Cancel Culture Isn’t Real

We just don’t have a real example of accountability

Elyse Cizek
16 min readMar 13, 2021
Photo of the Author by Aly Whitman

I’m really tired of hearing the word “cancelled.” I’m tired of it not only because all of my favorite events over the past year have been cancelled, or that the places I once loved and the people who I once looked up to have been called out for being problematic, but because the term “cancel culture” has arisen as a misnomer for what we’re actually watching unfold as our society decides to bring problematic behavior to the surface of our conversation.

I’ve written about cancelling quite a bit. Primarily because I’ve observed the term first thrown by well-intended social justice warriors, then the response from those who find cancelling to be a toxic practice of censorship and a supposed violation of first amendment rights to free speech. Because I’ve already written about the problematic nature of “cancelling,” I’m not going to go into deep detail about every individual instance or specific person or piece of art or practice that has been cancelled this year. Instead, I’m going to ask you what about the topic of cancelling seems to be such a hot button issue, and what I believe is missing entirely from the conversation.

To be human is to be flawed. To be human is to desire connection. We want to be seen, we want to be heard, we want our experiences to be valid and…