I recently decided to take an extended leave of absence from twitter. Mostly for personal reasons, but also because I was just getting so damn tired of all the hate being thrown around ad nauseam. It was like someone had opened the floodgates to asshole-ville and everyone around me was being affected by it. More importantly, while I was going through my own set of Real Life Issues, people decided to continuously shit upon my cheerios.
At various different points immediately after deactivating my account I had these “twitter” moments. Things that happen, or things I want to share, that I usually share on twitter. Ridiculous crap that often is only funny to me. Other times it’s only amusing to me. But I share anyway, just in case. My particular brand of ridiculous seems to coincide with other’s at times, so why not?
I’m used to internet strangers being assholes. As a female who likes to play games I deal with this often. As a minority (who’s minority status is often questioned because people can’t tell exactly what racial background I am at first glance) I deal with this often. My life is spend advocating on a pretty regular basis. My job is based in advocating for opportunities for children. My schooling will eventually land me in a position in which I will be able to provide counseling and therapy. What I never expect, and what is almost always the hardest pill to swallow, are those people who act like they’re on your side, or claim to be a friend (or acquaintance) only to turn on you the second here is even a hint you might not align with their particular brand of asshole.
Over the last year or so, as I’ve become more outspoken on feminist issues in the gaming industry, and in WoW’s subculture, I’ve gotten a lot of emails, private messages, and DMs on twitter. Many are to say thank you for speaking out. Other’s are to say that they appreciate the less dramatic way in which I present the issues and discuss the problem. Even still, others say that it’s nice to feel like there is at least ONE feminist that doesn’t immediately jump down people’s throats with accusations and labels if a person doesn’t realize that the broader sexism problem exists because they’ve never experienced it, or haven’t been paying that much attention.
In all of my feminist posts the one thing I don’t do is promote hatred. Of any kind. I am of the opinion that hatred is what landed the oppressed in that station to begin with. That a majority, privilege group decided to hate people for some demographic and began their tyranny of oppression. So when I’m told that oppressed folks are allowed to hate, I am very quick to say something. No. No one is entitled to hate. Hate is what got us here in the first place.
I feel as though people confuse hatred with anger. There is a lot of overlap between the two. Mostly because you don’t often experience hatred without a large quantity of anger. You also don’t often experience hatred without long-term anger. And while anger is mentioned a couple of times on that wikipedia page, note that it is not included in the “See also” section. Because they’re two very different emotions/emotional states.
It often feels like people just don’t understand that there’s a difference between hate and anger. As if there’s this unspoken rule that you have to have the one to have the other and that they’re not mutually exclusive.
One of the biggest issues I see is that there is a demand for systematic and ideological change from oppressed people (rightfully so, btw)… but with the use of hatred as tool.
Hatred is what got you here in the first place, whatever position of oppression you may occupy (or multiple positions, as it were). Promoting hatred is not the solution. Promoting hatred and demanding justification and absolution for your hatred is exactly the same thing that people of privilege are asking for and demanding. Also, hatred makes you an asshole. Let’s not attempt to recolor our intentions and motivations with big words and straw man fallacies. When you rearrange what I’ve said to twist the meaning to represent what you’re attempting to project in order to promote the right to hate, you’re being an asshole.
If you HATE…
* women… you’re an asshole.
* men… you’re an asshole.
* transgendered folks… you’re an asshole.
* homosexuals… you’re an asshole.
* heterosexuals… you’re an asshole.
* cis folks… you’re an asshole.
* non-gamers… you’re an asshole.
The list could go on and on and on. Really. You can put any descriptor or label in there and the rule still applies… you’re an asshole.
Hate is never the solution to oppression. Hate is what got us here in the first place. Hate is only an excuse to be an asshole. Hate will only be a means to an end in order to turn the tables on those with privilege in an effort to become the ones with privilege, rather than enact a change to the system that promote equality regardless of who you are and what label you associate with.
Being angry is justifiable. Being upset is justifiable.