I want anxiety the way a five-year-old wants rainbow sprinkles. Bright, obscenely sweet. Unnecessary. Luxurious. An extra 50 cents, but they’re worth it. Catching in your teeth, but only for a moment. Wanted, swallowed, forgotten.
Three or four years ago, I got called out for something I said about rap music: that I didn’t like it and that many musicians’ names started with “Lil” and were thus hard to tell apart.
“Called out” is a gentle way to put it. “Viciously attacked” would be a more accurate description.
It was a group conversation. Someone had brought up rap. I said I didn’t like rap. The caller-out asked me a question. In retrospect, they were probably eager for me to say what I said, to have the chance to pounce.
Two people walk into a restaurant. They sit down at a table and order their food. The menu is written in small print, and Person #1 has low vision and thus cannot read the specials. The restaurant orders large-print versions of the menus, so Person #1 can now access the same content as Person #2. This is equality.
About a year ago, my younger sister embarked on a mission to misuse the phrase “per se” at every possible opportunity. “I’m probably going to go to bed a little early tonight, per se.” “Do you think it’s, per se, going to rain tomorrow?” “I’m getting strong whiffs of”–long pause–“turmeric, per se?” After a few months of this, I couldn’t for the life of me remember how to use “per se” properly. Even now, I leave it out of my writing because my memory of the term is so muddled.
There are some questions that I’m not supposed to ask. It’s not because I don’t want to ask them, or because I think they’re bad or wrong. It’s because I’m told that these questions are too inflammatory, too controversial, and that I’ll be eaten alive for trying.
It doesn’t matter if I do so respectfully or curiously or with no intention of hurting anyone. Many people, particularly at Stanford, where social justice culture is thriving, don’t believe intention is important. It doesn’t really matter what you believe or how you form those beliefs or whether you’re willing to change them. It matters that you align yourself visibly and vocally with whatever cause is deemed right, and that you agree to view yourself and the rest of the world through the simplistic framework of privilege and oppression.
If you’ve been reading my blog posts in chronological order, you may have noticed that some of my beliefs are evolving. I’m done with the dogmatism around language and the focus on other people’s actions. Call me autistic, call me a person with autism, call me Lucy…as long as you treat me respectfully, I really don’t care, and you can expect the same from me. (The same respect, that is. Not that I don’t care about you.) I noticed that I was becoming quite self-absorbed in the name of “justice,” so I decided to cut it out. I’m shifting my focus from “activism” to being a kind human. In this post, I want to go into more detail about why I’m done with Wokeness.
This isn’t a matter of “one of these things is not like the other.” It’s more of an “each one of these things is sort of like the others, but also very much not, and for such a broad range of reasons that are now being obfuscated by vague language and shoddy critiques, many of which are made on Twitter, which was never a good platform for critical thinking to begin with.”
The idea that happiness is an ideal state + the belief that one can choose happiness + the notion that happiness is the opposite of illness = blaming people with mental illness + minimizing said illness.