that they didn’t bother to actually read what I wrote. It’s frustrating, and I see why a lot of SJ bloggers refuse to publish repetitive comments. It’s proof that the commenter doesn’t care about the dialogue, the discussion of the issue, but rather at making a petty, selfish point about how they think they’ve got the superior intellect and/or opinion.
I ran into this dynamic on an acquaintance’s Facebook page recently. I’m going to directly quote some of what this person said:
“[W]hy do you feel the need to be loud and obnoxious instead of having an intelligent conversation?…You’re only hurting your position by not being able to speak intelligently and without venom on what you’re trying to push across….You’re a sad person. I feel bad for you. Your inability to argue and constantly fall back on ‘you’re a white male’ you can’t have an opinion is infuriating. Thanks for posting a bunch of links that I don’t need to nor will I be reading….[Y]our posts above PROVE everything about your intelligence. You’re incapable of thought that doesn’t involve attacking someone….Do you feel better now after having posted all of that? Good. I didn’t read any of it. You’ve already proved to me that you have nothing of import to say.”
Dude literally went through Derailing for Dummies nearly point-by-fucking-point. And when I linked there, and linked to my relevant posts here (this one, this one, this one, and this one) on the subject, he told me he wouldn’t read them, because I was obviously incredibly stupid, and so he shouldn’t have to listen to my opinion.
Allow me to very specifically clarify: He challenged me to discuss things intellectually, and when I shared my intellectual discussion, he told me he’d not even consider listening. He demanded an education (which no minority is required to grant, ever), yet when presented with one, he called the teacher stupid and plugged his ears ’til the end of the school day, because clearly that’s how you become a smarter, better-informed student, amirite?
Yet somehow, people like this think they’re the reasonable ones here. They think they deserve to be listened to over us. I mean, clearly they’re superior to us, because they aren’t upset about prejudice that only we face. This dude called me stupid and disgusting, yet felt that the far greater insult was me noting that he has privilege. But hey, he’s a straight, white, cis, able-bodied male who pointedly said, “I’m not a privileged anything,” so I suppose I shouldn’t have expected too much.
Lemme try an analogy. It will likely fail among those who are extremely ableist, but I think it may work for at least some people who have so much privilege they don’t know where to start in this whole “empathy” game:
Imagine that you’re on a blind date. Your date is able-bodied, and you’re in a wheelchair. They choose a restaurant that requires you to climb a flight of stairs to be seated, and when you try to explain that you can’t do that, they tell you that you shouldn’t let it get to you, because they don’t mind climbing the stairs. If going up the stairs isn’t a problem for them, it can’t possibly be a problem for you. Why are you so hung up on this whole “stairs” thing? The potstickers here are amazing, so it’s totally worth it. It is totally worth being completely unable to even go eat that damn food, because you have no way of getting up those stairs. Don’t you see? They don’t care that you can’t walk, so why do you? God, you fucking cripples just never shut up about the goddamn stairs, do you?
Well clearly your date’s getting laid tonight! I mean, knock you over with a feather, what a dreamboat. You are so lucky that you got to date them! Hell, I’m a little aroused just writing that steamy little scene. Good thing I appreciate a great ass, because their head is firmly shoved right the fuck up there.
If the sarcasm somehow isn’t getting through, let me spell this out in no uncertain terms: You are not magically a better, smarter, more sensitive, kinder, more egalitarian person just because you aren’t offended by prejudice that doesn’t effect you. I’m pretty sure American plantation owners a couple hundred years ago weren’t too upset about slavery. Does that mean they were better than the slaves who worked in their fields? Does it mean they better understood what it was like to be treated like livestock, beaten, raped, and sold than those slaves themselves? Does it mean slavery was morally, socially, emotionally, or politically right? Or does that just mean they were fucking privileged assholes who couldn’t step outside of their own selfishness long enough to extend some basic empathy to their fellow human beings?
You are, of course, entitled to your ~precious precious opinion~ on this subject, as with any other. But one answer makes you a fucking racist. And you need to stop feigning shock and injury when minorities call you on your bigotry.