January 28, 2012

Sensitivity Training

If you're new to this blog, there are probably quite a few things you don't know about me. Then again, you could've been here from the start and still not understand me. One thing about me is that I am highly (and I do mean highly) sensitive. I don't mean that break into tears when I see the sunset, or I'll curl in the fetal position if you insult me. Not at all. My sensitivity comes up on the subject of racism and sexism.

What does this have to do with FFXI? Incoming QQ folks.

It has a lot to do with it. Perhaps it's not just FFXI, but I have never seen so much of it elsewhere. I spend a lot of time online in this game; maybe way more than I should. I guess that is why I see so much anger, sexism, and racial slurs. I know a lot of it has to do with the internet and its anonymity. No identity, no repercussions = no cares. There's a study about it, but I'm typing on my phone and can't look at more than one page at a time. Plus I'm doing Logwatch. Yay logsm

Anyway, back to the game. I see this stuff everyday, and recently it's really begun to take its toll on me. The use of things such as (anyone offended by these things....leave now.) " niggers, japs, bitch (for women), faggot," and whatever else you can think of. Or when people sit around make jokes about rape and dead babies. Really people, since when was a woman being raped or seeing a dead child ever considered funny? I'm not so naïve to think that I can go somewhere and never be exposed to such...verbal garbage, but to see it EVERY SINGLE DAY?? I think what upsets me more than seeing / hearing it are the excuses people give for it.

"Oh come on, it's just a word."
"It should only offend you if it applies to you."
"I don't have strong English."
"I'm not really like this. I'm just joking around."

Naturally, this only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to bullshit excuses. These aren't just words; they have serious meanings to them. The sticks and stones phrase we were taught as children was an outright lie. Words have started wars; they have motivated people to give their lives for a cause, and driven others to take their lives. To say that these words, which have a meaning deeply rooted in fear, ignorance, or hate is simply "just a word" absolutely baffles me. Worst yet are the people who say they don't have a problem with the people these words are meant to insult and are actually very caring and sympathetic to what they have gone through. Well...if that is how you feel, then why the hell are you letting these words come out of your mouth?

I really don't know what to say about these things. Am I too sensitive? Should I be like the rest and just completely forgot what these words have done to people over the years? If I'm supposed to jump in and be on board with the Internet Hate Machine, then I am sorry to say that I won't be joining. Caliburn says that I simply still value the meaning of words. I just wish that so many others could do the same.


Fahzewn said...

I think it's hard to just pin it down to someone simply being an ass. You could consider the situation of 4 friends where that type of language is accepted as ball busting but as more and more people join the fray...they are still in that mode. Or even if one of them breaks off and meets up with strangers. Another part would be to consider the reaction of others to that language. I don't tend to agree with excessive uses of the word "rape" and the likes but I know that if I snap at them in a harsh manner...I'm not gonna get a good response from it. Now, if I ask nicely and they refuse...damn right they are ignorant asses.

While I agree that, more often than it should happen, abusive words are being typed, said, thought, all the time...I'm not sure that I agree that, to me, it seems we are being scared away from saying them to consider other people's feelings (especially when it is not even directed towards them) when there is a good possibility that they are equally thinking of some things to say to us. I suppose overall I never agreed with politically correcting things to hell.

Ironically, while sensitivity training might actually be seriously needed for some people (not just internet people), I think the biggest concern would be teaching people moderation. Get that down and you could possibly single out the ones that really do say such things out of spite and make the mental note to avoid them.