Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Call out culture:

 TW: for discussion of suicidal impulses, bullying, PTSD and similar issues.

You should read: http://tigerbeatdown.com/2011/10/17/come-one-come-all-bloggers-bear-it-all-out-feminist-and-social-justice-blogging-as-performance-and-bloodshed/ The part on call out culture is spot on. It has become a performance and inherently toxic. I've been saying the latter for a while.

I've been a long time target of call out culture warriors. Between my Autism (inaccessibility of social justice tools) the fact I was born very very poor without the tools to learn (I didn't even have a computer until I was an adult) and severe depression/celiac rage (Which like my autism are never accommodated in social justice spaces). Well let's just say I've said a lot of ignorant stuff over the years and from day one? Many call out culture warriors decided I was positively evil incarnate and was doing it all on purpose.

Clearly in their minds they decided that I knew all the stuff that was inaccessible to me and therefore they also decided I was just saying ignorant things in order to hurt people, therefore I am evil. Once you get labelled as "evil", you don't shake it at all. You get zero accommodations (not that there are any for autism or mental health issues anyway). Everything you do or say is considered confirmation of how "evil" you are.

As you flounder at the edges of understanding? You get hammered over and over until you retreat in confusion, because "evil" isn't allowed to grope towards an understanding of it's own oppression and those of others, you get it now, or not at all.
Did I mention you aren't going to get it at all because call out culture is inherently hypocritical so much so that wringing coherent understanding out of it isn't possible and reaching your own understanding doesn't happen because the minute you try to articulate anything? You get attacked because once you're "evil" you can't possibly say anything right because everything you say is wrong by default, even the things you get right.

I spent years confused and very very alone, I tried to kill myself at least twice because of the severe bullying I experienced even when I hadn't said anything wrong. Apparently social justice? Doesn't apply to "evil" people. When we talk about our abuse or oppression? It's okay to not believe us, it's okay to say that since we don't act like a stereotypical victim, we're lying and this confirms that we're "evil" and therefore should be hammered when at our lowest.

When we talk about how prejudice and oppression impact our lives? We're lying. We don't even get to talk about our oppressions without getting attacked, I learned that when a whole bunch of "social justice advocates" sided with a hearing person who decided to tell me that MY hearing loss wasn't a disability.

Since I've managed to get myself some space to breath, my understanding has not only flowered, it's eclipsed imho that of many of the call out culture warriors who spent years putting me down, calling me a liar about my oppressions/abuse and putting so much pressure on me that they endangered my life repeatedly. I wonder how much more articulate I would be now if I'd had the last eight years to bloom instead of being hurt, confused, unaccommodated, oppressed and bullied by the call out culture warriors. I also wonder how many other people have been destroyed or lost to us because of it. How many brilliant essays never written, how many movements never started, how many minds are still prisoned by being deemed "evil" by those who enjoy the self righteousness call out culture infuses them with.

This is the cost of call out culture, there's a difference between saying "hey, what you just said is hurtful and here is why" and pack of people going for some of our most vulnerable people over and over.

Worst thing is? Many of the call out culture warriors also say problematic things all the time. But it's never a problem when they say oppressive things because the rest of the warriors rally around and defend them from even the politest explanation of why what they said hurts. They can carry this on for years, insulated entirely from ever considering that they are hurting people, meanwhile many of their victims have PTSD at best, and I'm sure a few have had their pain exceed their coping capacity and killed themselves.

Call out culture encourages bullying, it is not a good thing and it should not be part of social justice because there is nothing just about pushing someone to the point where they hurt themselves just to escape you.

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