Silence is a powerful tool, and the ability to silence opposing voices is a common move in the playbook of the powerful. One of the narratives that often arises when traditionally marginalized people assert their right to exist is that their very presence and request to be acknowledged “silences” those who would prefer to cover their ears. Such a narrative suggests an inverted power-dynamic in that the majority in power becomes marginalized by attempting to reproduce the marginalization of minority groups. It’s a clever and insidious tactic that activates the justice paradigm that many Americans hold, while obfuscating the true power dynamics at play.
In the blog post shared above, Sara Ahmed deconstructs the inverted logic that powers the silencing narrative and navigates the reader back to the truth: “Whenever people keep being given a platform to say they have no platform, or whenever people speak endlessly about being silenced, you not only have a performative contradiction; you are witnessing a mechanism of power.”
In this time when those in power are once again trying to define away the existence of transgender individuals, this blog post seemed like an appropriate share. Be wary of silencing narratives, friends, and stay strong.
- Your Partners in Tough Spaces