“some dank corners of society” haha, very apt!
Yeah, I think this can definitely go both ways, and maybe this is sort of a byproduct of the internet, where conversations are constantly happening online. And suddenly there is this feedback loop that transforms the pleasant sound of reasonable discussion into a screeching war between two sides.
I think it often plays out this way: say someone online wants to have a conversation that is related to race/sex/etc. that they’re genuinely curious about, but then they get called racist/sexist for simply asking the question. It may have just been one insult out of five fair responses, but we know how aggressive comments tend to stand out more. This person may have been open and willing to change his mind, but the personal attack may cause him to fall back into the other camp, and never really understand what the issue was or ever agree with it because of that association.
Especially when it comes to issue of race/sex, it can be tricky having any discussion about it with some people. If you’re trying to talk about inherent bias that exists in literally every person, some people can take just that observation as a personal attack, depending on their own sense of security, but also the attitude/tone of the person they’re talking too.
And the same can play out the other way. The Internet has created this boogieman of the SJW and the femininazi. So people won’t even give ideas regarding feminism, for example, a chance because they feel like they know everything they need to because they followed the algorithm of guys complaining about it on YouTube.
Which kind of ties into the Mary Sue thing. One person might have a fair point about how Rey fits into common traits associated with that trope. But then another person brings up the inherent bias of female characters being called wish fulfillment characters when male characters are rarely ever criticized for the exact same thing, and then the original person feels like they’ve been called a sexist and it devolves into a fight. Or, sometimes a person just calls them a “SEXIST!” and the conversation literally goes nowhere.
It’s weird. I think people get unfairly labeled racist or sexist when literally most people have inherent biases regarding race and sex. They’re not bad people, it might be something they might not be aware of. People who intentionally discriminate based off race or sex deserve that label, but a personal with intentional bias versus unconscious bias or two different types of people. So throwing around those terms devalues the seriousness of the labels, as well as potentially alienating the person who desperately wants/needs to understand their inherent biases to overcome them, which can lead them to become MORE biased. Humans can be a god damned self-fulfilling prophecy, haha.
I’ve seen the opposite also play out, where someone has a really interesting meta or analysis of The Last Jedi and people call point fingers calling “SJW propaganda” or “feminist agenda”. Pop Culture Detective has a really interesting video regarding TLJ and ideas of feminism and masculinity, but you see a lot of those kind of comments there. It’s possible it is partly because they’ve already made their minds up on how they feel about the movie, or they might be insecure regarding their own masculinity and are projecting those complicated feelings online, but regardless, that is why I think it is important to try to approach these topics with respect. If you want people to be open-minded about your opinion, it has to start with respect. So I think a lot of these conversations have to be approached with civility just for the mere desire to counter what apparently is the status quo of online conversation.
I think we just forget how nuanced these conversations can be, and we fit “pro-TLJ” and “anti-TLJ” into boxes. There are pro-TLJ people who think some people take shit on twitter TOO far, and I know anti-TLJ people feel the same way.
Clearly most people who don’t like the film don’t agree with the hate and death threats people like Kellie Marie Tran and Rian Johnson have gotten. There are also people in the pro-ST camp give Reylos A LOT of shit because they think shipping them equates to supporting abusive relationships. What could be an interesting discussion devolves into name calling.
Anyway, people like that guy get themselves into that problem when even agreeing to a debate, so I really don’t have much sympathy. I like TLJ for very personal reasons, so I don’t know why I would feel the need to defend my reasons for liking a movie. Or, if there would even be any logic into that kind of debate format. I don’t like Jurassic World, but I’m not going to pressure people into a debate about why they’re not allowed to like Jurassic World. I remember ranting about JW after its release, a lot like how hardcore anti-TLJ people on YouTube rant about that movie, and in retrospect I feel like the conversations I had with people at that time was some of the most pretentious, self-entitled bullshit I’ve ever wasted breath on. Mostly because I was pretty condescending. In retrospect I thought, why can’t I just let people enjoy a movie they like?
And the answer had more to do with me than it did with them or the movie.
Great post! Keep 'm coming! 😃