Coming out IRL : MAP movement's biggest bottleneckMAPs have come a long way since 2015, when we were a minority living in shadows, our only existence on the internet was on MAP specific forums like BoyChat, GirlChat, VisionsOfAlice etc. But today, we have made our existence felt on mainstream platforms such as Twitter and Youtube (map irl podcast) and of course on FreeSpeechTube. We are no longer a closeted minority. Today, it is far more easier to find each other on Twitter and discuss our feelings than a few years back, though there are some limitations. A few years back, we would even fear to tell anyone, even online that we are a MAP, but now people openly announce this on their Twitter accounts. This itself is a big achievement for us.
But it seems that our movement has reached a bottleneck, where it is not going beyond the internet out in the real life. As of now, we are seen as just some scattered bunch of anonymous trolls on the internet by the outside world. Our movement has no leadership, no organisation and no direction, since its mostly internet-based as of now. There are some obvious limitations to cyber activism, hence, we can achieve little by this, unless it is complemented by a mainstream real life movement.
As per my analysis of other civil rights movements in the past and problems peculiar to MAPs, I have come to the conclusion that the biggest thing holding us back as of now is, ''Coming out in real life." It is only when we come out in real life that :
1) We will be able to physically meet each other and form geography based MAP organisations. There are many of us all around, another MAP can be our friend, our relative, our colleagues at workplace, neighbour etc. When we come out in real life, and meet other MAPs, only then will we be able to do collective bargaining for our rights. Like we can start some movement in one region and then people in other region will get inspired to do the same.
2) Once we are able to meet each other and form organisations like NGO's, we can pool together funding to hire researchers, lawyers, psychologists, journalists and influencers for our cause. Funding is very important for any movement and without any proper organisation to collect and channelize it, it would be impossible to achieve anything.
3) When we know each other, and when we come out in mass numbers, the fear of being harassed and discriminated against, will also reduce, and this will set in motion a virtuous cycle, in which more and more of us will come up and add to the voices. Remember, there are a lot many of us, than we think. It is only when we go mainstream in mass numbers and do collective bargaining, that we will be taken seriously by the political class, judiciary, society and other pressure groups.
So, it is high time, we think of ways that we take this movement from cyber activism, to mainstream real life. But then again, there are several problems, why this is difficult:
1) The obvious fear of harassment, losing jobs as well as boycott from friends and family and even being subjected to violence. Also, there is another fear, that not many MAPs may do the same, so we are only one who may get singled out doing this.
2) No well-defined direction as on where and when should we all decide to come out. Lets say, we can have a coming out day, like April 25, 2020, on which every MAP in one state, city or country, will come out to at least 5 of his friends or relatives. We need someone, who can take leadership and decide and chalk out a clear strategy for doing this by starting from maybe a particular region. Also, another problem, is how are we going to publicize such a day and place where to go about doing this.
3) We also need a clear strategy to convince those people we come out to, about us that we are not all child molesters and other related stuff and that we need to clearly know some basic points for it, so as to neutralize any knee-jerk hysterical reaction that we may get from others. Each of us need to be able to convince others, that we are strictly Anti-Contact and Non-offending and do not wish to have sex with a child or advocate it (regardless of your personal views, just to gain acceptance). Conversely, it might also happen, that the other person also comes out as a MAP.
Of course, once we actually do this, there is going to be a huge public backlash, some of us should expect harassment and other problems. But remember, no civil rights movement, whether it is feminism, black rights or gay rights, was ever won, without some sacrifices and sufferings of the activists and the people whose movement it was.
Even I do not have any real idea about how to go about doing this, how do we reach all the MAPs out there and convince them to come out without fear. How do we organize it and make a clear plan and strategy and most importantly who will do it. From which region should be start, and how should we expect the plan to be executed. These are the questions that needs to be answered. Hence, we need to brainstorm the ideas, to overcome this biggest bottleneck our movement is facing. Once we overcome this, our path from there on will still not be easy, but at least, our movement will go mainstream and from there on, we can expect some significant changes to take place. Its like the foot in the door technique, we need to first set our foot in the door, which is coming out in real life and then slowly we can start bargaining for more.
Published on 14 January 2020.
Published on 14 January 2020.
Youth rights, sexual liberation, MAP, activism
Standard FreeSpeechTube license
Category: Nonprofits & Activism
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