No, We Don’t Want Your Apologies (AKA You are not a very good ally if…)

Ugh, another day, another round of self-described allies fucking the fuck up.  So, with the help of my awesome buddies on my Facebook page, I gathered a pretty nice list of things you should be looking out from.

You are not a very good ally if…

  1. Your allyship is only valid if my tone is pleasing and I never challenge you.  Guess what, genius? You’re going to fuck up, and THAT’S when rubber hits the road. Will you cop to your mistake, maybe think about it, maybe try not to make that mistake again?  Or will you double and triple and quadruple down and insist that these same people who you believe to be supporting are wrong?
  2. If you feel the need ‘apologize’ for having privilege, but only when challenged. Your apologies don’t help shit when they’re about shit you can’t help.  I don’t need you to apologize for being white, or straight, or a man, I need you to take your privilege and do fucking better. Don’t you make this shit about you.
  3. You feel the need to overapologize (i.e. if you’ve accidentally misgender someone). Yup, you fucked up.  And you realize that and are apologizing.  That’s great. If you’re forgiven, you can stop.  Really.  I’m serious.  Now you’re making THIS shit about you.  Stop it.
  4. If you feel the need to play “devil’s advocate”.  No. Stop. The devil doesn’t need an advocate. Your argument is more than like already known and has been dragged out and debunked so many times those you ally yourself with are probably sick and fucking tired of entertaining it. And if you really don’t mean the view you’re sharing, why fucking bother saying it?
  5. You feel that calling yourself an “ally” gives you a free pass to use problematic language (in an attempt to ‘take back’ words that never applied to you). I don’t care how many marches you’ve attended, how many black people you’ve follow on Twitter, of if you are a card carrying member of the NAACP, you DO NOT get ‘nigger’ privilege. That is not your word anymore. Same with ‘fag’, same with ‘tranny’, same with ‘bitch’.
  6. You feel that calling yourself an “ally” gives you a free pass to be a bigot in other ways (the “Mann Colter” jokes, calling Sarah Palin a bitch, calling S.E. Cupp a whore, etc). You’re not helping.  If bigotry is wrong on their side, it’s wrong on ours. Besides, there are far more better non bigoted insults you can use for these examples, based on the sort of people they are and their shitass opinions. “Har, har, you’re a woman/not a woman” is fucking hacky.  Stop it.
  7. You feel that being called out for fucking up is exactly the same as being harassed/abused/”lynched”/”witch hunted”/etc.  Unless there’s someone dragging you out of your house to tie you to a stake/put a noose around your neck at this very moment, you are not being lynched, nor are you being the subject of a witch hunt.  Using such language, especially since you have never been a historic victim of these crimes, makes you sound ignorant as fuck.
  8. You believe that your experience of being an ally gives you a more ‘neutral’ position on issues important to those you say you’re allied with. Don’t even try it.  You can’t be neutral on a moving train, and boy oh boy is social justice several moving trains.  Pick a fucking side and start supporting it, or get out of the way and shut up.  I have no interest in listening to people who refuse to pick a side.  Your opinions aren’t nearly as well thought out as you think they are.  Either you believe that I deserve civil rights or not.  Either you believe that I deserve bodily autonomy or you don’t. Either you believe that folks on the queer spectrum ought to be treated fairly by the law or you don’t.  Either you believe that transfolks deserve to live without harassment and/or murder and/or discrimination or you fucking don’t. Either you believe that rape culture is a thing or you don’t. Either you believe that traditional gender roles are a shit deal for everyone on the gender roles, OR YOU DON’T.

There, I hope that makes it clear enough for everyone now.

No, We Don’t Want Your Apologies (AKA You are not a very good ally if…)
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7 thoughts on “No, We Don’t Want Your Apologies (AKA You are not a very good ally if…)

  1. 1

    Thanks for writing this. Even the bestest allies ever will fuck up—it’s just the insidious nature of privilege that we’re blinded by it. But what we do when we are called on it is EVERYTHING.

  2. 2

    Unfortunately, I suffer from two of these: apologizing for being a straight, white, cis-gendered, able-bodied male (hence “I hate straight, white, cis-gendered, able-bodied men”… I get to poke fun at my privileges without apologizing), and over-apologizing. That last one is a product of growing up both Catholic and Jewish, which means that it’s not blood, but guilt that runs through my veins. 😀

    I’ve managed to stop apologizing for being privileged, if only because it’s much more fun, not too mention actually funny, to poke fun at privilege. I’m working on the over-apologizing thing, because… you know… I’m not actually trying to make it about me, I’m just letting guilt control me… but over-apologizing does indeed make it about me regardless of my intent, and that, as you well note, is bad.

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