Don’t use people’s trauma for your political gain sounds like a good idea in principle. But if sociopolitical discourse is to argue for the betterment of the world, it’s hard to shine a light on what’s wrong with the world without bringing up real victims of trauma and tragedies.
Both sides of the aisle do it, and both sides shame their opponents for supposedly exploiting people’s painful moments for cheap political points. What’s the difference?
If you prefer to raise awareness of cases that prop up your a priori preferred political cause, I can’t blame you. But here are some signs you’re not doing so altruistically:
- You’re using a victim/survivor’s story to advocate for a solution that the individual clearly wouldn’t support.
- You’re calling people insensitive of the victims for not supporting your preferred solution, even though the group you’re speaking for wouldn’t unanimously agree.
- You wouldn’t be affected by the issue, but you’d benefit from the proposed solution.
- You’re grossly simplifying the issue to have a clear “hero” and “villain” — this reflects badly on the hero’s cause when it’s discovered that the so-called “villain” was portrayed unfairly.
That sounds an awful lot like the playbook for radical feminist critics of prostitution.