aesling wrote:Ok, I apologize for the incoherence/incompleteness of my post earlier this morning. I wanted to post more, but I literally had to run out the door, and I mostly felt the need to respond to Otohiko in a more immediate fashion.
It's cool. I was really confused, and I was really hoping for a PM since it seemed like you were speaking about someone specific. Hence why I was like, "Huh, is she talking about moderating decisions? Have
I targeted someone unfairly?"
I get that talking about issues in a general sense is important. However, you're asking the community to make very specific changes. To change, people have to know what they're doing wrong and when. Impiety's first post in this thread is a perfect example of what I'm getting at. Impiety's friends may make some insensitive jokes in private, but Impiety believes them to be generally good people who are usually respectful of women in practice. I bet Impiety's friends don't think of themselves as misogynists, and it seems like this is the type of person you're trying to reach with your post.
I'm asking people to use their best judgement. I'm trusting the commentariat to develop something of a hivemind on this based on shared values of what is and is not acceptable dialogue here. I'm not trying to be overly politically correct, but there is a line, and I think most of us know where that line is. If we don't know where that line is, and we cannot agree on where that line is, then we need to have another discussion: one that has us hammer out an understanding of who we are, what we represent, and what we will and will not tolerate. I actually feel we already have that, and I'm just calling us to honor it, but maybe I'm wrong. Maybe we have to go back to square one.
But, I agree impiety's friends are probably people who are decent people. They are probably are usually respectful of women in practice. I bet they don't think of themselves as misogynists, and they probably aren't. But they still say misogynistic comments, and that is not okay. It is rather someone like Impiety I am trying to reach, which is why I was so glad she asked if she should confront them. For me, the answer is yes. She should. And if they're not misogynists, they should say, "Oh, wow, you're right. That was pretty shitty. I wasn't thinking about the consequences of my comments. I'm sorry. I'll try not to do that again!" If they tell her to fuck off, or call her a humorless bitch (haven't we all
met that guy?), then, they're probably misogynists. I don't suspect Impiety's friends are like that.
You're not going to convince assholes to not be assholes, but there are people out there who are more reasonable who may not realize some of the things they say aren't ok. However, I feel you make some pretty big blanket assumptions about general attitudes, an the meme photos you use are rather...aggressive...in attacking an issue that I know has been big on various parts of the internet (fake nerd girls), but I have not really seen much of here.
I forgot to source those, by the way. The source is Rachel Edidin, who is the editor of Dark Horse Comics. I'm used to writing feminist articles with images. The spaces I'm published on have very comprehensive formatting features, so this would tend to look a lot better. With the images, you're right that I don't think I've ever heard anyone over the years call a woman editor a "fake editor," but I've certainly seen almost all of Edidin's chosen comments or actions in AMV spaces over the years. And there are some truly horrid behavior I have witnessed at conventions, namely AWA (although that is not a reflection on the AWA VAT, and should not be construed as such).
So, let me see if I understand this correctly, you're saying that you do not believe that it is a serious issue? I don't want to make this thread about specific individuals, which is why this essay was far more theoretical and academic. However, let me get more specific without getting too specific and naming names. I have a long list of comments I've seen and comments which have been brought to my attention. I have PMs sitting in my box right now going back a while with complaints from people about how hostile the IRC has been. They go back years. Some are really blatant. Others are less overt but still pretty creepy. I could make an entire post that is just quote after quote. If I just scan the forums, I bet I can find more recent stuff (although, some of it is pretty darn recent already). And it's really these comments about others
which gave rise to this essay. I'm very unclear how you can say this is not a serious issue. The evidence would suggest otherwise.
Yet make no mistake, I'm most definitely aware of all of the misogyny (and yes, that is the proper term for it, and I can give you the academic breakdown as to why, if this is something you are interested in hearing) directed at me
over the years. Part of it was my own fault for allowing godix a lot of leeway. This leeway was badly misunderstood. And this is why I personally know the danger of in-jokes. Godix was given explicit permission to play upon his asshole persona (a persona we all knew or should
have known was fake, satirical, and pure parody). In private, godix was one of the most respectful, understanding, and genuinely kind people I have known in the hobby. However, for years, others have appropriated this leeway which I have not given, and do not allow, for others.
Yet I have repeatedly
asked, especially now that godix has passed away, for people to back off. It took me a while to start doing even that. And I agonised over rocking to boat. Yet, when I have asked people to cease, they have not. Have not. Present tense. It is still
happening. So please do not imply (if this is what you are doing, and you may not be) that I'm somehow exempt from this experience myself or that my own experiences of this as a serious issue, one I have sometimes dealt with daily
from certain individuals, are somehow invalid. That just makes me feel like crap all over again.
This may come off as you implying that groups of people here think certain things when they do not, which would make anyone feel defensive. You're not calling out anyone specifically, but you've made clear you're calling out absolutely EVERYONE with this assumed behavior. You don't want to be labeled, but you are in turn applying the misogyny label incredibly broadly.
I'm actually saying we're not doing a very good job of policing each other on this issue. I'm not so much calling us out for being misogynistic, but rather allowing misogyny to go by unremarked upon
. Misogyny is not a label, misogynist
is a label. That may sound pedantic, but it is really is an important distinction to be made. There are very few individuals who I would call actual misogynists, as that implies some willful knowledge of hating women. You don't have to be a racist to say racially insensitive comments. My big struggle is with ableism, but I don't hate disabled people. When people call me out on my ableist comments, I do a facepalm, feel terrible, and apologise. Which is good, because I said something shitty, and I need to be called out for it. I'm especially bad about how I talk about mental illness. Some people are particularly bad about how they discuss women or issues women typically face. Hopefully, they get called out, and they thank
the person who called them out. That's how this should work.
I don't think it's fair to apply that term so broadly, because I really don't agree we come from a culture where it's considered the social norm (or genuinely socially acceptable) to hate women.
Our issue with misogyny is more subtle. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist or that that attitudes and behaviors it produces don't have real effects or consequences for the community. I do
however believe we come from a culture where it's considered the norm to ignore, marginalise, or restrict women's voices, actions, and freedom. This is especially true of women who lack privilege on other intersections. We've made a lot of gains for middle to upperclass, straight, white women (Second Wavers), but we still have a long way to go in terms of women of color, lesbian and bisexual women, lower income women, trans women, disabled women, etc. Are other places worse? Yes. Are other places better? Also yes. Still, there's work to be done. If I didn't believe this, I wouldn't be a feminist. Certainly not an active, engaged, intersectional feminist, who is building something of portfolio writing on these issues.
Yeah, tackling misogyny in AMVs is a "first world" feminist issue, but that doesn't make it unimportant
, just perhaps less important. Yet one of the ways in which problematic structures avoid being dismantled is the belief that the small stuff can wait until the big stuff gets overcome. And yet then, we suddenly realise we've done nothing about all that "little" stuff, and it's everywhere, pervasive, and still very problematic.
Women have pretty strong roles in our society that continue to evolve, and while I think we've made a lot less progress on front of gender norms, this is why it's important to actually talk to people about it when it comes up, so we can change attitudes, and changing people is unfortunately a slow process.
roles, I would agree. I think we're on the same page here.
I also don't want to come off like I'm condoning certain behavior, because I certainly am not, but a public space is never going to be a completely safe one. There are always going to be people with differing attitudes, and you will never know if you can reason with them unless you try. If a space is to be safe for you, it either has to be private, or you have to censor it completely (which is the only reason I brought your attitudes towards moderation in the first place). In either case you are only building an echo chamber, and overall nothing actually changes.
Okay, I find this view to be problematic. I don't think a space has to be completely censored or completely private to be generally safe. No space is going to be perfectly safe, no. Yet I am not calling for a perfectly safe space. I am calling for generally safe space. I exist in several spaces which I consider safe that have, perhaps, a heavier moderating hand, but are by no means censor happy. They're public spaces; VERY public. And I've run across a couple of editors who do know all of my pseudonyms because they also frequent these spaces. CorpseGoddess is the example I used earlier, but she's not the only one.
So what makes them different? People call out others, and others desire to be called out. If someone is called out, refuses to acknowledge it, and throws a fit about it, they are generally asked to leave or are ignored until they leave. This does not create an echo chamber. There's a a lot
of differences of opinion which can exist in such a space, and sometimes there are some pretty feisty discussions. What we have very little of, however, is intentional mocking of serious points or attempts at derailing. And that's because individuals who do these things are shown the door, literally via some type of moderation or figuratively by community wide decisions to ignore those individuals. This creates a space which is generally quite safe, even with high numbers of users, and high numbers of new, recently arrived members.
We can do this, I know we can.
Impiety wrote:But my head hurts, this whole topic + the comments are written above my English knowledge grade, so translating is pretty tiresome (fun fact: had to google translate misogyny before I even knew what this topic was about)
Yes, I'm sorry, I can't write this in any other language, and one of the additional problems with Second Wave feminism which intersectional feminism hasn't really dealt with, and should, is how much of feminist thought is English-centric. I've found that many of the terms I've been using have been wholesale copied, in their English forms, into feminist writings in other languages. We don't have a lot of native, non-English voices in intersectional feminism, and right now, I think being an English speaker is, in some ways, also a privileged position. That's worth exploring, and as an English teacher in a non-English speaking country, I think I might be able to turn that into a really great article. So thanks for bringing that up!
[quoteI believe it's good to call out the whole community to at least think about this topic. Only going case by case doesn't work imo, people seem to think highly of themselves, so they don't see their own fault when someone else is being called out for something (this is from experience on a total different matter, so it might not be applicable to this topic). And they certainly won't if the other person is called out in private.[/quote]
Agreed. It works for some, but I think some people really need more than a person to person challenge. Some people, and I am not excluded on some topics (for example, ableism), need a call out from everyone in the area saying, "Woah, that was across the line. Here's why it's problematic. It's cool, we understand people make mistakes, please don't do it again."
AMVGuide wrote:I do want to highlight the point that nobody is really arguing with you. This is not a fight. This is a cooperative discussion to showcase different viewpoints in hopes of better understanding the issue. So, expect people to look at this from non-feminist perspectives as well. Otherwise, this thread has already served it's purpose within the first post.
...this is exactly what I've been saying. I definitely do not consider this a fight or a competition. Nor am I angry. I've had a frustration here and there, but honestly, I haven't been really upset in a very long time, and I'm really liking that change in myself. Now, back to the topic at hand:
I started from a feminist perspective, and that is how I am going to approach objections or commentary, but I certainly hope this is a cooperative discussion to showcase different viewpoints of better understanding the issue. I do expect others, in fact, encourage others to look at the problem of misogyny from other vantage points. Otohiko has a different educational background than I do (as does aesling, as do you, and I respect all of these backgrounds), and he still believes that misogyny is something of an issue in our AMV communities, even if he comes at it from a different vantage point. I don't want to speak for him, so I will leave it at that. This was an essay, with "comments enabled." So, no, the discussion is definitely not over with the initial post, which welcomed and encouraged discourse.
I do believe there are some differences in how this is perceived or conceptualised, and these differences are quite serious. What I think I am hearing is that so far there are individuals who see the events I've highlighted as individualised incidents of people being insensitive (or assholes, but aesling is right, haters gonna hate), but no overall structural, systemic failure in how we operate as a community. This is, I think, for me, is the point of contention between myself and what has been articulated. I see this as a systemic problem, and I have too many points of data now, to dismiss this as an issue with that "rare" or "occasional" insensitive comment (or the "rare" asshole, for that matter). I believe that these incidents are pervasive, in some cases near daily occurrences, and that we have more than our fair share of assholes.
So to get us back on topic; is this issue systemic or pervasive? And if it is, what is the issue with having a general community wide consensus with taking a more active role in combatting it?