Attention trolls: you are not entitled to a dialogue with me

 

Hey, little troll, no. You are NOT entitled to a dialogue with me. Here’s why.

 

Dialogue is for reasonable people acting in good faith. Dialogue happens between two reasonable positions. Dialogue means an exchange.

 

You, little troll, are not reasonable. “Taxes should be raised” versus “taxes should not be raised” are two reasonable positions. “Racism exists” versus “Racism does not exist because it doesn’t happen to me” are not. Nor are “Sexism exists” versus “Sexism does not exist because it doesn’t happen to me”. It is not reasonable to proscribe something because you, in your privileged bubble, have never experienced it. If you are a man, it is most unlikely you have experienced sexism which is directed at women. If you are a white, working-to-middle class member of the native majority, it is most unlikely that you have experienced racism which is directed at minorities. You have zero basis to deny the existence of either, or the experience of either, yet you do so against all presented evidence and because you think you can get a rise out of it; that is not reasonable.

 

 

Nor is saying that anyone should just “ignore” racist or sexist verbal abuse, even if you just “shrug off” the nasty things people sometimes say to you online. Listen little troll, you get said nasty things to because you spend your days saying nasty things to people. It is a choice you repeatedly make. But I do not deserve to be verbally abused because I was born somewhere other than where I live, or because I was born with a vagina. I had zero say in both of these events and you know what, neither did you. You do not rid a society of sexism or racism by ignoring it. There is a clear connection between words and actions and if we do not renounce racist or sexist language we give way to action based on that language. So, if you think I need “a thicker skin” in order to ignore racist or sexist abuse, it means you are OK with people saying verbally abusive things and thus you are also OK with people acting on that verbal abuse. As such, you do not deserve to enter into dialogue with me.

 

You do not approach a conversation in good faith. You try and provoke for a reaction and then revel in ridiculing people who you’ve pushed to have an emotional reaction, for having an emotional reaction. You try and tactically pull and push your tone so that you can pretend you have only tried to converse in the subject. You ridicule and belittle my position, and try and pass that as dialogue. That is not acting in good faith; if you wanted to truly enter a discourse in a subject you would feel no need to use CAPSLOCK to make your point, talk over anyone, try and steer the conversation or belittle anyone else’s position or feelings.

 

I am not a “snowflake” because I refuse to accept people slurring verbal abuse at me, no matter what part of my person it is directed at. You are a special little snowflake because you are so upset about living in a world where you can’t spew out anything that springs to mind. You live in a world where it is not acceptable to be racist, xenophobic or sexist. Getting flack for saying things you know are abusive is not “political correctness gone mad”. And “political correctness” is not the same thing as human decency. If you don’t know the difference, you have no place in a dialogue with me.

 

 

You try and dominate the conversation by demanding answers to petty questions that are only intended as a misdirection from what should actually be discussed. You rush people in their answers, you try to intimidate them and you try to execute autonomy over the dialogue. But no, honey. You do not dictate to me how or when I practice dialogue. You have zero autonomy over me and you do not get to demand anything from me.

 

No, you can’t win a dialogue. Dialogue is about an exchange and no one can win one. Not even you, my special little guy.

 

You present mostly “what-abouttery” based arguments. As if somehow, if someone I support did something morally questionable at some point of their life/career, that gives a blank cheque to someone you support to act in the same, or even worse way. It doesn’t. Just because someone in the history of ever has made piss poor choices does not excuse anyone else making them. Nor does the fact that I have not protested against every single wrong in the world undermine it when I do protest. You mind your own protests, and I will mind mine.

 

“But I have the right to say whatever I want. We have freedom of speech”, you cry. You sure do, buttercup, but you have zero right to be heard. I have no obligation to listen to anything you say and you have zero entitlement to enter into a dialogue with me if I choose to not enter one with you. Sorry, honey, but you have no autonomy over my self-determination, which is an inviolable principle, no matter how big and clever you are… and you really aren’t either.

 

So no, little troll. You are not entitled to a dialogue with me. Run along now.

 

21 Comments

  • Jennifer February 4, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    The trolls have been so brutal lately! Thanks for having a word with them.

    Reply
  • Stacey February 4, 2017 at 9:02 am

    I had one troll last year. I called out his duplicitousness and he went away. I have no problem with having an opinion other than mine, but as you say some arguments are plainly stupid.

    Reply
  • Fatima Torres February 4, 2017 at 4:03 am

    Thank you for addressing the trolls. It can get annoying when they continue asking petty questions.

    Reply
  • Kaitlyn February 3, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    This is a great post. There are so many “trolls” out there virtually, plus in our lives. I really think this can be taken in so many different directions. We all are entitled to freedom of speech and we need to always remember that!

    Kaitlyn
    http://www.mypostpartumlife.com

    Reply
  • Wanderlust Vegans February 3, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    We get trolls every once in awhile. I always have to remind myself “Don’t feed the trolls!!”

    Reply
  • Jenna VanHoof February 3, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    Trolls are so annoying and rude, this is your site, just ignore them and be you. Trolls drive me insane, also your photos are gorgeous.

    Reply
  • Elizabeth O. February 3, 2017 at 6:05 am

    It’s about time someone said something about these trolls. Thank you for this post, the truth is we keep throwing the phrase freedom of speech without understanding what it means. Thank you for the lovely read.

    Reply
  • deb February 3, 2017 at 12:00 am

    Your photography is stunning . Defnitely respect your choices and everybody elses. That’s the society we all should aspire to evolve in.

    Reply
  • AMANDA February 2, 2017 at 11:31 pm

    Love this! This is so great.. there’s this AWFUL blog plost floating around FB today that repeats over and over again that Sexism is a lie. It is making me cringe, and i hope to god it is just a troll and not that someone actually believes it. Thank you for this, it was refreshing to hear about that mess.

    Reply
  • Thi February 2, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    I love the honestly of this post ! I don’t even know why people are like that to begin with! Everyone should just be happy! xoxo

    Reply
  • saranda February 2, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    Preach! You are so right and exactly, a trol does not deserve attention at all!

    Reply
  • Roberta Perrone February 2, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    Thank You for this! It is honest and true. I do live in an upper middle class neighborhood and am not a minority. I have the all american family… husband, son and daughter. I don’t understand what it is like to be a minority, racisim is real on both sides, sexism is real on both sides. I only way to overcome is to come together, to speak openly and honeslty with eachother. What makes us great is that we are all different and that is OK!

    Reply
  • Kiyshia February 2, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    Respect to you for sharing such a post. I think the points raised in this post need to be addressed. I see a lot of people just shrug off verbal or racial abuse simply because its ‘the norm’. People out there feel the need to sit behind a screen and target someone, belittle them and make them feel insignificant – all due to ignorance! no its not right. Thanks for sharing this/

    Reply
  • Krysten February 2, 2017 at 4:52 am

    I have a lot of respect for you for posting this. There are some people who won’t understand where you are coming from, but I get it. During these times I have had to unfriend a lot of the people who are like the troll that your post describes. They basically say that we have to right to speak up against racism or sexism, because it’s a lesser evil. And I feel how you do about it. I delete them because I do not want to hear them, I want them to stop talking. Yes they have the Freedom of Speech, but I have the freedom to ignore.

    Reply
  • KCH February 2, 2017 at 3:26 am

    This is perfect! So many people sit behind screens and take what they feel is a sense of confidence behind the keyboard. What a perfect posts about them not winning the fight!

    Reply
  • Erin February 2, 2017 at 2:03 am

    There are SOOOO many people that run off at the mouth and I think 9 times out of 10 they have no idea what they are even talking about. Some people argue for the sake of arguing and I’ve realized that when I run into this, the best thing to do is to take the high road. They aren’t worth my time!

    Reply
  • Author Brandi Kennedy February 2, 2017 at 2:02 am

    Sometimes, you just gotta say what you just gotta say. And this blog is YOUR site, it’s YOUR place. You have the right to decide what happens here and what this community looks like.

    And sometimes, you just have to set (and defend) your boundaries.

    Reply
  • Aish Das-Padihari February 1, 2017 at 11:13 pm

    This is a really powerful post. I love your thoughts behind this post.

    Reply
  • Karoliina Kazi February 1, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    Three words – You rock lady!

    Reply
  • Jasmin N February 1, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    This post has so many important points in it! Loved reading this & I completely agree with you.

    ♥ Jasmin N // Little Things With Jassy

    Reply
  • Maikel February 1, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    The photos in the post are so beautiful. You are absolutely right with freedom of speech. I have a lot of respect for the fact that you are sharing this post

    Reply

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