Activist Love Languages

i've solved all the arguments

Activist Love Languages
like the sky in this one

A little while back, my partner and I realised we were talking past each other a little in discussions about how we showed each other affection, so we cast around for something that could help us communicate better. We found love languages, which is a framework that says that most forms of affection romantic partners show can be split into various categories: words of affirmation, quality time, giving gifts, acts of service and physical touch, and that most people naturally favour one or two. I, for instance, tend to lean towards acts of service, which is why I'm usually the one who does the dishes. Identifying those in each of us meant we came away understanding how we could better show the other we loved them.

This highly unscientific exploration of my own relationship caused me to ponder when thinking about the endless, tedious discussions that happen in left circles about what we should prioritise, whether protest matters, how much we should fret about language, etc. These issues are "talkers"—things that people go around and around on endlessly, there's always some new event to talk about. It's something that's easy to have an opinion on and many people seem to have an excess of emotion about.

But what if we were to look at it less about what we "should" be focusing on and more as a matter of inherent personal preferences, with people putting higher value on different things? What if e.g. focus on linguistic consideration is just someone's activist love language? They might see leafleting or demonstration as someone whose primary language is words of affirmation would see gift-giving and physical touch—nice, but it doesn't really speak to them in the same way. We should definitely try and work out as best we can what the best tactics are empirically, but maybe some arguments could be defused by people considering whether something is actually appropriate or just speaking their activist love language.

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