“A remark intended to shut you down like, ‘Calm down, you’re overreacting,’ after you just addressed someone else’s bad behavior, is emotional manipulation—pure and simple.”
I’m linking this article, which about academic environment per se, but it’s one that might help think through how we talk and react to issues of gender, race, and sexuality in the department. Not always, but sometimes, the reaction to pointing out individual acts of sexism or racism (not to mention systemic sexism and racism) is that one is crazy. That one is overreacting.
The author of the linked author discusses “gaslighting,” acts of emotional manipulation that serve to undermine one’s legitimate claims and make one feel like one’s sense of reality is askew.