Wrong Conversations With Advocates


I was chatting recently with a man i have some time for. We were in a pub. It was lunch time. I am tall. he is small. He believes in an advocates mindset. I don’t. He does things i don’t. I do things he don’t. Somethings he will and i won’t and somethings i will and he won’t. There are diffferences between us but it doesn’t matter. We are by and large good guys with things in common and the main one of these is advocacy. Anyway we were getting on, talking about people we know, projects we know, things we do; when the idea of advocates’ stalkers was aired. It transpired that we have this in common. He made it clear that he knew other male advocates who had their stalkers. We discussed this together with much humour though it clearl y has a dark side. What does having a staler mean for an advocate? Why would someone want to stalk an advocate? Apparently there are classic stalker signs. Our experiences measured up to them. We work with disempowered people who may never have been listened to, who now through advocacy find someone who not only listens but actively supports what they are saying, who actively fights their corner, who suddenly appears to be a knight in shining armour as oppposed to the man they just want to be. It can be a heavy burden. to be followed, to be loved, to be adored. its the last thing you want, the repsonse that c omes with it, that they suddenly turn into an army for the adovcate.

Given the seriousness of the issue. What is there to be done. he had spoken about it with friends outside the movement. He had been given some good ideas, some bad ones too. Chief amongst them is that you have to kill the stalker. i am not sure that i could do that. You have to get them to hate you. I might be more pliable about that otion. You have to get someone else to kill them. Maybe another stalker could do that for you and the consequences of their action in murdering the first stalker will be that they come to hate you. Two stalkers with one stone.

 

Anyway,we were two men involved in advocacy, talking about advocacy, enjoying ourselves with much wit, ribaldry and wisdom, when one of our stalkers walked in. they were holding a stick of dynamite. Kaboom.

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