on facebook “blackouts”

Image for post
Image for post
I always thought this was a Kate Beaton comic but a search says I was wrong?

Every once in a while, something happens and people send around pleas to change your Facebook profile picture to something blank as a form of protest. I think the last time it was about censorship. Or maybe it was when Trump got elected? This time, it’s to “show what the world would be like without women” as a project against domestic violence.

This seems incredibly counterproductive. Especially when it’s always more marginalized people expected to disappear. Notice it’s rarely if ever straight white men who are blacking their pictures out and shutting up for a day to demonstrate solidarity by taking a step back so other voices can be heard? Hmmmmmmm…..

I mean, yes, there is some data to suggest that doing things like changing your profile image extends to life of a protest and helps bring awareness to it. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. People protest in a lot of different ways and I think trying to push the idea that only one form of activism “counts” is kinda bullshit.

That said… these things *aren’t* as effective as direct action. The data says that part, too. And I’m tired of silencing or hiding myself as a way to show that the world would be a better place without my presence.

The people we’re standing up against WANT us to disappear. Why are we so quick to do that for them?

Don’t make yourself small. They’re not going to notice, and if they do, they’re going to take that as an indication to keep shutting us down because we’ll give up and shut ourselves up for them. Stop expecting that taking up less space is going to work. “And then they’ll be sorry!” didn’t work on your parents and it won’t work here. Being passive aggressive is not a protest. It’s not going to affect the people you’re trying to affect at all. They’ll just ignore you as they always have. You’re just making it easier.


Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store