Thursday, July 19, 2012

Witch Hunt, Or How To Make Everybody Forgets What Matters

The term witch hunt never seemed as ironic and appropriate as I feel it is now, for the issue at hand. An issue that I avoided hard in the last time to put in blog form, because I never felt it was worth the time, effort and trouble it causes to me. And to do it, I decided to use the kind of imagery used up there, to help make my point. What I am going to talk about?

Sexism and misogyny, that’s what.

And of course, if you haven’t run away from this blog by now, it means you are curious to listen what I am going to talk about. First, let’s start with my previous statement, of people running away from the theme in question. This is a bad sign for people trying to fighting sexism and misogyny, which people are not wishing to discuss it anymore. It means that somehow the people discussion such complex and in need of being discussed themes aren’t willing to. Making people wanting to discuss a theme complex as those two is an important step to change things. But now people are so tired and feed up of them that many, like me, don’t even want to start talking about it.

The fault, of course, is in both sides unrelenting desire to not give up in their points of view. Neither side, both defending that sexism and misogyny is a great problem and the side saying it is not a big deal or even a real problem don’t want to listen to each others arguments, or even accept that both sides have some very valid points that must be taken in consideration.

'I don't care you agree with some of my points, Missy! Or you  totally agree with me or you are an idiot!'

And constantly hitting the head in brick walls is not the way a discussion is made, not how both sides can find common ground to work with. This constant and consistent walls put by both sides that neither side is willing to put down is making those discussions an exercise in frustration. So, I ask you to withstand me for a while and carefully listen to the point I wish to make.

Yesterday I have crossed over this tweet by famous actor Simon Pegg. He states how much he loves girls in cosplay attires. I also love girls in cosplay attires. Damn, a lot of people of any gender love a lot of people in cosplay attires, women or not. He is stating how much he loves girls cosplaying. Or, if you are out there hunting sexism witches and misogyny devil lovers, what you will read means how much he objectify women and think badly about them.

Exactly what he said.

And that is what I wish to talk about. It is clear to me that Simon Pegg never intended to downplay women or say how they are inferior to men. He never said that. But clearly you cannot say anything regarding women nowadays that don’t fit a mysterious behavior code that someone will take offense and then make it a bigger deal than it should.

There shouldn’t be anything wrong with stating how beautiful a woman is, or how attractive her clothing makes her. It is how men approach women to start relationships. It is not a statement of women’s place in society, or men stating how they dislike women except as sex partners. It just refers to how much men appreciate the female form and how much women make themselves beautiful and attractive.

Of course, this is not what many white knights, usually men trying to look good towards women and some women see it. They are now seeing anything that could be interpreted as offensive to women, no matter how much stretch they must do to fit it in their strict points of view or how much they must completely change the meaning of a statement to make it sounds how they want it to sound. They must make it worth raging over it.

I hate the term ‘feminazi’. It is a term that invalidates all the fighting women have done to have some basic rights in our society. We live in a society that was for centuries based on men having more rights and privileges than women, and we still haven’t reached a point where women have all the same rights and privileges granted. We still live in a society were women gains less than men to do the exact same job having the same qualifications. A society that still denies women promotions or that still doesn’t accept women doing typical male jobs. All those are worth fights we all must support of. Like we must fight against people who belittle women or that make little of problems like rape. But when certain people goes to great length to take everything who they think, being it real or imaginary, are sexist and misogynistic, no matter how small they are, it makes the real cause, the one worth fighting, lose its value.

What most people must think when hearing the word feminazi.

They become the fictional ‘feminazi’, no matter if men or women. The legendary vitriolic feminist who see sexism in everything and that nobody must take it serious. And many men and women are not helping feminism by going after every small thing or hunting fictional sexists, literally witch hunting what many times don’t exist. Many times, there is nothing there to be seem, but this need to fight a very real problem is making many people seeing problems where there is not.

Let’s go back to the cosplay thing. Why people of any sex cosplay? Because they like to do it. They like to put the costume together, going to conventions and get all the attention that a good cosplay can generate. Yes, they are doing it for themselves, but also the reward here is the attention they receive from others.

So, of course they have all the right to not being sexually molested by horny people who think they dressed just to have sex with them. Damn, no women should have to deal with idiots that cannot understand some basic social behavior just because they are dressed more provocatively. Just because the girl is showing cleavage does not mean that she wants sex, just to dress with something they might like.

Of course she have the right to not have to deal with dicks wanting to put their dicks in her. It does not mean I don't have the right to think she looks hot.

But them going to attack men who finds the women attractive and make comments about it is too much. They are not always belittling the woman in question. They may just genuinely think she is quite beautiful and attractive. And what they are doing is stating that. There is a difference between going to a friend at your side and saying how much he thinks that girl on tank top is hot and going to the girl and asking for sex and than verbally insulting her because she refuses. The first is innocent and don’t have any negative effect on the women and their place in society. The second is probably a crime and stupid.

Many white knights and witch hunters are so blind to what is acceptable behavior and have no impact in real life and what really is a trouble and must be addressed, that they just attack everything they can remotely put under their very personal definition of sexism and misogyny. And by doing that, they are hurting the real feminists, the real people who are trying to solve very real problems that affect people in real life by making those people be associated with the raging lunatics who cannot shut up about how sexist it was of that one guy saying how much he love girls in bikinis.

'You idiot! We were almost killing the dragon but your meddling allowed him to escape!  I hope that unicorn put his horn in your ass!'

By constantly attacking behaviors that they classify as insulting, but isn't (or maybe they are, but are minor when compared with some real big issues), and by constant annoying anyone on sight with their ranting, they weak the cause. They justify the existence of the ‘feminazi’ stereotype, making anyone trying to talk about their concern about real issues like workplaces that are harmful to women because men are dicks or women who are abused by their partners, being put in the same bag as the people who complaint about how bad is people commenting how much they like a fictional character in a bikini in an obscure internet forum.

What happens is that if anyone starts talking about sexism issues everywhere, people will not know if they are going to talk against misogynistic politicians trying to prevent laws giving equal rights to women or if it is someone who will start discussing how much they hate a comic book character that uses mini-skirt instead of cargo pants. It makes people avoid even engaging conversations by the fear that they will be dragged in an useless discussion about how bad is that a fictional character is portrayed or how awful is the fact that some guy said that some girl have a nice ass.

This witch hunting I am seeing nowadays, were everything is offensive to someone and blow up out of proportion is more harmful than good. It does not raise awareness about real issues; it hid the real issues in layers and layers of pettiness and imaginary issues that make it harder to the people fighting the real issues to be able to do their jobs.

So, before jumping in the wagon and start hunting witches around with torches in hand, the very first thing you may ask is: Are the witches, the issues real? They are really the responsible for the problems? Or there is a real problem that I will not see because I am hunting fictional problems?

Because when you lose your time and everyone else’s time in useless witch hunting, everyone loses. Especially the people you think you are helping.

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