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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Am I Overreacting?

This post will be short, sweet, and to the point.

I love when people tell me I'm overreacting; that I'm reading too much into a situation. They tell me if I'm looking for sexism (or insert form of oppression here), then I'll find it in anything. And I wonder why that is? Maybe because sexism is so entrenched in our society that it IS in everything. In some things more than others, but because sexism has been taught to us by society for so long, sexism is in everything.

Telling feminists that they are overreacting is just another silencing technique used against us. If someone tells us that we are overreacting, they are trying to get us to back down from our views -- to deny that there is sexism.

When someone tells me that I'm overreacting, it just alerts me to the fact that there really is some form of sexism there. It's like a big red flag: "Sexism Here"! People don't want to accept that they are complicit in sexism (or any ism) so they claim that us evil feminists are just overreacting and trying to ruin their fun.
So the next time someone tells you that you are overreacting, don't give in to the point (but I don't think a lot of people would back down). Stand your ground and point out that there really is sexism there.


Wendy said...

Am I looking for sexism? Yes! I’m surprised at how many people don’t. Does that mean they’re “underreacting”?

What’s telling is that the “overreacting” comment is reinforced by any evidence. Not once has someone accused me of being too sensitive and then proceeded to refute my viewpoint.

Laura said...

That's a really good point. If you want me to even think that I'm overreacting, what evidence do you have of it?

Stephanie said...

Great post. And I love your response, Wendy. I am definitely going to use that in the future.

Anonymous said...

You're so right! Accusing people of over-reacting is just a way to avoid the issues. There is no way to prove what a "correct" reaction is, so it bogs you down in a side-debate that has nothing to do with the point under discussion.

Clarissa said...

God, I hate this "overreacting" stuff. Also the "you-are-reading-too-much-into-this" and "not-everything-is-ideological". Urrgh! It's so dismissive and annoying.

Katie said...

Great post! I was recently told by someone that I was overreacting in talking about some fatphobia I encountered within my church structure. I basically just ignored that portion of the comment and replied to other specific points, but it felt really silencing and shaming. What else can you say to that but, "no, I'm not" and have it turn into the argument between two five-year-olds: "yes you are!" "no I'm not!" "yes!" "no!" I mean, how is it even productive?

I totally agree with rinth1989--there IS no way to determine what a "correct reaction" is. It's MY reaction, and no one else gets to decide if I'm overreacting.

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