2 PC 2 Function: Why your anti-hyper-sensitivity is ableist

 

Honestly the few ppl you still have helping you out.. you're driving them away one at a time. I told you they're assholes cause its fun for them to watch you get upset. Raine I'm getting tired of this. I'm here for you but fuck just take some time to relax.”

 

It isn’t the first time I’ve heard that. It certainly isn’t the first time I’ve metaphorically watched someone ‘walk out’ on my oversensitivity. I’ve had numerous men tell me they “can’t wait for me to calm down.” I’d need at least two sets of hands to count how many times I’ve heard, “I get why you’re angry, but…” in pleas for me to articulate myself in a way that makes others more comfortable.

So as that angry, over sensitive person that you know me to be, you must imagine my joy to open the community paper and see an article this week featuring The Anxiety Junkies, an all-boy Savannah-based punk band that recently released an EP titled “Self Sabotage.” You might remember them getting some serious heat on the internet a couple months ago for a song titled “Crossdresser” that was supposed to ironically reflect the opinions of bigots on crossdressers, (which, for the record, are not transgender people).

Although the band apologized for the song, its still on their EP -- and as noted in several online reviews, they are always given the opportunity to explain their intention behind the song (Considering how fucked up it sounds without a preface, I wonder if they stop to explain the meaning to every person who hears it?)  Anyways, one of the band’s members had some *excellent* feedback on the plight of over-sensitive and offended individuals:

 

“Things tend to be a bit sterile and get stale. We are so censored nowadays, because we are living in this time and age where everything is so PC ... You can’t even create or get inspiration from or based out of social commentary without offending someone,” he says.

“It is never enough and there is always a fine line, and with punk, you would think you get a license to express freely. Back in the day, yeah, people would and could say what they wanted. It is a punk band — what do you expect? Today, you get crushed through social media.”


Alright punk, what DO I expect? From you, at this point, next to nothing. A punk complaining about getting “crushed” via social media, are you for real?  I wonder if you know how belittling you sound when you tell me you’re scared of a queer transgender person who is indubitably upset not because they’re ‘offended’ but because you sound like a shitty person? I wonder if you think that there’s just one form of “punk” that seeks only to subvert the authorities YOU have issues with as straight white cis males? I wonder if you would be raging against “the man” so hard if you realized how much you embody that identity yourselves? I wonder if you would reconsider calling me too “politically correct” if you took two seconds to pick apart that phrase?

Accusing someone of being too “politically” correct as a way to dismiss their critique of your behavior is so, as the people say, “petty.” What does exactly does it mean to be “politically” correct, anyways? If I were trying to be politically correct, I would abide by the gender binary and ignore capitalist white supremacist patriarchal influences in my community. If I were trying to be politically correct, I would encourage you to keep your transphobic, erasive behavior under the rug where you hid it. If I were trying to be politically correct, do you think I would be offering to engage in fist fights with cishet punk boys as a happy medium between my anger and theirs? Do you think I would spend time defacing the covers of our community publications every time they come up with something casually, quietly -ist and post them on Facebook? Do you think I would wear a jacket out that says “don’t touch me” for the sake of being politically correct or for the sake of keeping your grimy assumptive hands off of me? Last time I checked it is still legal to kill a trans person for being trans in the state of Georgia, as well as 49 other US states under the guise of “trans panic.” So I ask all of this to ask again: Do you really know what you’re saying when you accuse someone of being too “politically correct” for your taste?

You might have a flavor of disinterest in your mouth but I’m spitting your rhetoric the fuck out. “Politically correct” is a phrase that should be left in the dust along with “too sensitive.” You realize we have very little understanding about how the human brain actually works, right? You realize that the idea of being “too sensitive” is the product of toxic patriarchal ideals informed by a tainted and historically abusive medical community, right? You realize that telling someone that there is or should be a cap on their ability to sense and respond to stimuli is ableist, RIGHT?

 

"I can’t speak for anyone’s experiences but my own, so I’ll say it loud and clear: I own my hypersensitivity."


Okay, we can backtrack for a second. Ableism identifies the concept that society is created with able-bodied, able-brained folx as a priority or as the standard for accessibility. This can be illustrated in lack of physical access for people with disabilities to experience or maneuver through spaces or events, bothering disabled people to explain the source of their disability, assuming that all disabled folx experiences are the same based on the nature of their disability, or simply using language that links historically negative connotations with forms of disability.

Additionally, mental “disorders” can also fall subject to forms of ableism. People who view themselves as neurologically typical - or, at the very least, not “over emotional” often fail to consider the implications of the phrase “too sensitive” in the face of people who do not meet their standards for “normal” emotional behavior. To tell someone they are simply “too sensitive” easily rejects their sensory experiences for deviating from the “standard” and the emotional bi-product of those experiences.

This phrase, often coupled with the idea that the ‘overly sensitive’ person is just ‘offended’ because they are seeking to be ‘politically correct’ creates one big happy family of dismissal and disengagement from any productive dialogue. In the end, I can’t speak for anyone’s experiences but my own, so I’ll say it loud and clear: I own my hypersensitivity. I own my anger. But I also own my pursuits to desecrate your erasive  narratives at all costs, “politically correct” or otherwise.


Rainé is an agender trans person and drag princex with House of Gunt. They co-facilitate QuoLab, a queer safe(r) space in Savannah, GA.