Monday, July 27, 2009

Looking for...

Often have I (and certainly others) have been accused of looking for racism, of looking for sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and a ton of other things when I've criticized movie, a book, a commercial, etc. Some gentle troll usually points out that "of course you'll find [insert offensive thing] if you're looking for it," followed by the accusation that I'm looking too much into it.

Normally I don't think about this stuff very much since it's all a silencing technique that those of ignorant minds employ because they'd rather not acknowledge the ways in which they're privileged, much less have a discussion about it, confront it, work on seeing the ways in which they're privileged and doing something about that. But this has been nagging at me for a while now.

Yes, if I look for racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, etc., generally I'm "rewarded" in finding it. You know why that is? BECAUSE IT'S THERE. It's such an ignorant thing to say that if you look for it you'll find it. I can look for anything and find it--I see racism in Transformers and in our daily treatment of non-white children; I see sexism in tons of ads, I hear sexism and anti-feminism in daily conversations, and homophobia in a movie that's supposed to challenge it. BECAUSE IT'S ALL THERE. I'm not making shit up--I'm finding something that exists and I'm confronting it, challenging it, and all I get is silencing techniques.

I challenge stereotypes because they're in our television shows, commercials, ads, and conversations. They're ignorant and they do not represent all people of a given group. I challenge homophobia and transphobia and sexism because white, cisgendered, straight male is not the fucking standard, and all others a deviation from that standard. There's pervasive hate everywhere; obviously I have no trouble finding it.

Yes, I'm looking for offensive othering commentary because I'm not content with ignorantly gobbling this shit up. I look for it and find it, just as I can look for an object near me and find it. OMG! There's my cat! I was looking for her, and I found her! What do you know? Just like how I found racism in this comic. Amazing!


intransigentia said...

And then if you don't look too much into it, and just say something like "there are {bad} messages are all over the place" those very same "you're looking for it everywhere" trolls go, "oh really, I don't believe you, give me an example."