Geek Feminism Wiki

Accusations of being over-sensitive or too sensitive are often used when women are upset by threats, victimisation, harassment, marginalization, etc. The implication is that women should have thicker skins, or should, in short, put up with mistreatment without complaining. Accusations of being too sensitive are commonly used as a Silencing tactic, closely related to You're being emotional.

The term "over-sensitive" or "too sensitive" has some other implications too: it makes it sound like there is some line above which it is alright to be be sensitive, but that the current incident does not cross that line. As such, the "over-sensitive" tactic is sometimes also a Concern troll tactic: "I agree that there are problems that we should be concerned about, but this is not one of them."


Over-sensitivity may be underrated. According to the research below, it can be an asset depending on the culture.

"Depending on the culture, sensitivity can be perceived as an asset or a negative trait, Zeff explains. In some of his own research, Zeff says that highly sensitive men he interviewed from other countries -- such as Thailand and India -- were rarely or never teased, while highly sensitive men he interviewed from North America were frequently or always teased. "So a lot of it is very cultural -- the same person who is told, 'Oh, you're too sensitive,' in certain cultures, it's considered an asset," he says."


The term "ovary-acting" is a word that is used as a standard pun on media-sharing sites that allow comments, with or without intentional sexist attitude. Issues with this term include:

  • cementing the thought that over-reacting and femaleness are inherently connected
  • cissexism
  • and farcifying discussions.

Further reading