A friend and I were talking about gender fluidity and the problem of people getting perpetually mis-gendered, and the rage that can result when you’re just mis-gendered like all the goddamn time, and the occasionally-resulting backlash against cis people as a result. I mean, this comes in all forms. People of color getting fed up with white people, women getting fed up with men, gay/bi/pan people getting fed up with straight people, you name it. Sometimes you just get so overwhelmed with crap that you just lash out.
And lashing out in rage, well, it doesn’t help further the conversation. Sure. The moments where some of us scream “Fucking men, I swear to God!” don’t really help the “feminists hate men” thing, does it?
But man, sometimes, you just get mad.
Here’s the way I see it. Someone walking along, gets stung by a bee. Pending they’re not allergic, they will say “Ow!” and check out the injury, and say “I got stung by a bee! Can someone help me take out this stinger?”
But maybe they get stung again. And again. And then they’re being chased through the woods by an angry swarm of killer bees, and all they can do is scream BEESBEESOHMYGODHELPBEES.
Now, what are you as a bystander going to do? Are you going to get mad at the person being stung by ten thousand bees for not being able to communicate anything more than BEES? “I can’t help you if all you’re doing is being angry about bees! If you’re just shouting about BEES you’re not furthering the conversation!” Coz Imma be real, if you do this, you’re kind of an asshole.
People have a right to be mad when BEES. And no, BEES doesn’t help further the conversation. But when someone is BEES they aren’t really thinking about the conversation, the bigger picture. They’re thinking about the ten thousand bees chasing them through the woods. So what you need to do is step back and not hassle them about the whole BEES thing. Acknowledge the fact that BEES. If you can help with BEES then you probably should help with BEES, but if you can’t, man, just back off and don’t go adding to the BEES.
(Note: I want to be absolutely clear here. When you are talking with someone who is BEES about a situation, you must still treat them with respect. Don’t pat them on the head and say “Yes you are angry and so I will not treat you like a rational person until you calm down, but I won’t tell you to calm down, aren’t I so thoughtful?” The anger is not irrational, and they are not irrational for being angry. Their anger deserves your respect and consideration, not your patronizing BS.)