not in Primary anymore

reprimands.

Dani is a 22-year-old Utah County resident who was born and raised in the LDS faith. She is a Literature and Gender Studies major who has a passion for literary theory and non-traditional philosophy. When she’s not busy sticking it to the patriarchy, she dreams about living in an anarcho-communist world. But, she’d settle for Vancouver, Canada.

 

It is not okay to “out” people.

Let that sink in for a moment.

 

Think of your “deepest, darkest secret.” No, I’m not talking about the one time you broke the Word of Wisdom, or that you swear when you stub your toe. Think about something about your personality. Some part of your identity that is something you don’t share with everyone. Not necessarily because you are ashamed of it, but because it is personal and, frankly, no one else’s business.

Now think about an anonymous person. Think about someone whose identity you don’t know coming into the middle of a conversation about you, your life, your identity. Think about that person taking that facet of your personality, publicizing it for everyone to see. Or making an anonymous phone call and telling your mother. Think about people who should not be privy to the most intimate parts of your identity suddenly being privy to those things.

It does not matter how “severe” or “shocking” the information is. It does not matter how well-intentioned the informant is.

One of the many, many, problems of white capitalist heteronormative patriarchy is that this power structure infuses those of the privileged class with the notion that they can speak for other people. This is not true. YOU DO NOT GET TO SPEAK FOR ANYONE BUT YOURSELF. When people, policies, and power structures tell you otherwise? They are wrong. The ONE AND ONLY time you get to speak for another person is when that person has previously freely and enthusiastically given their consent for you – and you specifically – to speak on their behalf to a specified audience, and that audience alone.

Otherwise, you do not get to speak for other people. You do not get to share the details, intimate or not, of someone else’s life to other people without consent.

You do not get to “out” people.

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12 Responses to “reprimands.”

  1. Rachel

    While I agree with the content of this message, it’s irritatingly passive-aggressive. Like perhaps you’re talking about the mole situation, but not willing to say it out loud, so you provide hypotheticals that don’t really correlate.

    Reply
    • Dani

      Is the mole situation the only situation in which it is not okay to speak for other people? What about “outing” as a phenomenon, as it relates to queerfolk? What about imperialism, cultural or otherwise? I’m not sure how my hypotheticals don’t correlate to “outing.” Imagine someone speaks for you without your permission —> don’t speak for other people. Seems like it correlates…

      Reply
      • Rachel

        It definitely correlates with outing in general, but it felt passive aggressive that you didn’t seem to be responding to any action in particular, the only thing I could think of was the recent mole situation. That’s all.
        Don’t get me wrong, I COMPLETELY agree with your message! I just was looking for “anonymous so and so had this happen and this is how it damaged them.” And without that it seemed a little too vague and rant-y to me.

  2. Confused

    I agree with Rachel, and sorry but what is “the recent mole situation”?

    Reply
  3. Anonymous

    Anonymous here, where is the line drawn? When do you get to out someone? Surely there must be a line. I believe in the principles of “the news” even though I don’t like any of the networks now. Who can be held accountable if no one can do some accounting? In a perfect world, you’re right, but this world isn’t perfect. Governments, businesses , radical organizations and individuals alike could do anything they want if no one could tell. So , where’s our line?

    Reply
  4. Mungagungadin

    Anonymous,

    I think the line is at the point of suspected self-harm. We should report when someone is behaving uncharacteristically and making statements that seem overly morbid.

    Even then, most of the time, it should be possible to avoid snitching by committing (and following through in checking to see) that the person of concern is actually begins talking to a qualified health professional. Your goal is to make sure the person sees a Health Professional about their condition, and the more confidentially, the better. For some people, it is the school psychologist, for others, a walk-in mental health clinic. (I wish America had better services.)

    http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-recognizing-signs-of-suicide

    and that’s about it. If it doesn’t meet that standard, I’d say snitching is not indicated and would be harmful.

    Other things that demand “snitching” of some kind : child endangerment, child abuse, child -almost-anything. Sexual assault of any kind on minors. If there is a sexual assault on an adult, physical help is always indicated by the adult will want to determine if they want to press charges. In any case a rape kit and exam — and treatment! are necessary.

    As far as reporting anything else of any kind of moral question, I agree with the author of this post.

    Reply
  5. Jasa

    I’m so glad I’m reading this now. It’s not just me who feels oielgatbd to post and gets stressed with no one shows up to read. I feel like I set myself up for failure when I post something really good and then for weeks can’t think long enough without interruption to write anything worthy so I do consider quiting or giving it a break but then I read my past posts and realize that I do enjoy this, I’m just busy right now. So if I need a break, I take a break and go from there. As always, Zandria, you have great content on your blog.

    Reply
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