How to be a Good Ally


Listen and Learn

Seriously…

This is… like… the easiest thing in the world to do.

Don’t assume you know better than a minority about their experiences. Don’t assume you understand what it’s like to be a minority.

Just shut up, listen, and learn.

Why is this so hard? Could you tell me, JT Eberhard?

I don’t understand why this is something you seem to be having an issue with. You are a straight, white, cis-gendered, able-bodied male. I don’t bring that up to be a bigot towards you. I’m exactly the same: I’m a straight, white, cis-gendered, able-bodied male, as well. That makes both of us extremely privileged in this society. We’re both straight, and that’s a privilege. We’re both cis-gendered (and happy with it… I’m assuming), and that’s a privilege. We’re both able-bodied, and that’s a privilege. We’re both men, and that is also a privilege (sorry, MRAs, but it is).

And yes, there are ways in which you and I are both under-privileged. For example… you and I are both atheists… and that’s a pretty shitty lot in this society, as you well know. There are other, more personal, ways in which you and I are both under-privileged, but highlighting them does not serve my post. One of those ways is something you’ve combated publically and that is why I, for one, have read you for so damn long, because you public battle is so damn inspirational… still.

So I get what it’s like to be under-privileged. And so do you. But we both also know what it’s like to be privileged, because we are. Privilege is part of our make-up, whether you like it or not. And when it comes to trying to help out those who are under-privileged by¬†not being white, and/or cis-gendered, and/or straight, and/or able-bodied, and/or male, the absolute best thing you can do is shut up, listen, and learn. It really is that simple.

So you really should already know this, JT. You should already know the do’s and don’t of being an ally.

And yet you have established a pattern of not knowing any of it… or, potentially, not caring about any of it.

And now… well, now you are losing friends and allies. People are mad at you. And it really is time you stepped back and tried to understand why.

Because you are being a bad ally. If you want to continue being an ally, then you really need to think very hard about what to say or do next… because it will make or break you as an ally.

And if you think that’s too hard, well… that’s not good. Because it’s actually very easy. If I can come from a background of being a Nice Guy and closet MRA to where I am now, trying my best to be the kind of ally who listens and learns, then it should be as easy as 1 + 1 for you. So I’m not understanding why you find it so hard.

About Nathan Hevenstone

All this is stream-of-consciousness. See my "About" page to find our more about me...
This entry was posted in Activism, Bigotry, Bullying, Feminism, Misogyny, Racism and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to How to be a Good Ally

  1. Tell it true! And the way your were a Nice Guy and a shitty person, JT is so worried about being “World’s Greatest Ally” that he’s only really out to help himself… and it is becoming clear that helping himself has been the one constant throughout his years of claiming to be an ally.

Did you read the post and all the comments?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s