Bear with me here, I don’t really know where this post is going. I read this article today on Jezebel and found it interesting:
Part of being a good ally is admitting that you fuck up and apologising appropriately. Allies don’t deserve cookies for this it is part of simply not being an asshole, but at the same time I don’t believe that allies should be harassed and demonised for these fuck ups when they have apologised, not a stupid apology either but a proper one that refers to the hurt that she caused.
Often allies fail, and they fail spectacularly and do not realise how their behaviour does not befit someone who claims to be an ally. This is not what happened in this case. Green did not defend her right to use a trans-phobic slur. She accepted that her words caused harm and she apologised for it.
The tactics used against Green mirror the ones used every day to silence women of all kinds who dare have a voice on the internet. Endless insulting, silencing, comments that often contain violent imagery. Filling her inbox with these things along with death threats. I don’t think this is acceptable. As much as Green does not deserve cookies for simply not being an asshole, neither does she deserve the bullying that she has been dealt.
It reeks of trying to dismantle the masters house using the masters tools. The same techniques we decry when used against us we turn against someone who is really one of our own, struggling to do better.
There is a quote from Nietzsche that says:
“Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster.And if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”
This is not to say that I believe that we should stop fighting the evils of injustice, inequality and the myriad of isms that exists, rather that we need to be very careful that we don’t turn into the very things we are fighting against.
Criticisim and anger are of course justified when one has been wrong, and I am not trying to make an argument about tone. What I am trying to argue is that bullying is never justified, violence is not justifiable and death threats are never ever legitimate.
If you are angry at Lee than by all means tell her, and tell what she can do to make reparation for the wrongs she has done, but don’t turn into those trolls who come into our spaces and abuse us in order to silence us, to stop us from doing our work. Don’t use Green as a symbol of all the allies who have disappointed you and use her to vent your vitriol, because really I believe she does deserve better than that. Harassment that comes from within social justice communities is no more acceptable than harassment that comes from without it.