sjer

I agree with many of the concerns about Hydra Cap and who produced him and how those involved handled criticism (that is: they didn’t) but

I really really hope a certain type of SJer doesn’t overcorrect and expand that to “no one should ever write heroes as villains” or “the only heroes you can write as villains are cishet white able-bodied men”

And I honestly don’t trust bad SJ not to go there

Here’s my issue with “it can be used as a tool for abuse, so it shouldn’t exist”:

Social justice is fucking ripe with the potential for abuse. 

Like, I cannot count how many times popular sj bloggers have ended up being revealed as abusers. Social justice is built on guilt, it’s built on prioritizing some people over others, and it has the lovely tendency to ignore actual people’s experiences that don’t fit the narrative. 

People have to write articles to other sjers about how anyone can abuse anyone. That’s a novel idea in social justice ideology, that marginalized people can abuse people with privilege. That interpersonal relationships are not defined entirely by privilege/oppression dynamics. 

So the people who are attacking ships and shippers left and right on the basis of “your ships are tools for abusers”: when are they gonna apply that same standard to their own ideology? When do we get to “oh, well, social justice isn’t bad on it’s own, but it’s got so much potential to be used by abusers, nobody should be allowed to do it anymore”?

also, yes yes yes to @earlgraytay on “the people you’re trying to help are problematic.”

A depressingly noticeable number of poor white disabled people bemoan their lot by yelling about “illegals,” “terrorists,” miscellaneous brown people, and shudder shudder SPANISH SPEAKERS who they don’t understand and who thus must be PLOTTING NEFARIOUS THINGS. Who, they claim loudly and often, steal all the public housing, and act worse than anyone else. Should I refuse to help these bigots when they have serious medical issues, on the grounds that racists deserve to DIAF LOL?

A depressingly noticeable number of the same people, though now let’s include some POC, whee!, think that gay people are horrible and disgusting. Should I refuse to help them when they have been trapped languishing in a nursing facility for years because not even their own family cares about them any more, on the grounds that when they rant like that they are actually unknowingly telling me to my face that I deserve to DIAF LOL?

When you SJers whose activism is all online “call someone out” for “being problematic,” please just recognize that the problematic you are seeing and picking at? Is really minor. Most people who are not wealthy, or well educated, or marinating in a certain academic environment are far, far more problematic than Joss Whedon, or Michael Bay, or even, gaspy gaspy gasp, Steven Moffat.

If you want to make the world better, you need to realize that some of the people you need to make the world better for are going to be people whose views fundamentally horrify you.

Y’all are picking at low hanging fruit and acting like you’re saving the world.

  • Anti-SJers: You bloggers want EVERYTHING! You won't rest until you have a double-amputee queer person of color as a main character in a AAA title! Well guess what?! It's never going to happen! It wouldn't work and no one's ever going to do it! So just shut up! JUST SHUT UP!
  • Sir Hammerlock: What ho, my bigoted and unwelcoming friend, and welcome to the vast, ecologically exciting world of Pandora!

Anti-SJers: look im at a chinese restaurant EATING ASIAN FOOD. am i culturally appropriating yet?? am i oppressing anyone yet?? stay mad SJWs!!

I kind of want to retire the idea...

…of being a “critical fan.”

I saw the phrase most recently on my dash, in a post I swear existed but that I can no longer find, critiquing Big Hero 6 because if the source material were followed accurately everyone would be Japanese.

I actually agreed with the questions it raised: why was this stuff changed? What does that mean?

But I didn’t like the injunction to “be a critical fan.”

It’s not that I think people shouldn’t be critical (or shouldn’t be fans!) I loved the fact that almost every character in Mad Max had a disability, but it wasn’t A Disability Movie, it was a Car Chase Movie For Dudes Who Like Explody. But I also wondered why all the War Boys were white, in a setting where it’s probably terribly easy to get skin cancers. (If that’s why the War Boys are all sick, and the warlord a few hundred days’ ride east has a healthy army of darker skinned people who are more resistant to the stuff killing the War Boys, tell us! Drop a hint!) 

And me noticing this doesn’t make me some kind of harpy, it means “that rocked, but I noticed a thing.” It didn’t ruin my enjoyment or make me not recommend it – I’ve been singing its praises loudly for a week now.

But the problem I have with “the critical fan” as a concept is… how do you know you’ve achieved it?

Say all I noticed was the representation of disability in Mad Max, and came home positively gushing because that seemed close to perfect to me. If we also grant that three WOC wives is great but not enough… is this hypothetical me that didn’t notice the latter an “uncritical fan?” She’s talking a very SJ-talk, about “diverse media” and “representation of disability.” That seems very “critical fan.”

Except that she missed something. And except that she’s gushing, which doesn’t go with the usual use of “critical,” where one would expect dissatisfaction, not overweening fansquee.

Suppose that another moviegoer is a WOC who does not have disabilities. Let’s say that she’s kind of vaguely aware that disability is here – Furiosa’s prosthesis is pretty fucking badass, after all – but she’s not really well acquainted with the disability community and she has the usual stereotypical brain-image of “a person in a wheelchair.” So she doesn’t really notice what I saw about disability, but she comes home ranting to high heaven about where the hell are the black and aboriginal War Boys wth.

Is she “a critical fan?” She’s noticing a problem, and she’s angry about it. But she’s missing something else.

Suppose that still another moviegoer is a white cis woman with no disabilities. Suppose she misses all of the above, but loves the Wives and their arc because she is an abuse survivor. She comes home gushing because it felt so real and so true to her experience, where she feels that other media make abuse look cool or sexy. Is she “a critical fan?”

Now, suppose someone else, of unspecified SJ Identity Attributes, goes and sees Mad Max because they like action flicks and think this one will be cool. They’re impressed beyond what they expected and have the vague feeling they just saw something important, something people will remember. They’ve seen a lot of other action movies lately and felt the opposite way, like something was missing or boring or off, but they’re not certain what.

They’re not an SJer, and don’t really know what identities or privileges are. They know they want more Mad Max-like stuff, and they know it feels more “real” or “true” somehow than many other action movies.

Are they (the protobeginnings of) “a critical fan?”

Which leads me to why I don’t like the term. Very often, when we are fans, we’ll look at something and fall for it because of what we see in it. Even if it’s “really problematic” to most other people, we’ll see and identify with something. I loved Phantom of the Opera as a young person because I identified with the Phantom being ostracized, and I’m sure it was because I have a disability. But my friends saw him as an abuser and a killer, and preferred Jean Valjean, because he was an honorable poor person given a chance by a caring, nonjudgmental other.

I lost the SJ-fight, and usually got taunted for being less enlightened. But – did I really lose the SJ-fight, or did they not see the parts that matched with my identity and made me feel someone was revealing/showing/representing something about me?

Is there an answer to that?

Maybe there isn’t.

But if there’s no answer to that… do we ever know who is or isn’t “a critical fan?”

We know who we think isn’t “a critical fan.” Posts defending SJ-dissections of media often depict those who disagree, or who are tired of these dissections, or who don’t think they get us anywhere, as media-addled zombies or drones, mindlessly consuming and desiring nothing but pleasure.

But does that person actually exist, or are they – like “the critical fan” itself appears to me to be right now – an ideology-concept?

One that makes sense in the abstract, but is incredibly hard to actually pinpoint in the real world in which we all actually live and “consume media” (in plain English: “enjoy stories”)?

i have a theory

megatron is an sjw

that’s why whole swaths of the fandom hate him

because his character is exactly what happens when the ideology of revolution by the downtrodden supersedes basic decency

people don’t like the idea that someone fighting oppression could be a villain

so they come up with all kinds of

“well he forgot his original aims”

“well he has NPD”

“well he was just a sociopath who noticed the real sjers and became their leader because power”

“well he’s an abuser and we all know those are never idealists”

stuff

anonymous asked:

oh no did i make u angry by talking about the response blog ;)

I don’t know what is up with anti-sjers that a person can literally say “don’t send asks about this because you’re wasting your time seeing as I don’t visit that blog” and they interpret it as “IM SO MAD I SPEND ALL MY TIME ON THAT BLOG AND IM SO MAD” but okay whatever floats your egomaniacal boat

I feel like a horrible person by Tumblr standards for this, but I’ve never actually had this strong feeling most SJers do that actors playing a minority character have to be members of that group. I don’t really feel, for example, that a straight actress playing a lesbian is an affront.

I do absolutely think more minority actors should get work. I absolutely think they don’t seem to even be considered in many cases, and that absolutely worries me.

But I also think the point of acting is to pretend to be something you’re not, to get inside the head of someone who is not like you in all kinds of ways.

So I don’t get this idea that it will always and ever be wrong for an actor to not be like the person they are playing.

If my life story is ever interesting enough to anyone to make a movie out of, I’ll think it’s great if an actor with my disability plays me, but I… don’t share this feeling of abject horror that maybe the person who does won’t have it too.

If you’d ever like to pretend to be me, don’t worry that you’ve got the wrong legs/brain for it. Worry about whether or not you can get deep enough into what matters to me.

Also, I think it may upset a few people who follow me (eek!) but I honestly do think age matters.

Like if I see that someone is 16-17 and is saying “adults who like this type of fanart are threats because…” I may, and quite possibly do, think it’s legitimate to wonder if this person has thought things through enough. I may think that some young people tend to see things in very all or nothing, black and white terms, and may see things a bit differently as they continue to grow.

The plural of anecdote is not data, but I saw a fair amount of that in myself and in former friends. When I was younger, things were either Wrong or Right, and anyone who “defended” Wrong things had something wrong with them, fundamentally, and everyone needed to avoid them.

It was realizing that I kept thinking the Wrong things and couldn’t make them go away that changed me. (Well, nearly made me kill myself, because once you’re Wrong that’s it so you might as well Go, and then changed me.)

And I honestly suspect that certain similarly binary forms of SJ appeal to young people of this bent because they mirror that seeming certainty. On cynical days I actually start wondering whether older culty SJers are actually consciously or unconsciously *targeting* younger people, what with the very strict binaries that affect things even down to who GETS TO TALK and who has to “sit down and shut up.”

And the way they constantly change terminology and talk in horrific, demeaning ways about anyone who uses old words or objects to new words. Who does that in practice exclude? Someone who isn’t used to the new words or who is uncomfortable and can be talked over because they’re a “reactionary” or a “dinosaur.” And what does it do practically? Cut new activists off from their history AND MAKE THEM FEEL PROUD OF THAT.

If you’re really young, you may not have learned what it means to live with some of that yet. You may need to grow some, and an adult saying that may not mean that she thinks you are stupid or your feelings are invalid.

I think my biggest problem with callout culture is that it tells those who subscribe to it that asking why is giving in.

It’s not just that people are being unrealistic about apologies, demanding that people not go into what they actually meant because that’s “insincere” or “oppressive” or “privileged.”

It’s that callout culture primes the OPPRESSED person not to be curious. Not to ask questions. Not to assume good faith – but since good faith is probably the thing opponents of this view don’t think they should assume, I’m going to try not to go there.

If you think your job as an SJer is to make callouts, you predispose yourself to say the biting and sarcastic thing, rather than to say something like:

Hey, I noticed you made a post about [thing] and in it you said [stuff.] What did you mean by that? Because I’m a member of [group], and a lot of people say [stuff] based in hurtful stereotypes about us. When I read your post, I felt [upset/hurt/triggered], but a lot of people I respect seem to think you’re cool. Would you mind my asking what exactly you meant?

And then if the person says “haha I don’t believe in triggers fuck you all [group] are whiny shits,” then you can be mean. But you’ve given the person a chance to see that they’ve hurt you without interacting in a way that’s pretty much destined to make them respond defensively no matter what (a callout, which is throwing the first punch in a verbal fight. And then expecting your opponent to be well-trained enough to take it on the chin and immediately stand down. Huh?)

Ask people things. I have friends I often disagree with, and sometimes I have really visceral hurt feelings about some things they say. But usually, when I Ask them (often privately, sometimes not) what they meant or even just tell them I’m hurt, they respond with respect and kindness. I may or may not change their mind and they may or may not reword or delete a post (which I generally don’t want anyway. I like honest people who realize I’m not the center of the universe), but I know that how I feel matters to them and that they’ll probably give the issue some extra thought next time.

Callout culture literally trains people out of doing this. It trains people that it’s a waste of time at best and a moral failing at worst.

I’m not okay with that, so I’m not okay with defenses of callout culture that claim that only privileged people are bullied by it. Even if that were true (and I think it very clearly and demonstrably isn’t), I’d still think training people to shut off inquisitiveness about other people was a moral wrong.

I really don’t like the “don’t explain what you meant” bit of SJ-style directions on how to apologize.

Because if you actually meant something different from what people assumed, and you follow the SJ-directions so you don’t get blasted, then

Anyone who comes across the whole kerfuffle later is highly likely to assume you actually said what the SJers think you said, since there’s no evidence but your original statement, post, tweet, etc. to the contrary.

And that original statement may be brief or vague because you may not have realized that it would look wrong out of context until AFTER the kerfuffle showed you people might misunderstand. And then your apology, if made the SJ way, only reinforces the idea that you did something terrible for no apparent reason because humans are irrational and mean.

So right now?

I feel this way:

If someone demands your apology for something you think they misunderstood, and orders you to focus on “how you hurt them,” saying that this means you can’t explain yourself…

Politely explain your understanding of their point of view, apologize for anything you feel you did that was hurtful, and then politely explain that you’re going to say what you meant. Down below the apology, so people can avoid it if they want.

Put it behind a cut. Tell people that they’re under no obligation to read it. That you understand if they’re not ready to do that, and maybe even if they’ll never be.

But that you have a right to express what you meant to express, and so you’re going to do it, and their assessment of your sincerity is on them, not you.