Blink and you’ll miss it

This is what I intended to leave for LozzyCouture, the author of that post I reblogged, who seems to have since deleted her latest comments as well as her apology post before I had a chance to reply.  Regular posts should resume shortly.

This was going to be my reply to the comment on my post:

“Magical Intent is the principle by which someone who has said or done something offensive, hurtful, rage-making, marginalizing, and/or otherwise contemptible argues that the person to whom they’ve said or done it has no right to be offended, hurt, enraged, alienated, and/or otherwise disdainful because their intent was not to generate that reaction.

In other words: ‘I didn’t intend for you to feel that way, so if you do feel that way, don’t blame me! My intent magically inoculates me from responsibility for what I actually said and how it was received!’

This is one of the most harmful—and common—manifestations of accountability deflecting language, rooted in the false contention that intent is more important than effect. It is a most curious habit, given that most of us would readily acknowledge that “I didn’t mean it” isn’t an excuse for not having to apologize when we bump into someone or accidentally step on someone’s foot. Yet we have nonetheless created an entirely different standard for things we say that inadvertently hurt other people.

Intent does not, in fact, magically render us unaccountable from the effects of our communication, no more than not intending to step on someone’s toes magically renders us unaccountable from the effects of our movement.”

— a quote from the link you didn’t read. It may have been accidental at first, which was okay, but your choice to not change things makes it no longer an accident.

I don’t know how to explain to you in any simpler terms that when you define the words the way you did (ex. “both sexes”, stating that we all have “sexual feelings”) that implies that certain groups who don’t fit your statements don’t/can’t exist. They do exist. Therefore, if you do not alter your position, you must believe that anyone who identifies as part of those groups (ex. non-binary people, nonlibidoist asexuals) is not really feeling what they say they’re feeling. I do not know how to make this any easier for you to understand. Do you recognize nonlibioist asexuals and non-binary genders as valid experiences?

Okay. I’m not very good at analogies, but bear with me. When you’re a heterosexual person who has never been otherwise, it’s bad for you to give advice on how to come out as non-heterosexual because it’s presumptuous, and you have no personal basis to give advice from. This is similar to if you were a person who had never skydived and will never skydived (which is okay! a lack of experience in an area is not inherently a bad thing) and yet attempted to give advice to new skydivers on how to skydive (in combination with the former, that’s a bad thing). It’s pretentious because you’re acting like you have authority you don’t have — you have no personal experience with skydiving yourself and don’t even know what you’re talking about, but you’re talking about it anyway. What’s more, skydiving is dangerous, so if you’ve never been in that position yourself, you should leave it to the experts (i.e. people with actual experience) to talk about.

You clearly have very little idea of the risk and possible outcomes involved, it’s not your place to give advice on a subject you have no experience with, and when you’re this clueless, it’s arrogant of you to optimistically suggest a just-go-for-it approach when it’s nowhere near as safe for us to disclose our orientations as it is for you. Being optimistic and cishet aren’t the bad things — it’s being optimistic and cishet while speaking on difficulties you don’t face. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultracrepidarianism

Labels are crucial and simply an aspect of communication. I labeled you as cisgender because you were obviously clueless about trans issues (and if you’re wondering what the signs of cluelessness are, learning more on the subject might clear things up for you).

Here is what I intended to leave on the “apology” post, before it vanished:

“It’s true I made the mistake of commenting on a situation that I should just keep my nose out of and that I don’t really know anything about.”

That’s correct.

You seem to have mistaken the state of being cisgender for gender expression/gender conformity. None of what you’ve said about teenage girl stereotypes has anything to do with whether or not you’re cisgender. If you feel like you’re not really a girl, that’s one thing, but being a cis girl who doesn’t conform to stereotypes still means you’re a cis girl. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. It just means you don’t have to deal with the problems faced solely by trans people, and you should be mindful of that.

This is hardly an apology considering you took it as an opportunity to complain about being called cisgender and ramble about a bunch of non-sequiters, as well as continuing to argue that I was wrong about the errors.

“I will learn from my mistakes”

It sounds like you haven’t yet.

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2 responses to “Blink and you’ll miss it

  • lozzycouture

    To reply to this, I do just really want to say that I am really sorry for even thinking about writing the post, never mind actually writing it and posting it. And this is a real apology so please don’t contradict me.

    I know I shouldn’t have commented on something I know nothing about, but everyone does it. I know that doesn’t make it any better but I want you to consider that. I’m not trying to make excuses for my actions. I just promise that anything advice-wise will only be posted if I have had experience in that area (take my OCD post or my Overeating post for example). I make a deep and meaningful promise to never interfere in areas I don’t really have a clue about.

    I do not want this to turn into an argument again, but labels degrading and just simply rude, so I would prefer if you would not use them before. Leave it to the bullies (which I assume and hope you’re not one of them).

    I would prefer now to just leave this whole situation in the past, and start a clean slate for 2014. I really hope you don’t think I am a bad person, and I’m sorry if you do, but that’s not how I try to show myself to people. If you didn’t just base your primary judgement of me on the one post I made plus all the comments that came with it, then I hope you’ll agree with me that, on a whole, I am a nice person. I am just a teenager who made a mistake she deeply regrets. And hopes that you’ll forgive her.

    I can understand if you don’t want to though…

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