Okay, so lately, I've been finding it really disturbing when people at school say things like rape or molested, or assaulted, in the wrong context. Like if someone accidentally brushed up against someone and that person is like "Dude, you totally molested me!" Or if someone like, sits on someone else inappropriately (all in good fun though) and that person is like "Stop raping me!" I don't know how to tell them that it's actually really disturbing that they say that. Afterall, it is sort of the culture we live in now, where people say things like rape, gay, assault, lesbian, and all sorts of things like that in the wrong context and in the wrong way. And though I never called anyone or anything gay or lesbian out of context or used the terms in a disrespectful way, I admit I used to be someone who would say some like "You totally just molested me." But now, when people say things like that, I feel like saying, "Where do you get off saying that?! What the hell do you know about it!" And I know that they don't really mean it disrespectfully or whatever, but it's still bothersome. I don't want to tell them what happened to me, but at the same time, I want them to know that the things they say aren't appropriate...And they're actually hurtful. Anything I can do?
Posts: 401 | From: USA | Registered: Sep 2007
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I know how you feel, it drives me up the wall to hear people talk like this. Unfortunately, most people are stupid and don't really care if they are using words in the wrong context. Even worse, this seems to be more prominent in younger people that are trying to fit in with their peers and think it sounds cool to talk that way. Most people just say things without fully thinking them over, and don't even know that they may be hurting someone's feelings. The most you can do, I guess, is stand apart from these people and try to set a good example. Telling people off usually doesn't go over really well, and can end up backfiring on you. Give it some time, hopefully these immature people will eventually grow out of it.
Posts: 6 | From: Mobile, AL | Registered: Feb 2008
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You know, as time goes on, you will likely get more comfortable with calling people out on that stuff, particularly with people who are friends, family, and at least acquaintances.
With people you just really don't know, of course it's troubling, but at the same time, calling people on on talk that is sexist, racist, classist, xenophobic, homophobic, fatphobic, insensitive to abuse survivors or just plain stupid, etc. would take up every minute of every day if you did that every time you heard this stuff. So, most people who care about these things simply choose their battles, and tend to stick to people who they know will actually hear them when they do say something.
It's sometimes also worth recognizing that one common reason people talk insensitively (beyond ignorance and a lack of emotional maturity) is because they are so uncomfortable with these issues that treating them more casually makes them feel less uncomfortable. That's not excuse-making, it's just something to know when you're approaching people about these things, especially since some of the folks saying things like that may WELL also be survivors themselves: given how many people are, it's never sound to assume you're the only one around, you know?
But again, if you're not going to ever say anything to anyone -- and that may change for you in time -- there really isn't anything to do. After all, if everyone is not saying anything, then those folks have no way of knowing they're being offensive.
-------------------- Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen About Me • Get our book! Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead Posts: 67207 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000
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