YouTube comments aren’t “just the Internet.” They’re not the product of a group of otherwise nice guys who suddenly become evil when they wear a veil of anonymity. YouTube comments are actually a nightmarish glimpse into the sexist attitudes that define the fabric of our own existence in the “real world,” a world that, like YouTube, is owned and dominated by men. The most terrifying gift that the Internet has given us is that it’s shown us how men honestly perceive the world: as a place where women exist exclusively for their sexual pleasure.
In the wake of VidCon, and as more and more women start speaking up about the harassment they face online, it’s time to start realizing that our narrative of progress is deeply flawed. Things aren’t getting better for women on the Internet; they’re deteriorating and ignoring the problem amounts to being complicit in it."
— "For women on the Internet, it doesn’t get better" by Samantha Allen (via albinwonderland)
schemilix said: On the topic of cultural appropriation in fantasy, what IS the line between including non-Western cultures in fantasy and accidentally being disrespectful and hurtful? Is it that one should avoid clearly religious/spiritual aspects? I mean the last thing people should do is avoid those people entirely in case someone gets upset because then you're back to 'white medieval Europe' square one, so what's representation and what's appropriation?
To be honest you seem kind of exasperated and I don’t really get why.
I’m not sure what kind of answer you’re expecting. I can’t provide you with some kind of comprehensive list of every single cultural concept you should avoid in order to somehow avoid future discomfort when someone who actually belongs to that culture confronts you over your use or misuse of aspects of their culture. I don’t belong to every culture in the world and can’t speak for anyone else. I’m not a broker or ambassador for anyone else, and the authority to designate what is and isn’t harmful to others is not vested in me.
All it really takes is doing the same thing MOST writers, artists and creative people do: research. dialogue. basic human consideration. understanding of how society works, and behaving respectfully towards others.
If someone says, “Hey! Don’t do that, it’s harmful to me” then stop doing it. There are some people whose cultures, religions, or races have been so badly misrepresented, they prefer no one who does not belong to their culture write about them at all, ever. Respect that.
The problem here is that you want an easy answer, someone to tell you what to do and how to behave, and I can’t do that. People who belong to the same culture often disagree about this topic, too. “culture” isn’t monolithic. Do YOU agree on everything with everyone you are perceived to share a culture with? Of course not. “Western”/eurocentric cultures don’t have a monopoly on human individuality.
The bottom line is, we all have to share a messed up world with each other, and the discomfort of easing that burden is also unevenly distributed. Some people are encouraged by society to railroad over other people’s lives and truths, and then go on to produce media which in turn trains and reinforces the idea the some people are entitled to railroad over other people. You can either reinforce it or go against it.
And everyone has to deal with that. Some people deal with that by feeling entitled to be comfortable all the time, and would rather trigger the oppressive systems that are already in place to easily silence those who are being harmed by having their race or culture misrepresented in the media. Others deal with it by aggressively defending their own character or repeating “I’m a good person, so everything I DO is good, therefore this is okay”.
Or, you could deal with it by being uncomfortable for a few minutes, owning up to the fact that you harmed someone, or MANY people, apologize, and just flipping deal with it.
If you’re looking for some kind of preventative medicine, listening is probably a good start, instead of reacting or demanding.
For those who think “But you really expect me to think about how my words and actions might affect every person of color in the world???” Well.
Consider I was just basically asked to speak for every person of color in the world. Like I said, why don’t we spread that burden around a little bit.
Nobody said fixing this mess would be easy.
Someone on twitter recently reminded me that this post exists, and I’ve had 20 versions of the same question sitting in my inbox for a while…just a reminder, there are no easy answers.
so the other day i was at work, talking to one of my co-workers. we somehow got into the topic of tv shows, and he asked me if i had seen orange is the new black. of course, i say. i binged watched the second season in like five days.
i’m enjoying watching it, but it’s not really about anything, is it? he says.
it’s about inmates in a women’s prison, i say.
i mean — he laughs. i just watched ten episodes in a row. nothing happens.
i don’t know what he means. i tell him so. it’s about what happens to these women, i say.
it’s just — there’s no goal, no final end result, he says to me. it’s like a chick flick.
i ask him why he thinks it’s a chick flick. he doesn’t respond; we’re working, we have to go do something else, and i don’t see him for the rest of the night.
i know what he means, though. orange is the new black is a show about women; therefore, it isn’t really about anything. it’s a show about what happens to women; so nothing is really happening. it’s about women, so it’s irrelevant.
sometimes it’s easy to forget that sexism isn’t always loud and violent, but sometimes rather quiet, unassuming, dismissive.