i’ve been thinking for a while about making or not making this post, but i finally settled for yes because i kind of hope it helps some people with their tumblr experience if i relate to them a few of the situations i stumbled into.
this post is about what tumblr calls social justice. you might not like it.
the thing is, there is something about a certain kind of social justice blogging — and i’d like to stress the “certain kind” aspect here, this is by no means supposed to characterise every forms of it and please don’t misread me as “anti”, i am actually very much pro political and social and critical blogging in general —; there is something about this certain kind that makes it inherently toxic. and i think by isolating this something we can actually identify it as the main, if not only source for why a lot of “non-sjw” bloggers complain about hate and bigotry and hypocrisy in the social justice community.
what i witness is a trend to blame people for being ignorant. and by ignorant i mean “not knowledgeable on a certain subject”. i have seen and personally experienced situations wherein someone gets attacked for asking about a social justice issue. let me elaborate:
remember the miley cyrus situation? yeah, well, back then i made a post asking about why people say she was culturally appropriative (is that the adjective version?) because i genuinely didn’t understand.
cultural appropriation itself is a hazy term for me. i don’t think i had encountered it very often before my internet identity and while i could easily relate it to racist caricatures of for example native americans or african tribes, i still find it hard to actually make out the clear borders. see, i grew up in a globalised world. this means i learned about the implications of imperialism and economical dependency very early on (and it made me anti-capitalist before i could vote), but it also showed me that international understanding is an option. for me, the merging of cultures always seemed like the golden way for overcoming differences. and i think you will understand that this ideal clashes with the sentiment that you may only use cultural goods if they are part of your own background. i therefore reasoned that as long as you are aware of the tradition and heritage and treat it with respect, as well as not appropriating things the culture would not confer on you (e.g. feather headdresses without having earned them) or claiming something for yourself (e.g. white musicians copying black musicians without giving them credit, turning the music “white” and profiting from it), mixing cultures is and would be a good thing, maybe even a way of valuing the variety of mankind.
now, when i made that post about miley cyrus, i was honestly confused. to my knowledge, cyrus had not claimed to be the inventor of twerking and i thought that since she had poc dancers on stage with her, this would be rather obviously an hommage. (i must add that i had not seen the show itself, just a short video that didn’t show much besides miley and robin thicke dry-humping.) after a while, an acquaintance of mine actually sent me a blog post explaining the implications of sexualising twerking and the black female body and how it is used as a sort of “inferior” sexuality. not only had that part gone over my had quite a bit (i blame my demisexuality and general prudeness, i often don’t understand sexual tones), but i was also not remotely aware of the concept of seeing/using woc that way. i had never encountered it, not by proxy, not in the poc i know, it wasn’t part of my reality. there’s a possibility it’s more of a us-american thing, but i don’t know that for sure. either way, the blog post was enlightening and got me thinking about the combination of sexism and racism and about intersectional feminism (a word i didn’t know at the time, but learned later was appropriate for the concept i had in mind). then, a certain brand of “sjw tumblr” found my post. i received a rather angry reply that threw links at me, implied my ignorance was hurtful and ended with the words “kindly educate yourself”. (i also made he mistake of arguing with them, a thing you should never do if you aren’t an expert on the topic because you can sure as hell expect for your input not to be very much appreciated.) now, where shall i begin with that …
of course, once you have reached a certain age, it is your own responsibility to keep learning. however, i’m pretty sure that asking for advice on an online platform you know features people who have looked further into the topic does actually count as taking self-education into your own hands. if this were any other, not sj-related topic, nobody would blame or shame you for not knowing about it and asking for help. and that’s rather ridiculous, to be honest, because a lot of things are fairly easy to research, but with social topics, one usually doesn’t know where to begin. it might start with not even knowing what the term for the phenomenon is, then goes on to not knowing how biased which sources are, followed by not knowing how to filter and combine the often contradictory input. and that is just assuming you do have a fast internet connection with a flatrate and that you have the time for reading 20+ articles a day and that you actually have the capacity to understand what is related to you.
what people often forget is that education, too, is a privilege. we all come to it in different ways and there is a lot of things that might disturb us from gaining it — social standing, poverty, mental illnesses, learning disabilities. and these are just a few, i mean, there are so many individual issues that might be relevant in your life and keep you from “kindly educating yourself” (i realise at this point that i might have used the phrase as well in some angry rant and i’d like to apologise for tumblr getting the better of me there).
and that’s the problem. you do not know anything about the person in question, you just assume they are, idk, too busy playing golf with the ceo of warner brothers to read up on social justice issues while actually, they might be too busy writing their bachelor thesis and working a half-time job and helping their chronically ill parent with the household chores. and when they’re online, they already try to educate themself because they are interested in the world, they take extra courses at university about modern-day feminism and are politically engaged. but you know, maybe they’re young or fairly new to how tumblr works and english isn’t their first language. maybe the country they live in doesn’t face the same issues as the country you live in. maybe their whole lifeworld differs from yours because well, they might be white or male or cis or hetero. but they also might be poor or neuro-atypical or in an abusive relationship. that means that for their personal experience, other issues are more important than for yours and they might simply not have gotten to the problem at hand. their ignorance doesn’t have to be fuelled by arrogance or a lack of interest, in fact, i think that is hardly ever the case. it’s much more probable that you are virtually shouting at a thirteen-year-old whose parents are getting a divorce. and i’m sure they would have been open to learning about the issue you are passionate about, but when you react to their questions and their lack of knowledge by insulting and accusing them, they will back away, try to defend themself and thus also fight off your cause. and this is what i personally mean when i say “hate breeds hate”. i don’t mean that you shouldn’t fight fire with fire, i mean that you shouldn’t throw flames at someone who wasn’t even alight yet. they will be left with the impression that you attacked them out of the blue and that all social justice bloggers are evil and that you hate them for not being like you. nobody is helped by that development.
I dreamed I was Leela : D Who then got kidnapped and put into a coma by some bad guys and after she woke up she was very confused and amnesiac and had trouble with basics like “who am I, where am I and also dead people are usually not food (no worries the last came back just before any cannibalism happened). … also scarily this kind of sounds like a Big Finish audio. Please don’t. =A=
Reggie is two and a half years old, and the best corn snake anyone could ask for! What an adventure she is
berguv and barnaby bein’ owls.
This Homiliary was created in Gondar, Ethiopia, during a period of artistic flowering in the late seventeenth century. The text, a Homiliary focused on the Miracles of the Archangel Michael, combines liturgical readings with forty-nine brightly colored renderings of God, St. Michael, and the miracles related in the text. The artists were likely trained as painters, rather than solely as manuscript illuminators, and their art can therefore be linked stylistically to contemporary mural painting.
Creator: Zämänfäs Qeddus (Scribe)
Late 17th century (early Gondarine)
(Each image have an individual caption, click on them to read. The images are not in any particular order)
i swear if all of you dont reblog this i will cry
Rassilon bless the good ship Best Enemies and all who sail in her.