I Don't Have To Pander To Your Patriarchy, So Stop Asking Me To Be "Nicer"

By McKae Sarkowski

I was recently told that I should be “nicer”as an intersectional feminist. I was told that I “shouldn’t go against someone’s opinion because they don’t agree with me.” I was told to “tone it down.”

Intersectional feminism isn’t supposed to be cute and nice. I do not cater to the people that follow me. It’s not a show, and it’s not to make you feel good about yourself. Tone policing is a toxic and immature way to deal with the fact that you are uncomfortable. White people will often tone police black women when engaged in conversations about race by saying they should be “nicer” if they want people to listen to them. Tone policing is an “I’m uncomfortable so I’m going to attack the way you talk because I have nothing else.” It’s problematic, and it further proves you have no intention of listening to the person talking to you.

I will not, by any means, be “nicer” for you to listen to me. I shouldn’t have to change the way I lift my voice, and others voices, for you to listen. Intersectional feminism isn’t cute, and it isn’t supposed to make you feel good. It’s supposed to make a difference.

Whether you choose to hear the message or not isn’t on me, or any black women you choose to silence either. It is up to you as an individual to be able to listen and learn from others. You cannot blame the voices you choose not to hear.

I’m not mean to anyone - I’m unapologetic. If you don’t agree with me, unfollow me. I don’t care. I’m not sorry if you don’t like what I post. That’s not my fault. If I share something someone doesn’t agree with, it’s not me being “mean.” It’s me not giving a damn about you not liking it. It’s not about you. It’s about the people being silenced.

My intersectional feminism isn’t about being “nice,” and it’s not about satisfying or entertaining you. It’s about lifting my own voice, and the voices that are not heard. It’s not my fault if you aren’t getting what you want, that’s not what it’s about.

Before you tell someone they should be nicer if they want someone to listen to them, ask yourself: are you blocking the message with the method?

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