tumblr does for social justice what peta does for animal rights
this is seriously the best analogy ever
Okay, can I say something from experience here?
When I first joined tumblr I literally knew NOTHING about racism, or cissexism, or transmisgyonny even. I’m a white kid who grew up in a mostly all white town and believed that while racism still existed it was mostly gone in the world and wasn’t that big of a deal any more. I had no idea what cissexism even was or what transmisgyony was EVEN THOUGH I WAS TRANS because I’m a trans* male for once so I never experienced it and I had INTERNALIZED so much cissexism and transphobia into my own brain that I seriously didn’t think it was that much of a big deal.
You know what changed my mind about all these things? Tumblr. I followed people who were from other countries, cultures, races, sexual orientations, gender identities, etc. Through their blogs I got to learn about how they experienced the world differently and while I will NEVER understand what it’s like to be a person of color or a trans* woman I HAVE learned what privilege is and in what ways I had it. I learned that certain things I had been saying/doing were actually racist or homophobic or transmisgyonistic. NOT to mention that I learned about things that I hadn’t even thought about like fat shaming and rape culture. That’s right, before Tumblr I had NO idea what rape culture even was and I learned that things I had been saying were actually contributing to it.
You know what I also learned about through these so-called “social justice blogs”? HISTORY. I learned about history that wasn’t filtered through the white-washed lens of a history text book. I learned that there were in fact people of color in Europe back in Mozart’s day, that there were women pilots in Russia who helped bomb the Germans in WWII, how the oppression of the indigenous people of Australia breaks almost every law of the Geneva convention, and that -HOLY SHIT- Africa actually is made up of many countries which have internet„ clothing, water, and a middle class!
I was ignorant before Tumblr, disgustingly so, and even though I know that I’m still VERY ignorant when it comes to the world I’m learning, and MOST of my learning is done through Tumblr because here people who don’t normally have a voice are able to make posts and have other people who don’t experience the same things they do SEE them, and if those people choose to (and they SHOULD choose to) then they can LEARN from the posts they see and become a better person.
“Social justice” Tumblr helped ME PERSONALLY become a better person. So go on, say that people blogging about their oppression doens’t teach anyone anything. I fucking dare you.
Also, PETA is horribly sexist, classist, cissexist, racist, and ableist, and comparing a community of largely marginalized people who are hurt by PETA’s actions to PETA is a really really shitty thing to do.
When white people drowning in privilege delete their Tumblr accounts.
It makes my soul itch.
Because it is the ultimate privilege to say hey this is too difficult for me right now so I’m just going to go away.
I could make an account where I don’t talk about “issues” at all. That of course would involve me stifling myself but I could do that. But it can’t turn it off in real life.
I don’t get to take off my skin.
This has been a ramble.
You know, I was just thinking about this. I can think of a handful of times off the top of my head where someone deletes or re-names their tumblr in a flounce because they get called on their oppressive bullshit once or twice. Sometimes there’s a woe-is-me post about how the POC/trans/woman-meanies are “reverse-oppressing” them or some shit, but it ends the same: these douchecanoes can’t take the heat, not even close.
Conversely, I can think of way more than a handful of POC/trans* people (usually trans* women tbh) etc who endure numerous personal attacks, derailing douchefuck reblogs, anonymous death threats, etc & they don’t acquiesce to it after one or two encounters. Like OP says, we can’t just peel off our identities or quit experiencing the fuckery because we turn off the computer or whatever.
Privilege is a hell of a drug.
it makes me really, really angry when people make jokes about christianity—i realize that a lot of people find the bible and what it says to be ridiculous and whatever else, but it’s not really fair to call yourself tolerant and stand for everyone to have the same rights and to be treated equally and be mad when people make jokes about other religions or cultures, but then to turn around and make fun of literally every aspect that the christian religion stands for. i understand there are people who are very extreme and definitely don’t represent the bible or god himself well, but that’s not fair to make jokes about “saving yourself till marriage” and being saved in itself and so on and so forth in an extremely condescending manner. it’s not so much that people make fun of christianity, even, it’s that these are people i follow and consider myself friends with who are extremely tolerant of pretty much everything else and who hate when people poke fun of said things they’re tolerant of. my faith is important to me even if there are things in the bible, etc., that i’m not 100% sure on and it really sucks to be surrounded by a massive group of “tolerant” people i’d like to call my friends who make fun of something that is really important and personal to me.
tl;dr stop making fun of christianity because it’s a really crappy thing to do
Ok, ok ok ok please do me the favour of hearing me out for a moment. It’s gonna sound like I’m pooping on Christianity for funsies. I’m not. This is an important thing I’m talking about. It might even sound like I’m pooping on you (Shawna) personally for funsies. I’m really really not. I love you. I’m very fond of you and I don’t like you to be upset. OP, I’d guess you’re probably swell also. I hope you have a great day and that bad things don’t happen to you. Anyway.
It’s ok to make fun of Christianity.
It’s ok to make fun of straight people for being straight, or white people for being white, because they’re not minorities. They’re in positions of privilege. A video of a big dog attacking a kitten is disturbing, a video of a kitten attacking a big dog is hilarious. Especially if the dog is leaping around and yelping like it’s actually being harmed.
If Christianity finds something offensive, it has enough power to effect legislation that outlaws it, or at least pushes it to the fringes. Let’s take a look at the saving oneself until marriage example:
Christianity (not all individual Christians, but Christianity as a whole) is certainly at least partly responsible for a culture of rampant sex-negativism. Saving oneself until marriage isn’t an individually harmful thing but having it present as a meme helps perpetuate the idea of sex-as-corruption. “But sex IS corruption”, you might say, and alright, we disagree. So what?
Here’s what: you’re the group in power, and because sex is corruption, workers in the sex industry have to fear the law rather than be protected by it. Kids in high schools don’t get taught how to have it safely. Kids in primary schools don’t get taught how to communicate about it, making them more vulnerable to predators.
The opponents to this idea aren’t the ones in power. They don’t have the means to change that legislation; all they have is words. And promoting the idea that sex-as-corruption is ridiculous and should be mocked is one of the very few weapons they have.
Example over. Now expand that thought out to everywhere. You’re in power. “Why is it ok to make fun of us and not them?” you cry - it’s because you’re in power. It is actually different. Using a racial slur against a POC is a really, really shitty thing to do, because it’s someone in a position of privilege lording that privilege over someone without it. On the other hand, a POC calling a white person a cracker is a 100% non-event. Nobody cares except jerks. It’s ok to do one thing and not the other, because the two things are different.
Christianity’s in power. “But it’s not in power, look at all the places that gay marriage just became legal,” you might say. Yeah, it’s in less power than it used to be, and thank God for that. I really hope that one day it isn’t ok to make fun of Christianity, and making fun of Christianity is one of the things that’ll help get us there.
Just because there is actually a little nuance to this argument: picking on Christianity is okay. Using Christianity as a vehicle for picking on an individual Christian is shitty. Calling out an individual Christian for promoting harmful ideas is not shitty. Calling out an individual Christian for promoting harmful ideas using mockery is a grey area and y’all can deal with that in your own time. I’m not your dad.
Okay, dad lesson over, dad out.
“I have a popular opinion. One person disagreed with me and refused to listen to me. I can easily talk about my opinions to anyone else, and they’ll agree without questioning. My opinions are supported by a large number of politicians and other authority figures. The person who ignored me has most likely heard my opinion over 1,000 times already. I’m just whining because my opinions are not supported by every single person.”
*straight white guy voice* how is that offensive?
Imagine a wall full of circular holes, that circles can keep walking in and out of with no difficulty.
Now imagine that the triangles manage to get the resources together, after years of not being able to fit through the circle’s holes, to drill a single triangle space into the wall.
Now imagine that the circle — who previously supported the triangle’s efforts because they are well-rounded (har) and value equality — comes along and sees the construction project. But instead of being happy, they get angry.
“Well, I won’t be able to fit through your hole!!!!” the circle cries.
“I helped you get the drill!!!!” the circle shrieks.
“Make it fit me too!!!!” the circle demands.
The triangles, barely holding it together enough to get a triangle hole together, stare at the circle in confusion.
“You have all the holes you need,” the triangles explain. “This is for us. You don’t need to fit through our hole, too.”
“YOU’RE BEING UNEQUAL AND HURTING MY FEELINGS!” the circle wails. “I DON’T SUPPORT YOUR HOLE IF IT DOESN’T FIT ME TOO. GIVE ME MY DRILL BACK.”
“It’s not your drill, it’s our drill. You helped us get it, because you said you cared.”
“I ONLY CARED WHEN I THOUGHT YOU’D MAKE A HOLE EVERYONE COULD FIT THROUGH. YOU’RE PERPETUATING INEQUALITY!!!”
“Why is it up to us, the small group that has never been able to fit through the wall at all, to make a hole everyone can use? Why isn’t it up to you, the people who have been able to cross back and forth at will for years? We just want to see the other side; why are you yelling at us?”
“I DIDN’T ASK TO BE BORN A CIRCLE, OMG. I’VE HAD TO WORK HARD ALL MY LIFE TOO. YOU’RE JUST BEING BIGOTED AGAINST ME BECAUSE OF SOMETHING I CAN’T CONTROL, JUST LIKE EVERYONE IS AGAINST YOU.”
“You are interfering with our project and asking us to comfort you while we’re trying to make progress. Please leave.”
“I’m going to tell everyone about this,” the circle warns. “Nobody will support you now.”
“Apparently nobody ever did,” the triangles sigh, getting back to work.
If you think that representation doesn’t matter, that’s probably because you’re already represented.
you keep saying “we’re all human” but all i hear is “i want to completely ignore institutionalised oppression and shut my eyes and pretend everyone is treated equally to escape the guilt of the numerous privileges i’m afforded”
To be white, or straight, or male, or middle class is to be simultaneously ubiquitious and invisible. You’re everywhere you look, you’re the standard against which everyone else is measured. You’re like water, like air. People will tell you they went to see a “woman doctor” or they will say they went to see “the doctor.” People will tell you they have a “gay colleague” or they’ll tell you about a colleague. A white person will be happy to tell you about a “Black friend,” but when that same person simply mentions a “friend,” everyone will assume the person is white. Any college course that doesn’t have the word “woman” or “gay” or “minority” in its title is a course about men, heterosexuals, and white people. But we call those courses “literature,” “history” or “political science.”
This invisibility is political."