I am a fan. I take part in fandom. I have done so since childhood. I like fandom, but unfortunately fandom isn't fun for everybody.Just look here
. See? There's people in those threads with less privilege, defending their very right to be angry about being called shitty names in fandom.
Do you know what I want? I want that shit to stop. I can't change other people, but I can be positive and make a promise, publicly, that I will do my fucking best to make fandom BETTER. I figure if enough people stand up and make the same promise, then maybe people won't feel so good about being privileged asswipes with no compassion for other people. You know, without that fertile bed of, "Oh, I KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN!" or "Hey, thanks for having the guts for saying what I couldn't!" there might be less of his mendacious fuckery. So here's my promise:My Promise to Fandom:
I hereby swear, as a bearer of privilege, to listen to those with less privilege than I in fandom discussions. I shall apologise when I say things that hurt others, and I shall not attack those that inform me of my own ignorance, whether that ignorance be accidental or otherwise. I shall SHUT THE FUCK UP about things I don't understand, and listen when people without privilege are trying to communicate with me. Even when it hurts, even when I feel terrible about everything and think I can't take it, the guilt, the shame, the embarrassment, I shall FUCKING LISTEN TO THEM. I shall respect their voices, even if I don't agree with everything they say.
I will learn from my own fuck-ups and I shall not expect others to school me in progressiveness. I shall be my own teacher, and look shit up when things get nasty so I know why people are getting upset. I shall endeavour to know the extents of my own privilege, and take part in dismantling that very privilege, or at least sharing it with other people not so fortunate.
I shall understand that no matter how uncomfortable, how stressful or strange these concepts and ideas and experiences are for me, they are nothing compared to the life of people that must live with the prejudice they speak of, every day, every night, every hour of their lives.
I know that the price of my privilege is the understanding that it doesn't just belong to me - it belongs to the world, and I must work to give it back to them. It's the basic, right, good thing to do. If I am to be a truly progressive fan, or just a good fucking person, I will do this without complaint and without the gnashing of teeth. I will not expect cookies, back-pats, cuddles or love. Being a decent human being should be the default behaviour, and I acknowledge that.
I make this promise to fandom because I love it and want it to be a better place. This promise means that I won't accept the prejudiced, ignorant behaviour of those in fandom, even if they have more friends than me and more influence. I'll even call out my good friends when I see them screw up - because I love them and I know they're better than bigotry.
I can't promise that I won't fuck up, that I won't say stupid things, that I won't stumble into a puddle of shit, because as a bearer of privilege, I also have an ignorance of the full extents of that privilege. But I do promise to make amends as best I can when I do fuck up, because the feelings of others is important to me. I want to be a better person, and I want it to be possible for others to have as much fun in fandom as I have.
Today I make this promise. I shall endeavour to stand by it during my time in fandom.
AKA: Napalmnacey, Nacey, Nancy Lorenz.
If you agree, feel free to post it in your journal, or cosign in a comment below.