Liss Says Stuff #4: I'm Not Offended; I'm Contemptuous.

So, one of the things people asked me to address is why I say "I'm not offended; I'm contemptuous." And, well, in the spirit of saying what you mean, the reason I say it is because, normally, I am contemptuous, and not offended.

Um, the other thing is that it's a pretty easy rejoinder to the very common silencing strategy of, um, telling someone who's opposing some sort of bigotry that, um, they're easily offended—and, the truth is, I'm not easily offended. If I were easily offended, I wouldn't have been able to do what I've been doing for the past decade.

So, the fact is, I'm usually not offended. There's nothing wrong with being offended; there are times when I'm offended, and I am not in the business of telling other people how they should and shouldn't feel, especially as regards, ahh, what offends them.

Um, but the truth is, whether I'm offended or not isn't even the most important thing when I'm objecting to some type of bigotry. Um, what's the most important is that I'm contemptuous of it—I don't like it, I'm hostile toward it, and I find it loathsome. And that, to me, is a more important idea to convey, irrespective of what my personal feelings are about it.

[edit] By which I mean how personally affected I am by some iteration of bigotry. Because there's this idea that only people directly affected by it have a right to object—and that's a way of shutting down allies; that's a way of shutting down people who want to leverage their privilege on behalf of marginalized people, who they don't to see subjected to bigotry, either.

[edit] So basically what we're left with is a situation in which people who are directly affected by bigotry can't object, because they're just being oversensitive, and people who aren't directly affected by bigotry can't object, because they're not directly affected [and thus can't claim offense]. So we're left with: No one's allowed to object to bigotry. And I just can't get down with that.

So I just take offense out of it altogether. I'm not offended; I'm contemptuous.

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