I think the other terrible thing about the MRA/Occidental College rape form thing is that they automatically jump to thinking about worries of women reporting false rape claims.
At no point does it seem to occur to them that this form would be a really useful way for male rape victims to talk about their own experiences. They don’t care about male rape victims, no matter how much they point it out as “proof” feminists are oppressing them.
I feel like the problem with the “romanticising mental illness” thing might be that a lot tumblr sj-ers don’t actually consult crazy/disabled people about what they think or inform themselves about contemporary activism/thought in this area.
So… they’re still working from a “medical model” approach to atypical neurologies- ie these things as illness/disease, something innately tragic to be taken very seriously at all times and cured/recovered from. Rather than as an equal oppressed identity in need of acceptance.
The handful of friends I truly love- all have rare, uncommon brains and it causes them all a hell of a lot of trouble and pain. However none of that pain seems to be in anyway innate or inevitable. It’s social intolerance and rigidity that seems to be most responsible.
I don’t apologise for thinking my friends brains are astonishingly beautiful and precious to me- yes, partly because they’re uncommon and if singing that from the rooftops is “romanticising mental illness” then so be it.
calling people out vs. calling for their head (response to jennifer lawrence controversy)
I’m all for holding people accountable, but these kinds of condemning posts are starting to feel a little witch-hunt-y? (Also, I’m not really referring to the actual act of collecting these things into lists, as yourfaveisproblematic does, but to the discussion/reactions I tend to see around these lists.) Like, yes, we cannot and should not ignore shitty things someone says just because we like them. But framing that as, LOOK AT THESE REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD HATE THIS AWFUL PERSON is pretty problematic.
And again, I’m not saying that these types of issues should be excused (trust me, I’m really really not), but we should try to keep it on our minds that racism and sexism and ableism and allosexism, etc. are all societally taught, institutionalized, and normalized things.
By the very nature of how this works, ignoranceis the default until you’re exposed to information to the contrary. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, says and does ignorant things that reinforce oppressive structures. Yes, your level of ignorance varies a lot based on your background and environment; yes, privilege means that you are never exposed to a ton of important things and ideas that others were forced to confront. No, that’s not fair, and no, that doesn’t mean you’re not responsible for ignorant mistakes.
You’ve probably done a lot of this stuff before (even you, role-model activists). Maybe you used terms like schizophrenia or OCD flippantly. Maybe you used to say things like “that’s gay” or “I raped that test” or “that’s retarded”. Maybe you had a culturally appropriating halloween costume, or misgendered a trans* person, or asked an asexual person how they can live like that. Hell, you probably still do a ton of ignorant things all the time, even things that you have been made aware of. Everyone is ignorant. Calling someone out is fine, great even. Calling someone ignorant is fine. Calling someone an bigoted asshole for their ignorance (and yes, ignorance and bigotry are different) is NOT helpful to anyone. By all means, if someone is a bigoted asshole, then demand their head and call them a bigoted asshole. But stop jumping to this at the very first sign of any ignorance. What good does that do?
Consuming media critically is about critical thought, not pure criticism. Activism is supposed to be active. It’s about changing patterns: of thought, of behaviour, of institutions. It’s not about superiority.
Spread the information you have and learn. Don’t use it as a new way to judge and condemn. Before you assume someone is evil, try to see if they’re just ignorant instead. It will make your activism a hell of a lot more effective.