Title: Sign Me Up
Header: There is a particular type of fauxgressive out there who claims to believe in equality over feminism and improvement for the whole human race instead of being divisive.
(Alli holds up a sign that says “End Rape Culture” while a person speaks to her.)
Person: Aren’t there any REAL issues you could talk about, like Muslim countries banning women from public spaces for how they dress or denying them reproductive autonomy? Or how in parts of India, infanticide kills girls just for being born as undesirable members of society?
Header: These folks have hit on a technique that is a combination of the fallacy of relative privation (“How dare you complain about food deserts in the US when there are starving kids in Africa”) and derailment (“I don’t want to talk about race – all lives matter”).
(Alli is now frowning and holding two different signs, one of which says “Free the Burqini” and another that says “I stand with Planned Parenthood.” Her vest has opened to show a t-shirt that reads “Black Lives Matter.” The person continues speaking to her.)
Person: No, I mean REAL problems, like corrupt officials in South America or lack of punishment for rapists in Africa!
Header: This technique ignores the efforts of activists outside of the US while also ignoring ongoing issues in the US.
(Alli is once again holding two different signs, one reads “No Justice, No Peace!” and the other says “Why is Brock Turner Free?” The person looks more frustrated now and is still talking to her.)
Person: No, BIG problems in backward places where women are killed for no reason and children suffer for profit, like Saudi Arabia or China!
Header: Actually having a discussion with these folks isn’t recommended because they are unlikely to change their minds and will probably accuse you of setting up a strawman argument while asking if you’re triggered yet.
(Alli holds up two different signs again. The first one says “What Happened to Sandra Bland? #SayHerName” and the second one says “Save Flint.” The person looks exasperated.)
Person: Augh, not like that! Flint was an accident, I mean heavy industrial pollution that puts people at risk enforced by armed guards like you see at diamond mines!
Header: Their general belief that the US is a bastion of equality while the “developing” world is wholly made up of “savage” cultures is based on internalized white supremacy and racism.
(Alli holds up one large sign, she has the rest of the signs leaning against her leg. The large sign says “Water is Life – Stand with Standing Rock.” The person is clutching their head.)
Person: Dammit! That’s not what I meant! Can’t we just examine the issues outside the US in non-white countries so I can remain complacent and smugly confident in my own cultural superiority?
(Alli holds up one large sign with a smaller sign tied to the bottom. The signs say “Also have you considered that you might be a bit racist?” The person looks frustrated and surprised.)
Person: Where the hell do you keep getting all these signs?!?!