Posted in Blogging

Is Virtue Signalling Really All That Bad?

I was listening to this week’s episode of Sibling Rivalry (The One About Wokeness) and Bob the Drag Queen and Monet X Change were talking about virtue signalling.

Bob says it’s okay because it shows safety in whatever establishment that you’re at. Which I get.

Monet cites a Kamala event that shows that virtue signalling could be nefarious. Which I also get

I don’t remember which Kamala event that Monet was referencing and if I stop to look it up right now I will simply never get this post out so I found a different Kamala event instead: Kamala did CNN’s LGBTQ Town Hall in fall 2019 and when she introduced herself with Cuomo, she included her pronouns (“she/her/hers”) while introducing herself. To me, that screams virtue signalling because it is not consistent with her everyday behaviors (that we see constantly because she is a public figure). She was aware of her audience and aware that she could show this small token to demonstrate that she knows the first thing about LGBTQ issues. Does her baseline understanding and demonstration not stand for something?

Deray McKesson on his interview with Kid Fury and Crissle West on The Read TV mentioned enjoying seeing Pride merchandise because it still shows some level of growing awareness and inclusion.

Around 9:30 he starts his discussion on queer representation. He discusses LGBTQ symbolism is now starting to be seen like “it’s a normal thing, not an aberration”

On pride merchandise, which I consider to be virtue signalling on behalf of a company rather than a person at times, Deray has another opinion: “People make fun of all the commidifying pride but like I wish I grew up in Baltimore seeing people wearing the pride flag. That would have symbolized something to me that I never saw any of that stuff in the city when I was growing up.”

The issue with virtue-signalling is that the expectations of what people are meant to do in order to wear XYZ badge of honor is fairly high.

It is one thing to lie and manipulate people. There have been too many instances of people using virtue signalling as a means of lying to and manipulating people. But what about the people who don’t even believe that they’re lying?

For example, if a celebrity puts up a selfie and says “black lives matter” in the caption, they get dogged
for usurping the movement for their own gain,
for detracting from the ~real~ organizers,
for muddling the message.
why are we gatekeeping every single individual who believes in this sentiment? Can we not bring them inside the club and shape their views there?

I think virtue signalling is important because it is showing this massive shift in mass awareness of LGBT issues. It’s not “you can’t say BLM and not RT a gofundme as well” like tbh they can? and maybe they might? and maybe the thought never crossed their mind? people grow and change and learn every single day and have behaviors that simply come from ignorance.

This is a hard realization because I never want to defend a celebrity especially ones that I consistently do pretty stupid/capitalist things, but I think we’re being a little too excessive in our expectations. I don’t do half the things celebrities are demanded to go with regards to how I present my views on social issues but i definitely virtue signal. i need to virtue signal in order to find the networks i want to be in.


Even within the LGBTQ community and as someone who is part of a good 3 marginalized groups here in the U.S. I still don’t feel “woke” at all– I’m constantly asking myself:

is it considered outing someone if you say “my friend xxxx, oh wait that’s their deadname, i mean’t yyyy”?

is it okay to identify is HoH even though I have never considered myself a member of that culture, but feel my experiences are aligned enough?

is it really anti-Black/anti-feminist of me to call Kamala by her first name and Cuomo by his last name?

we need to expand the definitions of activism and people who can be “in the club” and get to wear the badge so that we can compassionately teach more of the intricacies of club involvement. that being said virtue signalling is pretty important. profit-based marketing that preys on people looking for virtue signals from brands they thought they could believe in…. yikes, for sure, but that’s a different issue. there’s no way an entire company / entity / business even has the same understanding of xyz issues that they’re slapping a rainbow flag on so like ???

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