Allies are important. It's understandable to be wary of them, considering many tend to take up the space and only further prove how much the oppressed group is being oppressed. As a queer-identified woman of color, I have had many experiences with different types of ways allies express their "support". There are many who don't even realize how they are taking up space. However, how will we educate those who need educating without allies?
Imagine a scenario where a misogynistic man says something sexist. A woman walks up to him and informs him why what he said is oppressive. Now a man walks up to the misogynistic person and informs him why his statement was oppressive. Who do you think the first man is going to listen to? He wouldn't listen to the woman, considering he already participates in a culture that demeans her and sees her as inferior. Instead, he will listen to the man. And in doing so, he will understand that what said was wrong. Now, as I said before, allies tend to take up the space meant for the oppressed group. In this situation, if the second man had continued to explain why it was wrong and try to relate to the woman's experience, then he would be, as many allies tend to be, taking up the space not meant for him. A good ally will know when it's time to step aside and let the woman speak for herself, explain her struggle and experience, rather than take her voice away from her.
We've reached a point in time where representation is important. We now know that what we see in society affects us in many ways. It's important to allow multiple voices the chance to be heard. And on way to support the process of allowing these voices to be heard, is with the help of respectful and understanding allies.
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