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Unsolicited critique

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 Unsolicited critique happens to marginalized people as a part of existing in shared spaces, and is frequently paired with (or justified by) the phrase "I just thought you'd like to know!"

  • Unsolicited critiques of a marginalized person's everyday presentation or activities create feelings of exposure and surveillance
    • This reminds marginalized people that their existence is subject to the approval of the dominant culture
  • Unsolicited critiques of a person's work or creative endeavors put them in the position of needing to choose how to respond to feedback at unexpected times
    • This amounts to an "emotional labor tax"
    • Since marginalized people are expected to be pleasant and accomodating, choosing not to accept the critique as valid is difficult and may carry heavy consequences
  • Related to Unsolicited advice and Body policing


  • "You'd look so good if you only wore a little more makeup!"
  • "Your talk was pretty good- a little rocky at the beginning but you smoothed out alright once you got going." (in a social context where critique was not solicited)
  • "Your email this morning was really harsh- I just thought you'd like to know."

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