As liberal and feminist as I am, I’ve experienced this also. I even had a close personal friend, who when faced with an opinion of mine they didn’t like, decided to trash my identity as a genderfluid person and tell me I was pulling a card out of my ass because they are trans and it meant more than my own identity. I was floored. It was all over some stupid movie that they hadn’t even watched and were never planning on watching. And they are a white person, and the issue had nothing to do with them personally, as a white person. I had been tactless in my opinion, sure, but it was exuberant and playful and meant to be something supportive of something I liked and I didn’t think about it before I posted. About a movie, of all things. Movies. On my own personal facebook page. For my own amusement. I see looking back how she took it the way she did, but why for the love of Satan did she decide to rip my own label off of my body for something she had never watched and was feeling moral outrage against that did not affect her one iota? Shit, if I knew, I’d be a damn millionaire.
Another time, I will reference:
There was a troll on twitter, as there are a lot of trolls, and someone was arguing with him/her/it. The arguer insisted that the B in LGBT didn’t count anymore and that there were talks in the community about basically excluding the B (me and many like me). I sided with the troll who was incredulously pissed about this. A troll, of all people, was mad about a very real issue, and insisted on trolling the arguer. I was also floored when I agreed with the troll and the arguer said they’d send the gay mob after me…I don’t first off even know what that freaking means. Secondly, why? Thirdly; biphobia is a thing and please can we stop hating on bisexuals?
And one more:
My best friend of over 15 years was married to a Japanese man, lived in Japan as an ex-pat for 5 years, and suffered horrible abuse. As in; can’t get a job, won’t accept work visa, and battering. Spousal domestic situations that are not cool and I can’t go into further on a public platform. Suffice to say she sought help from the police in the area she lived in and they told her she was property of her husband. I, as an artist, am perpetually pissed about this though it happened years and years ago. I made an art piece about it. A friend who ended up quitting facebook over this specific argument with me that then ensued, also not Japanese, and it didn’t effect them personally, was mad I was commenting on sexism in a country I don’t have a right to comment on. However, my best friend lived there, and her unique experiences as an ex-pat living in Japan married to a Japanese man still hold weight and merit and I’m allowed, of all people, to examine this. And paint about it. I’ll be damned if anyone censors my artwork on something I specifically understand.
They argued with me. My best friend’s experiences didn’t count.
So when I respond with these three specific examples, please note I am still wildly feminist, liberal, and leftist. However, I am incredibly irritated that the onus of moral signaling happens to bleed out of every damn person who it doesn’t effect. If we want to talk about staying in lanes and talk about not talking over others’ experiences, how about we start applying that to our own community and police each other not to ‘call out’ people when it doesn’t make sense.
I am in no way a ‘bad’ feminist. I have my issues that “need unpacking” but as anyone should agree this is a personal matter and I actively strive to be supportive of people who are unlike me, like me, and otherwise. But it is on my terms, and someone speeding up the process, who I’m going to dare to say is several years my junior, is not helping matters.
I am 29 years old. I will be 30 this year. I wanted to share my support in your frustration because I feel it often as well and I can’t quite fathom on any level why we are cannibalizing our allies, friends, family, and otherwise. If I enjoy my time more with terrible trolls who don’t judge me for an oft comment or being silly, and I enjoy my time less with people who are supposed to be on my side, we have an issue. Is it because I am tasteless, tactless, and non-PC? Or am I just getting older and finding my main joy online outside of writing, art, work, and learning to be heated discussions or debates with people who offer logic and also empathy but don’t crawl up into my ass?
I can dismiss trolls who are blatantly illogical or completely nonsensical. I can’t dismiss a friend screaming at me for something that they don’t understand and doesn’t effect them as they attempt to moral grandstand. Because I’d be a bad feminist, and it just gets irritating to wade through the self sacrificing, relentless onslaught of well-meaning white people who can’t possibly know the experiences of those who they are shouting at me for.
How about pass the damn megaphone to the person you think I’m pissing off. Or do the adult thing and ask them if they’re mad about it, and if they want to, can confront me themselves. It feels like middle school.