Mama Lou Bones

A Note on Tone Policing

Lou ClaveComment

I don’t know about you but International Women’s day was exhausting. The sheer amount of free emotional labour that was expected of us was truly staggering, although not all together surprising. For me there was something far more insidious going on the whole day from men and women alike and It happens to me so often that I’d like to address it once and for all. 

Tone Policing.

Tone policing is used predominantly by the oppressor against the marginalised in order to derail a conversation by questioning the validity of the argument based on TONE thus ignoring the point being made. It has been used as a tactic against womxn and femmes for years in order to ridicule, infantilise and invalidate our experience by making us appear emotionally unstable.

The prevailing narrative that emotional equates irrational is often used to silence womxn and femmes when they are calling out, speaking out or reacting to problematic behaviour. Having an emotional response to oppression is a completely natural reaction. Your feelings are valid. Anger, fear, sadness, pain, are completely understandable emotional responses to oppression. Being impartial is bullshit. The personal is political. 

If a person refuses to engage in a conversation with you because of your tone, know that what is really happening is an exertion of their power and their privilege to deflect from injustice and derail the conversation making YOU the problem rather than THEM be held accountable.

I say FUCK THAT. Our anger is valid. If you are able to face oppression impartially and politely then great but we will not be made to feel irrational, invalid or lesser because we can’t. Express yourself however you feel able, in whichever way you can and if they refuse to listen because you speak from the heart, disengage because self-care comes first and you don’t need that shit.