If I say "you, cynicalromantic, are a potential whateverthefuck" and the whateverthefuck I mention is an insult to you, I don't expect it to go down well, even if it's undeniable that - provided that the whateverthefuck is something you could potentially be - you are a potential whateverthefuck.
Under what circumstances is it being brought up that I am a potential whateverthefuck?
If we were at a party and you just came right up to me and yelled "You are a potential murderer" I'd probably be like "Jeez, what is her problem, what was that about?" because that would be weird.
On the other hand... if I am applying for a job where I will be working with children, I expect
that they will conduct a thorough background check on me and take my fingerprints (ie, treat me like a potential pedophile), because children's safety is more important than my feelings. If I am at a museum full of very old fragile artifacts that are made of expensive materials, I expect
that they will be under glass or laser or at the very least that there will be a big "do not touch" sign and a guard with a taser (treat me like a potential thief), even though I know that I am not a thief and also know how to behave myself in a museum. I expect
to be asked to provide identification when I am in a situation where money or sensitive information is supposed to be released only to me (treat me like a potential fraudster). I expect
that when I meet somebody on the Internet and decide to meet them in real life, that they will want to meet in a public place during daylight hours where there are lots of people around (treat me like a potential Person Your Parents Warned You About When You First Got The Internet). All of this is because I am potentially
bad news, because I am a person and some people are bad news. I expect the people around me to take this into account because I understand that I am not the center of the universe.
Hell, I am a woman and an English major and I spent a lot of time hanging out with science dudes in my college days; I am fucking flattered
when people treat me like I am only potentially
dumber than a box of hair instead of just proceeding upon the assumption that this is a self-evident fact.
I know what "potential" means and I was only raised with a moderate amount of undeserved coddling. I am sorry this is not true of everybody.
I am beginning to think a lot of feminist attempts to explain shit to dudes come off as more insulting that they were intended because the degree of coddling, deference, and general lack-of-being-"insulted" that the dudes are used to is just completely fucking inconceivable to us. (Then, of course, they call us
oversensitive... the irony, it is unbearable.)