On being outspoken

I guess the reason I have taken this situation with Adria Richards kind of personally is because I have been and I am, the outspoken one who has had to deal with consequences for saying something. A professor at one of the top Dutch universities in The Netherlands did not allow me to refute racist remarks made during a panel because I have “a reputation for being unreasonable”. So, it was better to silence me. I have been told I shouldn’t write about certain topics and, instead, I should contact the individuals that “offended me” (as if that was the entire point about writing to begin with) privately and “sort things out”, etc.

Every time I come across culturally insensitive/ sexist/ racist/ xenophobic remarks, projects, statements, blogs, what have you on the internet, I have to weight the potential damage it would do to me, personally, exposing this against the greater good of exposing it. Because, like everyone else, I also depend on contracts for work, contacts for getting said work and not alienating everyone who will shun me (like it seems to happen right now with Adria Richards who apparently, has the temerity to expose “stuff” that contributes to further oppression).

What seems to happen right now with Adria Richards is also a lesson in discipline and docility for Women of Color: do not be too outspoken, your entirely livelihood pretty much depends on playing along for the convenience of the majority. 

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