My introduction to social justice was different to most I’ve participated in.
Most of the people who come into either of the social justice groups that I moderate on another site stumble in with oppressive word after oppressive word, argued into apologising, understanding, staying, getting off with a warning or informal warning, while if they refuse to learn or stop, they’re banned.
When I found social justice, it was by a blog. I found it on some unimportant google search that is very important now, I read tentatively about rape culture and fatphobia and feminism 101, and I felt it. Not felt it like I feel an emotion, but feel it like I feel things with my hands.
The messy, chaotic world that echoed with the tiresomely repeated rheotorical question of “why can black people say nigger when my white self can’t”, or “why can’t people just get along”, the unconsidered rheotoric of “political correctness” and assorted other meaningless things, was explained. And the explanation fit. With no gaps, no ragged edges, no loose ends, it fit together and tied up and made sense of everything, with clarity and impossible vastness.
And fundamentally, it was an explanation of hope. This was no Iain M. Banks with his notions of a gene related to bigotry, no faux-wise, cliched line about how people weren’t very nice. This was why it happened, this was how it was ended, this was the work to be done. There was misinformation, there was privilege and oppression. Everything was considered, accounted for, fitted into a coherent framework that spelled hope.
Simple, practical and within reach. The cause was the ideas imparted by the world we live in, and they were fundamentally illogical ideas refuted so clearly, so cleanly, so heartbreakingly well, not a lurking post-modern devil of unbeatable bigotry that lived in every human and formed an ignorant group-mind of all that threatens me.
I’ve never really understood why anyone needs to be argued into believing in this. I only recieved a fragment, the basics on most things and the details on rape culture and misogyny, but it explained almost my entire world. When I found those groups I mentioned, and lurked in them and edventually started to know more about ableism and transphobia, it explained almost all of my self.
I don’t think I’ll ever understand how someone can even try to reject that, or why they could ever want to.