In Germany we have this great establishment, where words are used to convey respect.
‘Sie’ (you, formal) is such a term. It is used when adressing adults that one does not know. Only when one is familiar with eachother can one derail and say ‘Du’ (you, informal). Or when one is talking to a child.
Familiarity breeds contempt, when it is faked.
I mean, do I know you? Am I your buddy?
The propensity for unfamiliar people, cissies (cis-people) and others, calling one “du” is inappropriate, but it happens just as often as misgendering does.
When one has come out as non-sexual and non-gendered, when one looks young or acts with respect and humility towards others, one seems to lose respect from people. It is assumed one’s mind has stopped growing, that one needs to be instructed and lead.
It makes me feel disgusted, especially when I don’t want to know the person who shows no sign of acknowledging my adult-ness, my selfness, my self-determination. Why would I want to know someone who apparently thinks I am worthy of being dealt with at the level of a child?
Familiarity breeds contempt!
It’s like people who say ‘du’ not because they know you or have any real importance in your life, but because they live in the same universe as you or have struck up a conversation and talked for 5 minutes while sitting next to you and now they feel entitled. Or because they are taller and stronger and smarter and richer than you, and feel like that’s why they can treat you the way they want.
And you should be grateful, too.
For it’s YOU who has to expand your mind.
You have to realise that if they address you in a familar way that that is a cue, it means they WANT you to be familiar, they WANT contact, but they WANT it on their terms. But they won’t put that in a sentence, because it wouldn’t sound as nice, so they say “du”, hoping that this might actually lead to familiarity.
It’s such a subtle invasion of privacy it’s nearly not felt at all, because one is tempted to just shrug it off or treat it as a manifestation of a hallucinating mind. I often ask myself “Have I really heard that?”, “Did they really just say that?”, and “What on earth have I done that they now think I should be less respected?”
Of course the first thing I do is to look for a fault in myself, to check my system and replay the whole encounter in my head. I think of ways to solve this problem, without creating a disruption in the conversation, …
…without seeming haughty and arrogant.
The language we have is a small attempt at least to maintain a structure in our lives and determine relations between eachother, to reinforce these. Whatever is in our heads, our worldview, our deepest most intimate thoughts are communicated through gestures and language.
LANGUAGE–TALKING–WORDS = MEANING
When people call me ‘du’ after having talked to me for a little while or not even THAT-just a look has sufficed for them to determine my status in their lives-they have either done so willingly and at the full posession of their faculties, or they have betrayed their ignorance and contempt of me unconsciously through not thinking at all about the words they use.
Either way they have made a big mistake.
Inter-personal communication is not just about themselves.
SHOW SOME R.E.S.P.E.C.T !!