call out culture

The rules about responding to call outs aren’t working

Privileged people rarely take the voices of marginalized people seriously. Social justices spaces attempt to fix this with rules about how to respond to when marginalized people tell you that you’ve done something wrong. Like most formal descriptions of social skills, the rules don’t quite match reality. This is causing some problems that I think we could fix with a more honest conversation about how to respond to criticism.

The formal social justice rules say something like this:

  • You should listen to marginalized people.
  • When a marginalized person calls you out, don’t argue.
  • Believe them, apologize, and don’t do it again.
  • When you see others doing what you were called out for doing, call them out.

Those rules are a good approximation of some things, but they don’t actually work. It is impossible to follow them literally, in part because:

  • Marginalized people are not a monolith. 
  • Marginalized people have the same range of opinions as privileged people.
  • When two marginalized people tell you logically incompatible things, it is impossible to act on both sets of instructions.
  • For instance, some women believe that abortion is a human right foundational human right for women. Some women believe that abortion is murder and an attack on women and girls.
  • “Listen to women” doesn’t tell you who to believe, what policy to support, or how to talk about abortion. 
  • For instance, some women believe that religious rules about clothing liberate women from sexual objectification, other women believe that religious rules about clothing sexually objectify women. 
  • “Listen to women” doesn’t tell you what to believe about modesty rules. 
  • Narrowing it to “listen to women of minority faiths” doesn’t help, because women disagree about this within every faith.
  • When “listen to marginalized people” means “adopt a particular position”, marginalized people are treated as rhetorical props rather than real people.
  • Objectifying marginalized people does not create justice.

Since the rule is literally impossible to follow, no one is actually succeeding at following it. What usually ends up happening when people try is that:

  • One opinion gets lifted up as “the position of marginalized people” 
  • Agreeing with that opinion is called “listen to marginalized people”
  • Disagreeing with that opinion is called “talking over marginalized people”
  • Marginalized people who disagree with that opinion are called out by privileged people for “talking over marginalized people”.
  • This results in a lot of fights over who is the true voice of the marginalized people.
  • We need an approach that is more conducive to real listening and learning.

This version of the rule also leaves us open to sabotage:

  • There are a lot of people who don’t want us to be able to talk to each other and build effective coalitions.
  • Some of them are using the language of call-outs to undermine everyone who emerges as an effective progressive leader. 
  • They say that they are marginalized people, and make up lies about leaders.
  • Or they say things that are technically true, but taken out of context in deliberately misleading ways.
  • The rules about shutting up and listening to marginalized people make it very difficult to contradict these lies and distortions. 
  • (Sometimes they really are members of the marginalized groups they claim to speak for. Sometimes they’re outright lying about who they are).
  • (For instance, Russian intelligence agents have used social media to pretend to be marginalized Americans and spread lies about Hillary Clinton.)

The formal rule is also easily exploited by abusive people, along these lines:

  • An abusive person convinces their victim that they are the voice of marginalized people.
  • The abuser uses the rules about “when people tell you that you’re being oppressive, don’t argue” to control the victim.
  • Whenever the victim tries to stand up for themself, the abuser tells the victim that they’re being oppressive.
  • That can be a powerfully effective way to make victims in our communities feel that they have no right to resist abuse. 
  • This can also prevent victims from getting support in basic ways.
  • Abusers can send victims into depression spirals by convincing them that everything that brings them pleasure is oppressive and immoral. 
  • The abuser may also isolate the victim by telling them that it would be oppressive for them to spend time with their friends and family, try to access victim services, or call the police. 
  • The abuser may also separate the victim from their community and natural allies by spreading baseless rumors about their supposed oppressive behavior. (Or threatening to do so).
  • When there are rules against questioning call outs, there are also implicit rules against taking the side of a victim when the abuser uses the language of calling out.
  • Rules that say some people should unconditionally defer to others are always dangerous.

The rule also lacks intersectionality:

  • No one experiences every form of oppression or every form of privilege.
  • Call-outs often involve people who are marginalized in different ways. 
  • Often, both sides in the conflict have a point.
  • For instance, black men have male privilege and white women have white privilege.
  • If a white woman calls a black man out for sexism and he responds by calling her out for racism (or vice versa), “listened to marginalized people” isn’t a very helpful rule because they’re both marginalized.
  • These conversations tend to degenerate into an argument about which form of marginalization is most significant.
  • This prevents people involved from actually listening to each other.
  • In conflicts like this, it’s often the case that both sides have a legitimate point. (In ways that are often not immediately obvious.)
  • We need to be able to work through these conflicts without expecting simplistic rules to resolve them in advance.

This rule also tends to prevent groups centered around one form of marginalized from coming to engage with other forms of marginalization:

  • For instance, in some spaces, racism and sexism are known to be issues, but ableism is not.
  • (This can occur in any combination. Eg: There are also spaces that get ableism and sexism but not racism, and spaces that get economic justice and racism but not antisemitism, or any number of other things.)
  • When disabled people raise the issue of ableism in any context (social justice or otherwise), they’re likely to be shouted down and told that it’s not important.
  • In social justice spaces, this shouting down is often done in the name of “listening to marginalized people”.
  • For instance, disabled people may be told ‘you need to listen to marginalized people and de-center your issues’, carrying the implication that ableism is less important than other forms of oppression.
  • (This happens to *every* marginalized group in some context or other.)
  • If we want real intersectional solidarity, we need to have space for ongoing conflicts that are not simple to resolve.

Tl;dr “Shut up and listen to marginalized people” isn’t quite the right rule, because it objectifies marginalized people, leaves us open to sabotage, enables abuse, and prevents us from working through conflicts in a substantive way. We need to do better by each other, and start listening for real.

How to deal with being called out
  1. Don’t tone police. It is NOT your right to dictate how someone should react to their oppression.
  2. Don’t demand a detailed explanation. You’re basically asking the person to justify their call out. It’s exhausting, many resources are available, and often this is just a way to try and derail, start an argument, or discredit the other person.
  3. Don’t get defensive. A call out is not all about you as a person.
  4. Don’t take it personally. Calling out is not a personal attack. If someone calls you out, they’re trying to teach you something. Calling out is a way for people to educate others on how systems of oppression operate on a day to day, individual level.
  5. Don’t attack the person who’s calling you out. That’s just fucked up.
  6. Don’t assume the person calling you out is just “looking to get offended”. Nobody enjoys calling other people out. To call someone out, people often have to mentally prepare for serious repercussions. Calling someone out might mean starting an argument, during which many people will side with the oppressor by default (especially if you’re privileged over the person calling you out).
  7. Understand that being oppressive is not the same as being offensive or hurting feelings. The damage you’re perpetuating is part of a larger system of oppression.
  8. Realize that your intent is irrelevant when it comes to whether you were oppressive or not.
  9. Recognize the power dynamics that are in place between you and the person calling you out.
  10. Understand intersectionality. IE: Just because you are oppressed by classism, doesn’t mean you lack male privilege.
  11. Know that being privileged means being oppressive, but you can work to reduce the ways that you are oppressive.
  12. LISTEN.
  13. Genuinely apologize.
  14. Work on oppression reduction and being the best ally you can be. The point of calling you out is to draw your attention to how you’re being oppressive, so that you can work to change it. If you made an oppressive joke, there’s probably oppressive thoughts in place (conscious or not) that led you to think the joke was appropriate. Everyone has to unlearn the oppressive things they’ve absorbed from an oppressive society. We are all taught ways to keep marginalized people in their place, but the good thing is that we can identify these things in ourselves and change. And then we can start working on dismantling the kyriarchy, yeah!


We need to be as good at lifting up as we are at calling out

In advocacy/activist space, we’ve gotten really good at noticing and naming oppression. We’ve gotten really good at criticizing the things that people are doing wrong, and demanding change. We’re also good at noticing organizations and people who shouldn’t be supported, and explaining why people shouldn’t support them.

This is important — and it’s not enough. We need to be equally good at noticing and naming things that *are* worth supporting. We need to be equally good at noticing what people are doing well, describing why their approach is good, and finding ways to support it. Calling out isn’t enough. We need to seek out things to lift up.

When we focus exclusively on finding things to call out, we send the implicit message that nothing good anyone is doing is worthy of our attention. But none of the work of building a better world happens by itself. It depends on the people who are putting the effort into doing the work. When we ignore the value of the work people are doing, we both harm those people and the work itself.

The work is hard, exhausting, and vital. It’s also often thankless — because we’re not acknowledging it in the way we need to be. Often, doing activism and advocacy means signing up for a life of being paid less than a living wage (or volunteering your very limited time), having your work ignored, and being noticed by your community only when people are angry at you.

This is particularly common when the work is done by marginalized people. Our culture socializes us to ignore the work that women and other marginalized groups do, except when we find reason to criticize it. This dynamic carries over into activism/advocacy spaces. It’s just as toxic when we do it as when corporations do it.

There’s nothing inevitable about this. We can make it stop. We can pay attention to the work people are doing, and we can show respect to the people doing it. We can describe the worthwhile things people are doing, and talk about why they should be valued. We can seek out ways to support what people are doing, whether that means donating, signal boosting, going out and voting, connecting people to each other, or any number of other things. By getting just as good at support as we are at call outs, we can make the world much better.

Guys call out culture only “sucks” when theres no actual proof of the things they are doing, its things they’ve done 4+ years ago or its over things that dont matter like kin doubles or something

Calling out someone for being a nazi, transphobic, pedophilic ect is not something you should say “sucks” like. Expose those creeps stop trying to shame people for exposing them too.

anonymous asked:

5sos are so fucking problematic. theyre so sexist and homophobic and racist. why do you stan rats? theyre ugly as fuck too so whats in it for you?

You do realize that everyone’s problematic right? Literally everyone. I am, you are, Obama is, Lady Gaga is, Selena Gomez is, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, One Direction, Iggy Azalea, Britney Spears, Chris Brown, etc. EVERYONE.

Call out culture is so fucking toxic these days. Whenever someone does something problematic, you’re SUPPOSED to say ‘hey, what you did was wrong and here’s why it was wrong’ then explain. You don’t say ‘you stupid fucking bitch, you’re such a rat, do you know how —- that was?’. 

They obviously might not see every single one of your messages to them, but least you can do is try, and if many ppl do it, they’ll see it. Whether they continue to do it or not is up to them.

So many people are actually EMBARRASSED to tell others which celebrities they like because of this. A girl DM’ed me a while ago on Twitter and we were having great conversation and we were getting along really well for weeks, then one day I asked her which artists/bands she liked. She listed off a lot, I didn’t like most of them, but I kept my mouth shut. Afterwards she asked me who I liked, and when I told her 5sos, she started making fun of me and them, saying everything you did + ‘theyre ugly talentless assholes who got their fame from 1d’ then she blocked me. Like ???

You also realize that most of those things were years ago right? the homophobic/racist/transphobic/etc things were back in what 2012? 2013? I’m obviously not excusing it, but you know people actually do something called, wait for it, grow up, right? They do a little thing called mature. 

If you’re waiting for an apology for each and every single one of those things I’m praying for you. No one apologizes for every little thing they do wrong. No one. When you accidentally made that sexist joke last week with your friends did you tweet 20 tweets full of apologies? When you made fun of a person’s insecurity jokingly did you post a 5 minute long video of you apologizing? No? Then why do you expect literally every single celebrity to do that?

The most recent problematic thing they did was when Luke and Ashton said that sexist thing and Calum made a sex tape/Pamela Anderson joke in the rs interview (Michael did not say or do anything wrong in that interview). 

They’ve also apologized for a lot of those old things + shown support. (x/ x/ x/ x/ x/ x/ x/ x/ x/ 

You guys also make so much fun of their bodies that they’ve become insecure (x/). That’s problematic you know? You guys can’t be forgiven now :)

If you’re gonna respond to this with ‘whatever they’re still rats’ I’ll just roll my eyes. You’re nothing but a troll at that moment. I don’t know why it’s such a fad to hate certain celebrities these days like, 5sos, Halsey, Demi, etc.

And ‘they’re ugly so what’s in it for you’ really?? Everyone has personal opinions, just because you don’t find someone attractive doesn’t mean you need to make fun of their looks. That’s what makes people insecure.

And what, I can’t like someone because they’re ‘ugly’? You think I buy their albums to listen to their faces?

Moral of the story is, if we were only allowed to stan non-problematic celebrities, there would be no one to stan.

jesus christ, tumblr is so toxic???? you push 3 people into a meat grinder for your monthly supply of hamburgers and suddenly??? ppl tell me to stop??? fucking call out culture needs to stop :/

This is what pisses me off about “who is the wokest call out culture”. 

Evan Rachel Wood decided to take a quote that Kevin Smith said Ben Affleck said. 20 YEARS AGO. and “drag” him.

“Try getting raped in a scene”. is what SHE tweeted out in response.

Reminder. This quote is 20 yrs old. The quote is NOT from Ben Affleck, and even Kevin Smith said he was saying it in jest (to him, not anyone else) when he first read the script for Chasing Amy.

Now, what EXTRA pisses me off about this. Is that Ben Affleck literally a day ago got a humanitarian award for his work in the Congo. Guess what all the articles are about Today?

I repeat, callout culture is gross

It is one thing if you have 1. actual real evidence to prove your claims.

2. The thing you are calling attention to is actually something really serious and a problem

It is another thing if you, I dunno, see a nsfw drawing of Hatsune Miku, a fictional, robotic, visual representation of a voice synthesizer and start harassing the person calling them a pedophile, making callout posts letting everyone know they’re a pedophile, and then really driving the nail in the coffin by calling them as bad as their own abuser.

Yeah!!! THAT’S the kind of call out culture that is disgusting and being praise here on this website.

Any person with a blog, and hey, even a minor (people seem to take their word over adults here) can just make a post, call you a pedophile, call you x-phobic, call you whatever problematic thing they’re protecting people from and people will believe it.

No matter the flaws in their logic, no matter what the actual laws say, no matter if this happened last week or 10 years ago, people will believe it.

They will not fact check, they will not find sources, they will take this as 100% truth and do their best to absolutely ruin your reputation. In fact, they count on people just believing them without a lick of proof.

And what’s worse, is that sometimes they’ll come up with their own version of proof, usually being based their own personal feelings, and not what is actually morally right or acceptable.

There are people on this website that believe shipping a fictional 15-16 year old with an 18 year old is pedophilia. If you honestly believe that, you need to get a reality check. You should NOT be equating a high school relationship to someone’s childhood trauma. That’s sick and disgusting and it’s people like that who begin diminishing the word’s meaning. 

And that goes for anyone falsely accusing petty matters as these serious thing. Putting them into the same category as real, horrible issues.

For example, someone making a drawing of their own character who was given the age of 16 in a somewhat translucent greek-looking dress does not make them a pedophile. But yeah! That’s something that happened! And they’re still called a pedophile to this day! They also drew them aged up, 18 to be exact, in tasteful nudity (so everything was covered up) surrounded by fruit. She aged her up as to not cause issues with her being nude (not even in a nsfw way) but was still called a pedophile. 

These sort of accusations need to stop. Even more so, people need to stop being so mindless and jumping onto the callout bandwagon, wagging their finger because they think they’re standing up for some kind of social justice when all they’re doing is ruining someone’s life because they don’t agree with them morally. 

They don’t use this energy to stop real pedophiles, real racists, real x-phobic people, they’re just highfiving each other in their echo chamber, rewarding themselves with golden star stickers.

This needs to stop. Learn what these terms actually mean. Stop people who are actually causing harm, actually hurting real people, because this is getting you no where. You’re getting the same people thinking the same things while people on the outside start taking this site less and less seriously.

Don’t you dare desensitize people to these problems. There are real people out there breaking the law, hurting real people, causing real trauma. Stop this era of callout culture.

Things Rick Riordan has included in his books:

1 - POC (Frank Zhang, Hazel Levesque, Piper Mclean, Carter/Sadie Kane, Zia Rashid, Samirah al-Abbas, etc.)

2 - Continued calling out of rape culture & misogyny

3 - Racial profiling and how it affects people

4 - Genderfluid/trans representation

5 - Gay representation

6 - Bi representation

7 - Arguably, pan representation

8 - The way homeless people are treated by society

9 - Religious people that are open-minded and respect others beliefs

10 - Atheists that respect others beliefs and don’t hate on religion for no apparent reason

11 - Said religious people and atheists being friends

12 - Erasure of biracial people and their identity

13 -  Biracial people not always looking like the caramel skin, green eyes etc. stereotype

14 - Cop violence

15 - Deaf representation (Hearthstone)

16 - actual gay couples instead of just token characters?

17 - kids with ADHD

18 - kids with dyslexia 

19 - the continued refusal to accept the “beauty or brains” nonsense

20 - Arguably, he calls out internalized misogyny

21 - the idea that arranged marriages are not always detrimental or unloving

22 - muslim representation

basically you should love rick riordan and read everything that he writes

feel free to add to this list

Call-out culture and the fallacy of community accountability creates a disciplinary atmosphere in which people must adhere to a specific etiquette. Spaces then become accessible only to those who are familiar with, and able to express themselves with the proper language and adhere to the dominant customs. Participation in the discourse which shapes and directs this language and customs is mostly up to those who are able to spend too much time debating on activist blogs, or who are academics or professionals well versed in the dialect. As mentioned previously, the containment of radical discourse to the university further insulates the “activist bubble” and subcultural ghetto.

In addition to creating spaces that are alienating to those outside of our milieu, anti-oppression discourse, call-out culture, and the related “communities” leads activists to perceive themselves as an “enlightened” section of the class (largely composed of academics, students, professionals, etc. who have worked on their shit and checked their privilege) who are tasked with acting as missionaries to the ignorant and unclean masses. This anarchist separatist orientation is problematic for any who believe in the possibility of mass liberatory social movements that are capable of actually transforming society…

The retreat to subcultural bohemian enclaves and activist bubbles acknowledges that revolutionary change is impossible, and as a substitute offers a counterfeit new society in the here and now. We understand that such a proposition is appealing given the day-to-day indignity and suffering that is life under our current conditions, but time and time again we have seen these experiments implode on themselves. Capitalism simply does not offer a way out and we must face this reality as the rest of the class that we are a part of faces it everyday. No amount of call-outs or privilege checking will make us into individuals untainted by the violent social relationships that permeate our reality.

—  With Allies Like These: Reflections on Privilege Reductionism, Common Cause Ottawa

George R.R. Martin for Time Magazine, July 13th, 2017

TIME: Your female characters stick out for their strength and complexity, but their treatment at the hands of male characters, often becoming victims of sexual violence, has raised umbrage over the years. Has that reaction surprised you?

GRRM: Yes, it has, actually. And I take issue with some of it. I don’t think the criticisms are true or apt. I know everyone has a right to their own opinion but… whatever. I’m writing a war story, essentially — the Wars of the Roses. The Hundred Years’ War. They have “war” right in the title of each of my inspirations here. And when I read history books, rape is a part of all these wars. There’s never been a war where it wasn’t, and that includes wars that are going on today. It just seems to me that there’s something fundamentally dishonest if you write a war story and you leave that out.


I feel very frustrated when GRRM attributes all of the sexual violence in the books to war, because there are so many examples in the books of sexual violence that wasn’t the result of a war. 

There was no war happening in Westeros when Tysha was gang raped. Cersei was raped by her own abusive husband, Robert. Tyrion raped Sunset Girl in a brothel, not on a battlefield. Rhaella was raped by her own husband, while under the “protection” of the Kingsguard. Drogo didn’t rape Dany on their wedding night, but he raped her on the nights that followed (and it’s really weird to me how GRRM never addresses this, and by “weird” I mean “not weird at all”). Donella Hornwood and Jeyne Poole were raped by Ramsay. There are more. And that’s just the women; let’s talk about Tyrion and Theon and Petyr.

Here’s a list of rapes in the books, and a lot of them don’t occur as a result of war. Just going by the numbers, the books have a higher rape count than the show. 

I would really like an interviewer to bring this up. GRRM’s been asked this question before and he gives this same answer, but no one ever asks the follow up question, “What about all the rapes in the books that can’t be explained by war?”

What about Tysha, George? We hear about her gang rape in book 1, but you didn’t even bother to give her a name until book 2. What about that, George?

Where are the journalists asking these questions?


@dransnake @theartsyskeleton, @meeperspeeperslovecandy @collaberal-damage @steeredbag302 @aj-arianejean @awkwardespionage @bye-onara, @effyeah-markiplier, @gavinfreeinplacesheshouldntbe @heya-creates-art @isaiahjonesfurryartist @jazzysatindoll @live4love136 @meltingangels @nothingbuttrash @otabots @wilyart @zefluffybro and @everyone

You’re all beautiful and talented and I hope you do well.

Okay yeah there are shitty people using “callout culture is bad” posts to try to defend themselves or justify their shitty actions and that’s no good at all and we need to be on the lookout for these people and be aware of them, because there ARE people on tumblr that others need to be aware of because they are genuinely dangerous awful people, and they need to be called out for others’ safety. my abuser just recently reblogged a post about it and i side eyed the fuck out of it

BUT? that doesn’t mean?? that the way tumblr calls people out and the system behind it isn’t still extremely fucked up and harmful?? like I’m now seeing people turn this whole thing on its head and using these people as proof for why the concept of “callout culture” being bad is wrong and that isn’t true

“callout culture” on tumblr is absolutely dripping in ableism & abusive behavior. it frequently targets minors for doing things that, while shitty, are easy as fuck to talk to them about personally or even just ignore because hey that person is 13 and you don’t need to collect 50 receipts of a child saying CHILDISH things to drag their name through the mud when they’re barely out of middle school. It targets mentally ill ppl for saying and doing things that they cannot control + oftentimes even apologize for and warn others of in advance, such as saying shitty things due to a panic attack or impulsivity. Also, collecting receipts that are from years ago (”they never apologized” doesn’t matter when it happened literally 3-4 years ago… ppl can change and acknowledge they used to have shitty opinions or do shitty things without recognizing every single mistake they’ve ever made beforehand,,)

plus you have to admit, a lot of the time callout posts are made solely because a user has some personal problem with the other user and is intentionally trying to ruin their reputation out of spite (which is a sign of abuse btw) and/or make callout posts for users simply because the user is popular & and they want to get Social Justice Points when the stuff they are calling out could easily have been resolved by like.. telling the user that what they said or did was wrong…

like.. there are awful people who are piggybacking on this trend of calling out the flaws of “callout culture” to try to justify their bad behavior and get a free pass to do bad things without having to face consequences for their actions, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t real actual problems that we need to continue addressing and trying to change

anonymous asked:

are you against the bex discourse?

i am against call out culture, especially on this damn website.

i don’t care if you “didn’t tell people to go harass someone” or “its a public website i can talk about ppl and the things they’ve done if i wan’t”. call outs are literally the same thing as painting a big red target on someone’s back so people know where to fire if they so choose. and usually, they do choose. and if you know this website, you know the kind of mentality it has and the type of people who use it. you should know better. you are inviting trouble into your blogging experience when you point others in the direction they need to hurt someone.

be aware. be smart. know that when you single someone out in front of an audience, especially if it is a large audience, the situation will no longer be in your control because you invited others into the situation.

and if you think, at all, that going after somebody because you think that because someone made a call out, or tagged a person in a post, or responded to a person rudely, or whatever is your green light to go out of your way to say harmful things to someone, attack them, harass them, suicide bait them, or worse…

unfollow me right now. this behavior is not welcome here. it is immature and downright dangerous and will not be rewarded with any welcoming open arms from me. the same thing goes for call out posts, especially the ones that directly tag someone so that person can see they are being targeted. 

if you have an issue with someone, message them privately and talk to them about it. do not invite other people into you and someone else’s conflict. the situation will then leave the realm of your control once others get involved and will only end with disastrous results.