...ism

We shouldn't immediately be angry at the commitment of isms. Even when they're personally offensive, anger is not the constructive way to confront someone. Consider a few possibilities; that the intent of the words should be equal in consideration to their meaning. We follow all manner of learned and observed patterns, and people don't always speak poorly out of simple spite and ignorance. The next time you encounter a little off the cuff misogyny or casual homophobia take a breath and consider the intent of the person. If they wounded you it may well be the last thing they intended to do.

Don't just forgive ignorance, but remember we are born ignorant and every step towards enlightenment has to be earned through education. Maybe it is worth your speaking out to correct them, maybe it is a task beyond your resolve. It may have changed your opinion or feelings towards this person, you might be outraged. Getting angry will not benefit any of these. Allowing your distress to guide your next step may well validate their ill intentions. Where discussion leads to knowledge we can know that in some small way we have improved the world but where this is not possible we can only hope to make ourselves feel more wretched by failure. You have to pick your battles and choose your weapons with sensitivity.

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