HAVE WE MET??

If you mistake mechanical pressure (skinnerian behaviourism, institutional power, or bald threats) for social interaction, then it is true to say (from my point of view, at least), that despite your imposition of power on me or over me, we have (in the true sense of being human to one another) never actually met.

And this is why I can so easily shrug off those who address me primarily as a stereotypical, Western female, or on the basis of my country of origin, or my economic status. These are not by any means categories that can enable you to know me. So, addressing me in those terms by themselves is pretty meaningless. (This is particularly a note to trolls.)

To address me as “weak” because of my gender, for instance — what to make of it? If the name-caller was able to encounter me in an interaction, each considering each other’s point of view for its merits in a way that didn’t already presume qualities derived from pre-existing notions about gender (or race, for that matter), then the encounter would be able to yield some truths about strengths or weaknesses. But, usually an encounter with somebody puffed up with bourgeois evaluations doesn’t reach this point — not even. The bourgeois individual works to avoid encounters that could turn up a different reality from that which he or she wants to embrace. The sign of a victim of bourgeois values? — as ‘dangerously’ trollish as they might like to seem, they always avoid a genuine mental encounter.

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