(This one is unlocked because I just...man.)
You cannot hide behind the label of, "oh but I'm [insert oppressed label here] so I can't be guilty of [insert different kind of oppression here]"
like, "I'm [queer] so I can't be guilty of [doing a racism]"
it doesn't work that way, and saying that it does is Some Bullshit.
if you want to be a good ally to any marginalized group that you are a part of, you have to be good at calling it out, too. call out your friends for saying Some Bullshit. correct bad opinions. call out bad takes. don't let people hide behind, "oh but we're friends".
you might lose people, but jfc it's better than BECOMING them
no one is immune to bad takes. literally. no one. your partner? your mom? your best friend? all of them are gonna have bad takes once in a while! you, the woke leftist? you better believe that you're gonna have a bad take every now and then! you are gonna spout SOME BULLSHIT. no one is going to be right all the time. even if you think you're done learning, you're still learning. (big, but TRUE.)
so you gotta accept that sometimes you're going to fuck up. and be willing to listen.
no one is free of bad opinions.
you can be a great person and occasionally still run across Some Bullshit buried deep within you because you grew up in a society that is FULL of fucked-up opinions about POC (esp. BIPOC), queer people, trans people, fat people, disabled people, etc.
when people call you out for this, your job is to listen and sit with what you have been told, not to kneejerk and pull away.
you want to talk about doing the work? *that's* the work.
is it glamorous? no.
does it make you feel good? alas, no.
is it necessary? absolutely.
it is UNDERSTANDABLE that the initial reaction is to go, "not me, why is everyone picking on me" and pull away. but being a good person and *learning and growing from the experience* means that you can't say, "nope, I can't deal with this, I'm too fragile" and bury your head in the sand indefinitely.
when your friends kneejerk and pull away, it is your duty to realize: you can't drop this.
I don't mean that in the sense of, "you must hound them until they give in and give up their shitty opinions!"
but I do mean, "you have to call them out when it comes up and reinforce that what they did was Not Cool, and observe their behavior to see if they change or if they dodge away from it."
odds are that if you are good friends and it's a one-off, they are just as much a victim of Society Programming Us All With Shitty Opinions as the next person.
-if they hide behind their fragility ("you can't call me out for [x], because [y]!")
-if they dodge the whole thing ("why are you making such a big deal out of this?")
-if they try to hide behind the "I wasn't serious" defense ("it was a joke" or "I was just venting, I didn't expect you to engage...")
you gotta dig in and sit with that. IS your friend actually cool, or are they Just Waiting For You To Get Comfortable Before They Rip Off Their "Woke" Mask?
and then you gotta decide.
oppression isn't an all-or-nothing thing. it's not clear-cut. you're not going to be able to identify a lot of people full of bullshit in the wild.
they're going to relax, decide that you're a safe person, and then start airing their shitty opinions around you, bc they feel like you'll probably agree and/or that you'll be too uncomfortable to call them out.
and that's when you gotta CALL THEM OUT.
even tho it's awkward.
even tho it sucks.
even tho you're gonna hurt their feelings.
letting the bullshit go unchecked allows it to propagate. there are two scenarios:
-either your friend didn't know, you just saved them a lot of heartache and embarrassment later, and they're not going to unwittingly keep spreading Some Bullshit
-your friend DID know and that's how you find out they are Full Of Bad Opinions
and BOTH are fucking awkward in the moment, tho one is salvageable.
you gotta call 'em out anyway, because to do otherwise is to enable oppression.
@hafnia that is the *primary* work of every ally.
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