On Sexism, Emotionality, and Truth

d shul
10 min readFeb 28, 2019

Some of my family members refuse to talk to me because they are afraid that I will become too upset. This reasoning is my father’s creation that was born after I dared acknowledge and attempt to have a conversation with him about things he had said and done that had really hurt me. This reasoning has since spread like wildfire between different family members who now avoid talking to me because they don’t want to upset me.

For a while I accepted this reasoning with shame and embarrassment; I never knew what to say in response because hearing it feels like being punched in the gut and face at the same time. It feels like my fault for being too emotional, and that the reason why we’re distant and never talk is because I am too sensitive and get too upset. I realize now that this is a type of sexist bullshit that uses my emotionality to place full blame on me for being “too emotional” and positions them as benevolent and innocent beings who just “don’t want to upset me.”

I know that my family does not want to hurt me, but the problem is that they do, and whenever I try to talk with them about this then they say and do really hurtful things again in response, and then when I become devastatedly upset again they use this as evidence to support the claim that I get upset whenever we try to talk. This is a very toxic and nonconsensual mindfuck that I have opted out of in order to protect my mental health. I love my family, but for now I need some space from them in order to heal from this abuse, and to try to figure out what the fuck is going on here. I am channeling the pain of this situation into writing about the intersections of sexism, emotionality, and truth.

I am realizing that sexism affects perceptions of truth through its systemic devaluation of emotionality. My argument in this essay is that sexism feminizes the emotional to exclude it as a valid site of knowledge, and masculinizes the rational as the privileged site of knowledge and therefore truth. The feminine is rendered subjective though its conflation with the emotional, and the masculine is rendered objective through its conflation with the rational. I consider emotionality and rationality to be equally important sites of knowledge upon which all humans depend for survival, but think that sexism violently disregards feminized emotional knowledge in…

d shul

queer theorist and affect alien