Apr 06

How can I help stop the tendancy to normalize?

Not that you asked but I certainly thought about it after my post on normalizing martyrs.

It is easier to stop normalizing in our own speech. We become aware of normalizing and we stop doing it so much. How do you get every one else to stop?

Well there are easy ways and hard ways. This is a short post about one easy way.

Every time someone shouts a pejorative, defend everyone’s rights to be that pejorative. I feel I must explain this behavior more thoroughly. I have been defending homosexuality for what feels like my whole life so I will use one that I am most familiar with:

Insensitive asshole: “That’s so gay”

Me: “Gay is not a synonym for stupid and furthermore not the least bit effective as an insult because there is nothing wrong with being gay”

Now I don’t always have the time to blurt out a whole long speech on why someone was wrong, so sometimes I just use the quick soundbite “gay is not a synonym for stupid” and move on. Still the soundbite is a short, quick, universal defense of gayness. It doesn’t sacrifice the “flaming” gays for the defense of the “quiet” gays. It defends gays period.

It isn’t perfect and if you are being shamed for being something that you are it may be hard to speak up while feeling the cold hard sting of their words. Allies however should find it an easy tactic to use and should use it liberally.

I recommend leaving suggestions on other ways we can help stop this.


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