Critiquing how people abuse power, busting open the myths that keep certain folks in a cycle of violence by the state or individuals, and making specific requests of bystanders (like stop applauding a man who just admitted to abusing his partner because that is not helpful) is NOT infighting or “stirring shit” or silencing you or calling someone out.
Even though in any conversation with or about a person who has abused power, I may center the needs and desires of the person who was harmed, that is NOT the same thing as believing that a person who did a shitty thing is inherently disposable. It is simply a recognition that the person who did abuse power had their needs and desires centered in their calculation of the equation for a long time, and now, I am re-orienting the frame. That is part of how we restore justice.
So when moments like this arise, and someone (or multiple people) tells me that this isn’t comfortable or that I’m sowing divisions, or contributing to infighting, the content of the conversation about power, behavior, consent, and intimacy is sidelined, derailed, and dumbed down.
You aren’t just defending an individual in these debates. And you are not defending men as a whole. You are defending this behavior. You are fighting for its continuation, and the continuation of the harm that it does to countless w…