Sometimes people who are marginalized assume that other marginalized people are safe by definition. This is really dangerous, and it sets people up for a lot of gaslighting. We need to make sure not to encourage this in activist and otherwise pro-human spaces.
For example, some people do things their stereotypes say they’re incapable of doing:
- Some women are sexual abusers
- Some autistic people are manipulative bulliesAnd also, sometimes people do bad things that are (wrongly) stereotypical of their group. For instance:
- Some gay people are sexual predators
- Some members of minority faiths are destructive fundamentalists.Some people in marginalized groups do stereotypical or anti-stereotypical bad things, and when this happens, it’s important for activist and other pro-human groups to acknowledge it and not tolerate it.
If you know someone else is in a marginalized group, that’s all you know about them. Don’t assume that they know what it’s like to be mistreated, and are thus safe and trustworthy and would never harm another person. *Especially* when their actions have shown otherwise.
I especially hate this when it’s coming from psychologists. A lot of female psychologists and psychiatrists tend to look at me and decided that I have boobs and therefore must be female and therefore must trust them. Immediately, without question.
Because, of course, women have to trust each other, that’s only natural and men aren’t any trustworthy, especially not when it comes to psychotherapy.
And I hate that. I have stopped therapy because of that. Even ignoring the fact that I am not a woman, being a woman doesn’t make anyone trustworthy. And a psychologist or psychiatrist (or medical doctor, at that) who demands that you trust them because your gender identity or primary sex characteristics match theirs is in my eyes more untrustworthy than someone who gives you evidence of their trustworthyness or who simply deals with you not trusting them.
Also, on a semi-related note, it’s perfectly okay to not trust people, regardless of who they are. That doesn’t mean you have to ignore them or go against their advice or anything, but double checking and questioning things you are told is always, always, always something that is permitted and okay and good.
Don’t just trust people because they said so or because they are part of a marginalised or oppressed group. Trust people because they are trustworthy and are willing to proof that and/or willing to deal with you not trusting them until they prove themselves trustworthy.
Trust isn’t something that can ever be owed to anyone and it’s not something that can be demanded from you, no matter who’s doing the demanding.