Fran Rosa

23 February 2016


Activism: Why Is It So Annoying?

You are on Facebook sharing a joke, or sharing a laugh with your friends during the coffee break at workplace, and suddenly someone ruins the mood pointing out that joke is sexist, or your point of view is offensive in any way. That you are spreading the clichés of heteronormativity. What does that even mean?

And it’s not about the essence of it, which is probably right. It’s about how upsetting is having to deal with that every single time, in every given situation. Don’t these people ever have a break? Do they have to be so irritating in their activism?

Yes, they do.

Being an activist is not only having an open mind about a given topic, or even an intellectual position. Activism is about doing something about it. To push things.

One argument I have had a thousand times with a good friend of mine about feminism is that, on one hand, you have the ideal of equality. That’s what everyone wants and have to be taught. But we are not in a point where everyone is equal, so we can’t just pretend we all are. We have to push things a little in order to fight the imbalance. Then, when things are more equilibrated, we can all be just equal. Because just treating everyone as if we were equals we are in fact perpetuating existing inequality.

I myself am an activist, specially about bisexuality and how it is rejected both outside and inside the LGTBI community. So I’ve become annoying about that given topic. When I’m in a conversation where someone says something like ‘bisexuality isn’t real’, ‘bisexuals are just confused’ or ‘bisexuals are homosexuals who don’t accept themselves’ I never let it go. I have had enough shit about my sexual orientation and feel the need to push stronger to try to eradicate biphobic clichés in a mainly monosexual world.

But I’m comfortable with the bisexual label when, in fact, pansexual would be a more appropriate term given I refuse the gender binary. But I’m not as activist about that aspect, maybe because I haven’t had so much shit about it.

So it’s perfectly fine if you don’t feel the need to be an activist. Just remember that people who are annoying are not like that by accident. They mean to be annoying in order to provoke some change.