Ranting: I’m Not Easily Broken, You’re the Fragile One!

So in the course of being an outspoken black woman on the internet, I’ve met some fun dudes. And when I say fun, I mean really mean spirited and generally awful. They’re always popping up in conversations that are specifically about social justice, and playing all the cis white dude cards. They start out by adopting that curious bystander affect, asking innocent hypothetical questions, and playing the Devil’s Advocate. Usually at this point, someone catches on and calls them out, and they flip the outrage switch and start spouting random statistics and using terms they learned in high school debate club. (They think that this gives them a more authoritative tone.) If spitting SAT vocabulary words doesn’t let them have the last word, then they either:

  1. Put on their innocent victim capes, and pretend that they were having a perfectly pleasant and logical conversation until angry people ruined it all and are probably discriminating against them.
  2. Turn mean and then say something mustache twirly like “It’s so easy to make you sheeple upset! So sorry I triggered you! Why don’t you go cry in your safe space? So much fun!”

It’s the second response that I find funny. I’ve heard it so many times from different white guys on the internet, that I’m starting to think there’s some secret 101 level class on internet trolling that you have to be a legacy to enter. But they throw it out with such enjoyment that I can only assume that this is some kind of masturbatory scenario in their heads. They cherish the idea that they are entering into battle with Social Justice Warriors, and that once they deliver their devastating screeds, we curl up at home and cry. They get off on the idea, that we live in a world where all we do is search for opportunities to be offended, get “triggered” in between bouts of uncontrollable weeping and being reverse racist and/or performing acts misandrist witchcraft.

I find this particularly hilarious, because I’m really interested in where exactly this safe space is. I’d love to pursue even fifteen minutes my life in a place that isn’t a constant minefield of the sexism, and racism that is ingrained in our culture down to the molecular level.

But meanwhile, I have a job where I earn my living indoors and eating hot meals money, a partner who I care for and on whom I wish to shower love and affectionate attention, friends whose companionship I value, and a full time job being awesome and fabulous and all the care and maintenance that entails. In order for me to do that I have to go out in the “real world” where it’s clear that most things aren’t for my benefit, and I’m not the target audience, and the minute I dare make room, or speak, or create something for myself and people who might have something in common with me, some random scallywag swoops down to piss on the parade. And I know I’m not alone in dealing with this.

I don’t have to find reasons to be mad. They come to me like ants to a Kool-Aid spill. And most of the time I ignore it because the person who is being ignorant isn’t even worth the nail polish I’d chip typing out a response to their word vomit. If I called out every last problematic thing I saw, I’d never stop talking because it never stops. And the irony is that the same people who accuse me of being delicate and hiding in my safe space are the people whose ancestors worked overtime so that Western Civilization would be a safe place for their tender asses. But you know I’m the one who is too soft for the world. Not the one who when someone says “Maybe we should stop letting the police kill black people without consequence.”, starts screaming All Lives Matter, and Race War and Terrorism and Now see the real issue here is Capitalism…

But yeah I’m the super fragile one.