Unsupervised

Tonight has been absolutely horrible. It felt so hard to know what to do. I don’t want to ignore a victim, but I don’t want to repeat incredibly serious accusations that I have no way of substantiating either. It’s made me examine my attitudes pretty harshly - am I just a hypocrite who looks the other way when it’s difficult?  Do I stupidly trust people just because I like them when they cross my dash? Would I choose an entertaining dash over an anonymous victim I don’t have to think about?

The answer is no. This is the internet. Most people here are strangers to me. People lie and on the internet, lying is easy. I can’t fully support or fully condemn anyone I don’t know because I just don’t have the information. I’m not in a position to pretend to be dispensing any justice because there can be no fair public judgement from the position I’m in. All I can do is be responsible for my own behaviour. I don’t knowingly follow or otherwise engage with any minors. If people I don’t know talk to me, I never say anything remotely nsfw. I’m also going to use my common sense and make my own personal judgements of people based on what I see of them,because there is no other way to function.

All over my dash I see responsible adults telling minors to unfollow or block them. The same obviously goes for me. I’m not responsible however for unsupervised children who lie about or conceal their age. I have no investigative powers and I am not the police. I am not tumblr staff. To me, the sensible, responsible, fair thing to do is not talk about it pretending I have some authority that I really don’t.

what if it seems like batman has safehouses all over the country because he’s a paranoid maniac always ready to go into hiding in iowa, but actually he just goes on a lot of business trips for his day job and when he sees a cute house he buys it and stays there. he grew up in a big mansion with a butler, a house with only three rooms is like camping for him. he thinks it’s fun. he gets to play house and eat cereal for dinner. the flash accidentally committed some light treason and needs to lay low for a while so batman sets him up at this little place in maine. flash is like “wow he really does plan for everything” but no, he just saw an old queen anne with green shingle siding and white accents and he couldn’t help himself. it had a wraparound porch and a spire. a spire. technically it wasn’t in his carefully alloted ‘whims’ budget but he sold an extra yacht to make room. “geeze bats i get that it’s a safehouse but couldn’t you have stocked the pantry with something besides kix and peanut butter?” flash asks. “they’re shelf stable,” batman says, as if that is why he bought those things, as if this is not just What He Does when alfred leaves him unsupervised.

Fandom as a whole is not “minor-friendly”

Nor should it be.

If you want to live in a “Children of the Corn”-style bubble of innocence and purity, well, to me, that’s a startling approach to adolescence, but every generation’s got to find its own way to reject the one before, so: do as you will.  But you can’t bring the bubble to the party, kids.  Fandom, established media-style fandom, was by and for adults before some of your parents were born now.  You don’t get to show up and demand that everyone suddenly change their ways because you’re a minor and you want to enjoy the benefits of adult creative activity without the bits that make you uncomfortable.  If you think you’re old enough to be roaming the Internet unsupervised, then you also think you’re old enough to be working out your limits by experience, like everybody else, like I did when I was underage and lying about it online.  If you’re not old enough to be roaming the Internet unsupervised and you’re doing it anyway, then that’s on your parents, not on fandom.

If you were only reading fic rated G on AO3, if you had the various safe modes on other media enabled, you would be encountering very little disturbing material, anyway (at least in the crude way people tend to define “disturbing” these days; some of the most frankly horrifying art I have ever engaged with would have been rated PG at most under present systems, but none of that kind of work ever seems to draw your protests).  In the end, what you really want is to be able to seek out the edges of your little world, but be able to blame other people when you don’t like what you find.  Sorry.  Adolescence is when you get to stop expecting others to pad your world for you and start experiencing the actual consequences of the risks you take, including feeling appalled and revolted at what other people think and feel.

Now, ironically, fandom’s actually a fairly good place for such risk-taking, as, for the most part, you control whether you engage and you can choose the level of your engagement.   You can leave a site, blacklist something, stop reading an author, walk away from your computer.  Are there actual people (as opposed to works of art, which cannot engage with you unless you engage with them) who will take advantage of you in fandom?  Of course there are.  Unfortunately, such people are everywhere.  They will be there however “innocent” and “wholesome” the environment appears to be, superficially.  That’s evil for you.  There are abusers in elementary school.  There are abusers in scout troops.  There are abusers in houses of worship.  Shutting down adult creative activity because you happen to be in the vicinity isn’t going to change any of that.  It may help you avoid some of those icky feelings that you get when you think about sex (and you live in a rape culture, those feelings are actually understandable, even if your coping techniques are terrible), but no one, except maybe your parents, has a moral imperative to help you avoid those.  

In the end, you’re not my kid and you’re not my intended audience.  I’m under no obligation to imagine only healthy, wholesome relationships between people for your benefit.  Until you’re old enough to understand that the world is not exclusively made up of people whose responsibility it is to protect you from your own decisions, yes, you’re too young for established media fandom.  Fandom shouldn’t be “friendly” to you.  

listen everyone says that viktor and yuuri are yuri’s parents but to be honest its 100% the other way around and this was extremely evident after the chihoko incident

yuri finds out about how viktor climbed up to the top of hasetsu ice castle ass naked and begged yuuri to join him. and then yuuri did.

so after he calls the fucking fire department to rescue them from the top of the ice castle he just goes up to viktor and

“you’re grounded. for a week. not allowed to leave the house unless it’s for training. and no alcohol either.”

and yuuri gets to laugh at viktor for a solid 5 seconds before yuri goes “youre grounded too katsudon. go to ur room. both of u. and u better not have sex tonight”

and viktor and yuuri start complaining at first but then yuris just “dont make me make you two sleep in separate rooms”

More things Bruce has said to his kids:

Dick:

“You were such a cute kid. What happened?”

“So, if everyone else jumps from the roof, would you jump too? … I know that you jump from the roof every night … It was a rhetorical question!!”

“I love you, but go away”

Jason:

“Do you understand English?! I said no more killing!”

“Language, dammit!”

“You cannot sell your brothers on Craigslist!”

Tim:

“Why did you just put that in your mouth? … I don’t care if it was a dare! Spit it out!”

“I’m not talking to you until you put on pants”

“At what point did you think it was a good idea to test how long you could go without sleep?”

Damian:

“He is your older brother, do not use him for target practice”

“I understand that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s, but don’t let the dog eat off your fork!”

“Did you give Tim a black eye? … No, the dog was not the one to do it, try again”

Stephanie:

“Why did you put makeup on Dick? Now he won’t stop talking about his cheekbones“

“Stephanie, you don’t even live here, why are you paining the living room?“

“Will you stop trying to hug Damian? He claims that affection makes him breakout in hives“

Cassandra:

“You’re my favorite child“

‘I need you to watch the boys while I’m out … Yes, I know that most of them are grown men, but they seem to get into trouble when left unsupervised“

“I’m glad that I have one sane child“

The Problem With Cringe Culture

From what I’ve seen, the phenomenon dubbed Cringe Culture is a paragon of insecurity, internalized misogyny, and self-loathing.

Let me elaborate a little here:  here on Tumblr (and in life in general, honestly), a lot of folks are very pre-occupied with what is or isn’t Cringey.  It’s a dynamic somewhat reminiscent of an eighth grade schoolyard, but that’s really not the issue here.  

What Tumblr folks dub Cringey are typically things that are enjoyed by young teens (in particular, young girls) exploring fandom and fan creativity for the first time.

Yes, these teens are frequently obnoxious, overzealous, and loud, but it’s an exciting time for kids:  we as adults may have comfortably settled into our interests, but for them it’s an avenue of unsupervised self-expression they may not have experienced before.  Moreover, they have little to no experience in moderating themselves, which is one of the reasons why I believe the act of mocking them to be a somewhat callous one.  

Are they occasionally annoying?  Subjectively, yes.  I frequently find young teens and tweens annoying, particularly when they’re being loud and obnoxious during my allotted writing time.  But I don’t shame them for it, on here or in real life, because I’m an adult and they are literally children .  

And most importantly, so are the people mocking them.

I’ll elaborate once again:  I’m nineteen.  Most of my friends, both on here and on my other blog, are fellow chill late teens and twenty-somethings.  And I’ve never seen any adult who’s secure in their own self-image do anything other than Do Their Own Thing and allow everyone else do the same.

In other words, I’ve been involved in fandom for a few years now, and almost everyone I’ve seen actively participating in cringe culture has turned out to be no older than seventeen or so themselves, and probably (consciously or otherwise) attempting to distance themselves from their “embarrassing” younger alter egos and feel more confident in their purported maturity. 

Because they probably did some Cringey things when they were fourteen, too:  maybe they drew manga OCs on DeviantArt with needlessly elaborate hair, ran a passionate SuperWhoLock blog, read Homestuck, wrote angsty poetry about turning into wolves, et cetera.  

Of course, the whole point here is that there is literally nothing wrong with any of these things:  they’re harmless examples of children exploring revenues of creativity for the first time, that we’ve been conditioned to find embarrassing.  

Now, I’m not going to pretend I didn’t have this phase myself:  I once got into an impassioned argument on Facebook with a bunch of One Direction fans when I was sixteen or so, in which I dismissed their obsession as being Stupid and Juvenile and proclaimed my favored Heavy Metal as being far superior.  

Now, I’m still not into One Direction in the slightest, but if I could go back in time I would probably smack my sixteen-year-old self upside the head and tell her to leave people alone and let them do their own thing.

Of course, a large part of my reasoning was also driven at the time by my unfortunate Not Like Other Girls phase, in which I wanted to distance myself from the silliness of my fellow teen girls as much as possible.  I may or may not have still been in my “I hate pink” phase, which I still shudder to think about to this day.

Which brings me to another one of Cringe Culture’s more problematic aspects:  it’s inherently a little misogynist, in that almost everyone who partakes in it is attempting to distance themselves from the interests of teenage girls.

Shows like Doctor Who, Steven Universe, Voltron, Supernatural, Yuri on Ice, and many others all have passionate and predominantly young female fanbases, and as such, people seem unwittingly inclined to see them as inherently vapid, annoying, or Cringey in a way that equally vocal male-dominated fandoms simply aren’t.  

Even being a Trekkie (Star Trek fan) was considered embarrassing when the fandom was predominantly female populated, although the means by which fanfiction and discourse was exchanged was via fan-run zines rather than Tumblr blogs.  Now that men are in on it, it’s considered one of the best fandoms there is.

More male populated fandoms such as Game of Thrones, the Walking Dead, the DC and Marvel cinematic universes, and Star Wars are just as impassioned, and have had just as many ideological issues in the past.  Yet are these things ever denigrated as being Cringy or annoying?  Not that I can recall.

Another one of my greatest issues with Cringe Culture is that it discourages passion:  I have never encountered a fandom, Cringey or otherwise, that hasn’t produced genuinely stunning works of art and fiction.  Moreover, I’ve never encountered a fandom that doesn’t have fans who have cited it as what saved them from depression or even suicide.  

So if someone’s passionate about something, even if it’s something of no value to you, it costs absolutely zero dollars to mind your own goddamn business and not taint their joy with your own insecurity, cynicism, and internalized self-loathing.  

Similarly, I can speak from experience when I say my interests and fandoms got me through the very worst period of my adolescence, and I’d be a significantly less happy person if I didn’t have still have them to fall back on.  Not everyone’s sole source of enjoyment and comfort in life comes from nihilistic memes.

So if you want to take a step towards fostering a more creative generation, take a step away from Cringe Culture.  Respect other people’s interests, and openly and unabashedly enjoy your own.  Question why you think certain interests are Cringey, and try to distance yourself from the mentality that you’re a better or cooler person for being less similar to young women.

And finally, try and forgive your fourteen-year-old self for whatever cringiness they may have been culpable of, and tell them that you love them anyway.

i figured out that in mobile tapper games that let you buy ‘hold your finger down instead of tapping’ upgrades (most of them do this now afaik, some are iap exclusive but not all) i can just leave the game on overnight with my phone on a charger and a small tomato on the screen. but now whenever andrew catches me actually playing he’s like “what are you doing? that’s tomato work.” and anyway i feel like tomato work in general is a metaphor for something

why some teens believe everything the light of their internet-capable device touches is their kingdom

(‘what about that shadowy place over there?’

‘that’s pornhub, simba. you must never go there.’)

we all see plenty of posts about how adults on the internet need to remember that ‘kids’ (read: teens) are around and we must bear that in mind. and these posts are not entirely without merit. It’s important to keep conversations being held with teens carefully teen-friendly and appropriately distant. but the entirety of tumblr and twitter aren’t designed to cater to the safety of minors, and all the adult self-policing in the world won’t make all the kid-unfriendly content go away.

not all teens believe the internet should have gutter bumpers for them, either. but those that do have mystified me for a while … until I started to understand just how pervasive ‘helicopter parenting’ is in parts of American (and UK) culture, and how that affects the adolescents and young adults of today.

anonymous asked:

a thing worth noting re anyone who pulls the ‘you can’t blacklist on mobile, minors can still see it’ thing to say even tagged content isn’t okay: even if washboard didn’t exist, the tumblr app is rated 17/18+ in app stores. if people under that age get on the app and see things they shouldn’t, that’s on them and their parents/guardians, because they shouldn’t actually have been using the app in the first place.

agreed.

Honestly, though, the argument has moved past this in some ways. It’s not so much about whether or not teenagers are allowed to see this thing or that thing; it’s a well-known fact that most teenagers will break rules if it suits them and they can get away with it, and internet time is a prime space wherein they can do so.

What’s happened is that some adolescents - teens with parents that are overly protective and crowd their schedules with supervised activities, usually - have been taught by their life experience that:

  • all adults in their vicinity are there to protect them. and no wonder: the large majority of their contact with adults will have been as supervisors. Teachers, teacher assistants, instructors, daycare employees, and coaches are all adults who are paid to watch their activity and will be held responsible for the teen’s wellbeing by their guardians. when have they ever spent time with adults who aren’t in charge of making sure they’re safe?
  • any space they are in will be designed and maintained with their safety and comfort in mind (no matter how they obtained access). all spaces they enter are specifically meant to revolve around them: schools, sports, playgrounds, etc. The few occasions that they have to enter spaces not meant specifically for them (stores, etc) they are closely watched by adults and any harm they experience will be blamed on adults as a result.
  • if they can get access, it must be a space that’s safe for them. Having spent very little of their lives unsupervised, they have always been actively prevented from entering spaces that are not meant for them. They’ve never had to learn to set boundaries for themselves, so they naturally reason that if a boundary is not actively enforced, it must actually be a space they’re meant to enter.
  • they are not responsible for themselves. adults around them are responsible for them. if they come to harm, it’s because an adult wasn’t doing their job properly.

for teens of this mindset, ‘18+ ONLY’ warnings are merely a suggestion. Nobody is stopping them, after all, and it has never been their job to stop themselves. and if they can get access, the space is now theirs - because all spaces they are in are theirs. they couldn’t get there unless it was meant for them; that’s how it works, right?

This is why some teens are utterly flabbergasted by the idea that adults on the internet want to interact with fellow adults on an adult level in a space the teen can access. They’re here! That means the space is specifically meant to cater to them! The adults are automatically tasked with their safety! If teens do get into trouble, it’s because the adults weren’t responsible enough! that’s how this has always worked.

And when adults say ‘no, I do not take responsibility for your actions, the internet is full of things that may frighten or harm you and you must set your own boundaries,’ it’s distressing and scary all at once.

(no wonder so many people in their late teens/early 20′s want to still be considered as children.)

EDIT (10/9/2017, 4 days after originally posting): if you’re seeing this post in its original form, I hope you’ll read some of the excellent reblogs disagreeing with it. I think that this post kind of misses the point, which is: some of it may be emotionally invaded teens, but some is just that teens who grew up around this kind of behavior from their parents and adults have learned that they can use their minor status as a kind of power play and thus stand up to demand coddling in fandom spaces.

the culprit that I still maintain is the heart of the problem is the structure of sites like tumblr and twitter, which knocked down all barriers and moderation in fandom and made fandom feel chaotic and uncontrollable. we’re all looking for ways to control our experience in an environment of this kind; some find it by demanding others change what they produce, and others do it by curating what what they see of the production of others. this post doesn’t reflect that well, however, and I apologize for talking down to teenagers who have the agency to think for themselves no matter how their parents behaved. 

honestly i wish the mcu were Cool enough to do the whole “tony can get what groot is saying bc he’s gotten so much practice from reading his bots” thing bc like on top of that groot is pm a teenager now

“i am groot!”

“no.”

(“what is he saying tony”)

“i am groot!!!”

“i already said no!!”

(“tony?? should we be worried?”)

“i!! am!! gr—“

“cry me a river about an intergalactic crisis G-Tree!!!! you can’t pilot a spaceship unsupervised!!!!!!!”

Happy Pregnancy! Part 1: Revelation
  • [Bakugou and Uraraka are in their 20s at their apartment when Uraraka emerges from the bathroom to their bedroom as Bakugou gets dressed.]
  • Bakugou: You're what?
  • Uraraka: ...I'm pregnant. -_-|||
  • Both: I can't believe it!
  • Bakugou: F#&k yes! When did that happen? I lost track of how many times we -
  • Uraraka: Katsuki! Stop saying stuff like that out loud.
  • Bakugou: Oi, Ochako, *pinches Uraraka's cheek* even though you're having my kid, you don't seem that excited.
  • Uraraka: ^^ I'm really happy that I'm having /our/ child. You can't tell anybody, though. I just broke into the top 20 pro heroes, and we're only engaged. Things like this are harder for women, you know? So wait, okay? *holds her finger up to her mouth*
  • Bakugou: I gotta go work. *grumbles and heads out the door to report for duty*
  • Uraraka: Katsuki? You heard me, right? Right? T-T *chases after him*
  • [Next]