[My main Tumblr can be found over at myasphyxiatedmind]
If you want your ask replied to privately, just put '****' before you start typing.
My name is: Michelle, but most people call me Dark online.
My gender-pronouns are: They/them/their.
I am: 27 years old, a feminist, an atheist, an omnivore, and an ISFJ.
The Feminist: Intersectional, body positive, pro-choice, and sex positive.
My privileged identities include: Female assigned at birth (FAAB trans* privilege), white, able-bodied, allistic (?), dyadic, monogamous.
My non-privileged/oppressed identities include: Gender-fluid, fat, gray-a, neuroatypical, and gay.
I have: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Dermatophagia, and Dermatillomania.
I like: Pets & animals, animal welfare, pet care & pet care education, ~*SCIENCE!*~, anatomy & physiology, roleplaying, anime/manga, computer & video games, rock & metal music.
Since I posted my “how to deal with being called out” post, a LOT of the resulting discussion/bullshit has revolved around dismissing the concept that the oppressed should not have to educate their oppressor. Truly, I can see how it sounds ridiculous. Telling someone they did something wrong and then not explaining what you mean seems pointless. I don’t think anyone is arguing that that’s what a call out should consist of. I’m pretty sure most people who engage in call-outs (and again, this isn’t limited to the internet or tumblr) are generally willing to explain what the offender did that was problematic, and perhaps go into why it was problematic. But it’s also really important to understand why demanding an explanation is fucked up.
(For the sake of this post, I’m going to assume that the person being called out is in a position of privilege over the person calling them out. I recognize this can be complicated because of intersectionality, and also because allies engage in call-outs as well. I’ll refer to the person being called out as the offender/oppressor and the person calling them out as the oppressed person.)
- Don’t tone police. It is NOT your right to dictate how someone should react to their oppression.
- Don’t demand a detailed explanation.* You’re basically asking the person to justify their call out. It’s exhausting, many resources are available, and often this is just a way to try and derail, start an argument, or discredit the other person.
- Don’t get defensive. A call out is not all about you as a person.
- Don’t take it personally. Calling out is not a personal attack. If someone calls you out, they’re trying to teach you something. Calling out is a way for people to educate others on how systems of oppression operate on a day to day, individual level.
- Don’t attack the person who’s calling you out. That’s just fucked up.
- Don’t assume the person calling you out is just “looking to get offended”. Nobody enjoys calling other people out. To call someone out, people often have to mentally prepare for serious repercussions. Calling someone out might mean starting an argument, during which many people will side with the oppressor by default (especially if you’re privileged over the person calling you out).
- Understand that being oppressive is not the same as being offensive or hurting feelings. The damage you’re perpetuating is part of a larger system of oppression.
- Realize that your intent is irrelevant when it comes to whether you were oppressive or not.
- Recognize the power dynamics that are in place between you and the person calling you out.
- Understand intersectionality. IE: Just because you are oppressed by classism, doesn’t mean you lack male privilege.
- Know that being privileged means being oppressive, but you can work to reduce the ways that you are oppressive.
- Genuinely apologize.
- Work on oppression reduction and being the best ally you can be. The point of calling you out is to draw your attention to how you’re being oppressive, so that you can work to change it. If you made an oppressive joke, there’s probably oppressive thoughts in place (conscious or not) that led you to think the joke was appropriate. Everyone has to unlearn the oppressive things they’ve absorbed from an oppressive society. We are all taught ways to keep marginalized people in their place, but the good thing is that we can identify these things in ourselves and change. And then we can start working on dismantling the kyriarchy, yeah!
Feel free to add to this or change as necessary.