This. Being a good ally is not like getting a certificate and then it doesn’t matter what you do after that, you always have a certificate. It is something you need to work at every single day of your life, to be aware of everything you do and say, how it impacts people, and to always always listen. A lot of allies believe that once they become an ally that it means they’re ‘good’ and every thought they have from then on is a progressive one, and therefore they no longer have to consciously vet what they write or create, it’s just automatically going to be good because they’re good right? And then they react to criticism by flashing their credentials, as if that changes what they’ve done.
I wish I could go to all these cool convention panels I keep being invited to, but they’re always in far off US cities I can’t afford to visit. :(
Its a well-know deal that a lot of writers (Blizz…) love to break women for drama, but never really like to unbreak them or build them back up like they do with male characters. Its not just the whole problem of women being triumphant is considered not interesting, but also the gross and stomach turning notion that a broken woman is somehow beautiful. We consider a pretty girl’s tears to be poetic, considering how many songs are written about them. Her helplessness and dysfunctionality is precious.
And as we know, beauty is paramount to women’s existence. By being broken, she is beautiful, and unbreaking makes her not so. Triumph makes women ugly. It makes them less palatable. So what I guess Im saying here is more ugly women, please.
Also men are broken down and built back up for their own stories, where they overcome their own hubris or youth or mistakes and become stronger and better heroes, while women are broken down often for men’s stories. They have to fall so men can help them get back up, so they learn to trust a man, or love a man, or learn that they don’t need to scorn men’s help, and their story then becomes about the man in their life, and how they needed to learn how to lean on him, or needed him to heal them.
female characters should be like the heads of the dreaded hydra. if you take one away, seven more must come back in her place.
That would be so great because there are a lot of series where that would mean tons and tons of women keep showing up. >_> (Well, ideally you shouldn’t take any female characters away at all, but this would be a fun consequence.)
white people: don’t blame us for our ancestors! i’m not responsible for those white people or what they did just because we’re the same color!
same white people: look at all these inventions you poc wouldn’t have without white people! i didn’t invent any of it but i’ma take responsibility for these ancestors just based on being the same skin color!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Also that they’ll always point back to their ancestors for justification as to why it’s okay that PoCs are treated differently than them, or why they deserve any privileges they get. Like, “well my family’s been here 7 generations, we contributed to this country and because of them I earned my place here” or “my grandparents/great grand parents/etc worked hard to give their children a leg up”, etc… so apparently the past does matter… sometimes.
These white people are fully capable of understanding how the past flows into the future, and how the treatment/actions of past generations affect the outcome of future generations, but they only want to acknowledge it if it’s about the good stuff their ancestors did or if it’s about justifying their place in the world.
As I promised ami-angelwings, here’s my plush penguin collection (+ their three owl friends). Sending you all the penguin love, Ami!
There are some other penguin items I forgot to or couldn’t put there (and quite a few non-penguin plushies other than owls), but this is the core of my disturbingly big stack of penguin merch at the moment :D
I thought it was very fitting to put up because of a lot of discussions that go on on tumblr from privileged groups complaining that they get criticized for speaking for marginalized groups, or being told to step aside and not take a leadership role. The essay talks about how the author had to unpack his own prejudices and need for control before he could help out, and understand that his intentions don’t prevent his actions from causing harm. I specifically wanted to note pages 2 and 3 and this passage:
"I wanted to be one of the good guys. I wanted to say what battering is about and who does it. I wanted to say what working on sexism looks like. I wanted to say what racism is and what to do about it. I wanted to be the one to say when homeless people, gays, people of color, and most especially women go too far in their self-expression. I wanted to define fair and just. I wanted to say what is appropriate and when. I wanted to say what is sexual and sexy. I wanted to say what no means. I wanted to say what is provocative or erotic for women. I wanted to say whether this sense of entitlement propagates and condones a rape culture. Last, if questioned, I wanted to deny this need for control."
I think a lot of “allies” that get called out, or who complain that they feel restricted in what they can say to who, should read this and think about how they act and why it’s so important to them that they get to define what causes harm to the marginalized group. Part of privilege is that you get situated as being the default and “objective” viewer, and that marginalized people are situated as being too close to the situation, irrational, too extreme, etc and needing your guidance and leadership. If you enact that relationship, or attempt to, you’re only contributing to the problem that you are trying to be an ally in tackling.
It’s amazing how my anxiety can just float around for a few days and be easily brushed off, looking for something to latch onto, and then once it finds it, it just bashes me over the head over and over again until it’s all I can think about. :(