Eater of Trees

Is there any good way to be condescending as fuck without being an oppressive douchebag?

Posted on: August 19, 2011

[Trigger warning: ableist slurs]

Because the most condescending things I can think of are “Wow, you’re so fucking stupid,” or “Wow that’s fucking stupid.” Or even “You’re delusional.”

Like all of those are ableist as fuck.

Or, another great way to be condescending is to insist that someone is “childish” or “juvenile”, which, obviously, is great until you realize you’re saying that someone’s opinions are invalid because they’re like young people.

And even more so then just that these are comparisons to oppressed groups, this further are entirely condescending based on the idea that they invalidate people’s ability to have an opinion.  Or have any sort of responsibility for their actions at all.  After all, if someone is “delusional” obviously anything they say can’t be valid because it’s just a product of a delusion. Same with “stupid”; obviously the person’s statements can’t be valid, because “stupid” people do not make valid statements, because they can’t think.

Or if you’re saying someone’s actions are juvenile, obviously they shouldn’t be allowed to do something because of that, again, you’re saying “Your like a child, people should violate your right to self-determination to ensure you don’t do the choice you’re doing.”

So are there any good ways to be condescending as fuck without being ableist or ageist?

I’m leaning towards “You’re being oppressive so your opinion is completely fucking irrelevant” or possibly “your understanding of this issue is so fucking biased there’s nothing you could say on it that could possibly have any relevance”.

I’m wary of invoking privilege though to be condescending, not that privileged people don’t merit it frequently, but that privileged people often act like douchebags about the fact that “people use privilege as an insult!” which is mostly bullshit, we generally only do that when we’re extremely pissed at the world or when said privileged person is doing really fucked shit because of their privilege.

But I don’t particularly want to give them more fodder for their bullshit.

[Note: this post was written by my headmate]


5 Responses to "Is there any good way to be condescending as fuck without being an oppressive douchebag?"

“So glad to know that her views mean she’s “crazy” (instead of just y’know, a jerk or something) and that being “crazy” is bad.” (source)

There’s also, of course, the “perpetual child” stereotype that of course is used to take away self-determination of disabled people (“you can’t make your own decisions!”). So that’s more on the “juvenile” and “childish” thing.

And just, being “delusional” is used for that as well… how about we stop with the ad hominem shit, huh? It rather loves to tie into systems of oppression :/

(side note: I get frustrated when people say “your privilege is clouding your judgement” is ad hominem… I guess it can be turned into one, but “you’re defending Autism Speaks because you have nondisabled privilege which means you don’t have to be aware of their bullshit and because you’re ignorant of it I have better information on this than you. you also don’t have to give a fuck about it.” is entirely different.)

(side note 2: I like that there are Autism Unaware people – that is, people who have managed to avoid the bullshit. Amanda described one of them)

or maybe it is ad hominem. I dunno, and (UNPOPULAR OPINION COMING) sometimes I think people care too much about fallacies. I mean, they’re definitely not irrelevant, but when people are harming other people is the most common context within I hear people (the people who are being harmful) bring up that their opponent is using a fallacious argument (which, they may very well be right that their opponent is, but I think harming others trumps that ~~oh appeal to emotion~~)…

“You’re privileged” means “Your experience is presented a biased view of the facts so any interpretation you provide is suspect” which isn’t ad hominem.

Unless you take it to “You’re privileged so you’re a douchebag, fuck off”; which is ad hominem but I’m not sure I’d say is necessarily wrong. It just isn’t a logical argument. Which it’s not trying to be.

And yeah I’ve found Autism Unaware people are often much better at not being douchebags about autism, because they have less to UN-learn.

EDIT: Oh and the other obvious thing is that fallacies aren’t BAD THINGS that you should always avoid. “Look, a puppy! You should agree with me!” does not make your argument logically valid, but sticking pictures of cute puppies in your posts does not in any way make them LESS valid, either.

If you’re still looking, here’s one list I was working on a while back:

Disgusting, vile, bilious, despicable, contemptible -or- ‘not even worth contempt’*, scummy / scumbag / pond scum.
Banal, trite, insipid, asinine, pablum, pat, superficial, artificial, shallow, fallacious, facetious, shoddy*, intellectual masturbation. Maybe that last one is too heavily linked to sex-negativity? I’m not quite sure.

I don’t have that many good nouns.

*busted for use against people – the former for the same reason as useless/worthless, the latter for classism – but great for the things they’ve said. I think.

(I thought I approved this comment like, a week ago. Oops.)

Yeah, intellectual masturbation is probably a bad one (although you could easily come up with another metaphor that means the same thing). I think “superficial” “artificial” and “shallow” all could easily be problematic (though they aren’t in every sense obviously.)

I’m wary of asinine for ableism reasons (but I’m not 100% clear on it’s use since it’s a bit obscure.)

I’m not quite sure how facetious is condescending though?

Otherwise those seem good 😛

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