Posts Tagged ‘gender’
Tonight on Twitter, my friend R posted a link to this gem (and by “gem,” I mean “piece of unadulterated asshattery.”) I mean, was the racist text really necessary? No, no it wasn’t and it never is (and if your “joke” relies on racism, or any other *ism, it’s not funny in the first place). “If you can’t see this, squint your eyes” would have been perfectly appropriate, non-racist instructions to see the hidden image. It doesn’t require taking a stand or fighting back against oppression, it just requires not being a douchebag.
This got me me thinking about Cracked.com. Some of the articles they post, like this one on 7 People Who Cheated Death, are actually really interesting. I mean, these people survived some amazing things, often because they were fucking determined not to die, but their awesomeness can and should be admired without associating their awesome escapes from death’s clutches with masculinity.
Alexis Goggins, #1 on their list, took six bullets at point blank rage… to protect her mother. She was six years old at the time. You have to admire that sort of badassery, but do we have to compliment her by saying she’s “more man than we’ll ever be”? Uh, no.
We could say “holy shit I hope I am half as cool as her when I grow up” or “she gave Death a serious ass kicking and the finger” or any of a number of other colloquial, profanity laden compliments that don’t erase her gender and replace it with the apparently more “superior” masculinity.
Girls don’t get shot six times to protect their loved ones; men do.
To hell with that.
The saddest thing is how much of the internet (and fandom as a whole) ruins the experience with extraneous asshattery. We can be loud and profane without being offensive. It involves choosing our words a little more carefully, but we can do it, and we should, because it’s the right thing to do.
(I am on a roll tonight…)
(Title taken from the TV Tropes article; it’s an acronym for the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory.)
Both Fandom Wank and Encyclopedia Dramatica (both links are NSFW and ED in particular is basically the polar opposite of a safe space) exist, more or less, to make fun of people who make fools of themselves online. Okay, that’s cool. Maybe a little schadenfreude or gossipy or whatever, but sometimes – as a fan – you have to sit back and laugh at the antics of your fandom. (Admit it: you’ve whined about people who don’t ‘ship your OTP and wondered if they’re even reading/watching the same story as you, gotten annoyed at the newbies who missed the first thousand discussions about the epileptic trees and think they’re the first one to come up with it, and there are some voice actors who should just not talk about their characters, because they’re doin’ it wrong. Remember, there was a time when you were probably not wise enough to keep this outburst in the comfort of your own journal, or a community dedicated to whining about these things.*)
So, now that we’ve established that poking fandom with a big stick can be fun, because this is fandom and we’re all here to have fun, right?, what I wanted to write about is the completely different ways these two sites go about doing what they do. For example, in a recent post in Fandom Wank, the OP made an edit/announcement that the person in question was to be referred to with masculine pronouns, as is his preference. (The person in question – thanfiction – had been known in fandom as Victoria Bitter before he transitioned.) There was some confusion, and a lot of asshattery – but here, in a community dedicated to making fun of people, the OP lays down the law: you can make fun of thanfiction for the drama he’s caused, now and in the past (and boy, has he ever caused a lot of drama), but you may not mock his gender identity.
This is awesome. Here’s a group of people who gather to make fun of other people on the internet, but they’re encouraged not to be douchebags about it.
Encyclopedia Dramatica… well, not so much. (Read at your own risk.) I happened upon an article and it came across as “my [cis/straight/abled] male privilege, let me show it to you shove it in your face!” You could probably play *ism bingo: put a marker down for each oppression you find on ED… but you have to cover the whole board, since I’m sure you can get bingo on one article alone. (I wouldn’t recommend a drinking game; you’d probably get alcohol poisoning from the first article.)
Of course, I’m sure the denizens of ED would claim that they’re just doing what f_w is doing, and I’m just being ~too sensitive~ because I don’t have a sense of humor, or something – but as f_w has shown us, you can be snarky and funny and bitter without being a douche. I’m not sure why that’s so hard for some people.
*sometimes, wank is not just whining, it’s discussing a legitimate concern; in my opinion, that’s moved out of the realm of “wankery” and into the realm of “important discussions worth having,” even when the argument gets heated