POINTING OUT SMALL-SCALE PROBLEMS DOES NOT DIMINISH ONE’S CAPACITY FOR TACKLING LARGE-SCALE PROBLEMS
+ Pointing out small-scale problems does not diminish one’s capacity for tackling large-scale problems. In fact, small-scale problems are born out of the larger ones, they feed into the larger ones, they keep those larger ones intact and acceptable to mainstream society. Every rape joke makes a rapist feel more comfortable amongst zir peers, and a victim less comfortable speaking up. Every racial stereotype on a TV show or in a macro on tumblr helps make every 3D person of color feel that much more 2D and invisible, makes that kid not want to speak up in class, makes that girl feel ugly, makes that bigot feel more welcome. Every “no-homo” in a music lyric or a standup act makes a queer person that much more afraid to be who they really are. Every “durr, that’s retarded” in general conversation reinforces a society where people with disabilities are dehumanized and reduced to an illness. Every time some hipster wears a headdress or talks about their spirit animals, that contributes to a climate that makes it harder for colonized cultures to hold onto the few shreds of identity, of dignity, that haven’t already been stripped from them, assimilated and commodified, because it’s not like there is no history of this literally, tangibly happening to civilization after civilization after civilization. It’s not like it isn’t still happening.
If you don’t understand how these “small, insignificant, nitpicky” things can build on each other, can chip away at a person and a community, congratulations. You are goddamn lucky. But you should, you know, try to understand. Because you live in a world with other people in it.
+ Klansmen and Westboro Baptists and other blatant, vocal bigots are easy to recognize, to fight, and to distance oneself from, but it’s not the only form of bigotry that exists. Would that it were. Modern day bigotry in this ~post-racial, ~post-feminist, ~post-everything society is much more insidious and much more harmful. It’s easy to say we’ve got no internalized prejudices just because we’re not like them. But at the end of the day that helps no one.
+ It’s not just TV. It’s not just comedy. It’s not just music or books. All media is made by real people in the real world, with all the baggage that goes along with that. That doesn’t mean everyone is required to analyze it critically, or that no one can have fun with it (or that people can’t do both at once! WEIRD, RIGHT?), but analysis is as valid a part of consuming media as squee. Telling people they should think less is about as non-constructive as it gets. No one’s trying to force people to read or engage in discussions against their will. No one’s trying to make anyone else feel bad for enjoying things. No one except the strawpeople, anyway.
+ We aren’t perfect, no one is. Since when is that a reason not to try to be conscious of how our words affect people? It’s not about who’s offended and who isn’t because that’s an individual thing that changes from day to day. It’s about trying, wherever possible, to avoid contributing to real systems of oppression that harm our entire society in tangible ways. Weirdly enough, it’s possible to do that and still manage to have fun on the internet.
re-reblogging this because i will constantly be repeating myself when it’s already been said better.