On Being an Ally
I don’t think of myself as an ally. You shouldn’t think of me as an ally, either. You might start to rely on me, and find that when you need it I’m not there for you because I have problems of my own and nobody to depend on but myself.
There are reasons for this. The simplest one is that I don’t have much use for other people most of the time. People tend to leave me alone unless they want something from me, and I’ve come to value my solitude.
As such, I don’t get fussed over left-wing political correctness because most of what leftists demand is so trivial that it isn’t worth disputing. It’s easier, and therefore more sensible, to simply give people what they want so that they’ll go away.
- A trans woman wants to use a female name and be addressed with female pronouns? OK.
- A trans man wants to use a male name and be addressed with male pronouns? OK.
- A non-binary person wants to be addressed with the singular they? OK.
- Members of minority groups find certain terms offensive because it reminds them of oppression their ancestors suffered? OK.
- Women don’t like to read books with all male casts or books where violence against women is used to motivate male characters? OK.
- People of color don’t like to read books with all white casts? OK.
- LGBT people want to see themselves represented in books? OK.
- People from marginalized cultures don’t want their cultures misused? OK.
None of these requests seem unreasonable to me. Why should I refuse them? Giving these people what they seem to need costs me next to nothing, but apparently makes their lives better and easier – so why shouldn’t I do it?
Remember, I prefer to ignore people unless they can do something for me. It’s harder for me to ignore people if they’re hassling me. If I can stop them from hassling me by treating them a certain way, and treating them that way doesn’t really cost me anything, then I’d be an idiot not to do so.
Altruism doesn’t enter into it. I’m not a good person, or a kind one. Instead, I tend to think of myself as a low-level recurring villain from 1980s Caturday morning cartoons. Any trouble I might cause for the good guys is more out of selfishness than genuine malice. But when a real scumbag enters the picture, I’m willing to team up with the good guys against the worse guy.
Why? It’s not necessarily for their sake, especially if they’ve hassled me recently. However, I’m not a complete idiot. I know a long-term threat to my own well-being when I see one. So I do what I can, when and how it suits me.
After all, Sinclair Lewis turned out to be right. The fascists are here, wrapped in the flag and humping the Bible. If I don’t speak up for their current targets, who’s going to speak up for me?