“Stop Being So Sensitive” & Other Things People Say to Me // Marissa Floro

Whenever I’m discussing something I’m passionate about (gender roles, inclusion, rape culture, media- okay fine it’s a lot of stuff) with a new acquaintance, the conversation usually goes in one of three directions. Direction 1: I get a resounding “yaaaaaas girl” (very rare and probs because I’m talking to another feminist/myself in the mirror). Direction 2: the subject is awkwardly changed when they realize how red my face is getting and we probably shouldn’t be talking about the effects of hardcore porn in a coffee shop anyway. Direction 3: “You’re too sensitive”/”People want to be so politically correct these days”.

“You’re too sensitive”. I have a lot of problems with this response, and I’ll go ahead and make a handy dandy list as to why:
  1. I’m gonna make an informed leap here and assume (I know, bad, I KNOW) that when most men passionately argue about things, they do not get called ‘sensitive’. Being called sensitive is a one word way of saying: “You, as a woman, are obviously getting too emotional (menstruation and whatnot) and therefore you probably need to sit down, have a glass of water, and get back to me when you’re more logical.”
  2. Why is being sensitive a bad thing? Why should caring about the rights of others, what we call people who don’t look like us, how we approach big world problems be something that is callous and without feeling? Shouldn’t we strive to be sensitive to others?
  3. By calling a woman sensitive, one doesn’t even respond to the content of whatever it is she just said. By labeling her as emotional or crazy, she gets discredited, and you don’t even have to acknowledge what she said was right or wrong. Perfect move!

“You’re too politically correct”. A lot of people (comedians, talking heads, politicians, etc.) like to fling this term around as an insult, that you’re being (again) too sensitive* when using the correct term for a people, an identity, a movement. Because that first list went so well, let’s try another!
  1. In my experience, this term is used a lot when someone gets offended by something that’s offensive. Like, it’s their fault for getting offended, that they can’t take a joke. First of all, there’s no way for something to be funny to everyone- so no, you’re transphobic joke wasn’t funny to me. Second, way to be a super lazy comedian and offend someone or some group for a laugh instead of thinking of something new not at the expense of someone else.
  2. It’s not about walking on eggshells, but using the correct term for something. There are a lot of words we no longer use because we know better now. It’s trying to change our ignorance, not as some call it, “the pussification of America” (omGEE don’t even get me started).
Well, that felt a lot better now that I got that off my chest. Oh, you’re upset about what I said and think that I’m completely wrong and need to be yelled at? Don’t be so sensitive.

*see above list of being called sensitive.

Written by Marissa Floro

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