No, We Won’t Calm Down – Tone Policing Is Just Another Way to Protect Privilege

Have you ever tone policed someone in a conversation on oppression? Tone policing focuses on the emotion behind a message rather than the message itself – and you might think you’re helping by making the conversation more “comfortable.”

But in this comic, Robot Hugs makes a great point about how tone policing protects privilege – and silences people who are hurting. This is no way to get justice, and this breakdown will help you understand exactly why.

No, We Won’t Calm Down – Tone Policing Is Just Another Way to Protect Privilege
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4 Ways to Push Back Against Your Privilege

I’ve often said that it’s not enough to acknowledge your privilege. And, in fact, that acknowledging it is often little more than a chance to pat yourself on the back for being so “aware.” What I find is that most of the time when people acknowledge their privilege, they feel really special about it, really important, really glad that something so significant just happened, and then they just go ahead and do whatever they wanted to do anyway, privilege firmly in place. The truth is that acknowledging your privilege means a whole lot of nothing much if you don’t do anything to actively push back against it.

4 Ways to Push Back Against Your Privilege

Privilege 101: A Quick and Dirty Guide

Society grants privilege to people because of certain aspects of their identity. Aspects of a person’s identity can include race, class, gender, sexual orientation, language, geographical location, ability, and religion, to name a few.

But big concepts like privilege are so much more than their basic definitions! For many, this definition on its own raises more questions than it answers. So here are a few things about privilege that everyone should know.

Privilege 101: A Quick and Dirty Guide