Just found this… interesting critique of “calling out” — and NOT because it ‘alienates people’ or ‘chases away allies’…
“If it is just a call out, a simple call out by itself, then you have failed in the central aim of activism. Because the aim of activism isn’t revenge. The aim of activism isn’t getting an apology. The aim of activism isn’t upsetting those in privilege (that’s just a side effect). The aim of activism is to make change. And calling out is one single, very limited tool and it cannot and will not create change on its own. We don’t try to cut down trees by shooting them with a handgun. Why are we trying to use call outs alone to fix the world?”
Originally posted on Genderbitch: Musings of a Trans Chick:
Clarifications: In no way am I saying that the onus is on us to educate. In fact, you can scream in frustration, rage at people or seek out and carve out safe spaces for yourself all you want. I certainly have. But activism itself is a movement trying to make the world better for us. Creating change. So, if you want take the torch, that onus, onto yourself because you and I all know that even though the privileged people SHOULD be fixing it, they NEVER actually will on their own, then that is also your prerogative. And if you have chosen to take that as your path, then this post’s discussion about educating people and how the call out is effective and ineffective applies.
And let’s be clear, if you’re just looking to kick privileged people in the face or vent and express frustration, you’re not doing activism. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it is what it is. And as an important note, since people don’t grasp this, /you don’t have to do activism/. At all. Ever. You are not required to.
And even if you aren’t doing activism, the call out can also be dangerous to other marginalized people. For instance, if you trigger an attack in someone with an anxiety disorder because you wanted to call them out, you’re being ableist and deserve the same harsh response. There is absolutely no excuse to be bigoted in a call out. None. At. All. And that is the main concentration of my post.