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Should ‘cancel culture’ be cancelled?


Representational image (collected) Representational image (collected)

Did you ever kick a person out of a group for a particular reason, whether in person or online? Or did you ever get ostracised by your familiar circle due to some specific reasons? This bitter act of cancelling someone has found its modern-day identity as ‘cancel culture.’ 

Our knowledge is based on our upbringing and surroundings. We normalise many misdeeds by learning from our family and friends. 

For example, if someone’s family belittles a rape victim, they will learn to take rape as a joke. 

However, interacting with people with a better mentality can bring change in behaviour. Some people help others improve by making them understand their problematic activities. Unless the person is ignorant, it is fruitful to have a conversation to explain where they got it wrong.

“I used to be immature and bash my friends through Facebook posts. My schoolmates cancelled me seeing my toxic behaviour.”

“I now realise that what I did was unacceptable. Once I realised my mistakes, I reached out to them to reconcile. Thankfully, I was forgiven,” shared Shuvro Shaikot (pseudonym), an employee from VinnoPath Digital -- a marketing agency. 

Cancelling for silly reasons

It’s imperative to realise our faults and take necessary steps in order to fix the problematic situations and not get cancelled. Although many are egotistical and do not accept their mistakes, it is appreciable when someone is ready to apologise for their past behaviour.

Some people are cancelled for the most objectionable reasons, such as their looks or personality traits. 

Sadia Kabir Rasna, a teaching assistant at 10 Minute School, shared, “I was cancelled and labelled as a big, fat pig. I worked hard and changed my entire look. However, it was not to please them but to please me and boost my confidence level.”

“My reason for which I got cancelled was that I was an introvert,” shared another victim of cancellation, Tamim Nizar, an assistant event manager and graphics designer at Probritto. However, she now realises how unreasonable this practice of cancelling someone can be and she now pays little attention to what others have to say about her. 

When cancellation is needed

On the other hand, sometimes the situation demands to cancel people so that they can realise their mistakes, thinks Nuraine Chowdhury Moon, a 21-year old Microbiology student of North South University.

She shared a particular instance where cancelling worked, “The person is close to me and I couldn’t bear to see him going down the hill. He was a drug addict and after we abandoned him, he struggled to get better. It took him four years to get clean.”

Another person, Ashraf Hossen, the co-founder of Haulage Eco Laundry, shared, “We had to cancel a person who used to share private pictures of girls in random social media groups.”

“It was a gross activity and we didn’t want to associate with him anymore. Even though he claims to be better these days, it’s hard to believe.”

Realising the mistakes

Nevertheless, admitting to cancelling someone for a silly reason takes courage too. If someone misjudges others based on their appearance and apologises for it, it’s necessary to be kind towards them.

“I cancelled a girl just because I thought she was academically less brilliant and she was short. Later, she became the topper of the class. I misjudged her and apologised for it,” admits Meheran Islam, a 19-year old A’levels private student.

The mentality of people does not remain the same throughout their life. Growth occurs as we are exposed to new information and knowledge. 

If someone is cancelled forever, the door for improvement shuts as they believe their social life is over anyway.

We are not the same people we used to be 10 years ago. Cancel culture leaves no room for seeing people ameliorate their behaviour.

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