In and outside of fandom spaces, performative allyship is a thing to be wary of.
In a piece for The Wooster Voice, writer Sharah Hutson describes performative allyship as, “when folks pretend to care about a cause but magically forget to keep the fight going outside of certain spaces”.
We’re talking about people who only seem to care about the plight of the underprivileged when it looks like they can get something out of it.
You know, like folks who record themselves helping disabled people cross the street, people who post about how they helped the neighborhood homeless person get breakfast on social media, and white saviors who travel to Uganda and Haiti to “help” but are really just participating in imperialistic voluntourism that does so much more harm than anything else.
These people may mean well and they probably even see themselves as actual allies, but their allyship seems skin-deep and conditional on the attention they get or the marginalized people’s compliance and subservience. The second they’re no longer getting praise or when the person or group they’re trying to help isn’t compliant, the person in question stops being an ally.
But you know what’s not performative allyship?
A Black person in fandom talking about what they find racist in a piece of media or fandom space.Read More »