It is a trope that you often see in shows. Someone in the main cast gets a chance to interact with someone who had an impact on their lives. Though up until now they were just a distant thing. Now getting to meet them in real life, they come to find out. They are nothing like the image they had built up in their heads.
But tropes, come from somewhere. In today’s world. I am finding it to be an increasing number of heroes that I once had to be dwindling. People that we looked up to in the community for so long. Often these come from those who have gained a particular amount of status in the community. Who use their status to bully and belittle others, rather than raising them up. So what are we to do?
Calling Out vs. Calling In
With social media making it easier to be in contact with so many people. It also makes it easier to see the bad in people. Something happens online and people are going to react to it. But as Lupe of Lupespace writes:
“Calling in is for the benefit of the person who made the mistake.”“Calling In” Who Is It Really For?
Sometimes a person needs to be held accountable for what they have said. Does calling out put them on the spot? Yes. That is what it is meant to do. It puts them on the spot. Not only holding them accountable to you. But to everyone else who sees that call out. For some, it allows them to actually take stock of what has happened. I have seen real change come from call outs in the past.
What if calling out or in, isn’t an option for you? Raise the voices of those that do. Retweet, Reblog, Share. Agree with their post. Like it so that others will see it. Even if you don’t know what to say, I like the old stand by of ‘This thread is important.’ The more people who see it, the more people they are being held accountable by. Aida Manduley gives even more fantastic information about accountability in this twitter thread.
Ruins and Rubble
So what happens next? Be it a company or the head of said company failing you? Or someone who made serious headways in the community in the past? Well first, sometimes it takes time to process. Sometimes we have to step away in order to take care of ourselves. We blog about our feelings. Or we add another name to our growing blacklist so that everyone can find it. Others continue the fight on social media, not backing down. Using their own privilege in the community when smaller voices are being ignored. Or we find those we can promote. That we know we can trust. Makers, we feel safe promoting. Shops that are ethical. Educators who are going to fight against the very things being called out every day.
When a pedestal breaks, it leaves behind rubble. Things we can look at and see. This is why it broke. We can take those things and build the community up again. We can learn from the experience and make sure it doesn’t happen again. The only way the community will change is if we take the steps needed to change it. This cannot be an ‘It is always going to be this way’ or ‘that’s just how it is.’ If we wouldn’t allow it in our politics, entertainment, or daily lives? Why should we allow it to happen here? The time to make the change is here. We just have to choose how we are going to make it happen.
A Final Note
While I focus heavily on the sex community at large here. These words go for any community. Any fandom. Any group. They are tools and thoughts you can take to make work for anything. Also the sexuality community is a large one that overlaps and so I use it really as a broad term here because we cover so much.
What it breaks down to is. Sometimes things have to fall for us to rebuild and make something better. But the work isn’t heavy if we all are doing it together. We can be the heroes that we wanted others to be for us. Because someone out there is going to see what you are doing. And it is going to make a difference to even one person. It is your turn next.