Tuesday, October 27, 2015

You can't say that to me!

One of the first interactions online I witnessed as part of the growing trend of victimization politics happened about three years ago when one poster criticized another's minor grammar gaffe. The English language is complicated. Mixing up them up from time to time is pretty common for anyone, especially when hurriedly commenting on a blog. But it wasn't enough to say, "Hey, that's a petty thing to do. If you have a problem with something I wrote, be specific. Cherry-picking for minor grammar errors is pretty low unless you're being paid to edit random comments. No, that wasn't sufficient enough. Instead it was, "You can't say that to me. I'm dyslexic."

Which of course means it's completely acceptable to pick on neurotypicals because they have grammar privilege or something.

The victimized poster then took to Twitter to rant how cruel it was to note that her "it's" should have been "its," and detail each specific struggle she had from grade school through college. Am I being cruel if I say I have no sympathy for her? Maybe she was hurt, "vitcimized" even, but by her account, this was a person who grew up with a fair amount of resources, IEPs, and teachers who recognize struggling students rather than write them off as "problems." Those things don't exist for everyone, and it's easy to forget that just a generation ago, it would have been rare. I'm not that old, but kids with learning disabilities were shuffled off to understaffed LD classes, and those who could "pass" well enough, but still struggling, fell through the cracks.

If that were my only beef, you could call me unnecessarily cruel or a relic of another generation, but I think there's something else going on and it's that women are afraid to bluntly criticize each other's opinions without resorting to personal attacks. The wounded poster actually did something that was, while not racist, pretty damn insensitive (for which she was called out eventually), but she was able to deflect criticism by using her own status as a marginalized person as currency once the argument turned personal.