This post mentions (in passing) biphobia, transphobia, cissexism, ableism against mentally ill people and the infamous use of "go kill yourself" as a debating tactic. If any of this stuff triggers or upsets you, you might want to stay away.

Crying white middle-aged cis man with a caption "Won't someone please think of the white people?"
Something that pisses me off, at least some of the time, is when people talk about fee-fees. For those of you who have never heard the term, it's a derogatory term used to mock people who derail conversations by talking about their feelings.

Most of the time, I feel it's a perfectly justified term. As someone who's mentally ill (and I know this is an example most people wouldn't use, but I can give others), I know that sometimes if I or other people start talking about just how crappy being sick actually is, or how some sane people are absolute dickwads about mental illness, a sane person might talk about how it upsets them to hear about someone else's mental state, or how not every sane person is like that and you should really think of how burdensome it is to care for the mentally ill and how we should be so grateful blah blah blah blah blah...

...In these particular cases, a sane person's feelings on the issue at hand probably don't matter. This is because mentally ill people are talking about their lived experience, and they are not doing it for the sane people - so generally a sane person would be derailing, or trying to shut down the conversation, which is a shitty thing to do. Therefore the use of the term "fee-fees" would be justified here, though I personally think it's unnecessarily patronising (and besides, I have far better and more creative ways to insult people).

Crying white cis woman. Caption reads "Why oh why won't they believe I know best"
You can also apply this to any privilege/oppression situation, e.g. a White person feeling offended when POC talk about institutional racism and the part that White people play in it, men feeling offended when women talk about male privilege, cis people feeling offended when cissexism is brought up to them, straight people feeling offended when they don't get to do things like replace asexual awareness week with ally week, I'm sure you can think of more examples...

...So far, so good. Privileged people's feelings matter less than actual oppression. I consider this fairly basic.

Now comes the bit that people don't like so much, or in some cases like even less than the first bit of this post.

Social justice itself - trying to raise awareness of institutional oppression and trying to eliminate that oppression - is a wonderful thing. Sadly, that has been confused with sitting around on the internet calling people who disagree with you pieces of shit. This is not social justice, this is being an internet tough guy but in a slightly different flavour. To avoid confusion between people who actually do something and people who just sit around on their asses thinking that scrapping on Tumblr counts as activism or a struggle for survival, let us call the latter group social justice Sallies. I talk about them because I've known a lot of Sallies and been burnt by them - I seem to have a habit of getting myself burnt by shitbags, unfortunately.

Sallies will appear to be nice, to those who care about issues of privilege and oppression, and say all the right things about systemic racism and misogyny and such. So far, so good, right? At least these people sort of know what they're talking about, which is already a big step because most privileged people don't recognise these systems.

The nasty part shows up when someone disagrees with them, or when they stray into areas that they don't really give a shit about. I've seen Sallies (though I'm not going to post links because I don't really want to start shitstorms with the original posters as this is a systemic problem) say things like "lol who cares about bisexuals", "trans* people don't matter and/or are an affront to my idea that genitals determine gender (this is paraphrasing - I've cut 90% of the transphobic bullshit out)", "[thing that is not a mental illness] is a mental illness", and the big one..."If you've said something I disagree with, go kill yourself".

The Wicked Queen from Snow White
A picture of the author in real life.
Feel the waves of oppression and
evil emanating from me.
Firstly, this is called being bad at social justice. I don't really like getting up on my high horse and snootily judging people, particularly when I'm a white privileged oppressor, but if you don't recognise that there are multiple axes of oppression I do think you're hurting people. (Then again, this is based off my evil appropriation of intersectionality, so you know...)

Secondly, when you're trying to erase X group of oppressed people by saying that they don't matter, that is not a question of fee-fees: that is oppression. When you're comparing being stupid, ignorant or just plain wrong to being sick or disabled, that is not a question of fee-fees: that is oppression, because you've just equated the stupidity that someone can change to the daily shithole that is chronic illness or disability. Oh, and you've contributed to the continued prejudice against people with disabilities. If you do that, you are truly a shining example of righteous activism.

I'm fairly certain I've done some posts about the whole telling people to kill yourself thing over on Tumblr. I will say this again, on a different blogging platform, because I'm not sure the message has gotten through:

Quite apart from telling people to kill themselves being ableist and possibly triggering, two shiny shiny Sally buzzwords right there (they do actually mean things, but they often get chucked around like they don't), it's also shitty behaviour.

It's exploiting people's insecurities, destroying self-esteem that may already be low and playing on possible mental illnesses (as a depressive, I know I'm more vulnerable to this kind of stuff because my own mind tells me to kill myself every day) so that you can make them take their own life. All so that you feel better. (I could make an argument here about how this is coddling your own precious fee-fees, but you know...)

We have a word for that. It's called bullying, or peer abuse, and it makes you a horrible human being. Not an activist, not a good person, not even a neutral person just struggling to survive. A bully. Doesn't really matter who does it to whom, because if you're slowly torturing and triggering someone into suicide arguments about "they deserved it because they're privileged oppressors" sort of pale away.

Feelings don't matter as much as actual oppression. But dismissing actual oppression and abusive behaviour as hurt fee-fees isn't great either.