Brief thought: Tone Policing

Here’s the thing: I get that sometimes people doing social justice work can be kind of aggressive. And I get that that makes people defensive and sometimes looks like it’s a counter-productive tactic (though often those same defensive people will come back much later and point to someone’s aggressiveness as the moment they actually started thinking about x thing more and eventually led to their changing their mind about  an issue). I’m not even going to argue about who’s right in this fight between “let’s all be civil and respectable and spend more time caring for privileged folks’ feelings than they’ve spent caring for ours because at least when you beg for scraps sometimes you get scraps, and moving slowly is better than not moving at all” and “this shit is serious and harmful and I am not going to sit down or shut up or move more slowly or quietly or gently”. There are actually merits to both approaches, and different tactics work for different people, so seeing people take different approaches is always good, ok?

But. BUT.

If you find yourself investing more time and energy worrying about and criticizing other people’s approaches to social justice work and telling them how they could be doing that work better than you are investing in just actually doing whatever work it is you would like to see done, then I have zero fucks or time or patience for you.

3 comments

      1. :D

        Srsly, though — impressed by how well you balanced the gentleness “different strokes for different folks” with the less-gentleness of “NO FCUKS FOR YOU.” Well done!!

        I tend to come down on the side of “eff your reasonable expectations — and the horse they rode in on.” At least in theory. In practice, welllll… it tends to come out much more “*sigh* please just get outta my way.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s