All year long we’ve been doing “Say Something Sundays,” a day dedicated (at least on this blog) to activism. I want to take today to remind you that activism is always an option, but it’s never an obligation.
It’s ok if you see or experience injustice/oppression/bullying and you choose not to do anything. It might be because you don’t feel safe, or you don’t know what to say, or you feel too vulnerable, or you’re too tired, or literally any other reason. You are never obligated to be involved in activism.
You are allowed to respond to oppression and bullying that you experience in any way you choose – you can express your anger, you can be patient and generous and explain, you can do nothing and just move on with your day. You are not obligated to respond in ways that educate the people who are mistreating you, you are not obligated to respond in a way that is most comfortable for your bullies, or most likely (by anyone’s opinion) to lead to any outcome(s).
(I will note that I personally try to use a different standard when dealing with oppression leveled against a group that I’m not a part of, but want to work in solidarity with, because dealing with their oppression is far more exhausting for them than it is for me and so I try to be more patient and offer more explanation.)
If you take any time at all to educate someone and that bully/oppressor who you so generously attempted to assist doesn’t “get it,” that’s not on you, regardless of your tone of voice, level of emotion, or choice of words. (For more on the issues with Tone Policing, check out this great piece by from Everyday Feminism.)
So, while I will always support saying something, I will also always support saying nothing. Because each of us gets to respond to our oppression and bullying in whatever way we see fit, and if we choose activism we also choose the goals and the methods for each interaction.
Like this blog? Here’s more cool stuff:
Like my work? Want to help me keep doing it? Become a Member! For ten bucks a month you can support size diversity activism, help keep the blog ad free, and get deals from size positive businesses as a thank you. Click here for details
Book and Dance Class Sale! I’m on a journey to complete an IRONMAN triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here!
I’m training for an IRONMAN! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com