26
Apr
18

Silence and Offense

Silence.png

 

I’m going to give a warning. This post is something I’ve been mulling over for a while, debating on whether or not I should post anything about it. It’s going to piss people off; I’ve just reached a point where I’m pissed off enough that I am not too concerned about it. It is entirely probable that it will be long, contain quite a bit of vulgarity, and convince people – especially the individuals who inspired this post – that I belong in some camp full of folks with assorted -phobias and -isms.

You thus have the opportunity to walk away now, pretend you didn’t see this, and be happy. If, on the other hand, you are of the tribe of special snowflakes that create this sort of cesspool thinking, I’m sure you won’t; you’ll want to continue to the end to justify your outrage. Or perhaps I’m only being paranoid. Ready? Here we go.

It’s no secret to anyone connected to social media or paying any attention to the news at all that there’s a war going on. If you have any kind of minority tag you can slap on yourself, you’re on the “winning” side, and thus “safe.” If don’t, you are the enemy. It really seems that simple. That’s not what irritates me… at least, it’s not the core issue.

The core issue is that it has gone beyond that. No more is it enough to claim one is put upon by the circumstances of birth, genetics, mental ability, race, sexuality and non-human nature. Now we have to put down anything that doesn’t come from a similar source. In the world of the arts it seems like if you don’t have a snowflake sticker, you’re actively discouraged from attempting anything at all. If you produce something or provide an opinion anyway, you will quickly be reminded how evil, patriarchal, racist, sexist, misogynistic, transphobic and theriophobic you really are. Frequently devolving into a dogpile of stupidity that results in the “offender” – who’s crime was typically being white, male, straight and/or cis – being banned, boycotted, doxxed or otherwise punished.

The best part is this is done in the name of equality and freedom, with apparently no sense of irony or hypocrisy present.

But that’s not even the core issue. The problem is this: it’s done in such an insidious, backhanded way that slowly squeezes away opportunities for creative expression and is presented in such a way that any complaint or question about the treatment only “proves” they deserve it.

As an example: Writer A tells a story. Reader B feels that there aren’t enough minority characters in the story, and is offended; it must be some form of -ism at work! Writer A, if he’s dumb enough to attempt to defend himself, will likely note that there isn’t much specificity of race, sexuality or gender because they’re not relevant to the story, and that his male/female balance is dictated by the needs of the story rather than a checklist. This will only “prove” to Reader B that Writer A is racist, and they will drag in SJWs C-Z to complain harder.

Writer A goes back to the drawing board. Tries to sprinkle some more minority influence into the story. Reader B and their backup crew will then start screaming about -isms again, tossing in the new fun one of tokenism. Now the person is -ist because they tried to be inclusive. And start back over.

Now, if Writer A, before sharing with Reader B, had included a “proper” number of minorities of all stripes, then he’s liable to take heat anyway. Why? Well, because he dares presume to know anything about that group by writing about them. If you’re not a member of the group – or one that is similarly “opressed” in their eyes – then you’re not allowed to write about them.

So what’s the answer? You’re apparently not allowed to just write what comes, as your natural -isms will come to the fore when you don’t make sure to keep a 51-50 balance of female vs. male and obsessively note every character’s race, sexuality, gender identity and species dysphoria. You’re not allowed to include people other than your own, because doing so is tokenistic and also showing racism or what have you. The message I’m drawing from that seems pretty simple: Either you don’t bother writing at all, or you sit in your corner and have hate piled on you until you quit.

What worries me the most about this is that the trend also seems to be somewhat retroactive. People claim it’s slippery slope logic, but I can all too easily picture a day in the not-too-distant future where a bunch of Antifa types are gathering up the works of Shakespeare, Bradbury and Twain to have themselves a good old fashioned book burning. People say that’s a slippery slope, and I don’t disagree, but we’ve proven a lot of those slopes are very real of late… what’s one more?

Anyway. I think I’m done for the moment. Throw your tomatos and accusations of hate speech if you will. Meanwhile, I’m going to go peck away at the next chapter of Lune de Amant, which is what prompted this little rant, since someone taking a look at it started complaining that I was racist for using a historical personage of an African American persuasion. Because apparently when you’re doing a horror story set in Louisianna, having voodoo or the self-professed voodoo queen involved is somehow morally wrong.

Anyone out there have anything to add to this? Right or wrong? What to write? Worried that book burnings are around the corner? Let us know down below.

KA Spiral no signature

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