opinion . Living

Clozette Chats: Call-Out Culture

The thin line between criticism and cyberbullying

The world has become more aware and opinionated over the last couple of years. Topics that were considered taboo a decade back have made their way into people's consciousness and even made a groundbreaking presence in today's entertainment industry.

Though it may have been a great sign of how humanity is progressing as a whole, it also resulted in the line between criticism and cyberbullying blurring. Whether it be the anonymity the Internet has made accessible to people or the hypersensitivity to many societal issues that people became so fond of, the amount of scrutiny, especially in the fashion community, has started to become a challenge to deal with. 

So when is 'call-out culture' too much? #TeamClozette talks it out. 

"I am all for voicing out your opinion – that's why we do opinion pieces like this – but these days, the term 'call out culture' has a negative connotation to it. It's no longer about speaking out with a constructive intention. Speaking out (with the right intention) encourages people to engage in discussion and advocates freedom of speech. But calling out is a tool used to shame and hurt people. It violates the authenticity of freedom of speech. So think before you act: are you speaking out or calling out?"

"There should be no place for apathy anywhere — not in real life, and not online. With that said, I understand why many people call out other people, especially those who have a huge clout and have the power to influence how others think and view things. I also support people who try to inform others who are not well-versed about different subjects. But as with anything in life, too much of anything is bad. Once calling out results to ad hominem retorts and plain vitriol, the purpose of sharing insights and trying to engage in discourse is defeated. So yes to calling out, but always do it with respect."

"As someone who feels very strongly about my convictions, I do appreciate call-out culture to some extent. It helps people become accountable and more aware of their own actions and words. It inspires responsibility and continues education on things that matter. However, when people go beyond the boundaries of an issue to demean someone, that's when it becomes wrong. It is great that we are becoming more vigilant about issues that count, issues that make us see the balance between what's good and what's unjust — it's just that saying rude and horrific things about someone's appearance, race, or even culture to make your point much more valid is unacceptable. As author Harlan Ellison once said, 'You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion.' Freedom of speech should never be used as an excuse. "

"The goal of calling out someone for inappropriate behaviour is to make that individual aware of their wrongdoings and to correct them. In my opinion, the 'call-out' culture that we have right now diverted from that goal. Currently, it's more often used in a malevolent way as a form of humiliating a person. We shouldn't lose sight of what's important, and that is to stop a certain harmful attitude rather than adding to the problem. As they say, hate the act but not the person."

(Cover photo from: depositphotos)

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