“ They are not concerned with checking their privilege. No. They are busy trying to survive.”
absolutely. and it’s just not right to insist that someone spend extra energy learning about and understanding privilege and marginalisation when the first priority needs to be survival.
“ But what myself and many others are seeing is the shutting off of dialogue entirely, for the purpose of “safety”. What could possibly be safe about censorship?”
total censorship is not okay and is dangerous. most of the activists i know are more of the opinion that while certain words and ideas should just not be said, we have no right to demand that people stop using them. however, we can still say “this is my/our space, and those words/ideas are not okay in this space”. that does not infringe on free speech in any way at all, but does mean that activists using that space are not having to constantly deal with the same cruel ignorance.
and i want to emphasize — i am talking about people who go into such spaces because they want to make a fuss. i’m talking about the people who join a feminist space just to say “well then you women have to let men hit you” and similar.
sometimes people who genuinely want to learn and change do get the short end of the deal in activist spaces. which is understandably frustrating and painful. but like you said — pain and discomfort are part of the territory of activisim, and someone who genuinely wants to learn does have other resources available to them.
“ stop with the safe spaces and trigger warnings, and get serious about changing the world.”
this is where i disagree. safer spaces and trigger warnings are an accessibility requirement. doing away with them means, at the very least, making a clear statement that people with mental illness — especially those with PTSD — are not welcome. the world is not safe, and not every activist space will be safe. but safer spaces somewhere are still necessary. knowing that i can log into the activist groups i am in and that anything to do with rape, abuse and violence will have a trigger warning means that i can participate. and it’s not about discomfort. it’s about giving people like me the chance to scroll past things that may make us lose hours or days to flashbacks, dissociation, panic attacks, and other things associated with mental illness.