Everything that is writ large is also writ small.
As the larger scale impersonal, institutional oppression goes on, so to do the smaller scale, personal ones. The larger scale ones are less direct, more vague, more challenging.
The smaller scale ones are intensely personal, harmful, dangerous. They are the ones that have the greatest impact.
These things are called microaggressions.
Microaggressions: are brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative slights and insults toward people of a given class.
Microassaults: Conscious and intentional actions or slurs, such as using racial epithets, displaying swastikas or deliberately serving a white person before a person of color in a restaurant or saying a trans person does not belong in a restroom.
Microinsults: Verbal and nonverbal communications that subtly convey rudeness and insensitivity and demean a person’s heritage or identity. An example is an employee who asks a colleague of color how she got her job, implying she may have landed it through an affirmative action or quota system, or suggesting that someone is not a real man or real woman.
Microinvalidations: Communications that subtly exclude, negate or nullify the thoughts, feelings or experiential reality of a person. For instance, white people often ask Asian-Americans where they were born, conveying the message that they are perpetual foreigners in their own land.
They are personal attacks, ad hominem, the comments on blogs and the back and forth on Tumblr.
Recently, I thought I would allow some folks I know that don’t usually do blogs and such to take advantage of my ever-growing distaste for Tumblr and start-up their own tumblr anonymously. Truly so — as in, none of them have to sign up or do any of the other stuff.
And while they carried on with the microagressions they engaged in against a certain class of persons, I went on my merry way.
The end result is that I am now credited as being the sole person behind it.
I have a rule about things when people do that sort of thing. I look at them and tell them that I will be whatever evil they need me to be. Because people to do not invest themselves in such things without a need for it to be real to them.
And so, in response to those people who are insisting that I do run said tumblr blog, fine. Whatever. I will be whatever you need me to be.
Be careful what you ask for.
I am only recently become familiar with the concept of microaggressions. I was very interested in learning about them. And rather startled that I hadn’t seen anything about them yet, until I found out the direction they were entering from. What caught my eye is that the way they are described is exactly what I have been calling the mosquito bites. Those things that in small numbers aren’t quite as bad but in thousands and hundreds of thousands are capable of destroying a person.
Part of the reason that I allowed the group to go off and do whatever it was they were doing (despite suspecting I would get the blame — it seemed fairly reasonable I would and then nearly certain after they made a few mistakes early on in posting) was that what they explained was that they wanted to pick on people the same way those people picked on them. To use the methods and habits of the “bad people”.
I didn’t think it was a good idea.
But it does seem to be the norm for much of tumblr. And Facebook in some places.
It is not too dissimilar from the fights that I used to have on Topix or with the various Trans Seps. It is all just a constant stream of aggression, of assault, of abuse, of a desire to hurt other people.
And that actually bothers me. My own personal growth has led me to see that those very same things keep making things worse, not better.
I am closing down my own tumblr for the most part. Especially since it has become apparent that I *can* — since I have been decided on, why not? I can just step in and go for it. And I will. Indeed, for the next week, I am going to take it over. In my copious free time.
We know that it is these little things, these microaggressions, these mosquito bites as I have called them for years now, that cause the most damage to people ona personal level.
That these are the very problems that the most work is needed to solve. Especially when it comes to Transness and the larger world.
This back and forth needling must end somewhere. Of what value is hurting another person just because you have been hurt?
Truly, I want to know. You don’t have to leave comments here to tell me that. You can write blogs, articles, whatever. but answer the question — of what value is hurting those who have hurt you?
That is two wrongs. Two negatives.
They do not make a positive. They do not make a right.
I have an answer. It isn’t’ a good one, and it is usually reduced to a simple saying that is commonly said as half joke, half serious commentary.
The short version is that it makes you feel good. Because it does. It gets the adrenaline pumping. It raises the core temperature. It speeds healing stuff as the blood races around to those areas that the brain has already told you are hurting.
It is, to be honest, somewhat funny at times that what I am talking about it’s that when you hurt someone’s feelings, you have literally hurt a very real, very physical part of them. You have taken an action which is physical, and you have done it with words or body language or non verbal cues.
And so the body does what it does whenever you are hurt. It tries to heal the hurt. It rushes stuff to the various places that your brain tells it to rush stuff to.
Which is all really cool stuff to an egghead of sorts like me, but on the practical, real world level, what the hell does it mean?
It means that our body’s response is going to be to strike back, to lash out. Just as if the blow had been struck by a physical force. You beat on someone enough, they are going to beat back.
That means that the benefit is that part of what it does is heal one’s self. Part of what it does is make the wrong they did to you less painful for you, personally.
But now you are doing the same to them. And they will respond the same way.
That’s not just the traditional way of seeing things. That’s the end result of the findings of the science I have been talking about over the last year.
It becomes a cycle, a back and forth that doesn’t end, and no one is immune to it within the normal parameters.
You have some sort of sin eater, perhaps.