i've recently been prompted to again think about the dynamics of, as it were 'allyship'.

When someone seeks to be an ally of a particular (not necessarily strictly numeric) minority, that person is faced with the issue of which strand of politics within that minority community they should pay the most attention to. And in my experience, what can often happen is that the person in question ends up siding with those in the community who spew the most venom.

One example is my experiences of men who have described themselves as "pro-feminist", who more often than not seem to ally themselves with what i consider to be the more problematic strands of 'radical' feminism: those strands which are transphobic and whorephobic. i know there are many women who, like myself, have had the fun of - either literally or figuratively - being shouted down by a cisgendered man when we put forward political positions that don't fit 'radical' feminist orthodoxy. In other words, women getting lectured by a cis male on what consititutes women's liberation and 'real' feminism!

These unpleasant experiences have encouraged me to ponder the political development of allies. i can't help but wonder if the sort of political choices described above stem from the fact that allies, by virtue of not being part of the minority they wish to be an ally of, aren't in a position from which they can easily determine the 'correct' political choice. Thus, in order to be a "good ally", they seek to abandon all positions which can be claimed to be a manifestation of (again, not necessarily strictly numeric) majority privilege; and they therefore ally themselves with those strands that place a strong emphasis on ideological purity - and which, consequently, regularly engage in witch-hunts.

Myself, my support for a particular strand of political thought tends to be inversely related to the propensity of that strand to engage in witch-hunts. When that strand seems to me to spend more time on witch-hunts than anything else, it becomes something i want to avoid supporting.


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