frogs are extremely sensitive to environmental damage due to their thin, porous skin. frogs need skin like that for their sophisticated respiration and hydration systems. because of this special, sensitive skin, they are especially valuable to ppl who study pollution; they are an early indicator of nature’s health that anyone can intuitively observe and understand in a basic way.

you don’t hear ppl say “frogs don’t deserve to be alive in an increasingly polluted world,” etc.

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so why are we so cruel to sensitive people? why can’t we extend the respect and value we place on frogs within an ecosystem, to the sensitive individuals around us and the ecosystems of online communication?

if your senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch etc are particularly sensitive, it is usually positive. (i’m remembering an old boss of mine who could ALWAYS tell when a shade of color was a hair off. my eyes just couldn’t detect what hers could! it drove me nuts, but it was really neat)

if your sense of interpersonal or community decency is particularly sensitive, instead of being a positive thing, it is negative. you’re often laughed at, degraded, pushed out

im just kind of fascinated that in so many areas of society, the ability to acutely sense things is sought after. but when it comes to behavior*, it’s suppressed.

*with the notable exception of industries like: sales, where a salesperson’s “sense” of someone’s needs is practically deified. 🤔

anyway i love my fellow thin-skinned lil froggos. we have a superpower and we are cool as heck. we can develop our distress tolerance — among other tools — in order to be less overwhelmed, but don’t listen to people who tell you to grow a thicker skin. i think thick skin might make a frog suffocate, and it won’t make you feel much better.

@alana I have similar thoughts every time I go to a café, or the grocery store, or anything. It's not like it would hurt desensitised people in any way, to accommodate sensitive people.

@alva totally. and, they often like our recommendations, once they finish making us feel like babies and fools 😑

@alana

@shoutcacophony put it rather more harshly than I would have, but, not, people who are highly sensitive sensory are NOT sought after and accepted by society.

We are abused until we can suppress our sensitivity enough to 'pass'. We are mocked, alienated, driven out of 'normal' society by constant sensory barrage, and then blamed for 'not being willing to try hard enough.'

Your boss wasn't highly sensitive. They had high *discernment*. There's a big difference.

@jessmahler @shoutcacophony Hi Jess, i’ve been through all you describe. I brought up my old boss as an analogy. Here’s what I was trying to express in the format I’m used to:

Old boss : color :: Me : emotion(? not sure how to summarize what we’re experiencing)

thus, this crap:

More cones in one’s eyes : valued :: More neurons working on analyzing people : denigrated

I _think_ we’re saying the same thing? Just wanted to clarify, just in case

@alana @shoutcacophony You literally said that high sensitivity to the senses is valued and high sensitivity to social stuff is denigrated.

I really don't see how that's the same thing when it is my high AURAL sensitivity that has gotten be shit, made socializing hell, and made everything from school rooms to workplaces in accessible for me.

@jessmahler @alana I think there's a subset of skills that get valued, as long as we "behave" (in other words, don't get overwhelmed).

I think using discernment is more accurate though, regardless of someone's neurology, divergent or not.

@jessmahler @alana

Example:

I have very strong auditory discernment when it comes to music and mixing audio.

I also have very strong aural sensitivity to all sorts of ambient noise. There's no such thing as "quiet", everything is between slightly uncomfortable distactability and physical pain, and frequently more towards the latter.

@shoutcacophony @jessmahler anything can be put in a scenario where it’s more or less successful. a pregnant person’s temporarily heightened sensitivity to smell and taste can make them nauseated; a winemaker’s heightened sense of smell and taste can make them rich. i did not intend to imply that everyone with greater-than-average sensitivity to physical stimuli is doing great. I’m describing my observations the best I can.

@alana Who considers it negative? I don't. Sounds like you don't. Who are you listening to to get this value? Maybe be a little more careful who you let set your standards for positive and negative.

@anne i hear you! i think places that have been particularly unaccommodating include workplaces, and other such aspects of society that are difficult to avoid or tailor to one’s needs. they also might include online communities, where the ability to remain impervious to trolling is a mark of pride among many

@alana Indeed there are such spaces. They are toxic, and even if they can't be avoided, if you can acknowledge them as such you're in a better position to either endure or fix them. But certainly don't accept their framing of sensitivity as negative.

@anne to reject the framing and say, “you know what? you NEED people with my perspective in the mix” is so important!!

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@alana we point out inconvenient truths just by existing, i'm increasingly convinced

solution: exist anyway. turn that shit up to 11

@shoutcacophony @alana Whether your on a 6 or on 11, if they are the running type, they'll run from you either way. Be who you are unapologetically.

@alana i've heard "you're sensitive" (both literally and as a euphemism for autistic) all my life. i've been through anything from half-support to literally having people trying to assault or kill me over it.

it really hits a nerve about people's own insecurities, and the nature of capitalism (competition and rugged individualism, in particular) both

@shoutcacophony @alana I've been told the same thing so many times. It's always used dismissively. the sentiment itself doesn't hurt but they way it's used does. :(

@Dwinkeltje @alana some of the stories i have about people that i was really close to, using "sensitive" both as an ableist and transphobic euphemism. yikes

@alana Dear gods, every single thing in this thread.

And this is more reason why cruelty, mockery, and interpersonal abuse need to not be tolerated in "revolutionary" spaces and contexts. This shit never helps, it's ableist by definition; at best it leads to personal exploitation, at worst it creates totalitarian regimes.

I block memelords and sarcastic mockers for the same reason I block tankies. *Totalitarianism and interpersonal abuse speak the same language.*

@kittypuffreloaded @alana i have softer boundaries than a lot of anarchists i know around tankies, but that's definitely a controlled experiment ;p i definitely don't blame for blocking all of them, tankies included

authoritarians gotta authoritarian, regardless of ideology

@shoutcacophony @alana I loathe genocide and war crime apologists regardless of how leftist they are or claim to be. Partly because war crimes are habit forming; partly because they tend to get committed against marginalized people even by so-called utopian leftists; and partly because mass rape, torture, murdering children, etc. are simply not okay, and fuck you on every level if you think they are and/or want excuses to commit them.

@shoutcacophony @alana Also related, this ties into why I itch a little whenever I see a campaign against cops turn into a campaign against a specific cop who happens to be a woman. Or when I see a dude I'm protesting with yell rape threats at a Nazi.

Fuck cops, Nazis, etc. but also fuck anyone who uses activism and community self-defense to fulfill their patriarchal bullshit fantasies. I see you, motherfuckers. Your bullshit will not be uncontested.

@shoutcacophony @alana anyway yeah TL;DR authoritarian leftism is inherently friendly to existing systems of oppression, and will be happy to side with them as soon as it has a real chance at power. Stalinists will always be willing to stab us in the back, just like they did the first time around.

@shoutcacophony @alana (all that being said, if you're okay spreading better politics to tankies, go for it. I know at least one ex-tankie who seems to have cleaned up their act - I know not all of them started on that road out of authoritarian sadism, though the road will eventually lead them there regardless.)

@kittypuffreloaded at the risk of getting my buns toasted off, ive seen neolibs whose politics are changing for the better move toward authoritarian leftism initially because they can conceive of anti capitalism, but they aren’t ready to let go to authoritarianism. it’s like this weird security blanket. the trick for us is maybe to keep em moving; keep folks challenging those old beliefs until they’re fully out of the shit. 🙌🏻 at anyone putting that effort. no shame to those who can’t

@shoutcacophony @alana then again your time might be better spent just deplatforming them as with Nazis, IDFK. Main thing is they and their oppressive patriarchy-serving bullshit don't get to hijack our movements, no matter how charismatic the fuckers might be individually.

@kittypuffreloaded @alana maybe don't tell me what to do while assuming that i'm clueless and in need of indoctrination :P

@kittypuffreloaded @alana

especially since i could just as easily say "don't hang out with white hipster gentrifiers" which is about equally overstated :p

@kittypuffreloaded @alana fwiw, i just saw this because i filtered out the word "tankie" a while back. oops

"why do i keep seeing filtered, filtered, filtered? i already filtered out 'voting' and 'twitter' a while ago 🤔"

@kittypuffreloaded @alana i'd mostly say at this point in my life that whatever limited success i had in trying to "convert" tankies to anarchism years ago is better left to occasionally following one of them on social media, until one or both of us unfollow :p

or sometimes, making a stink if the ideological sparring gets to the point of dragging, cancelling, dogpiling over mostly nothing (imo)

i usually manage to avoid the ones that i know will block me in five minutes :p in both directions

@kittypuffreloaded @alana

ok.

consider this, though: don't assume that anarchists in closer proximity *within reasonable limits in certain early formations*, can't provide specific understandings of *why* that's happening.

if i show up for some coalition meeting that's stacked in favor or marxists, it's not a betrayal on the level of saying "kronstadt is good, actually" while it's actually fucking happening. it's just not.

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