Thursday, July 26, 2012

Don't Like What You're Reading? Cool! Move on!

It's amazing to me--the more that I read about various oppressions, the more I see a trend. Situation goes like this:

Marginalized person speaks up about an issue specific to their situation. Privileged people jump all over them screaming that their privileged view be taken into consideration, frothing at the mouth. Marginalized person reasserts their original view. Privileged person decides not to legitimately listen or learn, then usually name calls and flounces away.

From all the vehemently anti-feminist (unpublished) comments I get here, I know there exists a general tendency to try to "school" anyone who has a different opinion/experience from you. But I don't engage in any way, so I never continue the dialogue and get in a kerfuffle. But from following fat positive, queer, and POC Tumblrs I'm learning just HOW virulent some of the interactions can be. It's actually quite scary how poorly people treat others...and how they will try to so actively deny some one else's experience simply because they do not share it.

But as I've said before, social media itself is neutral. It doesn't create the worst in us. It simply brings to light what is already lurking there.

I keep coming back to a simple thought. If you stumble across a corner of the internet that bothers you, why not just move on? I mean, I wish that more people would be open to feminism, queer activism, fat positivity, anti-racism, etc, but if you are outright opposed to these things, why even engage? Why bother? If you think we're so wrong, just see yourself to the door. Seriously! When MRAs pick up my blog, I don't go over there trying to teach them a thing or two. It wouldn't end well for anyone involved. I just. move. on.

I think there are a few ways one can actually enter a space and meaningfully participate, but that is certainly not achieved by coming in, privilege flag flying, and refusing to actually think about what someone else is saying. Unless and until you can begin to see past your own nose, just let people have their safe spaces without feeling the need to come stomping in.

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