2013-07-02

Why I Don't Always Try to Help Activists

Get over it, assholes. The world doesn't owe you a living. And it sure doesn't owe you any empathy. #1reasonwhy (#asshole is gender-neutral, right?)
Summary of my conversations with activists:
I don't really bother investing time in efforts which don't take definitions seriously. I don't really care how people "feel" about things, most of the time, if they aren't willing to take apart their lives and lay them out on "paper".
So a "friend of a friend" (the host) had added me to a "Tweet-a-thon," event which seemed to involve an on-Twitter discussion about ending violence against women. I posted a "maybe," as my going-status on the Facebook event, and a comment to the effect that "I haven't yet had a successful conversation with feminist activists on Twitter, so I currently pledge my support only ideologically." The host then proceeded to engage in a conversation which I must paraphrase for reasons stated below.
host: well then you have't been to one of our events. We encourage [list of things], and also do [list of things].

me: but I enjoy tearing into definitions...

host: we encourage [list of things], and probably don't have time to go into definitions.

me: QED

host: we are trying to change the world, not go into definitions. you need to have more empathy.

me: I don't really bother investing time in efforts which don't take definitions seriously. I don't really care how people "feel" about things, most of the time, if they aren't willing to take apart their lives and lay them out on "paper".

host: don't be a jerk and mansplainer. Activism is motivated by empathy.

me: I see we are in agreement about my non-involvement ^_^
Following this conversation, I was removed from the event's page, and therefore unable to view the conversation. Then the host proceeded to PM me on FB chat... and this, I can document verbatim.
host:

Jerng:

If you do insist on being confrontational, then I have taken you off the invitation list for the Tweet-a-thon and right now, I don't have time to argue with you about the importance of definitions because I have 3 campaigns running.

Taking apart definitions is the privilege for armchair critics and academics. Those of us fighting for change don't have time to just pull apart and discuss definitions.

We change them or reclaim them through action.
And that is all.

me: I see we are in agreement about my non-involvement

host: You don't have to be a jerk about it.
Or be so proud of yourself re being a jerk about it.

me: How am I being a jerk, when all I have done so far is help us reach an agreement?

host: I invited you because since you are on Twitter, it might be a good way to get you looped into things.


You are being arrogant, a jerk and a mansplainer right now.

me: (thumbs up) and this is usually where i stop trying

host: Because if you can't even see it from the other person's point of view, you are sorely lacking in empathy.

me: (thumbs up) Thanks for telling me about myself. Perhaps one day I will invest time to tell you about yourself. But not today.
It's just sad. :(

Update: a less than fully relevant event.

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