Hey, you. Over there. Straight white guy living in the western developed world and making “jokes”. C’mere. We need to talk for a second. Bring your friends.
Let’s get one thing very clear from the outset: You were an asshole. That’s why what happened happened. That’s why people called you an asshole. You were being one, in a pretty epic fashion. That’s been rehashed in a lot of other places by now and I don’t see tremendously much of a point in saying that much more about it. You were an asshole. Moving on. Because I want to focus on the reaction of you – and others – to being called an asshole.
You and yours have been insisting that you’re being “edgy”, that you’re being “dangerous”, that there is something brave about daring to be offensively “funny” in the face of overwhelming politically correct repression. That what happened to you constitutes that kind of oppression, that the enemies of free speech have descended upon you but that you will NOT BE SILENCED.
It’s worth noting that at the same time you’re painting the people who pointed out that you were being an asshole as a small, shrill minority, not to be taken seriously. Consistency does not appear to be your strong point; you seem to be flailing wildly about, grasping for anything and everything that allows you to declare that you Just Don’t Care about the fact that you were publicly an asshole and that people had the audacity to tell you so. That kind of flailing makes me wonder about how you really feel. But anyway.
Got a few points for you. I’ll take them one at a time and try to go slow.
- Your free speech has not been infringed upon. Locus is a private organization and they have the right to take on and dismiss people as they see fit; they also have the right to curate their own content. You have a blog and a Twitter account and fuck knows what else. You can speak and you’re doing so, loudly. Your right to free speech does not preclude the rights of others to point out that you are being a gaping smelly asshole.
- You are not oppressed. The Armies of Political Correctness are, or are allies of those who are. They are what they are because they are in significant part made up of people who have been breathing toxic cultural air for their entire lives and they are fucking sick of it. They have to be an army, and they have to be loud, because this is the world and it’s full of assholes.
- Making jabs at marginalized people from a position of power and privilege is not “edgy”, “dangerous”, or brave. It is the status fucking quo. You’re the Man. I know you don’t want to be, but you are. You don’t live in a world where you are likely to be emotionally and physically abused, where you are likely to be disenfranchised, where you are likely to be raped, where you are likely to be fucking killed. You unbelievable asshole.
- Perhaps in the name of wanting to feel like you’re a brave man standing alone in a world that’s set against you, that your sad little life has some kind of meaning, you are engaging in a twisted form of D&D roleplay where you get to go up against radical feminist dragons and, against the odds, emerge victorious. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with roleplaying. But please understand that this is what you’re doing and your insistence that it isn’t what you’re doing makes you look pathetic and childish. And like an asshole.
- The people who live in that world in which you don’t live but seem to want to? They wish that the worst thing that was likely to happen to them was being called an asshole.
- You don’t get to decide whether or not it is appropriate for someone to be offended, or whether their degree of offense is reasonable. You don’t get to dictate how other people feel. Those of us in the adult world learned this before we hit our teens. Please at least try to catch up. And be less of an asshole.
- Do you know what’s edgy? What’s dangerous? Speaking truth to power. Tearing apart oppressive systems. Daring to say that the way things are is not the way they should be. Pointing out that when someone is being an asshole in a way that is part of a larger cultural system of the devaluation, delegitimization, and marginalization of certain people, they are being a stinking, shit-full asshole.
No, I don’t expect any of this to penetrate. You don’t want it to, why would you? Why would you want to confront the fact that you were and are an asshole? No one wants to confront that. But please understand that you will then continue to be an asshole. And people won’t be quiet about that. So get used to being called an asshole.