Supposedly invented by the Chinese, there is an ancient form of torture that is nothing more than cold, tiny drops falling upon a person’s forehead.
On its own, a single drop is nothing. It falls upon the brow making a tiny splash. It doesn’t hurt. No real harm comes from it.
In multitudes, the drops are still fairly harmless. Other than a damp forehead, there really is no cause for concern.
The key to the torture is being restrained. You cannot move. You must feel each drop. You have lost all control over stopping these drops of water from splashing on your forehead.
It still doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. But person after person, time and time again—would completely unravel psychologically. They all had a breaking point where each drop turned into a horror. Building and building until all sense of sanity was completely lost.
"It was just a joke, quite being so sensitive."
"They used the wrong pronoun, big deal."
"So your parents don’t understand, it could be worse."
Day after day. Drop after drop. It builds up. A single instance on its own is no big deal. A few drops, not a problem. But when you are restrained, when you cannot escape the drops, when it is unending—these drops can be agony.
People aren’t sensitive because they can’t take a joke. Because they can’t take being misgendered one time. Because they lack a thick skin.
People are sensitive because the drops are unending and they have no escape from them.
You are only seeing the tiny, harmless, single drop hitting these so-called “sensitive” people. You are failing to see the thousands of drops endured before that. You are failing to see the restraints that make them inescapable.
Language has history, impact and an effect. Just because YOU find something harmless, doesn’t mean others do. Cuddos to those that can “get over it.” But that’s not the point here, the point is acknowledging systemic oppression through language, in a macro analyzes. And even if we look at this microscopically, it still hurts when words are used against someone. Day after day. Year after Year.
*snaps* to this example for putting what language does into perspective
Instead of insane, say unreal.
Instead of crazy, say unbelievable.
Instead of calling someone a psycho, call them an asshole.
Instead of stupid, say awful.
Instead of dumb, say bad.
Taking ableist language out of your vocabulary is simple and will help widen your vocabulary.
YES. YES. YES.
Here’s a trick, right before you say something ableist, think about what you are trying to convey. This way, you can better communicate.
when u boutta prove a [dick] how wrong they are