The term “Trojan Horse” originated in Ancient Greece and was derived from the story of the fall of the city of Troy because of the deceptive Trojan Horse. The term has since been used as a concept of hidden deceptions throughout history, and here I am linking it to activism and social issues. Allies can play an important part in movements, causes and activism. Allies would usually use their privileges and connections to help the disadvantaged and underprivileged. This is great. Allies can be our friends but that does not that mean that with every friendly face comes a good intention.
This concept of deceptive allies actually came from personal experiences. As many of you know, I advocate long and hard for many social issues. I am also an ally for many causes and movements, myself. I consider myself a feminist. I believe equal rights and opportunities for men and women. I also think men who share similar views as feminists can be allies to feminist movements—even though this thought and belief of mine have backfired on many occasions.
There are many “social media activists” these days. Many people use their platforms to speak up and against social issues. There are many men on my social media pages who stand with women. Similarly, the same can be said for #BlackLivesMatter, #MeToo and many other movements and causes. That’s good. In fact, it’s great. But, do you know what isn’t great?—The art of deception and manipulation.
You’d be surprised how many of these so-called “allies” put on an act. I can tell you this because I’ve seen it and experienced it. There are men who stand with women but behind closed doors, they use their privileges to abuse and use women. There are non-black “allies” who are racist to the core. There are people who want to be at the centre of movements to disrupt it from the inside, out. There are also “allies” who want to hop onto social movements because they want to overpower and overshadow the true cause of the movement with their own agendas.
If you’re reading this and you’re feeling offended by the sentiments I share then you must be a Trojan Horse. Your deception disgusts me. If you’re reading this and you’re an existing ally who believes in the true meanings of social movements and causes then I applaud you for your efforts. Educate yourself each and every day on how to be an ally for the disadvantaged. Understand your privileges and you can use that against systems of oppression to fight for a change. Last, you must understand that your voice is to help uplift and help those in need. Do not, I repeat—do not overshadow or overpower their voices. Your involvement matters but it only matters if you’re true to the cause and most importantly, yourself and those whom you intend to help.