So I get that tone policing is a real and damaging thing, but I really want there to be more of a conversation about how for many of us who grew up being shouted at, discomfort with shouting and insults isn’t about being uncomfortable hearing about someone’s oppression; it’s about being uncomfortable with shouting and insults. And like, you get to shout if that’s what you want/need to do, and I get to set a boundary around *myself*, which is that I cannot deal with shouting, and I’m in pain when I see people getting insulted and shouted at, and I don’t want to be around it.
And I know a lot of people would probably just be like “no you’re just saying that to get off the hook from caring about people’s oppression” and you know what? That’s completely wrong, but I won’t try to argue with it, because I still get to have my boundaries. I shouldn’t have to give you the details of some of the shit my dad said to me before our relationship improved into what it is now. I don’t have to justify or give evidence to prove that I have reasons to be really not ok with yelling. It’s my boundary. Period.
Maybe there is a space we can carve out here, a space in which it’s tone-policing to say “I don’t like this tone and therefore you should never use it” but not tone-policing to say, “I can’t handle yelling/insults and my boundary is to not be in a space where it’s happening, so if you are unable/unwilling to not yell/insult, I will have to leave.”
But ultimately the truth is that I care a lot more about my boundaries and self-care than I care about what other people think of me. Yes, obviously, I do care what people think and it does hurt me when others dislike me or get angry at me, even when I think they’re in the wrong; I just care about my boundaries more. I am not going to be in spaces where I or other people are being yelled at or insulted.