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Keep Britain Tidy and the tone police

…is not of course, the same as the opposition of a Valleys Commando to European integration, which would be Keep Britain, Tidy…..

Anyway, bad jokes aside, this story caught the eye.

Now, one of the things I think I know is that marginalized social groups have a sense of social responsibility that directly reflects how they are regarded. Or, to put it another way, if you organize society in such a way that some men can only find sexual fulfillment through risky meets in  a derelict windswept barn, you’re not likely to get them agreeing to tidy up the area and take their litter home with them.

Obvious? I’d have thought so. Allowing people to be a community and listening to what they have to say is a simple route to encouraging them to have pride in their environment.

And the tone police? Every couple of days my Twitter feed will be swamped with another Twitterspat where someone (usually a woman of colour or a trans man or woman) will be told by the person they’re debating with, often a white, privileged woman, that their tone is unacceptable. And I shake my head and move on, because I know, as clearly as I know anything, that people who are oppressed, marginalized and excluded have no investment in the rules of polite debate that the rest of us sign up to, and no reason to sign up to those rules because they are indistinguishable from the cultural structures that oppress, marginalize and exclude them.

Forgive me, but how fucking obvious is that?

So next time you read a newspaper article about how gay men cruising in some desolate, remote place don’t take their rubbish home with them, don’t tut and turn away. Ask yourself what investment they have in a society that would look away as police harass them and which seems, to them, to make it impossible for them to live out their sexuality other than in clandestine unsafe ways.


One comment on “Keep Britain Tidy and the tone police

  1. Pingback: Keep Britain Tidy and the tone police | Sexworker Blogs

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This entry was posted on January 17, 2014 by in Uncategorized.

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