Melissa McEwan at Shakesville has written two posts in this series so far, the third is coming shortly. And unlike many other quicklinks, this time I recommend that you do read the comments.
- Harmful Communication, Part One: Intent Is Magic
- Harmful Communication, Part Two: Emotional Auditing
[Trigger warning for harmful language, emotional manipulation, rape culture.]
Much of this ties in with discussions here over the years regarding fauxpologies and how non-malicious intent does not negate the effect of denigrating content, even (especially?) when one is “just joking”, and how those challenged for their content often try to defend themselves by casting their challengers as simply not understanding them properly, as if miscommunication is more the fault of the listener instead of a shortcoming (in that particular moment, at least) of the speaker: all those ways of deflecting accountability for using language which is harmful to others. It’s also when we tend to see those especially-familiar-to-feminists accusations of being oversensitive, looking to find fault, just looking to get offended etc, being unreasonable, and especially being unfair in holding friends/family to equal standards as we hold strangers no matter how much they might say “but you know that I don’t mean that about you” (i.e. “just those other people who share a lot of qualities that you do”).
It’s some very useful reading to do just before those festive family gatherings.