Wednesday, November 12, 2014

"ally" is only another word for "other"

In the '60s and '70s, people didn't talk about allies. We talked about comrades, friends, and brothers and sisters. Since then, the identitarian left has subdivided humanity to the point that some identitarian feminists insist men can't be feminists, but only "feminist allies". I'm pleased to see some reconsideration of "ally" occurring. From kadkadua | From the Beloved Country:
In recent work, I have used the word kadkadua, which is the Ilocano word for comrade and while the word comrade is a loaded word for some, I find myself thinking that it is a more human word than ally.

Where allyship is connected to causes, comradeship (in the sense of kadkadua) means companionship. In the literal translations for comrade, we see the words mate and friend connected, and to me this makes a world of difference.

In fact, if I think of what kadkadua means to me, it means someone who I consider to be the same as myself.
It reminds me of Malcolm X's take on titles. From his interview with Bernice Bass:
MALCOLM X: I never accept the term "honorable. 
BASS: That's a beautiful title. 
MALCOLM X: Well, I'll tell you. Most people I've seen really end up misusing it, and I'd rather just be your Brother Malcolm.