Safety Pins: How I Feel About Them Now

As things have evolved, or should I really say devolved, some of you may be surprised to know that my thoughts and feelings on the safety pin movement has changed.

 

If you haven’t read my previous post on the subject of the safety pin movement, you may want to. I will be referencing it quite a bit in this update. To give you a very basic summary, I feel like if you are truly an ally then wearing the safety pin may actually help someone. However, if you aren’t willing to get uncomfortable and messy, you should use them to fix your clothes instead of as a statement of your support for people you aren’t really ready to support.

That part of my opinion hasn’t really changed. If you aren’t willing to call out your best friend when they are racists, come to the aid of a trans person being attacked, or in general outwardly help a minority or a person of a marginalized identity, then fuck off.

Don’t outwardly make a statement of solidarity, if your solidarity will only be done through a computer screen or behind closed doors where you are safe from the repercussions of truly caring. Or those of you who feel like you can sign an online petition and your job be done.

Did I push a button? Did I hit you in a way that hurt with that one? Good. That means you are probably guilty of doing just that. Hopefully this is a wake up call. Let it hurt, reevaluate your feminism or liberal views or simply your compassion for others, and work on it.

But let’s get back to the safety pin.

Here’s the thing that has really changed for me; so many people wore them and didn’t mean shit by them. I saw people wear a safety pin and got hope. Until I scrolled through the person’s Facebook or Twitter and saw them sharing racist memes or being “so glad Donald won”.

I talked about that before; don’t wear it for fake reasons. But to watch these people pretending to be something they aren’t (I felt so catfished) made me realize something; wearing a safety won’t make me feel safe with you.

And in my previous article I talked about how not everyone will trust your safety pin because it wasn’t enough. It didn’t show us you’d be there for us, it showed us you would wear a safety pin. That is about it.

At the time though, it gave me hope. Something I quickly lost when there was no action to backup your safety pin. I grew to personally stop trusting it.

Allyship is about learning, and learned that the best way to support someone is with action. Wearing a safety pin isn’t action. It’s simply putting on a pin and feeling “woke”, just to then close your eyes and continue through your day the same you always have.

It became a trend, and I watched that trend fade away as so many do.And as it faded away, so did so many of these fake allies.

We need so much more than people wearing safety pins to show “solidarity” or “support” or to claim they are a “safe place”. All our fears from the election are starting to come true. Now more than ever we need to be fighting. And we need you beside us. IF you are willing to truly be beside us.

Walking beside us in a march doesn’t mean you are beside us, supporting us. But that may be a talk for another day.

What gives me hope these days? Protests at airports when Donald Trump signed the Muslim Ban. Lawyers who volunteered to help these people. The women’s march. The people I follow on Twitter who call out bullshit daily. My friends on Facebook all over the world who are doing REAL things to show support.

Those are things that are giving me hope. I hung up my safety pin, and began to pay more attention to those around me, their actions, and who would really be a safe place for me. I guess if PTSD has taught me anything, it’s the how to watch everyone around me.

But I will still make the same pledge I made before. I will always try to be a safe place for anyone who needs it. And I will show it with my actions, not just some safety pin hanging from my shirt. Can you still make that pledge?

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