One person seeing themselves as a savior and leader and their inability to truly pass the mic and platform in favor of the movement.
No one person will ever be able to break down a system of oppression alone.
And if you think you don’t need others or that you MUST ABSOLUTELY be The One delivering the message, that is 100% not about the work — it’s about you.
The HAES® (Health At Every Size) community is engaged in a big conversation right now where they are reckoning with the exposure of misconduct of a self-proclaimed, and community-reinforced, leader. I’m not going to explain it all here, but if you want to dig in, then read the post that kicked it all off by clicking here.
In spite of another hot take, I want to, instead, have a conversation about what I feel the root of the issue is. So let’s get into it.
The misconduct in question is co-option of the intellectual and emotional labor of the marginalized folks the community was actually created to serve.
Harm was done, many times over, and it was kept secret until a brave soul named Mikey Mercedes spoke out because she was above the politics.
And why was the harm even being done in the first place?
Because of ego.
Once you are the center of the movement the work is no longer liberatory.
Because now it’s a hierarchy.
It’s just another manifestation of the systems of supremacy your work is supposed to be about breaking down.
Only when we have centered the community, the many, and most marginalized of these, in the work and conversation are we actually moving the needle.