Crimson Locks wrote:
If I take issue with any of these things, I do it as a human being, not as a fan concerned about the fandom’s image.
I noticed and agreed with most of Fifths’ post except for that part. I will grant that I feel less connected to the brony subculture, so perhaps I just don’t care as much how bronies on the whole are perceived. The friends I’ve made through the show are now my friends with or without the show now. I haven’t made the same ties to many of the current regulars here as I have with older ones despite being active on the site and actively lurking the thread.
I love the art, and I love the show. I frequent Derpibooru for about an hour a day, and I get up every Saturday morning to catch the new episode on The Hub regardless of what I did or did not do last night (and will often watch it once or twice more that same weekend.) But I’m not really concerned about how (who I personally consider) sick people within the same subculture affect the perception of the subculture.
I will also say that even though I consider myself a feminist (something between second-wave and third-wave), I agree with xTSGx that Social Justice Warriors as they are so-called shouldn’t go looking for trouble (just as those who don’t agree with SJWs shouldn’t go looking for them.) I also don’t like how either side goes and mocks the other. It’s not conducive to understanding, and it only serves to make the two opponents to each other instead of two groups who have decidedly different opinions.
If feminists like me (or similar to me) want to change opinions on an issue, mocking the other side isn’t the way to go about it. And it’s not going to happen unless the person/people you’re wanting to talk to wants to talk about it as well. Tumblr and Reddit are a little too one-sided for all of that, so if you’re wanting to understand, you probably need to find a well-moderated forum where people discuss such issues and topics. Find topics about news stories where lines may or may not have been crossed, and see what users say. Find forums where moderation is active enough to keep everyone on-topic but are passive enough to let people come with strong opinions that differ from others.
Your own logic can only take you so far. Most of us don’t have a basis in Women’s/Gender Studies, Philosophy, Sociology, Political Science, or other social sciences/humanities (formally or informally). If you don’t want to have an opinion that makes it obvious that you don’t know what you’re talking about, then be sure to know what others are saying and understand that they have their own logical basis behind it. I highly doubt that most feminists are looking for a world that is unfair to men or that most of those who hate “feminists” are looking to reinforce oppression if not further it.
I do think that many (probably not most) people frequently making rape jokes have mindsets that aren’t conducive to respect for others or understanding people who aren’t like them. And I will say that until I know otherwise (based on other posts), I will assume they’re sexist/racist/prejudiced/etc.
The good news for them is that this just means that I wouldn’t be friends with them. And they probably don’t care to be friends with me anyway. I’m not going to bother with them outside of being cordial in our shared mediums (usually KYM or Derpibooru.)
Personally, if I come to know a person for being offensive before anything else, then that probably means one of two things:
- That’s their brand of humor.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but being offensive isn’t being witty or being funny. It’s almost a social commentary in itself. “I disapprove of political correctness in most of its forms, and I’m active in attacking it in the most mockish way possible: humor.” Or perhaps worse, “I get my chuckles out of making other people uncomfortable.”
If you know him, then Bob is certainly offensive, but he has no ulterior feelings of the sort. I know he respects people (if they’ve earned it), and he probably has more of a basic respect for any human than he’d say. So when he makes certain jokes, I know his mindset behind it isn’t ignorant or out of hate. Just because we have different opinions doesn’t mean that he is ignorant or that I am ignorant.
- They have a mindset that I fundamentally disagree with.
I’ve found many rape and molestation jokes funny, because they are made to be ridiculous such as Princess Molestia or comics like this.
In the Hua Tumblr comic, Hua adds the caption “Then they had…” which obviously implied that Octavia “punished” Vinyl with sex, because “And then they had sex” is an obvious Internet meme of sorts. It’s true that Twilight, Molestia’s guards, or Vinyl could all have PTSD, thoughts of suicide, partake in their own risky sexual behavior, and other outcomes related to sexual assault. But that isn’t shown nor is it implied in these.
That’s the terrible thing about rape. It’s an invasion of the most personal kind, and it has all-sorts of life-altering outcomes.
In these universes though, rape and molestation is a crime akin to wearing your roommates’ shirt without their permission. “Rape” here isn’t really rape. Rape has so many awful consequences, and the act in itself is reprehensible. It doesn’t look to be as bad as that here.
I think that’s where the “they’re just cartoons” argument is misunderstood. It’s not like rape isn’t awful. It’s not like people don’t care about the characters. Most sad fanfiction work on the basis that we already know the characters and care about them in one way or another.
But it’s a different universe where rape, for whatever reason, for lack of a better articulation, “ain’t so bad.”
I do think a considerable level of respect has to be given to those bothered by it such issues. Don’t invade “Safe Spaces” on Tumblr. Don’t joke about them. Just leave them alone. They don’t like the jokes, they’re offended by them, or they don’t want that atmosphere around them.
I also don’t think taboo topics should be treated so gingerly that you can’t be allowed to derive humor from them at all.
Again, basic skills of human interaction would probably help, but God knows most of us who spend a ton of time in Web Culture aren’t good with that sort of thing.
It was purely coincidental that Twilight doesn’t have her wings here. I just found all of the images to be cute.