Before I comment on this article , which I am told to properly quote and will do, I must mention I think parts of it are ludic (definitely the part about requiring celebrity signatures). However, the inclusion of a small joke does not make the overall concept less disturbing.
Briefly, it lists a series of expectations under the guise of a “friendship contract” meant to define the exact terms of a “fully loving relationship”.
They are clearly meant to define a decent individual in today’s western societies – a radical SJW determined to overturn the system by any means.
To start with, one would see the dreaming up of such a contract as a sad, desperate result of friendlessness turning someone so egotistical they resort to believing they are alone because they are too special and thus must demand more from others. One would also see it as a loner shooting themselves in the foot, looking all the more ridiculous and spiteful. Yet coming from a popular (as I understand) social justice activist, there might be some cause for concern of this being taken seriously.
The author is telling others that in order to befriend a social justice activist like himself, people should not only behave like complete nutcases but actually become that way. Anything less is unacceptable. This cause demands your entire life, your mind and your soul.
I hope to see the day one of them comes up with an idea that is so far fetched literally no one supports it, and their own crowd starts howling this is too much; we want our fucking lives back.
And I don’t use the term nutcases lightly as I have a very broad acceptance of whatever people choose to believe in, unless they are actually harming others as a result (and by harming I don’t mean expressing a different opinion). However, it’s easy to identify some attempts to replace natural human interaction, such as friendship, with an artificial travesty designed for political purposes.
And calling the recruitment of political activists friendship is particularly slimy.
I’ve written hundreds of letters of recommendations, given countless formal and informal references, provided education on social justice topics via my unpaid and severely undervalued labor. I have often played life coach to people with oozing amounts of privilege, subjecting myself to well-intentioned yet willful violence.
Did all of this not count for something? Is this what friendship is? A relationship of faux empathy, niceties, and unchecked violence through unacknowledged privilege. Is that what it’s always been?
Quite obviously, the one turning friendship into a mercantile affair is the author and not those seeking effortless help (such as a letter of recommendation), those “taking advantage” of the “education” given by the author of his own volition, or the people he “played life coach to” (advised on personal matters I assume) despite his hidden contempt for them due to their supposed privilege (which can be as simple as a different skin pigmentation as far as SJWs are concerned).
Unchecked violence through unacknowledged privilege insinuates that those people were carrying out an act of violence by simply existing in the conditions life had provided them with. Which is a really disturbing perspective but explains the mentality of the “oppressed” of the day.
Folks feel betrayed by my growth and exertion of self, as they feel betrayed by my evolution. How dare I demand their unnecessary evolution as well? I can feel the tension in current relationships, as folk creatively tell me that they don’t want to learn about the plight of undocumented peoples, challenge the ableist language they use, or think critically on how they engage fat people from a place of deficit.
Folks feel annoyed and despaired by anyone who will not let them exhale, let alone speak, without “pointing out” that they are guilty of unspeakable crimes simply by not taking on social justice crusades every bastard second of the day. When their every other word is “problematic” and they end up in situations like the uneducated snob making threats against a taxi driver for having a Hawaiian dancer doll on his dashboard:
When you hear the arrogance and entitlement, not to mention self-righteousness oozing out of this type of twat, you just about give up on part of the young generation.
No one in their right mind can stand these people. Their inability to make friends is not a surprise in the slightest.
Apparently, it becomes too exhausting to hang out with me. Which is to say, I have to be better in your presence or I have to deal with guilt when you’re around. Why can’t things go back to normal? Which is to say, let’s thrive in the violence of status quo together – we’ve got each other, even if my heel is at your neck.
He expects to befriend people he considers guilty by default of their “heel being at his neck”. That’s a hell of a start right there.
As I embrace this new and in many ways unrecognizable being, I am motivated to explore the meaning of a healthy and loving friendship.
Can you imagine fighting for liberation with a squad – the folks that love you in your fullness, and you love them in theirs? What does that feel like? Look like?
It would look a lot like Jonestown, judging by what is written below, which is anything but loving or healthy, but rather an attempt to control and manipulate someone. A healthy friendship involves respect and boundaries. None of that can be found in this article.
I want this list of expectations to speak to the well-intentioned people in my life — the folk that mean well but often render themselves unhelpful. The price of friendship has gone up and the only acceptable payment is risk taking and radical love.
Good luck on that one. He must think he’s pretty fucking special (as all snowflakes do) and that applicants will be queuing at the door for the great honour. I know this might sound needlessly derisive and sharp-tongued, but the tone of the article is really annoying.
Here is my working Friendship Contract:
Do you want to be my friend?
(YES) (NO) (*MAYBE)
Please circle one.
*Maybe will be coded as a “No.” I’m hot stuff. This should not be difficult.
If the answer is yes, there are just ten expectations.
Everyone loves a confident fellow; however, there is a definite line between confidence and laughable arrogance. But anyway. The silliness is the least important issue.
Though it’s useful to point out that many presentations made by these activists on serious subject infantilise the reader (I recall nursery-style cartoons accompanied by text which seemed to be written for very simple people).
This can be reworded as hi, I want to be your best buddy; how would you like to overthrow the state with me?
Expectation #1: We Must Toughen Our Skin
We must be able to use language such as: white supremacy, anti-blackness, transphobia, and marginalization in our day-to-day vocabulary without someone getting into their feelings. Heck, I just used three of the four words in a conversation with my bank teller.
Our language should not be deemed taboo or provocative in nature. Having conversations about justice, equity, this murderous system, and our collective liberation should be as frequent as police brutality and as normal as black folk clinging to the paradox of resiliency.
We must have these critical conversations in the open and move beyond the emotions that immobilize us. Our fragility cannot be prioritized. We must get to the actual work.
In other words, we must pester unsuspecting, innocent people by constantly throwing their so-called privilege in their faces, until we sound like we’ve either smoked something dodgy, taken cocaine too early in the morning or might need psychiatric help.
I understand that religious groups such as Jehovah’s Witnesses also practice door-to-door conversion attempts, but at least they are frank about their intentions and create a separate context for these attempts. And you are more than entitled to shut the door in their faces. Whereas forcing these conversations on people who have no choice but to deal with you as a customer, patient, co-worker etc (you name it) is incredibly inappropriate.
And asking someone to partake in this relentless activism is basically asking them to look like a nutter, day in and day out, risking isolation in the best case scenario (and potentially other consequences).
All I can think of is the twat hassling a taxi driver about a doll on his dashboard. This guy is asking others to be that contemptible twat.