Not all forms of discourse are the same. They vary according to intent. Some are designed to assert power and some are designed to raise and examine questions.
Consider the extreme difference of outcome if "I don't know what my identity is" is taken to represent a state of emotional confusion as opposed to being an intellectual question.
In the second instance, a high level of curiosity is combined with a personal psychology that is capable of detaching self-esteem from the issue of identity. When read as an emotional statement, devoid of intellectual content, the question seems to imply an emotional deficit. The outcome of interpretation could not be more different.
I relate this back to my own experience, over the past ten years. Since I am an intellectual who also happens to be female, a regular occurrence for me has been having statements or questions I've made in the form of an intellectual question being reduced to a statement about emotional states as such.
No doubt, intellectual questions and attitudes must be extremely rare in the general population to warrant the consistency of pushing this wrong angle. Also, according to traditional metaphysics, women are "emotional" not "rational", so the category my statements are too often placed in, where they become distorted, has an external and historical origin. These meanings appended to my statements or my questions then have no relationship to my personal psychology.
I would be happy to relate more intellectually to most of my correspondents, but many of them seem stuck at a metaphysical-emotional level of processing ideas. Sadly, this means they will also be inclined to impute their particular worldview and perspectives to me.
STAY SANE AND SAVAGE Gender activism, intellectual shamanism