Page 1 of 1 [ 14 posts ] 

Jayo
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 31 Jan 2011
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,202

25 Feb 2024, 10:31 am

I admit that I'd not heard about "tone policing" until catching it in a couple of articles recently. Basically, it's a rather rude and patronizing tactic that people in the "majority" (an amorphous term) use against someone whom they regard as not deserving of the same courtesies and respect as the rest of them - they ignore the message and start rebuking the speaker for his/her tone, which may come across as aggressive or indignant or whatever. It's an unconscious bias behaviour. The material said that Black women tend to be disproportionate recipients of tone policing - BUT someone also said that it can happen in the context of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). 8O

I can totally see that: there's been more than one occasion where someone haughtily shouted at me to "calm down!!" when I was speaking in an indignant tone about unfairness and bias. I think a lot of the bias is grounded in some perverse notion of hierarchy: they just viscerally deem you as the mentally ill one, the one whose opinions and feelings aren't worth considering, who's not like the "rest of us", so you're more likely to get dismissed for speaking in a certain tone even if your indignation may be justified. :evil: :x

Another source from Google rightfully said that tone policing is an oppression tactic..."it systematically keeps oppressed people and the issues they raise silenced."
I'd have to agree!

This article by Jillian Enright is right on the money:
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/tone-pol ... an-enright

"It’s one thing to set boundaries about how we will and will not be treated — keeping in mind that each person’s boundaries will be different. It’s quite another to dictate exactly how a person must word their message in order to be 'granted permission' to communicate with you."



bee33
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 19 Apr 2008
Age: 60
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,375

25 Feb 2024, 3:04 pm

Yes. It's used as a way to silence people when they get worked up about a topic because it's important to them. I've seen that happen.



autisticelders
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 23 Feb 2020
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,992
Location: Alpena MI

25 Feb 2024, 4:35 pm

yes, this!


_________________
https://oldladywithautism.blog/

"Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect.” Samuel Johnson


funeralxempire
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 27 Oct 2014
Age: 39
Gender: Non-binary
Posts: 25,445
Location: Right over your left shoulder

25 Feb 2024, 8:19 pm

Yes, it's common tactic used by people who are pretending to be an ally while also dismissing your concerns as not really that important.


_________________
Watching liberals try to solve societal problems without a systemic critique/class consciousness is like watching someone in the dark try to flip on the light switch, but they keep turning on the garbage disposal instead.
戦争ではなく戦争と戦う


CockneyRebel
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Jul 2004
Age: 49
Gender: Male
Posts: 113,515
Location: Stalag 13

25 Feb 2024, 9:41 pm

I've seen it done many times and I've had it done to me.


_________________
Who wants to adopt a Sweet Pea?


Fnord
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 May 2008
Age: 67
Gender: Male
Posts: 59,822
Location: Stendec

26 Feb 2024, 2:26 am

It is not "Tone Policing" to ask someone to lower their voice and speak in more pleasant tones.  Some of my former co-workers did not seem to understand the concept of an "Indoor Voice".

And it was not just me asking them to moderate their voices.  People in other offices and on other floors would come by and ask what all the shouting was for.


_________________
 
No love for Hamas, Hezbollah, Iranian Leadership, Islamic Jihad, other Islamic terrorist groups, OR their supporters and sympathizers.


bee33
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 19 Apr 2008
Age: 60
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,375

26 Feb 2024, 4:01 pm

Fnord wrote:
It is not "Tone Policing" to ask someone to lower their voice and speak in more pleasant tones.  Some of my former co-workers did not seem to understand the concept of an "Indoor Voice".

And it was not just me asking them to moderate their voices.  People in other offices and on other floors would come by and ask what all the shouting was for.

Tone policing is something that often happens in online discussions, so it's not necessarily correlated to the actual loudness or strident inflection in one's voice. (Though it can be that in an in-person discussion.)

An example would be if someone says something that is clearly sexist, let's say, and it upsets me so I respond sharply. Then they respond by saying, "Take it easy now! Women are so overly emotional!" In that case, that is tone policing because the person is responding to the tone of what I said and not to the content, and they are using it as a way to make whatever I said seem irrelevant.



TwilightPrincess
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 28 Sep 2016
Age: 39
Gender: Female
Posts: 21,272
Location: Hell

26 Feb 2024, 4:23 pm

I think people on the spectrum can be straightforward about how they word things or how they present an opinion instead of “beating around the bush” which could sound blunt, tactless, or even angry to some when the person was just innocently stating their viewpoint. I’ve seen this online but not so much offline that I can recall.

It does seem like women are expected to be more polite and use more qualifiers, but my experience is too limited to make a universal claim about that.


_________________
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.


Niacin
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 29 Feb 2024
Age: 27
Gender: Male
Posts: 55

29 Feb 2024, 4:54 pm

Yeah, the expression "tone policing" is used frequently to describe those who critique how something is being said to avoid talking about what is being said.



CockneyRebel
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Jul 2004
Age: 49
Gender: Male
Posts: 113,515
Location: Stalag 13

02 Mar 2024, 12:58 am

At the age of 11, I decided to put on a Cockney accent on the account that I have a British last name and to try and be like my dad. A year later, the summer that I was 12 my parents told me not to talk through my nose every time I said anything. They cared more about the way I sounded than what I had to say.


_________________
Who wants to adopt a Sweet Pea?


flat_affect
Hummingbird
Hummingbird

User avatar

Joined: 25 Feb 2024
Age: 56
Gender: Male
Posts: 22
Location: Florida

04 Mar 2024, 9:57 am

Holy crap, yes! I can't count the number of times people have told me to calm down when I'm trying to explain something. It's so frustrating :-x


_________________
Aspie Quiz ND : 158 NT: 53 | ASQ: 41 | RAADS-R: 179


NullPointerException
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 8 Feb 2023
Gender: Female
Posts: 28
Location: Earth

08 Mar 2024, 3:45 pm

TwilightPrincess wrote:
I think people on the spectrum can be straightforward about how they word things or how they present an opinion instead of “beating around the bush” which could sound blunt, tactless, or even angry to some when the person was just innocently stating their viewpoint. I’ve seen this online but not so much offline that I can recall.

It does seem like women are expected to be more polite and use more qualifiers, but my experience is too limited to make a universal claim about that.


My experience from today :skull: :skull: :skull:


_________________
ADHD ASD ENTP
I comment stuff | I think in .gif |I forget to respond | My mind oscillate
My sprit animal ...Oh shiny... ( * .*)


JamesW
Blue Jay
Blue Jay

User avatar

Joined: 26 Jan 2023
Age: 59
Gender: Male
Posts: 78
Location: London, UK

22 Mar 2024, 3:04 am

Niacin wrote:
Yeah, the expression "tone policing" is used frequently to describe those who critique how something is being said to avoid talking about what is being said.


Unfortunately the term 'tone policing' has become a buzzword, and as such has been co-opted and repurposed by the far-right, with the emphasis on the 'police' rather than the 'tone', i.e. 'anyone who doesn't agree with what we say is just trying to shut us down'. (If you're in my house and you start expressing far-right opinions, I am going to tell you to get out, and my tone is likely to be extremely unpleasant; nevertheless my action is entirely justified.)

It used to be called a 'tone argument', which conveys the same idea without the angle.

End of derail. In my opinion an NT telling an autistic person to 'calm down' isn't really a tone argument anyway. It's just NT ignorance of autism. They wouldn't in a million years tell a person with cerebral palsy to 'stop walking funny'.


_________________
#ActuallyAutistic
Born 1964. Diagnosed 2023.
Oxbridge dropout. Sober since 1993.
There is a God.


vividgroovy
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

Joined: 20 Dec 2018
Gender: Male
Posts: 334
Location: Santa Maria, CA

23 Mar 2024, 7:03 pm

I've had my tone misread many times. I think of myself as being very meek and polite, but sometimes, people have still read some sort of "attitude" into what I said and responded with anger. One particular instance that I remember was at a job I had when I was a teenager. I got on the walkie-talkie and asked for some supplies I needed. The person on the other end asked what I needed them for. I explained, in a straightforward manner, what they were used for. The person responded, enraged, "You need to lose the attitude!" I literally don't know how else I could have answered the question. That person turned out to be a manager. Later, I tried to explain to another manager that I didn't recognize her voice. I thought the person must be a new employee if she was asking that question. He responded, again very angrily, that she was a manager and I needed to show her respect.

Conversely, I have also had people say things to me in a needlessly vicious tone...and I hate it. Some of the cruelest things that have ever been said to me wouldn't sound so bad if you simply read a transcript of them, but the way they were said was dripping with pure hatred, for no reason that I could see.

Of course, in some cases, I have to ask myself...am I misreading their tone, the way my tone was misread?

So yes, while I can see people using "tone policing" as a tactic to avoid the content of what's being said (because people will seemingly do anything to avoid directly addressing what was said by someone they disagree with), tone does also matter.

Regarding "calm down," I was once on a Broadway discussion group where people would get extremely vicious over politics. Even though it was Facebook and there was no vocal tone to read, you could pretty much feel the pure hatred coming off of their text. Sometimes these people would be asked to calm down and they would respond with, "Calm down? I'll calm down when people stop DYING IN THE STREETS!" Again, the topic was Broadway musicals. These people actually believed people were "DYING IN THE STREETS" as a direct result of Broadway musicals. I had to leave that group because my faith in humanity was plummeting from seeing posts like this multiple times a day. So yeah, while I don't think "calm down" has ever actually worked to calm anyone down, I think there are some venues where calming down would be a good idea, even if you feel what you're expressing is very important.