When A Woman Deletes A Man’s Comment Online
Ijeoma Oluo

How do you find a line between these types of people and their arguments, and someone wanting to engage you on a respectful level?

I tried to engage you a few months back, and I wrote a Medium piece responding to an article you wrote about Amy Schumer and plus sized women. I tried my utmost to employ humility and empathy in my article, but I felt I was met with a pretty sizable amount of hostility from you (and your twitter followers, who – in your dedense – you don’t control). In your case, you said you refused to read my piece, so I didn’t understand where the hostility was coming from other than identity politics.

I know your time is limited, and you may not have time to indulge every white male who disagrees with you (I’m not a white male but I get what you mean), but I was so surprised by the animosity I got from you, especially considering the fact that you didn’t even read my piece. To me, it sent the message that I was a monster for wanting to engage you, regardless of HOW I engaged you. I felt like there were two speeds: agree with Ijeoma, or agree with bigotry. I felt like my piece was trying to understand something deeper, and aiming for thoughtful dialog through education. Maybe I’m just horribly, horribly blind, and hey I’m willing to accept that possibility. But I’ve never understood the value of lumping those who want to engage in a thoughtful and self aware way in the same category as outright bigots. The moderate white’s racism is as real as the lynch mob’s racism, I get that. But it feels like alienating a potential ally to treat all comers with that level of acidity. Emotional labor is real, and catering to male/white fragility isnt something I champion. But I feel like there’s more on the spectrum than just two options.

Are there just two speeds? Agreement or toxicity? How do you navigate that?

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