Wednesday, November 02, 2005

it's all about the language: why tolerance matters

Pandagon: Caught being intolerant of oppression again

i've bitched about this several times here: our inability to really say what we mean. for instance, when we complain about tolerance (or use that old chestnut about loving the sinner but not the sin) we aren't really saying what we mean.

by pooh-poohing tolerance (racial, gender, sexual orientation) what we're really saying is "i don't mind the dominant social order being the way it is and don't really believe in social justice for people who are different from me." this is also the closet meaning of disdainfully dismissing something as 'pc.'

for the sake of discourse, let's all try to be clearer in what we mean. if you really don't like gays or single mothers or women who have sex, just say it. "I think you're icky and shouldn't have access to the full fruits of legal protection the way i (a straight/monogamous/married/whatever person) do."

it'll make everything clearer for everyone, i think, and help clear up alot of confusion.

amanda, at pandagon, does a terrific job of unpacking apathy toward 'tolerance'.

1 comment:

MEP said...

I hate it when people use the term "tolerance" like it's something positive. Like you said, it's not advocating "acceptance" it's just saying, "all right, I'll put up with you, but I don't have to respect you or allow you to have the same rights as me." Ugg.