There’s still a lot to parse out about the David Bowie thing. I’ve had a lot of people tell me I need to let people grieve. I’ve heard a lot of good points about not forcing victim labels on people. But what about those who are survivors? Isn’t it just as wrong to tell them not to express their anger over a society that seems to worship so many men who have assaulted women and girls? Shouldn’t they be allowed to hate David Bowie just as much as anyone should be allowed to love him?
Keep in mind, this is not just about David Bowie. There’s a long list of famous white men who have assaulted, sexually and physically, women and girls, and have seen their crimes go largely ignored by media and the wider population. So when one of them dies and survivors have to watch them once again be widely celebrated and talked about like they were perfect cinnamon rolls, that’s of course going to trigger a lot of anger.
And that is made all the worse when people try to express their feelings of anger or despair or pain, and they’re met with people trying to do everything in their power to deny David Bowie ever did anything wrong. Even if you really believe that, that’s the exact wrong response to have. This is about more than one rock star. It’s about a culture that you are now actively participating in by demonstrating that you think the reputation of a man whose reputation honestly could hardly be tarnished by anything at this point is more important than the health and safety of survivors and of women and girls everywhere.
I didn’t want to argue about what David Bowie had done. My second post on the subject said exactly that. That’s why I didn’t want to post about it at all on Facebook. But I did, and it turns out that my Facebook friends were a hell of a lot more understanding than Tumblr. I just wanted survivors to know that someone was thinking about them.
Then I got kinda mobbed by people claiming it wasn’t rape or telling me to be silent about it, and as we all know, I don’t take that kind of thing well. I mean, am I not going to respond to that shit? I can’t let that shit fly. And of course I’m tagging it all with David Bowie because that’s what I asked people to do in the first place, so I get more angry Bowie fans in my inbox who of course did not read my original posts on the matter (and honestly I didn’t expect people to go back through my blog before responding, I don’t do that), and it all crumbles into fuckery.
Anyway. I don’t blame people for grieving for Bowie but I also want to support people who are angry about him being celebrated, honestly. I’m tired of famous white guys who have assaulted women and girls being celebrated, too. We need to end this culture of permissiveness and excuse-making.