I totally intend this blog to be about a wide variety of topics, including movies, T.V., music, politics, sex, podcasts, you tube channels, viners (that’s a weird looking word) and anything else I might want to talk about. Maybe one day I will narrow it down, but for now this stream-of-consciousness free-for-all is what you get. Sorry not sorry.
This post in particular is going to be very rough because I am technically supposed to be working and I do not have that much time to dedicate to it. I just feel like if I can just get some of these thoughts out of my head and into the world at large then I will be able to focus on what I am actually getting paid for. So, here goes.
This topic keeps cropping up in my life lately, which is the only real reason I chose it as my first semi-rant. Last night I was on a date (it went well, thanks!) and we got to talking about “trigger warnings” and “sensitivity.” My date and I had slightly differing opinions on the matter, but the debate was pleasant (only because I won, haha.)
Then this morning I was listening to the amazing Citizen Radio podcast about how comedian Sarah Silverman spoke out against the idea that “PC culture” is damaging comedy and American society as a whole.
GO SARAH!!! I am a huge fan of comedy, but it is disheartening to see so many comedians (I’m looking at you MR. SEINFELD just kidding, please don’t hurt me) get so enraged about the idea that their actions have consequences. That does not mean, however, that I agree with the insults some people have hurled at said comedians. Too far, man!
CR has made all of the following points as have many others, but I sooo agree with them, plus it is nice to have all of these ideas wrapped up into one nice, neat little package, right? Right.
Problem number one: The First Amendment
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
You can hear the shrill cries “FREE SPEECH!” ringing through out comedy clubs across the nation. The problem is that the First Amendment, aka the Free Speech Amendment, aka DJ FreeFree, actually only protects you from the government. It does not protect you from the general public or corporations. Therefore, if and when I type something that angers someone, I will have to deal with the consequences. I can be ostracized, alienated, even fired for what I say here and anywhere public. Is this ideal? No. However, Ben Franklin is quoted as saying “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety,” and he was much smarter than me.
Problem number two: Morality Bites
This one is much more nebulous, but I think most will be able to follow along and agree with me. Respecting people’s preferred labels, being sure to “punch down,” which means only making jokes at the expense of people more powerful and privileged than you, and issuing trigger warnings when necessary IS NOT THAT HARD! Particularly when the alternative is making someone genuinely feel like crap.
Problem number three: WHY ME!?
Now, why is it MY place to say something? Why, if I’m not black, a victim of sexual assault, a transsexual, or a member of many other marginalized communities do I have a right to be offended “for” said community? This is a question I take very seriously and on a case by case basis. Usually, I try to follow the CR model for being a “good ally” by just shutting up and listening. Sometimes I cannot keep my mouth shut, though (could you tell?) Usually I reserve my comments for people who I think will actually listen, which is generally peers who I have a mutual respect for.
However. I will ALWAYS speak out when it comes to insensitivity about sexual assault, because the stigma of sexual assault in our society makes it ridiculously difficult for victims to speak for themselves. Just call me the Lorax of sexual assault victims.
I will say, though, that in ALL of these cases, it is NOT up to the offended party to teach you how to be a good person. I want to believe that the world is now so interconnected that if you are an asshole, then you are going to be a lone asshole, because rather than try to change you, all of the good people are going to distance themselves from you until you are forced to change yourself or shrivel from loneliness. Sigh, a girl can dream, right?
Stay fabulous. I Love You Guys,
Lady A.V.O.M. ❤