A while back, I wrote about the linguistic nonsense Christians engage when they open the door to a semantic environment with the warning “I say this in love”.
As I said then, it’s usually the opposite of anything which could be labeled as “loving”. “I say this in love” is almost always a warning signal which indicates the words to follow are going to be used to control and diminish the hearer. The speaker has, or wants to gain, a “one up” position in the conversation, and can only do so by making the hearer less of what she is.
I only get this crap from men, and from women who want me to believe I should not challenge men It usually has to do with my being “powerful”, and how my “power” needs to be toned down or softened so as not to scare the fragile and skittish animals.
Let’s get something straight. Yes, I’m smart. But I’m also 5’2″ tall, slightly zaftig, with grey hair and bifocals, and I knit in public. I’m not a granny, I just look like one.
If you’re not scared of your granny, you should not be scared of me. If you’re scared of your granny, you have the problem, not me.
Last night I went to an alumni/ae event for one of the institutions from which I’ve earned a degree. I had a delightful conversation with another woman whose power has been diminished by the church. She noted I probably “intimidated” some people–but she did not say this as criticism. Rather, it was intended (I think) as an expression of admiration.