Sunday, December 16, 2012

Re: All My Rage, Part 1

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So I hesitate to return to this topic because, as some of you know, I have the tendency to dwell and brood and mull over something and let it eat me up inside. I would like to assure you all that, in both the incident All My Rage, Part 1 describes and the reactions that accompany them in the comments, that I am not brooding, dwelling, or any other such pejorative way of thinking. I am thinking about it, though, and I'd like to clarify some things, not for my sake but more for the sake of people trying to do something about their world and about internet discussion in general. So, with your indulgence...

Am I a hypocrite? Actually, yeah, probably. I actually sort of worry about that in the things I study. We come up with all these problems in the world but the ways of fixing them are vague at best. And so, I'm left to figure out how to do it myself - which, you know, is kind of how education seems to work overall. Of course, then it leads to the problem of me seeing sexism in society and, because of how I address it, I sound like a hypocrite. I didn't think fast enough, didn't react fast enough, didn't feel comfortable addressing the situation to a friend's boyfriend who's name I didn't even know. I failed. So I wrote a blog post instead, hoping at least to bring light to comments that are often overlooked in society. But, because it was a personal story and because I had a personal reaction, it has been read that I criticizing the man's character. I would actually like to explain this again, maybe in different words and out of Blogger's comment box (why in the world is their comment box so tacky? Really, Google? You own Youtube and yet the comment box puts everything is in typewriter font? I'm confused by this).

The associations I drew from the comment were not an implication of the man's character, not that he actually thought those things, or even realized that the comment might make those associations. Those weren't even my initial thoughts at all. My initial thoughts were, "What did he just say? What the fu - that's not right." It was only later, when trying to understand better why this comment offended me that I made the connections. You may not agree with this way of thinking - I understand. But I did not mean to criticize his character. I was not criticizing him as a person. I was highlighting how a statement can have insinuations of sexism without us realizing it. You don't have to agree with my interpretation. I admit that I might have gone too far. But other comments implying far worse things are said everyday and are not stopped and thought about. My case is so minimal that I'm actually kicking myself for writing it (read: white privilege, another white middle-class feminist getting upset with the patriarchy) and compared to other sexist events that have occurred to me and others, the fact that I actually sat down to write about it seems kind of dumb now. It doesn't help that feminism does have a history of hypocrisy (any non-white feminist, non-heterosexual feminist, or non-female feminist will tell you that). I feel really petty, especially because I didn't react in the moment, and am sorry for that. I fucked up. But it's not a huge deal; I just want to say that I realize this and move on. I don't want this response to make it seem like I'm upset by anything that happened (because, usually, when things are written on the internet it's because someone is upset and then it gets all dramatic and there's rage and tears). I just want to emphasize a few things:

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1) There are no hard feelings. Really. I mean it. I don't want people to feel like they can't comment in fears of starting an argument. START AN ARGUMENT. PLEASE. It's a free country, you have the right to say what you think - so say it. But carefully, please. There's a total contrast between the discussion that took place in the comments of the blog post (intellectual, resolution) and what happened last fall when I made some stupid mistakes (hard feelings, no resolution). Which brings me to...

2) I make stupid mistakes. A lot of them. Just because I sound like a coherent writer and may have a few clever things to say does not mean I am the best representation of feminism, fandom, writing, or thousands of other things. This blog and myself are continually works in progress. I will fuck up. I'd like to think I will know when I fuck up but I don't always. So feel free to point it out. I'm far better at taking criticism than I used to be (once someone on the internet who's much more popular and influential than you chastises you and your blog, you learn to roll with the punches). It doesn't mean I will always be completely receptive - I will probably argue with you and make excuses and try to defend my character (I'm human, it's what we do) but I hope that I will never be rude about it. There's a fine line between critique and criticism/condemnation and I know that I walk a fine line between the two. I will do my best to keep myself in check, but I'm only human. I will make mistakes. That's how it goes.

3) The internet is really weird and awesome and I don't get it: Just think about this. You could be reading this anytime, day or night, anywhere in the world. Or even in outer space, if for some reason you've got wifi (I wonder if Asgard has wifi...). Point is, my words work beyond the moment I write them and sometimes I overlook this. My audience is actually pretty diverse (look, I'm still stuck at the point where I have an audience. Bear with me) and many of you are reading this from other countries (which is beautiful and awesome and makes we wish I could multiply myself like Loki and go visit you all). I am aware of that, but maybe I'm not always so great at getting that across in my writing. My utmost apologies. I'm afraid "Internet Writing: 101" was not a part of my English classes.

Basically, I just want to thank you all for your patience and that you're still reading this weird old thing. I know you probably came for the hedgehogs and Martin Freeman but I thank you for sticking around. I wasn't really sure it would go anywhere past the first few posts. But here I am - writing this thing during finals week instead of studying for psychology. You can see how my priorities are sorted out. :P

Anyway, that's it. Cheers, all! I'll be back sometime later this week with another post (hopefully the one on fanboys - that's well overdue) and a some Christmas-y related stuff.

And look! A Hobbit-related pic I haven't used yet! (Glad to see this is still going strong.)

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2 comments:

  1. Imma pretend you didn't use the words "failure" or "mistake" and give you a second chance to stop after "I thought about stuff".

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    1. I'm being too apologetic, aren't I? I thought that after I wrote this and read your new response on the other post. I guess I'm trying to take on the blame of feminism being an imperfect system and the fact that, as we've said before, change is hard. But that's not my fault, is it? At least I tried (oh God, Tumblr's big "you tried" star is flashing before my eyes).

      And yes, I do apologize too much. I'm working on that :D

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