Emily: Hi, I’m Emily Ladau
Kyle: And I’m Kyle Khachadurian
E: And you’re listening to another episode of The Accessible Stall
K: Hey Emily, what are we gonna talk about today?
E: We’re gonna talk about “Being That Guy”
K: Oh, I hate that guy!
E: Ugh, me too!
K: Emily, who’s that guy?
E: Oh right, that’ll help. So have you ever been in a situation where you’re having a conversation and somebody feels the need to stop you and correct you or make some kind of addendum to something that you said cause it’s somehow wrong or incorrect or inappropriate and so they just cut off this conversation and ruin the flow?
K: I’m in that situation about twice a month, um I do this thing called The Accessible Stall
K: And it happens to me a lot in there. And I do it to my co-host too. So yes
E: So you’re that guy.
K: And you’re that guy.
E: Oh, God
K: We’re the worst!
E: We really hate ourselves
K: Not ourselves, each other
E: Oh right, you’re right. I’m great, you’re not, ugh. So now that we’ve got our hatred affirmations out of the way… I was in this situation the other day and this is one of a gazillion examples that I can think of but this is the most recent that prompted this episode. Where I was out to dinner with a group of friends and throughout the evening various Disability related topics came up and none of my friends identify as having disabilities, the ones that I was out with. And so they were using terminology like “Special Needs” and then they were talking about somehow who’s Autistic and they were saying “High Functioning” and not “Low Functioning” using functioning labels and I struggled mightily and I actually have struggled before with this particular group as to whether I should interrupt the conversation to say that I’m really uncomfortable with the term “Special Needs,” and that I’m really uncomfortable with functioning labels and to correct them to use a term like “Disability.” And instead of functioning labels to talk about specific things that a person may or may not be able to do without labeling them with this blanket “High Functioning” or “Low Functioning” statement. And you might think, “Oh because they’re your friends they would understand.” And yeah, I’m sure they would but I just didn’t know what to do and despite the fact that I am a loudmouthed activist every darn day of my life, I find myself freezing up in situations like that and not knowing if I should cut people of to correct them and if that’s really an effective thing to do.
K: I have also been in that situation, but I think what you’re saying speaks to a slightly larger topic which is that in our world…In any world with this sort of activism you tend to give those you love a pass when they do things wrong. It’s because you love them. And although this is a very specific type of pass, that issue I think entrenches all kinds of activism circles. Where it’s like, “Oh my Grandparents who voted for Donald Trump aren’t terrible people.” You know for example you say that because they’re your Grandparents. But anyone else you might be like, “No, no, no, no, no, no. He’s terrible because X, Y, Z.” But I definitely have been in that situation in regards to disability before, very recently with my own mother. We were talking about some Autistic Gentleman, about an article she recently saw in The Post. And she was using functioning labels to describe him as High Functioning. And I didn’t correct her…. Because it just wasn’t….the meat of the conversation wouldn’t have changed, and we both knew what we meant, and there was no reason for me to correct her. Like I’m okay with correcting somebody when if their incorrect definition is objectively wrong, well their incorrectly wrong, but I’m not really keen to do it if all I’m changing is the label itself and not really the meaning behind it. Right? So like the “R Word” maybe, I might say, “Don’t do that!” But when it comes to, perhaps a slur isn’t the best example because it’s a slur. But if what I’m saying changes the meaning of it then yes I’ll correct you. But if it’s just the label itself, then no it’s not worth my time usually.
E: Yeah I can see the point. I’ve also been in a situation too, although I have changed my ways where people very close to me have used the “R Word” and this was quite some time ago where I would say absolutely nothing and just flinch internally. But lately I will correct people and I will say that I really don’t appreciate you using that word as something derogatory or as a slur, it’s really inappropriate. And it gives people pause, but it also makes people super uncomfortable because they know they said something wrong and they know that they shouldn’t do it again, and I’ve given them a pretty good reason as to why. But, then the conversation becomes super awkward and so I sort of apply that experience to other conversations where it’s not necessarily a slur but just a word that really bothers me.
K: You know it’s interesting that you say it that way, because in my experience I find similarly that people are more likely to respond if you say…Or respond the way that you want them to rather if you say, “You shouldn’t say this because it bothers me.” Rather than, “Oh you shouldn’t say this because it’s bad.” Well it’s bad, so what? But if it bothers you and you’re my friend then I shouldn’t do it because then now I’m hurting you.
E: That’s a good point, I hadn’t thought about it like that.
K: Oh, I thought that was the point you were making, sorry!
E: No, no, no, it isn’t. The point that I was trying to make was just that I’m trying to do our favorite thing which is pick our battles and it’s difficult because the R Word actively causes a reaction. It cause a visceral reaction with me. I get very upset, very angry, and you’re right I d say that it bothers me but I also try to contextualize it and say it’s just generally an awful, awful thing to say. Something like, “Special Needs” is harder because it’s not a slur and I also have to give an explanation. You know what I’m saying? So part of me feels like while I could just explain it once, I could explain why “Special Needs” is a problematic term but the reality is that then I’m gonna have to launch into a whole thing, it’s gonna be like a mini lecture in an otherwise free flowing conversation and I feel like a hypocrite for not wanting to do that. For wanting to take off my Activist Hat, put it on a shelf and recognize that there was no derogatory meaning behind a friend’s use of the word “Special Needs.” But if I’m giving a talk or if I’m in some kind of activism setting, because “Special Needs” is still rampantly used by people who should know better. And then I am so quick to correct you. So then do I have double standards, or am I a hypocrite or what is it?
K: Well I think in the case of people who should know better it is a double standard but one that should exist. I don’t think that makes you a hypocrite. Although I will say, although you might disagree with the term “Special Needs” and Lord knows I do too in most cases, if that’s how someone self identifies I can’t fault them for it, I can’t even disagree with them. If that’s what they want to do that’s just what they want to do. But when it’s someone else referring to a group of people or a person in particular then sure, you have a case. This vaguely reminds me of that Onion article where it’s like, “Internet Feminist Takes Thirty Minute Break to Enjoy Favorite TV Show.”
E: Yes, that’s exactly it!
K: We’ll link it in the Show Notes. But the feeling that yeah right? I imagine that that’s what you feel?
E: It happens all the time with Disability related things where there is something that I should technically get up in arms about but I’m too busy enjoying the rest of the TV Show.
K: I mean, that is all picking your battles right? Like what do you gain out of it in the context of like it’s your friends at dinner. Like at a conference? Yes, that’s why you’re there. You’re there to educate and discuss things and you know you’re doing your thing and that’s what the purpose of the conference is for. But if you’re at dinner with your friends and she says a mildly off color thing that’s not a slur, is it worth breaking the flow of the conversation? And then putting your friends on the defense no less.
E: It’s so tough because I really feel like I could do a better job with educating about stuff like that. About functioning labels, about euphemisms to refer to disability. But at the same time I guess of sort of seperate my activism self from some of my friendships. And so this particular group of friends not at all from an activist-y circle. And technically, all my work is about educating people outside that particular bubble. And so really that’s the most opportune time for me to be speaking up, and yet it’s the least opportune time, and I haven’t exactly figured out how to handle the situation yet. Because I know it’s gonna keep happening, these topics come up almost every time I see this particular group of friends, and I don’t know if I should just head it off right away by saying, “Look I’ve noticed over the course of our friendship which is been a long time now, that you always say these things and your friends with me and I guess you don’t really see much of my work that I do in my Disability Activism life because you see me separate from that. But I want you to know that part of my work is talking about why these terms are problematic. But then I’m gonna sound like I’m giving a lecture!
K: And you don’t want to do that with your friends because you’re with your friends, you don’t want to work too. Like there’s that element of separating your work from your pleasure yourself insofar as when you’re having dinner with your friends the last thing you want to do is lecture them about anything, because that’s work.
E: Yeah, exactly. When I have a mouthful of guacamole, which lets be honest is quite often. But when I have a mouthful of guacamole, I’m off like, I’m not working.
K: Right, but I think if it happens with a certain group of friends all the time, I don’t know why that would be, but if it does happen that often, it wouldn’t… I mean don’t do it with a mouthful of guacamole but…maybe after dinner it’s like, “Hey, you know, I notice you said this thing and it kind of bothers me for X,Y,Z.” But I mean I don’t know I would not do that, so I mean I can’t tell you what to do.
E: I feel so awkward about it because
K: I would feel so…yeah!
E: It’s not slurs that they’re using although some people do consider euphemisms or functioning labels to be slurs but I don’t really see that. I just see them as words that are bothersome and troublesome. And I guess it’s all about intention for me too. I really, really try to tell myself that nothing is ill intentioned when certain people say it, but I’m just making excuses for them. And I’m making excuses for myself. If I’m going to be an activist the rest of the time and they can’t be troubled to learn more about my perspectives just from the stuff that I put out into the world then whose responsibility is it? Thiers to figure it out? Or mine to educate them?
K: Thiers! No it’s theirs. You did your part, you put it out.
E: But I didn’t put it out directly in their face.
K: Of course you didn’t because then you would be “That Guy” and that’s what this is all about. But see, we mentioned this the other week, that’s why I don’t mind educating people all the time, cause I don’t do this. But you do, and so I would assume that like…I don’t know. I find that weird, I don’t really think, unless it’s like completely egregious like the worst racial slur or ableist slur whatever you can possibly think of. Like in your head right now as you’re listening to this think of, if it’s that thing? Then I’ll say something. But if it’s just something I don’t like to something that is mildly incorrect, then it’s not worth my time. If it’s gonna cause an argument that neither of us wanna have.
E: You know, this has me thinking about the absolute most awkward encounter with things that I’ve had to correct, and more than once with different people, I don’t know how to say this without sounding a little risque over here. But on separate occasions making out with people, they have used the “R Word”
K: C’mon man!
E: Literally mid makeout session!
K: How? Then you’re not doing it right!
E: One was to say how “R Word” ly attractive they were to me, and the other was just to like make some kind of a joke about how “R-Worded” something was that I can’t really remember the context of. And the first time I said nothing for Bachelor Number One. And then I went home and stewed about it, like I had been punched in the face. Then time number two when it happened I was like, “Oh no, not this time! Not this time, no!” And in case you’re wondering I was like sassy finger waving while I said that just now.
K: There was actually an episode of Speechless about that exact situation. Your life is a sitcom episode.
E: Oh no, and even worse my life is Ray’s life.
K: Yeah he’s the loser
E: Oh, no!
K: I didn’t know that, you didn’t tell me
K: Wow…So…I have nothing to say to that.
E: What do you say? It’s so
K: That’s an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm right there
E: To say that you are like, “R-Worded-ly” is saying like “Wow, you’re like really attracted to me.” but also like, “Wow, you’re an a$$hole!”
K: Yeah like, you didn’t think that one through did ya? OH wow, I am speechless, no pun intended. You are speechless!
E: Yeah! What do you do? What do you do? Especially because these were like both newer situations. One of those situations is no longer in my life. The other situation knows that if he says the “R Word,” in front of me he’s gonna get yelled at.
K: Okay but like, maybe you should elaborate on that a little bit because I am so incredibly curious. Because I don’t think that I could do anything you just said at all. I would like to believe that I could give the speech as to why the word is bad, and I know that I can, but not in that situation my friend. So how did you do that?
E: You know like, you should really insert the sound of the record scratching here because that’s how I felt.
K: Don’t worry, I gotchu.
(Record scratching sound)
E: Yeah but time number one I was just so caught off guard that I said absolutely nothing, and we parted ways for completely different reasons that had nothing to do with that, but like, I don’t want that nonsense in my life anyway. And time number two I just flat out like, “Time out like, you’re really cute and I’m into you but that is not an okay word to say.” And then he corrected himself to something else.
K: Was it something just as bad? I’m curious, like did it miss the mark?
E: Um it was probably like, “Stupid” or “Dumb” which are also arguably bad but…
K: No they’re not, but okay. We did a whole episode on those ones already!
E: Yeah so, and then we probably went right back to making out and you know, that’s positive reinforcement right there.
K: That is true. That is very true, that’s a very good point. (laughs)
E: I don’t know what this episode is making me sound like…
K: That is the greatest thing I’ve ever heard. Like I don’t…I can’t even imagine that situation.
E: You know I’m thinking about it right now and I can’t imagine it and I’m in it!
K: Wait a second, wait a second!
E: (Imitating Kyle) “Wait a second!”
K: This just took away all your credibility from earlier. How is it that you can stop making out with somebody mid kissing, but you can’t tell your friends not to say something over dinner?
E: I don’t know! Because the R Word bothers me that much! Not to mention…
K: Okay, fair point. The R Word is probably the worst, but still!
E: And there’s a big difference to me…Okay, so when I’m having dinner and my mouth is full of guacamole and there’s a margarita in front of me, I’m not super in the heat of any moment. So if somebody says…
K: You’re eating guacamole wrong!
E: I’m in the heat of that moment always. If somebody says “special needs” and “high functioning” there’s no record scratch moment for me there’s just like a bit of a cringe, but when I’m in the heat of the moment with somebody and he says something like that, that is like the loudest possible gift scratch you’ve ever hear in your life. You go from being so into it to being like, “Take your face off my face right now!
K: That (Record Scratch) I guess, I don’t know. I would have to be in that situation myself and I hope I never am…That is the greatest thing ever….That, that is so funny (Sighs).
E: That’s not what prompted this episode and meanwhile both of those have happened in the time that we have been doing this podcast. But for some reason the friend thing bothers me so much more because they’re my friends. There not just a guy, I should
K: Well you like your friends, you don’t have to…. Well I don’t know I can’t do that.
E: Let’s not question my life choices right now.
K: No, no what I’m saying, what I meant is that you have a relationship with your friends already.
E: Yes. Especially this particular group of friends, I have known them for so long. You know what? Since this seems to be all about my awkward encounter, I’m gonna tell you another awkward time with the R Word. So I showed up to one of my friends classes to give a lecture, she’s a teacher. I literally gave a lecture about disability and then she went to go write the name of the website on the board for her students, and she misspelled it. And then she goes, “Oh My God I’m so R-Word!” In front of the whole class! And I literally turned around and I was like, “Did you hear anything I just said in the last hour and a half?!”
K: You know now that you mention that I do have one instance with the word.
E: Oh thank God because I’m tired of telling my stories.
K: Just one. But it’s appropriate. So I used to work for a Disability centered foundation. And they were having their first big Gala since like five years ago so it was a big deal. And there was a bunch of hired help. And on the day of the Gala, they did not want to pay for internet. It was like a dumb fee that they didn’t want to pay, it was like fifteen extra bucks. And so I jerry rigged my phone to do the Wifi Hotspot thing. And this woman that I didn’t know, she was hired help. But she was hired help from the, not from the venue but from the organization we were partnering with to do this party, this Gala. And she was like what I am (R-Word) am I putting this password in wrong?
E: Don’t use the word! You better bleep it out.
K: And I said, this is the only time I said anything. I said to her, “Excuse me? But do you know where you are? Like if this was anywhere else I would have just looked at you funny and I wouldn’t have said a word. But like, this is for a Disability Foundation. That is the one word that we don’t use in this building right now!” You said the one thing, you had one job! I didn’t actually say that, now I’m just being dramatic. But she was very embarrassed.
E: But you called her out on it?
K: I took her to the side and I was like, “Hey look, not here! Like not anywhere but especially not here, not right now. If there was a least okay time to use that word, you picked it.” But to her credit she was extremely embarrassed. Like as soon as she realized what I was saying she was like, “Oh my God!”
E: Does anyone really get credit for being like? No. No, no, no. I don’t give anybody credit if they are apologetic after using a slur because they shouldn’t have used it in the first place!
K: No, you’re right. But the embarrassment is sort of a…I don’t know, I don’t feel good about it, and I really don’t like to do it. That’s the only time I’ve ever done it. But it was because of the extenuating circumstances that it had to be done. You just don’t do that you know? But go on, tell me more of your stories because I only one I got
E: Well, I mean the rest of my stories are pretty inconsequential compared to what I already said. But the fact remains that I always worry about being “that guy.” And I have my activism hat on so much that sometimes I just wanna take it off, put it down for awhile and realize that the world is not crumbling under my wheelchair just because I didn’t correct somebody because they said, “special needs” instead of “disabled.”
K: I mean, I really don’t think that’s a big deal though.
E: It’s not a big deal, but it’s been weighing on me a lot. Because it’s become a particularly common issue. And in listening to myself talk about it, I realize that I need to talk to this particular group of friends. So I handle that situation, but the situations in and of themselves are not gonna stop happening anytime soon, And I’m just trying to figure out a balance, and am I just giving them a free pass? Like it’s like you said before, you were talking to your mom and were you just giving your mom a free pass? Or you just don’t feel like getting into it with her?
K: Um, both! My mom, she…”knows better” when it comes to CP and stuff but there’s literally no reason for her to know anything about Autism Spectrum Disorders, none.
K: So like, because I know something that she doesn’t that is semi related to me almost if you squint your brain, am I wrong in not correcting her? No. I don’t think so. I don’t. And I don’t think that you’re a bad activist for not correcting your friends when all you want to do is enjoy the company of your friends over dinner in that moment.
E: Specifically Mexican food. (laughs)
K: Oh especially Mexican food, that’s like your favorite thing! You know if it was particularly bad food and like it was taking forever, and it arrived cold, and you already all got sick of complaining about the restaurant, then maybe bring up the fact that “special needs” probably isn’t the best word to use, or something I don’t know. My point is that it probably isn’t the time and place and that probably isn’t it. I don’t know, I don’t know.
E: That’s the thing neither do I because every situation is context dependent. Especially in my life because I find myself in all kinds of weird, ridiculous situations.
K: How did he say the “R Word” with his tongue in your mouth?
E: Have you ever made out with someone before, because it definitely doesn’t stay there the whole time.
K: I don’t talk, I’ll tell ya that!
E: You don’t talk to the person you’re making out with?
K: No! No! No!
E: Oh I’m really annoying, I will like have a conversation with you while your face is on my face. (laughs)
K: Really? No! No! I’ve never disagreed with you more on anything in my life.
E: If anybody has ever wondered if Kyle and I are together, that is literally your answer
K: Yeah, no way. Like, how is that even possible, we’re gonna have to talk about this later.
E: We’ll discuss the mechanics of making out later. But …
K: But um…I think this all boils down to tact doesn’t it?
E: Yeah but it isn’t very tactful to say something obnoxious either. But then again, who’s the obnoxious oe if they don’t know there being obnoxious.
K: Yeah but it’s like telling your friend they smell. You love them, you don’t wanna hurt their feelings, but they probably should know.
E: I will always tell my friend if they have food in their teeth.
K: Yeah but that’s, Okay. Why?
E: Because that’s an embarrassment for them. They don’t necessarily know that using a particular term is an embarrassment for them.
K: Because it’s not. But that’s a whole different thing.
K: But like I said earlier, if you frame it in a context where it hurts you and not, “You shouldn’t do that.” You’ll probably have better luck. But you have to really care, and I don’t know. And again, I don’t. And maybe that makes me a bad disabled person but that’s because I am a bad disabled person.
E: You are the worse disabled person, so…
K: Yeah I know
E: This is a tough one for me because it’s never going to go away. Not that anything we ever talk about is suddenly gonna go away. I mean that’s the reality of disability is that it doesn’t go away.
K: You said balance. I don’t have balance and so I am offended
E: I did? Wow! That just shows that I’m not even thinking about…(laughs)
K: I’m just kidding. You can’t offend me. You can’t offend me.
E: Oh I can find many ways to offend you, I’ve tried.
K: No, you can offend me, but you generally can’t offend me, it’s hard.
E: Sticks and stones may break my bones
K: …But words will never hurt me.
E: No words hurt worse! Oh my gosh, words are so…Ugh! Every time somebody complains to me that I’m just getting into the weeds and it’s just semantics…No! What you say matters! So really I just want to tell everybody to stop saying obnoxious things.
K: I feel like you have to have a good reason why. I’m not saying I disagree, I don’t know if I agree because I don’t know the term, I don’t know the friends, I don’t know the situation. But I think that if you’re gonna be that guy, you should have a good reason and you should also be prepared for them to be very defensive. Because no one likes to be told not to do something. Even if it’s something objectively bad. “Hey, don’t stick your finger in the electrical socket!” “Why?” That’s what every kid says, and then they do it, and then they learn why. But it’s like…
E: I never stuck my finger in an electrical socket
K: Well Emily, that is the difference between you and me.
E: I did once leave a plastic cup in a burning oven
K: Once in eighth grade we were making cupcakes in Home Ec, and no one told me that you should not put the paper in the muffin tins that do not have muffin batter in them. So I almost set the room on fire. But uh, you learn that lesson once.
E: I was making pretzels with my friend and we used waxed paper for the pretzels and apparently you’re not supposed waxed paper when you put things in the oven, you’re supposed to use parchment paper. So we had pieces of pretzels because we most of them were glued on to the melted wax. Also, don’t put foil in the microwave while we’re talking about things you shouldn’t do! (chuckles)
K: Okay, I actually knew that when I was a child though so like…
E: I never put foil in the microwave
K: But…And don’t eat Tide Pods because that’s apparently a thing now!
E: Oh my God, I saw that! What are people doing? The literal authorities had to weigh in on that! Stop it! Not that any of our listeners eat Tide Pods, and if you do I’m sorry you can just stop listening right now because…
K: Yeah if you eat Tide Pods we actually don’t want you to listen (both laugh) It’s not just about Disability, it really isn’t, because like….
E: If you eat Tide Pods do you burp bubbles? (laughs)
K: These are the questions that I need answers to!
E: Um, no it’s not about Disability because I’ve been in that situation for other things too.
K: It’s not just Justice related reasons.I mean like, you have a friend who has like one hobby, and that’s all they talk about and you love them and you don’t wanna hurt their feelings by saying, “Hey, not everything has to be about Artisanal Cake Pops, Janine!”
K: “Somehow at my Great-Aunt Muriel’s funeral you made this about Artisanal Cake Pops, and I don’t know how that’s possible but it’s really annoying.” I mean I’m making up a situation.
E: I know, what the heck?
K: I’m just saying though, it applies to everything not just Disability.
E: But sometimes it’s so challenging because it comes up when you’re least expecting it. It’s sort of the same thing as when you are…really caught off guard by a comment in an argument and then you think of a really good response at three AM that night.
K: In the shower.
E: So like I think another good example that wasn’t Disability related but still very much Social Justice related is I was recently out with a family friend who made a really racist comment. And I have known her to make racist comments in the past and I don’t know exactly how to address that because I don’t know of it would be damaging to the family friendship, and so many people are gonna be like, “Oh my God you have a friend who’s a racist?” Like the dynamics and the nuances of that are so difficult to navigate! Because if that was the case then I should also eliminate my Grandmother from my life, you know like…that’s really hard! And…and it’s even worse when it catches you off guard because what do you say in the moment like, holy moly that was inappropriate. And sometimes your just like struck with silence because you’re like “I cannot believe you just said that!”
K: That reminds me a story about my grandmother…Yeah, It wasn’t mildly racist, it was mildly homophobic, but to be fair okay my grandmother was an immigrant from Turkey in the 1940s and English was like her fifth or sixth language.
E: How do you say, “To be fair” though? I mean, I’m not saying that it’s your fault, or her fault or anyone’s fault but where is the “To be fair” line. Where is it? When should you know better? Go on
K: I’m only prefacing this because I knew what she meant even though that’s not what she said. It’s different when the remark is actually homophobic or racist or whatever, um but it was..I don’t know. She used to think that I was gay, which is hilarious in retrospect. And she asked me if I was “A Gay” once
K: Yeah, it was just a language barrier thing. And I’m not gay not that there’s anything wrong with that for anyone who’s wondering. I know it’s hard to tell sometimes. And I told her I was like, “Hey, listen don’t use the word, ‘A’ before that word. Just don’t do it.” And I didn’t have to tell her why because she didn’t get it because English grammar is hard when you’re seventy-five and speak four other languages. But I corrected her because even though like if she said that to someone on the street, she’s a sweet little old lady and I don’t think anyone in their right mind would do anything to her but I didn’t even want to imagine her in that situation to begin with. But again, I think that’s a little bit different from a family member or a dear friend making a remark that is actually homophobic or racist whatever. Because you raised an interesting point earlier which is like, when do you speak up, honestly? If someone you know, no matter who it is, is willingly to say someone blatantly racist to you? And you correct them and say, “Oh, you shouldn’t say that thing you said.” Right? I imagine those are the same kind of people who say something tot the effect of, “Well why do you care? You’re White.” Something like that.
K: Or you’re racist for thinking that in the first place. You’re a racist for thinking what I said was racist” Or something like that. So the reason I bring that up is because you know is it still worth correcting them if you know that’s where you’re headed? Because that’s only gonna make things worse. And I genuinely don’t know the answer to it, I really don’t.
E: You mean like if you say something and you know it’s just gonna bounce right off of them?
E: Then….Then, is it just that you’re being the activist or the social justice minded person cause it makes you feel good about you?
K: Yes! I, no…I think that that answer is yes for everyone, period. I do believe that the majority of people in this world think that they wanna good but I really, really, truly believe from the bottom of my heart that people truly do this because it makes themselves feel like they’re a part of something. You know how people go to Church? I think that this is meant for them
E: I don’t know how people go to Church, no. I’m a Jew.
K: You don’t know? Or are you being funny?
E: I’m Jewish (laughs)
K: Oh! Right, Oh okay, you literally don’t. No but I’m saying, I think that most people do this for a sense of community and for a sense of feeling like they belong. I don’t think that they do this for a greater good. I think people think they do. And I would argue that with anybody.
E: I totally would argue against that.
K: I know you would
E: I think that most people will do it for the greater good and then there are the exceptions that just do it because they want Brownie points and cookies.
K: I think everyone does it because they want Brownie Points. If you.. Look, this is a different topic for a different day. It is. But, if you’re the kind of person to genuinely want good in the world, then after you do your good deed, you don’t brag about it. And yet…
E: That is so true! So true. Been then also there’s like Facebook and Twitter and so people do all the time!
K: And yet…so what?
E: Oh I’m not defending them, I think it’s obnoxious.
K: Oh and by the way, I made a Church comment earlier, I don’t want people to think that the reason people go to church is to feel like they have a sense of belonging, I just use that as.. LIke I used it in the last episode.
E: But I imagine it gives you a sense of belonging,
K: Oh, it does, I…
E: I can speak to.. I used to go to Synagogue it used to give me a sense of belonging.
K: Yeah but that’s not the only reason you did it.
K: That’s what I’m saying, that’s what I’m saying. I think the only reason people do this kind of thing usually is to make themselves feel better. I think there’s a ton of very good reasons to go to Church, or Synagogue or what have you. That was a very bad comparison.
E: I think that is super, super cynical.
K: It is. But I believe it. I don’t think that the people who loudly…The louder you are about how woke you are, the more that that’s true. All you’re doing is being self centered. You don’t care about issues, you don’t, you don’t.
E: You mean like, how we were talking the other day about how if you’re yelling from the rooftops that you’re a Male Feminist than probably you’re a creep?
K: Yes that too. But I’m serious. I know that sounds cynical but I genuinely believe that people who do good, people who act good, people who are genuinely kind hearted don’t need to brag about it.
E: Yeah it should never be about the recognition.
K: And if you do it doesn’t mean that you can’t be good but I’m saying if you’re doing it to do that, you’re not good, you’re not. Even if what you’re saying is a good thing.
E: You’re not bad, it’s just that you’re not doing it for the best reasons.
K: You in that instance are “That Guy!” Come full circle.
E: Man, everybody hates that guy.
K: I’m just saying Like I said, that’s a slightly different topic. But I really like, I don’t know man.
E: So have we come to a conclusion on when you’re being “That Guy” and when you’re genuinely doing the right thing?
K: (Sighs) I think…
E: Is it always the right thing to correct somebody? Sorry, I didn’t mean to cut you off.
K: Oh no, no, that’s what I was getting at don’t worry. I cut you off enough, you’re allowed to cut me off (chuckles).
E: He acknowledges it! (laughs)
K: I do. Yeah. (sighs)
K: God, that’s so hard. I don’t think that correcting someone makes you “That Guy.” I don’t think not correcting someone makes you an accomplice or an enabler or like, you know…complacent. I think that if you think that then you just don’t believe in. But I do think that if you’re correcting someone for the sake of it, just probably don’t do it. But if you’re correcting someone because it bothers you and you have a reason for it bothering you, then do it. But be prepared to defend yourself. But I mean, that’s what you want right?
E: Be prepared to fight to the death
K: No I don’t mean it like that but…
E: No, I know what you mean. I’m not even sure if I’m 100% comfortable with what I was gonna say for my final takeaway which is, “Do what makes you comfortable!” Because sometimes you need to have hard conversations and they’re not comfortable.
E: So I think actually my final takeaway is, take each situation as it comes, it’s very context dependent. If you do not speak up in the moment don’t spend the rest of your life beating yourself up. And if you do speak up be proud of yourself even if it doesn’t go well.
K: I would generally agree with that, yes. Yes, yes. Emily for President!
E: Be proud of yourself but don’t be “That Guy.” Don’t go brag about it on Twitter.
K: There’s a fine line, like just don’t fill yourself with hubris, don’t inflate your ego, you know there’s too much of that.
K: I mean, it wouldn’t be an Accessible Stall episode if it didn’t spin out into forty more separate episodes.
E: True. I’m almost surprised that this didn’t come up way sooner considering how long we’ve been doing this.
K: Yeah I know. It’s a genuinely good question and I don’t think it’s an easy one to answer.
E: I think we may need to come back to it at some point, because I’m not 100% satisfied of where we ended up. But that’s not because I’m unhappy with the conversation, it’s because there’s so much to pick away at here. Or you know, “There’s a lot to unpack here!”
K: Ask us again how we feel about this in about four months and we’ll have an entirely different episode.
K: Anyway, on that note
E: Thanks so much for listening! And we love you!
K: This has been another episode of The Accessible Stall. I am Kyle, she is Emily, and we love you. Goodnight everybody!
K: (Whispers) Thanks for listening.