Lately, I’ve read so many comments and posts about messages (and I too have received messages) that have me fed up with some tumblr users’ sense of entitlement.
1. “You’re a social justice blogger”
If you say this to people who are members of marginalized groups, you are probably wrong. The interests of those belonging to marginalized groups are indeed compatible with social justice, but they are bloggers. If you think that someone is writing for an audience simply because they’re not white, straight cis men, you’re wrong. They are writing about experiences that affect them personally or are relevant to their lived experience. Which brings me to…
2. “What a great learning experience!”
I’ve seen this several times now. Yes, it is great to learn about things that you never have and possibly never can or will experience, but keep it to yourself. By reducing someone else’s pain and suffering to a learning experience, you’re treating them like some sort of sideshow act. You’re profiting from their pain.
Marginalized people have been exploited throughout history in the name of science, learning, or knowledge. Sarah Baartman, the Tuskegee Experiment, and more. I know you think this is an exaggeration, but the only way that this kind of exploitation was found acceptable is because the persons involved were dehumanized and reduced to objects for the sake of learning or entertainment. If you want to learn, don’t ask…
3. “But why won’t you teach me?!”
I know, I know. When you’re privileged you are used to having things handed to you. This flips your world upside down.
The truth is that you and you alone are responsible for your own education. Where do you think you get off demanding that someone else do your grunt work? Do you also email professors and public figures and demand homework help?
You must have such a strong sense of entitlement to expect such favors. I can’t tell you how many times in my life I’ve had people put the burden of educating other people about my own marginalization put squarely on my own shoulders. If you want to learn, I recommend Google, Google Scholar, and your public or school library.
I’m not saying that you can’t ask questions. Anyone who has messaged me knows that I generally do respond. And when thinking of very popular bloggers, many do seem to answer sincere questions, but they are under no obligation to do so. Hell, RacismSchool has an entire blog of well-written posts and resources. If you’re sincere, people might be fine with answering your questions, and they might just be nice, but they don’t have to. They also don’t have to write about what you please, so no demands that we…
4. “Stick to the theme!”
I know it’s hard for some people to envision, but behind their computers, those who post on tumblr are real, live, complex, multidimensional human beings. You may have followed someone for a particular reason, but they likely have other interests, so don’t try and dictate the content of what they post.
I’d like to add an addendum to the “stick to the theme” one:
5. “I used to follow you because you were into X, but now all you blog about is X issues and I feel marginalized!”
I’ve heard this a lot because I’m also into queer rights and teh gayz etc. And a lot of white queer people are messaging me saying, “I thought you were cool because you were gay rights blog but now all you post about is racism which is hilarious because you hate white people and racist yourself.”
Shut the fuck up.
Do not make this a competition.
Do not tell me that your white gay problems are more important than my problems as a queer person AND a POC.
Do not say that the two groups are mutually exclusive.
And do not come whining to me about how I’ve sold out or some shit.
How the fuck can I sell out? Do you think I make money from this? I do not. And if I “stuck to my original intent” I would be a fitblr. I am not joking.
So if you are angry because I am no longer talking about your problems, I am not sorry. I blog about the issues I see and my own personal experiences. That includes experiences as a POC.
And also, ps: messaging me anonymously to tell me that you’re unfollowing me does nothing. Really. You’re essentially too scared to say it to my face, but not scared enough not to feel entitled to try to make me feel bad about losing a follower? Bitch please.
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