We are all familiar, by now, of the propensity of Redhat Deplorables to express the supposed viewpoint that liberals are “fragile” and they spend all their time being offended by various and sundry disturbing things. And they, the Redhats, are all to happy to “trigger” those fragile sensitivities and indeed revel in the supposed distress the liberal – whom they derisively call “snowflakes” – is feeling upon being exposed to their patriotic frankness.
You may remember how often members of Cult45 showed up at Trump worship services wearing their most purposely offensive t-shirt they own (such as referring to Hillary Clinton by the “c” word) and pairing that with the sentiment “F— your feelings.” That is, honestly, their right. We do live in a society in which you can be a crass, rude, loathsome person and for the most part suffer little for it and certainly face no legal consequences. It’s not “fine” in the ethical sense but . . . it’s fine. If you’re that sort of person. But keep in mind, these are not people saying “We disagree with Hillary Clinton’s policy positions” or “We prefer a more conservative government” or even “I really like these specific Trump policy proposals” but people who deliberately set out from their home to TRY and piss someone off. Trolling in the real world, basically. Except for the older less tech-savvy sort one can certainly assume the same folks spend an inordinate amount of time on line, either anonymously or proudly, spending their time with no primary goal other than to “trigger” the people they disagree with. Again, it’s not good for our society but…freedom often means freedom to do unwise things.
So why am I discussing this? Because to a man (or woman) these people are inevitably pure-to-the-bone hypocrites. Their entire worldview is founded on a perpetual feeling of grievance. They live and breath an atmosphere of anger and fear about all the horrible things the liberals are doing to ruin their way of life. One need only listen and watch as they rant about . . . all sorts of things, but more than anything else, about “others” – people who are not like themselves. Oh sure, they swagger about in their MAGA hats and “F— Your Feelings” t-shirts as if they themselves are iron-plated rock-ribbed manly men (even the women) who have never been and indeed cannot be triggered. Right. Just wait. They won’t go a day, for some not an hour, without telling you about something that severely pisses them off. Many things, if you have time to listen. But it’s so much worse than that.
The “f— your feelings” crowd gets REALLY disturbed when they encounter, out in the real world, when they stray beyond the echo chamber of an arena full of people who share their views and their grievances, people unlike themselves, and those who hold opposing views. Triggered, you might say.
Consider their unhappy tears when political activists and others with dissenting views confront Agents of Trump in public about the administration’s horrendous policies (and powerful Republicans for their complicity). The same crowd who is all too happy to call for the death of journalists (for example) is deeply wounded when Sarah Sanders is unwelcome at a restaurant. But it’s much worse than that.
There’s a basically 100% overlap between the various white folks caught on film being bigoted towards innocent black neighbors and the Redhats. Whether it’s a kid who mowed the grass a bit too far and crossed your property line, or a man barbecuing in the “wrong” place or a child selling water without a license so she can get to Disneyland and dozens of other examples, arrogant right wing bigots just can’t get through the day without being pissed off at some uppity brown person not knowing their place. People of color in this country have been living this reality, frankly, ever since the country has existed. But here we are in a day and age in which the arrogant white bigot insists that your fragile feelings don’t matter and yet day after day another appears, sometimes in tears, frustrated that their privilege is being supposedly challenged.
Which brings me to living the trans experience in this world. No one is so passionately invested in fear and anger and resentment towards trans people as the “f— your feelings” crowd. They are only too happy to disabuse you of any notion that your “behavior” is tolerable to them. Do they need to dead name or misgender you? Purposely toss out the wrong pronouns or call you “sir” while you stand their obviously presenting female? They are not just willing but compulsively unable to NOT do so. God forbid you should go into a restroom, or anywhere a child is present, or try to have a job. It is, well, OFFENSIVE and DECENT people MUST object! Right? It’s all so profoundly disturbing to be in the presence of people who are . . . (*shudder*) . . . DIFFERENT!
So never let them get away with calling anyone else a “snowflake” – they don’t have a leg to stand on. Reclaim the terms of the debate and force them to defend their position (which usually amounts to them proving they are unable to right out in the open for every passer-by to see) and when they get mad, point out who got “triggered”.
(also a post-script – NEVER show your own anger. There’s will appear soon enough and the bystander will be able to see who made sound argments and who ranted and called names)
Photo by Karl Wortmann