Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Being Wrong on the Internet and Other Stray Observations

(This is vaguely inspired by David Shields's Reality Hunger*, the book I'm currently reading, which is structured in short bursts of text and aphorisms, almost like someone's Tumblr page. Also inspired by my inability to write a proper post.)

I don't have a problem with being wrong, nor does having my wrongness pointed out to me do irreparable damage to my self esteem, but the SJ and feminist blogosphere's predilection for going after their own has made my writing become more and more stilted and forced. I can definitely see the difference when I look at stuff I've written years ago when I was less "aware," or whatever. Not less aware of my own privileges and advantages (and disadvantages), but less aware of the weight my words carry, even as a minor player in the blog world. Granted, this isn't always a bad thing, but when it becomes impossible to write without picking over every word for something that might be interpreted as offensive or mean, why bother?

Speaking of which, this is an interesting perspective on the Lena Duhman/privilege thing.

Gender is classed. I wish this were given even a fraction of attention when the feminist blog world talks about gender. Femininity as we understand it is often "white, middle-class" femininity. As someone who grew up without class privilege, I didn't have a lot of the trappings of femininity -- the pinkness, the girlishness, the princess play -- those things were expensive. But those things --the shallow things -- are what a lot of women point to when they mean feminine. A few years ago, I read a post about women's voice not being taken as seriously as men's because women "naturally pitch their voices higher" so they sound less threatening. This may be true for some women, but none of the women in my family, nor any of the women close to be, had high, soft,  "feminine" sounding voices. The easy answer for this is, of course, a lot of internalized misogyny, or so I'm told. But it goes deeper than that, and among working-class people, men and women alike, there's a desire not to appear weal or vulnerable.

The Tumblr thing, redux: It's the nature of the beast. The ability to reblog -- with pity commentary -- allows pile-ups to happen more ferociously than they would on a more traditional blogging platform. Twitter is guilty of this, too, but on Tumblr it's even more insidious. I have one, and I rarely use it anymore. I don't want to delete my Tumblr account (I hate when people flounce), but the whole environment in pretty toxic.

*via Wittgenstein

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