An excerpt from Lionel Shriver’s The Motion of the Body through Space
The whole tribunal, wherein an older white man is “hauled up on disciplinary charges for threatening behavior and racially and sexually aggravated assault”), indeed the whole chapter, is WELL WORTH the read.
REMINGTON: Just because she felt threatened doesn’t mean she was threatened.
TRINITY: I’m afraid it means exactly that. You can’t argue with what people feel.
TRINITY: Our frame of reference is progressive contemporary mores … Well, times have changed.
REMINGTON: What has not changed—what has always been the case with human beings—is that “feelings” are no more factually sacrosanct than any other form of testimony. So you can “argue with what people feel.” Because people lie about what they feel. They exaggerate what they feel. They describe what they feel poorly, sometimes out of sheer verbal inadequacy. They mistake one feeling for another. They often have no idea what they feel. They will sometimes mischaracterize their emotions with an eye to an ulterior motive—such as to slander a man who does indeed “threaten” them, but only with his comparative professional competence.