Tone argument

But anger is valid. Anger is valid, anger is important, anger brings social change, anger makes people listen, anger is threatening, and anger is passion. Anger is NOT counterproductive; being “nice” is counterproductive. Nobody was ever given rights by politely asking for them. Politeness is nothing but a set of behavioral expectations that is enforced upon marginalized people.

—tooyoungforthelivingdead[1]

Oppressed people are angry for a reason.

The tone argument (also known as tone/language policing) is a tactic used by concern trolls to derail or silence an argument. The tone of the argument is independent of the points being raised. It draws attention to the tone of the argument or article as opposed to the actual points.

How it is used

Example 1

Person A: "MRAs are fucking misogynists because of X, Y, and Z."


Person B: "I agree with you but you shouldn't swear. Let's be civil."

Example 2

Person A: "Die cis scum!"


Person B: "I agree that cis privilege exists but I don't like the implication of violence."

Other common phrases

  • "You'll catch more flies with honey"
  • "You're being overemotional"[2]
  • "You are damaging your cause by being angry"[3]
  • "Hate breeds more hate"

See also

External Links

References

  1. This is a post about tone policing, by tooyoungforthelivingdead
  2. Derail Using Emotion, Derailing For Dummies
  3. Derail Using Anger, Derailing For Dummies
  4. The Tone Police, on Tumblr