A disturbing trend i've been noticing (for quite sometime) is one of entitlement in online spaces. I could talk forever about this entitlement, as it erupts in literally every single space of the internet, but for the sake of brevity, I'll only be talking about it in feminist spaces. More specifically, I'll be talking about how it shows up on Guerrilla Feminism--the org I created five years ago.
If you have a social media presence, you're probably on at least one of the following: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and/or Pinterest. GF has an account on each one, and you know what? PEOPLE ARE SO GODDAMN ENTITLED.
The very worst culprits exist on Facebook and Instagram. Commenters who very much believe in "FREE SPEECH" and "NEVER DELETE THE COMMENTS" and "MY VOICE/THOUGHT IS NEEDED HERE." Well, I hate to break it to you, but...
You're not entitled to any of my spaces.
Now, I know some of you might be thinking, "Who does this bitch think she is? I can do whatever the fuck I want!" Yes, I am a bitch, but no, you can't do anything you want--not when you're engaging in spaces I've created, and not if I take any issue with the shit you are saying. Commenting on Guerrilla Feminism is a privilege, not a right. It is not something you're entitled to.
So, I always find it a bit odd when people yell at me if I've blocked them for saying something bigoted or oppressive or just plain bullshit. As someone who spends a lot of time on the internet (I mean, nobody truly "logs off" anymore), I need to set boundaries for myself and for my spaces. Since many feminists talk about the "radical act of self-care", I find their insistence and entitlement to comment FOREVER AND ALWAYS ridiculous. I run my online spaces a certain way, and if you're not into, that's fine. And I know you'll inevitably post on your own social media, "GUERRILLA FEMINISM BLOCKED ME, JFC, YOU GUYS" without any context or commentary, but even if you disagreed with why I blocked you, it doesn't matter. You can piss and moan all you want.
Sure, I've unblocked a few people here and there after they've sent me a kind email or message inquiring about the reason, but the truth is... I don't need a reason. I don't need a reason to block you from a space that I run; that I created. Guerrilla Feminism has never been a "LET'S PLAY DEVIL'S ADVOCATE AND DEBATE EACH OTHER ON WHETHER WOMEN ARE PEOPLE" space. We moderate hard, and we ban harder. We have to in order to keep the space as safe as it possibly can be.
Blocking people and deleting their shit is my RIGHT. I don't owe anyone anything. If you feel entitled to my shit, maybe ask yourself where that's coming from. I rarely comment on other Facebook pages or other Instagram accounts, but when I do, I understand that my comment(s) could be deleted, or my account could get banned, etc. Social media is so pervasive, and we need to respect the boundaries people make for themselves.
A big part of engaging in activism is leaving your ego, your entitlement at the door. Just because it's the internet (and not a physical space), doesn't mean you're exempt from this. In fact, you need to continue to shed your entitlement over and over and over.
So, the next time you get miffed about being blocked from a Facebook page or an Instagram account, ask yourself: 1) Why do I care? and 2) Was I feeling entitled to something?
In the meantime, I'll continue blocking/banning whomever.