Stop being civil.
When people mock you, physically or verbally attack you, and belittle your passions, your thoughts and your very existence, *you do not have to be civil.*
Many of us — women in particular, but most non-dominant groups — are taught at a young age to “make nice,” to smooth over differences with aggressive white males, ostensibly for our own protection. When they strike, we are supposed to find common ground, and to take it — whether it’s from strangers, people in uniforms or family members.
That’s how they keep power: By colonizing the mind.
So stop. Point out the lies they’re trying to pass off as truth. Point out their insults, and turn their blades right back on them. Speak louder when they try to shut you up. (Ever try to talk over an opera singer?)
When they try to hit you, throw them to the floor — hard. Turn their own weapons and their own energy against them. And don’t feel guilty: If they weren’t trying to hurt you in the first place, they wouldn’t be getting hurt when you turn their energy back.
And not just strangers, or random people on the Internet. It’s even more important to act this way toward verbally and/or physically aggressive people who claim to love or like you, who claim the title of family or friend. But know this: You *choose* your family and friends. Ties of blood mean nothing more than the interlocking strands of DNA, and friends who debate your right to exist and live freely are not friends at all. (Hint: Take out the r and you have the right word.)
Live like a warrior, because you are one.