Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Two writers of color on the toxicity of call-out culture, with a reference to Racefail 09

From A Note on Call-Out Culture – Briarpatch Magazine:
What makes call-out culture so toxic is not necessarily its frequency so much as the nature and performance of the call-out itself. Especially in online venues like Twitter and Facebook, calling someone out isn’t just a private interaction between two individuals: it’s a public performance where people can demonstrate their wit or how pure their politics are. Indeed, sometimes it can feel like the performance itself is more significant than the content of the call-out. This is why “calling in” has been proposed as an alternative to calling out: calling in means speaking privately with an individual who has done some wrong, in order to address the behaviour without making a spectacle of the address itself.

In the context of call-out culture, it is easy to forget that the individual we are calling out is a human being....
From Strange Horizons Columns: Movements: Taking Stock: Encouragement and the Antidote to Toxicity, by Rochita Loenen-Ruiz:
Just recently, a young writer wrote me to apologize for making use of my culture without asking for permission.

I sat there looking at the email and my heart broke as I thought of the anxiety that must have preceded the writing of this letter.

I became aware of genre debates soon after RaceFail took place. The discussions at that time made me anxious about the way I approached the culture in which I grew up. Should I write about it? Was it right to write about it? If I wrote about it, would I be commodifying my culture? What if I got it wrong? What if people got angry? What would I do then?