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Ally Ship, It’s Not Just a Hashtag!

I’m tired of white women talking over me and trying to tell my story. I don’t care that you got a 98 on your black feminist methodologies class. I don’t care that you are the Teacher’s Assistant for all the women and genders classes in your university. I do not care that you know what the word “intersectional” means.  Do not be so bold to presume you understand my experience as a woman of color in this nation so well that you can speak on behalf of it, you can’t. Here’s a much-needed wake-up call to all you white-cis women claiming “wokeness.” Ally is not a term you can label yourself, it is a term that needs to be given and earned. You get that prestigious title when you realize that your experiences are not universal. You have to not only recognize your privileges but also use them to create platforms for people of color to share their story, not to tell it on our behalf. Don’t hog the microphone women of color work so hard to gain access to in the first place. I understand that there is no perfect ally and I understand that we all have our own privileges that we need to recognize.

 

I am not asking for perfection, far from it, I’m asking for effort and humility. I understand that it is not an easy task to take criticism and to be taught about a community outside of our own, but it is crucial to realize that in order to be a good ally you have to follow the lead of the community you claim to support. This means that if you have to get checked on your passive microaggressions, do not try to pull out all your receipts on the times you marched in a ‘Take Back the Night’ rally. Just be thankful that someone is willing to take time out of their day to educate you.

 

Thank you to all the allies who are trying their best and continue to use their privilege to create an equal playing field. Thank you for all the advocates and activists who have the patience to constantly educate and not humiliate. To the white women who keep talking over me, choose silence, you might learn something.

 

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