Saturday, October 11, 2008

Verbal Predators: Nuisance or Threat?

This personally reflective post arises out of a chain of comments posted at A. E. Brain, an excellent blog out of Australia. Its author is a sister male to female TS. This past week an anonymous commenter has been posting a series of virteolic comments that can be seen as verbal attacks on the entire TS community.

This series of comments -- and the first one in particular -- got me to reflecting on the point at which being argumentative crosses a line and becomes verbal predatory behavior. To the best of my knowledge, the psych and legal communities have yet to recognize such behavior as a separate issue. Still, in the sense I am discussing it here, a verbal predator is one who uses written or spoken comments to repeatedly attack another person (or a group of people sharing a common characteristic) for the sole purpose of tearing them down in some way.

In my younger years, I have been around more than a few such individuals. One common characteristic I noticed is that such people cannot be reasoned with or engaged in rational discourse. Such people, in my observation-based opinion, feel small, unappreciated, powerless and maligned in some way by society. These people give the impression that they see tearing down the haves in some way as the only way they can feel good about themselves. So they attack with their words. An out of control ego, which causes the individual to see himself as more important and powerful than he actually is, also fuels such behavior.

Such misguided individuals appear to be completely oblivious to the chaos their verbal jousting causes. For some, unfortunately, they are aware of their effect on others, and simply do not care.

It appears to me that these people specialize in leading the unrelenting attacks on the entire GLBT coommunity by extremist Christian Fundamentalists, particularly in the US. (Come to think about it, these are the same people still railing againt abortion as well.) When these individuals' excess verbiage is stripped away, it becomes clear that they are arguing on subjects about which they understand very little and know even less.

Such prople are potential threats to progress in the securing of civil and legal rights for transsexuals world wide. Through being excessively vocal, they provide a rallying point for others who oppose the extension of these rights. Unfortunately, American politicians paradoxically tend to give their unsupported rants far more credence than the well-researched and presented, factually accurate information we can provide.

While this blog is set to allow unmoderated comments from anyone, even prople signing themselves "Anonymous," I do hope that comment posters will identify themselves by a first name (at least.)

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