Feminists and social justice bloggers, I like to consider myself among you and part of your movement. But when things like #istandwithjontron is instigated and perpetuated by members of our movement, and not a single one of you steps up to talk about how it’s completely messed up, or try to rectify it, I start to wonder what I’m doing hanging around with you guys.
I like JonTron, the guy is hilarious and a great entertainer and game critic who I respect, regardless of his stance on feminism. The sort of treatment he’s received collectively from us the last few days is despicable, unbecoming, and inexcusable. Nothing he could have ever said or done would have justified this sort of treatment.
We dun f*cked up. Bad.
If we claim to be receivers of daily abuse and harassment because of our views, and yet fail to speak out against or even gleefully CONTRIBUTE TO the abuse and harassment of other people who may have a different or even neutral opinion, we have failed collectively. This is why so many people can’t take us seriously. This is why the news has endless garbage on us to report on. This is why so many people are sitting on the fence about how they feel about feminism. Sure, it’s concrete in your mind that it’s about equality, but they aren’t so sure you believe that!
We are all so preoccupied on being ANGRY about systematic oppression and misogyny and harassment that we hardly catch ourselves when we do exactly the same thing to other people. Have you noticed? Have you seen how it’s become another us vs them? Have you noticed how we are so focused on only respecting people we can identify with that we have lost nearly all empathy for the rest of the world?
We all know there are many kinds of feminists, and many feminist lenses to view the world through, but there are certain things that feminism ISN’T. And if you are a participant of those things that feminism isn’t, then you really aren’t a feminist.
I plead with all those who consider themselves forward thinkers to be aware of your words and actions, because the world is watching.
I plead with you to rectify bad behavior amongst your communities, because if you don’t, they will be your flagship.
I plead with you to remember that it IS your job to educate, because that’s how activism works.
And above all, I plead with you to be the respectful, welcoming people you claim to be, even when you interact with someone who doesn’t agree with you, because the world has enough assholes with strong opinions.