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Selective Activism

Written by Ravyen Monroe 

My friend and I had a falling out recently –one thing we had in common was the fact that we loved activism. Fighting for others’ (and our) struggles was a big part of our friendship, that’s what drew me into her. You could regularly find us talking about how it’s unfair that women have to be complacent to be respected or how police brutality against African-Americans needs to be put to an end, after our falling out, things changed dramatically.

I became slurs like bitch, a manipulative whore, a fat ass, and so much more. Wait, what?! My friend was a Selective Activist. A selective activist is someone who picks and chooses who gets basic human respect and rights based off their friendship level with that person or how much that person pleases them. For example, Molly calls her transgender friend Becky a tr*anny because they had an argument. Mike thinks his friend Susie is sexually liberated but calls his ex-girlfriend Emily a whore. And I, having be diagnosed with a mental disorder recently, gets called insane after a falling out (crazy, insane, lunatic, etc. are slurs when used against those with mental disorders, in case you didn’t know). I see it happen all the time on Twitter, too. Two popular feminist accounts get into a disagreement, and suddenly they’re both yelling derogatory slurs at each other. While the rest of Twitter is taking sides, there’s a few of us who just sit back and shake our heads at the hypocrisy. I’m one of them.

This isn’t just a case of hurt feelings, either. Two extremely popular Twitter accounts (names omitted) got into it so badly, that a month later one of them ended up in the hospital after a suicide attempt. She proudly advocated for people with MD’s, and she had one herself – but slurs were being thrown her way by an “activist” (and, of course, she released her hound dogs on her) and maybe things just got too hard to handle. I myself ended up in an extremely similar situation after I was chastised by an “activist”, too.

You can’t be an activist but then stop advocating for certain groups when you get mad. You don’t get to pick and choose who is worthy of respect and who gets degraded by terms that have oppressed them for centuries. And you most certainly don’t get to choose based off of your friendship level with the person. That’s not how activism works. That’s not how humane beings act. And that’s not okay.

 I do not have to like every woman, or every Black person, or every lesbian. But I cannot call them derogatory names simply because of my dislike for them. One can insult someone without using slurs – call them traits that they actually are, like liars, cheats, rude, or nasty. But I will not call Becky a fat, ugly, stupid, insane, bitch-whore just because we’re not friends. If you’re only respecting your marginalized friends, but not marginalized people as a whole, then you’re not an activist.

You’re a sick individual who believes they’re a God – someone with the command and power to determine who deserves humane treatment. Your activism should not be a threat – “Stay on my good side, or I’ll call you slurs.” I don’t care how many times we’ve argued, Matthew, The White Race Advocate – I am not suddenly a nigger when you get mad at me. If you meet anybody who says things like “Black Lives Matter” or “Love Wins”, but then inappropriately insults someone they don’t like who’s in those groups, run. Run fast, and run hard, because they will exhaust you mentally with their activism on/off switch. Either advocate for everyone or admit you’re only here for the marginalized people who please and benefit you. We won’t be mad to see you leave this progressive movement.

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