Over the last few months, Vox has been writing a fair amount about rabbit people and the various forms of discourse. I personlly am very much within the heterotopic or modern discource camp, often to a fault. This, combined with my natural introversion, emotional detachment, and my poor ability to read social cues, leads to me being naturally insensitive to others or their feelings.
It is one thing to be purely heterotopic on the internet. Savaging some random idiot you’ve never met and will never meet or having sport with a silly rabbit is one thing. The internet and internet discourse is naturally impersonal and oriented towards modern discourse, so I feel free to let loose without worrying about offending people or being insensitive. If you get offended by some random jackass (ie. me) on the internet, you have much bigger problems than that random jackass; you should probably work on those.
I generally surround myself with male friends more given to the heterotopic side of things, although, not quite as extreme as me. So when with my male friends in RL I can usually engage in discourse with only a minimum level of attention to being sensitive.
On the other hand, I do have some female friends and many of my male friends are married, so often our activities are mixed-company, and females are more prone to sensitivity-driven discourse. While in discourse with said female friends, I try to generally be more sensitive, but my “more sensitive” is still far more analytical than the norm.
At one such mixed activity, after a negative off-hand remark to one of my male friends about Naomi Wolf, I found myself in discourse with four females (most of my male friends left for the other room, unnoticed by me until I was already well-enmeshed in the conversation; the others stayed quiet) about such sensitive topics as feminism, rape, submission in marriage, etc.
While I tried to keep myself from being intentionally inflammatory, it ended up with one of them blowing-up at me emotionally (I hit an personal emotional button or two without intending to). It came to light that it was the consensus among my female friends that I can be a pompous, insensitive ass at times and that this can cause them hurt.
I recognize that I can at times (usually?) be an insensitive ass, and I admitted as such as we spent some amount of time discussing it. Once that conversation ended, I ended up meeting each woman individually and apologizing any times I may have hurt them by being insensitive. I also said I would try to be less insensitive in the future, for they are my friends and I have/had no intention of causing them distress.
I did not apologize for either my positions or for expressing them, although, they did make me reconsider my position on the Biblical view of women in the workplace. (As EW recently argued, “Women were meant to labor so as to help their men support a household and multiply the species. A clear-eyed read of the Bible makes this clear.”)
So, now I’m going to try to be more sensitive in my discourse with the females around me.
But at the same time, I do not want to become a man beheld to the whims of others’ emotions. I do not want to become a rabbit given to prostration and capitulation at the whiff of negative emotions.
So, how do I do this? How do I become less insensitive?
Additionally, as I do so, how do I avoid letting my rhetoric become overly feminized?
Essentially, how do I draw the line between working towards being a rational Sigma/Alpha (or at least a strong upper beta) and not being, as Francis so delicately put it, an “Aspergery fucktard”.
Or should I just avoid discussing “controversial” topics with women?
Anyway, based on the recommendation of Joseph of Jackson, I pre-ordered the 2nd Edition of Verbal Judo from Amazon. I’ll review here when completed. I’m hoping reading this might give me more information to work within sensitivity-driven discourse, without giving myself over to it.