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Sick and Tired/Social Sanctions/Rant

I'm sick of people who tell me that I need to be more accepting of people whose "opinions differ from mine." My lack of respect for the people with "different opinions" doesn't stem from the fact that they prefer math over history, or that they don't like the kind of music I listen to -- it comes from their genuine belief that I (and other marginalized groups) simply don't deserve the right to be safe. Their "opinions" are results of racism and misogyny, perpetuating the notion that I and people like me should not have basic human rights; their microaggressions are symptoms of macroaggressions that result in violence and death counts.

I feel the same frustration when people tell me that I should view situations "apolitically," or to approach talking to people in an "apolitical way," because my political and my personal are inseparable. As a result, it has proven to be remarkably difficult for me to only surround myself with those who have the same goals that I do: to recognize how problematic ideas manifest themselves in subtle ways, to always be aware of my privilege, and to avoid being complacent.

I'm tired of people who tell me I need to "be less cynical." Once someone really sees and empathizes with the hideous amount of injustices in the world and how oppressive systems are so ingrained in our everyday lives, there's no way to un-see that. There's no way to "move on" knowing that for some people, merely existing feels like an impossible fight, that inequalities are rooted and continually perpetuated in our social systems.

I'm sick of being too exhausted to engage (and when I say engage, I mean speak out against microaggressions/manifestations of problematic concepts.) While I love engaging people in these kinds of conversations, there is too often a tone that something is being demanded of me ("put your emotions aside and politely tell me why this is misogynistic/ableist/racist!") and it becomes draining to respond -- to continually repeat myself, to explain (and validate to people of dominant groups) my own oppression -- especially when it feels like I am required to do so. It is even more frustrating when my saying "no" is criticized for "not wanting to further a dialogue" etc.

I'm tired of having to apologize for calling out problematic ideas, to do so in a way that caters to dominant groups; I feel that there should be no apology for promoting the awareness of inequality (irony: including the "I feel" to protect dominant-group-fragility.) It's hard for me to speak out plenty of the time, especially when there is such a heavy expectation for people to stay calm and for Asian Americans to stay quiet, but I shouldn't have to apologize for acting with integrity and abiding by my truth. (Irony: I was going to end this with a statement along the lines of "sorry this isn't as articulate as it could be," or "sorry for the rant," but I'm not going to do that anymore.) I'm not going to apologize for what I feel; I'm not sorry for being myself.

 

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