question for readers – what am I missing?

When it comes to seeing ourselves and our arguments as others view them, it can be difficult to gain perspective. In a recent post about unconscious bias, it was clear that many readers viewed the opinion I presented as a shocking character assassination of a generally ‘good guy’ with presumably ‘correct’ opinions.

As this reaction was fairly uniform, and from people whose opinion I respect, I have taken time to re-read the post and ponder the possible reasons for their disapproval. Here are some of my thoughts.

– was it because I revealed that I had assumed a man was a lesbian female, and this is perceived as some kind of insult? I don’t see it as an insult. It changes assumptions about their personal life experiences (which again could well be mistaken) but in itself there is nothing negative about it.

– was it because there was a flaw in my assessment of his beliefs? I’ve looked through that, and I can’t see where I misrepresented his view on feminism, and specifically where women’s issues sit in relation to any other oppressed group of people.

– was it because people agree that there is nothing wrong with telling trans women they shouldn’t use public toilets? Everyone, including the person who makes this claim, is avoiding discussing this, the root of the disagreement. I find the very notion disgusting, impractical, discriminatory beyond belief – and yet no-one else wants to even comment.

– was it because I, a mere woman, was judgemental about the beliefs of a generally respected man? I can’t help but wonder if unconscious sexism sits somewhere in this. If I had attacked the opinions of another woman in a similar fashion, would anyone have batted an eyelid? I seem to remember doing a post criticising Roughseas’ feminist opinions much more fiercely and no-one being deeply disappointed, not even her.

– was it because he’s an atheist? If I had attacked similar opinions from a Christian suggesting that trans people are a danger to public toilets, I am quite sure every single person who ‘liked’ his response would have been jumping in to tell him how wrong he was, and how he was avoiding the issue.

– was it just a matter of tone and framing? I’ve apologised to the man in question if I hurt his feelings, given he viewed it as a character assassination. Have I lost touch with what is appropriate?

I don’t think anything I’ve suggested here gets to the crux of the matter, and I’m interested to know what was so unpleasant about the post. What am I missing? Don’t hold back, I’m prepared for a full-frontal assault.  😎

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