Let’s talk for a minute about the framing of “hurt feelings”. B/c that is the #1 attack from right winger d-bags against fat activism and other social justice causes.
And our usual response is, “This is not about hurt feelings- people are being harmed & killed.”
Which is true.
But I would like to complicate the discussion by taking a swing at the concept of “hurt feelings” and the ways that concept is used to devalue a rhetorical position.
First we have to start with the super obvious misogyny because feels are for girls, amirite??
We’re stuck in this soup of toxic masculinity where to have any “feels” is diminishing and weak and immediately suspect. Except anger. Anger is coded as masculine and is therefore the only allowable emotion.
Reason and logical thought have their place but so do emotions.
There is not a way to operate as a human person without emotions. All these Spock wannabes are just time bombs of suppressed feelings waiting to explode as anger.
Yes, thinking with logic is a way we learn about the world. So is having feelings about it. Emotions are another way of knowing stuff about the world around us.
Learning to use your emotions in concert with your ability to reason makes you a balanced person. (Thank you, years of therapy.)
The second point I would like to make involves re-framing the “just hurt feelings” part of this accusation as “years of emotional abuse in a culture that devalues me”.
We are living in a culture that constantly punishes us with near constant low level cruelty AT BEST and DEATH at worst- just for the crime of existing.
People are dealing with the trauma of emotional abuse, which is being diminished as “hurt feelings”.
Because we’re all wrapped up in hating anything coded as feminine, we’ve decided that feelings don’t matter. And the trauma of being emotionally abused is never acknowledged, never dealt with.
Acknowledging that people have been traumatized is important.
I resolve to not accept this framing any more. I am going to disrupt this feedback loop w/ the assertion that feelings are important.
FEELINGS ARE IMPORTANT.
YOUR feelings are important.
YOU are important and so are your feelings.
Originally published on Medium.com