I dare to be a woman on the internet, so I spend a lot of my time fighting with (mostly white) men in what I like to think of as paying my internet toll. These guys will pop in at random to try to tell me that I don’t know about Doctor Who, horror movies, racism, feminism, and anything else they damn well please because men are not okay. I could dedicate a whole book to men who tried me on Regina King’s internet, but I am focusing today’s article on the devil’s advocates that moved from our film classes to the internet where they still haunt us every day.
- You do not have to defend every white man on the internet. If I post an article about something nationally acknowledged as heinous that a man has done, or said, at least three guys will appear as if by magic to try to steer the conversation away from the fuckery afoot. Or loudly tell me in different ways that whatever he did to get into trouble is cool with them. As if I needed to know other men are fine excusing terrible behavior to sleep better at night. I have watched even supposed feminist groups bend over backward to argue the side of racists, harassers, and plain trolls because “their feelings might be hurt” if we call them out. Newsflash, most of them deserve to have their feelings hurt because call-in culture does not work on most strains of assholes.
- Why are you trying to plead the case of people you do not know as if you are a lawyer? The amount of times POCs call out racism to be met with a chorus of, “I don’t see what race has to do with it,” Or femmes call out sexism and are met with “I don’t see how this is sexist,” is fucking mindboggling. These same people will try to step into these issues that they are not a part of and then plead it down to what they think is a lesser offense for the aggressor. Imagine if we put that same energy into practicing empathy and hearing the injured parties though.
- Silence is an option. Sometimes people will have nothing to add but want to chime in just for funsies. This usually ends with them saying something deeply problematic and defending the person on the wrong side of the argument. I have started this new thing where I straight up ask, “Why are you on my status/tweet?” and I usually get back a lot of “Just trying to keep the peace,” or “I’m just trying to figure my thoughts out,” on topics that are non-starters. If your idea of keeping the peace is tone-policing a Black woman on the internet, then your idea of peace is incorrect. If you have not figured your…