When people call me nasty names, it hurts my feelings. But when people actively participate in oppressing or discriminating against me and millions of other people, it does a fuck of a lot more than hurt my feelings. It actively harms me and all of those other people. It makes it harder for us to get work, a home, medical care, clothing, and just basic decent human respect.
When someone fat-shames or perpetuates the lies about fat that are the excuse for the discrimination I am subject to as a fat person, it doesn’t just hurt my feelings, it actively harms me personally.
When someone votes to take away my human rights as someone who has a uterus, it doesn’t just hurt my feelings, it actively harms me personally.
When someone works to prevent me from marrying the woman I love, or from having protections as a queer person, it doesn’t just hurt my feelings, it actively harms me personally.
Do you fucking get it yet? If you are participating in fat shaming, if you are spreading lies about fat, you, personally, yes, you, are doing the equivalent of striking me. You are making it harder for me to get a job, harder for me to get good medical care, harder for me to get a seat on the airplane, harder for me to find clothes. You’re making it ok for people to scream insults and threats at me on the street. You’re approving of abuse that is heaped on me. You are harming me.
And if you do that, yes, I fucking well will tell you so, and I will call you any names I fucking well like while I do so. Because you are doing something worse than that. You are abusing me, discriminating against me, oppressing me, by participating in and encouraging that lies that allow that abuse, discrimination, and oppression to take place.
If you’re not actively saying these things, but you are coming around here and telling me that I should be nicer to the people that are harming me, then you are defending people who are harming me, telling me I should let them get away with it, and that tells me you’re probably harming me, too, somewhere else where I can’t see it. And I simply do not give a fuck about anything you have to say on the topic.
People keep telling me I need to have more kindness, charity, empathy, consideration, and a whole list of other things, for the people who are actively harming me. And all I can say is, why the hell should I? They have none of those things for me, and most of them don’t even have the simple honesty to admit what they’re doing to me. I am not a Christian; if someone hits me, I am not going to turn the other cheek. And, indeed, there is evidence that treating people well when they treat you badly only encourages them to treat you worse, to be more horrible. You do not actually catch more flies with honey than with vinegar (try it next time you have fruit flies). You just attract more abuse by being sweet. On the other hand, showing anger demonstrates that the other person has done something wrong, that their behavior is not acceptable to you, and then they will be less likely to do it to you or in front of you again. This is part of how we’ve gotten as far as we have against sexism, racism and homophobia: we have made it less acceptable to express certain opinions in public, by telling people that they are misogynists, racists, or homophobes, and that those are bad things to be. (Of course, people now respond to be told they’re being misogynist, racist, or homophobic as if you have just called them a piece of shit, which causes huge derailments, but at least many people now acknowledge that those are bad things to be.)
So yeah, I’m going to be angry. And yeah, I’m going to call people names when they do worse to me. Doing it “nicely” doesn’t achieve my aims, so I’m not going to. And if you don’t like it, don’t read my fucking blog. If you try to tell me I should be nicer to phobes, haters and shamers, I will assume that you are either one of them, a troll, or both, and I will use my lovely little ban hammer swiftly and joyfully. If you want to be as nice and kind and charitable and empathic and considerate as you claim you want me to be — as opposed to you just wanting me not to make you feel bad for being a bigot — then just don’t bother. You’re wasting your time as well as mine. And you aren’t going to like me even when I’m being nice.
I’m working on a longer post that goes more in depth about the roots of anger, and the utility of it. But this one needed to go up first. I hope that everybody who hasn’t been pulling this shit — most of you — enjoy it.