Sunday 19 July 2020

Nerd Church - Please, Spare Me Your Holier-Than-Thou, 'Look At Me,' Hypocrisy

(Warning: this post discusses Homophobia, Biphobia, etc., and toxic/abusive friendships. It also briefly references racism and the death of George Floyd.)

I've never been especially fond of hypocrisy.

(...Although I guess it's one of those things we can't stand in other people, but rarely recognise in ourselves.)

If you say you have my back, but then you let me fall, I'm worse off than I would have been without you.

At least without you, I would have been more prepared to hit the ground.

'Please, Spare Me Your Holier-Than-Thou, 'Look At Me,' Hypocrisy' with a blue sky and flowering tree branch background

I think that's part of what pi**es people off about things like 'virtue signalling' and 'performative activism/allyship' -

- It's the inherent hypocrisy, and the fact that they thought that someone had their back, when all that person really wanted was to look good.

It's not 'good' to use people like that.

I need to mention here that virtue signalling and performative activism is a definite issue - especially surrounding the murder of George Floyd and the #BlackLivesMatter protests.

It's excellent - please read it and share it. (There are also other links to great articles at the bottom of that article - so check out some of those too!)

This post is more of a general look at my experiences with someone who would try to look 'good' while...

Well, you'll see.

When I was a teen I had a 'friend' (and I use the term very loosely; you should never be afraid of a friend,) who liked to do things to make herself look like a good person.

She would put forward an image of herself as a kind, loving, considerate person, who was happy to volunteer, and believed in equality.

It was a front. She rarely believed in the good things she was doing.

I'm sure she believed in some of them - though, admittedly, no specifics come to mind - because she was capable of being loving and understanding and caring.

That's why I became friends with her in the first place.

Unfortunately, her friendship, her advocacy, her participation in charity events, was almost always based on appearances, rather than substance.

So long as things worked out for her she was nice as pie. 

So long as you did what she wanted she was the picture of generosity and good-feeling.

Leonard from The Big Bang Theory: What are you looking at? You've never seen a hypocrite before?
Via Giphy

For example, she was Homophobic af. Any type of Queerness did not have her approval.

But she would make a big show of talking to and 'befriending' an out Bisexual kid, because: 'she's so brave.'

She acted friendly towards that Bi girl. 

But her eyes, her tone of voice, her body language, all told us that she thought that girl was... I'ma be polite and say 'promiscuous.'

Her look told us that we needed to support her because she was being ever so progressive and tolerant.

(We became masters in reading her body language - it was something of a survival mechanism within our little group.)

It also let us know - let me know - that there was no safe haven for Queer people with her. 

The sly comments that she made from time-to-time about the Bi girl confirmed what we already knew.

(Luckily, that girl only ever saw her as a casual acquaintance, rather than a close friend, as far as I could tell. And good for her.)

'Long Live the Queer' against a rainbow background
...I needed some Queer-positivity to lighten this up a bit! 😘

Via Giphy

It was a similar situation whenever she decided to support a charity event.

Usually, it was a school-run event. Something she could use on her CV or uni application. 

Something which would take place in full sight of a bunch of people, who could see how 'altruistic' and 'selfless' she was being.

It always left me conflicted - even then.

'Cos if you're doing a good thing in order to be seen to be good, instead of being good, is that good thing still good?

If the money's still going to that charity, is that good thing still good?

If you're still doing the volunteering, is that good thing still good? Even if your motive is purely how good you look?

Perhaps I'm being unkind. As I said, she was capable of compassion and kindness.

But she was also capable of the sourest kinds of hypocrisy.

If she really supported Gay rights - if her saying how much she supported Gay people was genuine -

- then why, someone please tell me, did she oh-so casually used to call my closeted-self a 'f**king Lesbo,' when she was angry at me? 

Or say, 'God, you're so Gay,' when I didn't agree with her?

Or make it very clear that if I was Queer, I was less than the dirt on her shoe?

Was her announced support for Gay people still a good thing, then?

I don't have the answers.

Sometimes people can have a positive affect on the world, even when they're acting from a selfish place.

But wanting to be seen to be 'good' doesn't make you a good person. 

There is no checklist for being good, no shiny badge that says 'official good person.' 

If you're looking for something to put on your university application, try finding something you actually give a sh** about.

If you can't find any charities or causes that you actually want to help, then maybe you need to take stock of your priorities, rather than using 'good works' as your window dressing. 

And when all is said and done, don't act like a jerk.

Really, is that so hard?

Well, dearest nerdlets, what do you think?
Can people still do good when their motives are selfish?
Talk to me! 😊💬

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  1. I'm sorry you had to deal with that person, Cee. Honestly, and this is a joke that my sister and I talk about very often, I am often threatened by "perfect" people. This meaning that I can never trust people who are constantly flashing their charitable donations, their clubs and committees, and their overall achievements. It just seems not genuine at all to me, and given that nobody in this world is perfect, I always get suspicious when it seems like these people never screw up.

    A prime example of this are two prominent activists in Canada, the Kielburger brothers. They basically are two brothers who started a charity to combat child labour back when they were kids. We learnt so much about them in school and were taught to idolize them. And sure, when they were kids and weren't yet corrupted by capitalism, their motives were totally genuine. But now they are grown and are embedded in controversy because nobody actually knows where the funds from their charity are going to. It's very complicated.

    Sorry for the mini-rant there, but I do think that hypocrisy is something that is hard to scope out sometimes. When you see someone that seems "too perfect," you often feel bad about questioning their motives. You have to either catch them being a hypocrite, or simply ask them how much action has gone into those instagram posts.

    1. Thanks, Em.

      Oh, I've never heard of them - I'll have to keep an eye out for info. (I'm nosy, and not afraid to admit it! Lol.)

      I think that some people get questioned simply because people don't like it when someone tries to change the world - but yeah, too often if something seems to good to be true, that's because it is... *sighs*

      There really aren't any easy answers - cos no-one wants to stop people from doing good, y'know? But people who are just using it for the clout or whatever... argh!


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