Hopefully I’ve managed to take out all other posters names and identifiers out of the conversation.
In response to this post on face book;
I had the following discussion, I’m exhausted;
Robin Alexis PC culture is becoming a form of suppression and censorship. I’m pretty leftwing in my beliefs, but I’ve seen a rise in call out culture and shaming as PC culture continues.
I see this a lot in a lot of creative fields. Sweeping issues like racism and sexism under the carpet doesn’t make them go away. If, for example, a writer portrays a scene with heavy tones of sexism, that does not make them sexist, nor does it make sexism go away.
Context matters. If I’m writing a story about someone rising above their circumstances, I have to be able to show what those circumstances are, otherwise loved and coddled character gets what they want doesn’t make an interesting plot. Sticking your fingers in your ears doesn’t erase the past. In fact by not acknowledging past hurts (and I apologise for minimising that) you are causing more harm.
Robin Alexis I have a good example. A few years back, one of the more prominent museums in London had a showing about the history of black Slavery in the U.K. It had some shocking displays like shackles used on the slaver boats. I’m pretty sure they had to shut it down because people found it offensive. People are so invested in not facing bad things happened historically, that they actively participate in erasure. That’s why PC culture is bad, it enables people to pretend that real travesties didn’t happen. I don’t have a problem with trying to be respectful to others. I have a problem with pretending that racism and sexism don’t exist at all. How can things improve, if you deny there is a problem at all. This demand for proof, when you deny proof exists is an act of self delusion at best. At worst it’s a way to perpetuate the status quo. You can’t deny racism and sexism exist, if you acknowledge the proof does exist. PC culture contributes to this. If you erase the language around the issue, the history then the issue doesn’t exist. Hello, 1984, big brother is watching and controlling the narrative.
Enjoy your 15 minute hate.
xxxxxxx“You’re pretty sure” the exhibition got shut down? Did it or not then? Because if it did, there is surely a record of it? Don’t make stuff like that up, or you are part of the problem.
Otherwise, I agree totally. “Who doesn’t remember the past, lives without future”. The culture of mollicoddling is not good either. We need to learn about the slave trading, the nazis, horrors of wars etc, so we could decide not to behave like that again.
Robin Alexis I obviously got this;
mixed up with this;
I apologise for misremembering but I didn’t make anything up.
Thank you for demonstrating my point so throughly though.
00000000You can talk about racism and sexism without using slurs or stereotypes. Any writer worth their salt should be able to do that.
Robin Alexis 00000000 I’m reminded of J K Rowling and the term mudblood. Also Doctor Who and the Rosa Parkes episode, watch it, and then tell me that sent the wrong message.
But it’s better for me if you continue demonstrating my point.
Robin Alexis 00000000 Plus did I say I used slurs and stereotypes? Or are you just assuming that? Which makes you a little bit of a hypocrite perpetuating that whole ‘if you aren’t with us, you’re against’ bullshit, and making assumptions about me.
000000000 But that’s what being “politically correct” essentially is. It’s not AVOIDING conversations about sexism and racism, it’s about ceasing the perpetuation of slurs and stereotypes and other terms that have historically been used to denigrate, harm or humiliate people. I think you are assuming that being politically correct means we can’t even discuss societal issues when nothing could be farther from the truth.
************ I’m not seeing those things being avoided by leftwing people in the US. This summer, my boyfriend and I visited the lynching museum in alabama. It was very honest, graphic, and open and the people wanting it to go away were the right wing who insisted we “let sleeping dogs lie.”
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Gatekeeping is rough, but so is stuff made and done by well-meaning people who don’t know what they are doing or talking about and focus on stuff that’s tangental to the history. For example, many museums and memorials related to slavery tend to focus on the household and the glamour and owners of the plantations, or the glories and valor of Civil War officers; the memorial museum that Jessica talks about above focuses on the people who were lynched.
+++++++++Thank you Robin Alexis! Well written.
Have you heard Jonathan Haidt talking about this issue?
Robin Alexis Lauren Haitch I’m not saying that’s right either. I must confess I’m not America, but I know the hurt runs deep on both sides.
I witnessed something a few years back that forever changed my view. I wished I’d done better at the time but being an Australian Kiwi living in predominantly white communities I didn’t even know behaviour like that was possible. It opened my eyes and I can’t close them again even if I wanted to. Blatant racism I can deal with, and wouldn’t let it pass by, but racism couched in PC terms and yes, in gate keeper terminology was wholly unexpected. I was naive and stupid. And I realised that happens all the time.
To make it all worse one of the woman this was directed at comforted me. That’s just not right. I know it wasn’t right. Two years later, I’m still WTF happened, but I’m definitely wary of the PC bully squad now. Not a single word that passed could have been misconstrued as racist, BUT it was.
?????????? You can be for one but against the other. Being politically correct does not mean you censor any mention of evil thoughts. I don’t think it’s wise to say these two are the same, as you can easily be for being careful with your language or more thoughtful of what you say, while still remembering the past and even using these memories to understand how certain things are wrong.
Robin Alexis The reason I referenced 1984 in my first posts is one way Big Brother controlled the populace was through language. By simplifying language i.e. Double Plus Good, instead of excellent, Big Brother was taking away the populace’s ability to conceptualise particular concepts.
Love, rebellion etc. Big Brother constantly changed history, by altering newspapers and literature so it constantly reflected Big Brother in good light.
Trying to alter the language around Race and colour, so it becomes a distant memory sounds noble and well intentioned, but it’s a distant memory only for certain people. Other people carry with them generations of pain and suffering. Some thing you can’t erase overnight. Don’t get me wrong some words should stay in the trash heap, and rot away with time, but we don’t get dismiss people’s historical pain. Pain which some are still suffering from.
Being P.C smacks of the thought police.
Don’t pretend you’re not racist because you can speak fluent PC. Don’t suppress other people’s expression because it’s not couched in perfect terms.
I’m not talking about the Alt-right and Neonazi’s. They deserve any and all consequence. I’m talking about Tumblerina’s twisting thier words in P.C terms to smack down an opinion they disagree with. Or to avoid and shut down any narrative different from thier own.
Political correctness is a nice concept but like anything remotely noble in it’s intentions, it gets twisted, and corrupted.
This is an example of P.C culture gone wrong.
????????? Well, I can agree, it can be easily twisted and corrupted, just as you showed with Tumblr users who in such situations are often a vocal minority, sometimes extremist and detached from the real world. I’ll have to think about it a bit.
Robin Alexis ??????? I’m all about treating people equally, and respectfully. I don’t get it right sometimes but as a creator of creative content my experience is that kind of behaviour, even though that example is extreme, is not as uncommon as you think.
It’s quite common in the writing community. It’s pretty toxic. Anyway, thank you for taking my thoughts under consideration.
@@@@@@@ Have you or an ancestor been affected by slavery?
Asking for a friend
Robin Alexis Andy Kennedy Have yours?
@@@@@@@@ No, hence why I’m not criticising the decision. So, how about you?
Robin Alexis @@@@@@@@ lol, I get the feeling you’re trolling.
@@@@@@@@@ No, I’m just pointing out that the example you used would clearly mean something to those who still feel the effects of slavery today. It’s not really a question of “offence” or “outrage”, but one of people not wanting their reality to be mishandled by people who cannot relate to it. It’s not really “pc culture”, it’s the voices of marginalised people finding a platform, and those with privilege not liking what they’re hearing.
@@@@@@@@@@ Also I apologise for opening with a line that was trollish in tone. It wasn’t called for.
zzzzzzzzzzRobin Alexis I’d suggest the issue is bullying behaviour, rather than any “PC” problem. If I ask myself: “what would be a fix for the issue the article describes?”, it isn’t “stop people having opinions in other people’s work”; or “stop people from being offended by things that aren’t meant to be offensive;” it would be “let’s try to stop bullying behavior at all levels of discourse”. Obviously not easy but a better solution than trying to reverse people’s awareness of belittling language or their willingness to call others out?
Robin Alexis @@@@@@@@ fair enough. No, I can’t say for certain, but as far as I’m aware I haven’t been affected by slavery nor any of my ancestors. Indentured servitude is highly likely, but thats a different kettle of fish. My ancestors didn’t own any either. They were Scottish Fishermen and New Zealand colonists/booksellers. I live a privilege life now.
I’m going to clear up a misconception. If a person of colour were to say they were offended by my choice of words and examples, I’d absolutely take that on board, and respect that. (Plus friends would beat my ass.) It’s not my story to tell, but it’s my place to listen. What I object to is other white people telling me what’s okay and what is not, and shutting down the discussion, so that people can’t talk freely. That saddens me a lot.
Robin Alexis zzzzzzzz I quite agree. I’m just slightly disturbed that it’s done in the name of political correctness. Sometimes behaviour needs to be called out, but more recently (in the last two years or so) it’s has been used as a tool for bullying and shaming, and often it’s targeting people who aren’t the folks we should be worrying about. Mean while alt-right movements, and neonazi numbers across the globe seem to be growing stronger. So PC bullying isn’t even targeting the right folks.
@@@@@@@@@@ When has it been used as a form of bullying or shaming?
Robin Alexis @@@@@@@
I already posted this, but for your benefit;
@@@@@@@@@ That’s pretty terrible, nobody should have to feel like that. But sorry to say, art is not that sacred that it cannot be criticised, regardless of artistic intent. The tools to create and disseminate art are entwined with privilege, and despite what many people try to claim, there is a responsibility to stay in your lane.
@@@@@@@@@@ If people were using the artist’s work as an excuse to be exclusionary for other reasons, to hide misogyny etc then I think the point would be more solid, but I don’t think that’s what’s happening here
Robin Alexis @@@@@@@@@@ But they are being exclusionary. They basically invalided her expression, and dismissed her as a human being. Art is where preservation of free speech truly matters, whole political movements have been inspired by creative expression. There’s a world of difference between Criticism and Suppression.
That whole stay in your lane business is hypocritical gate keeping bullshit. If you want more representation then support and create a safe space for those poorly represented voices. Pony up with the money, but don’t kneecap other creatives and bully them because they aren’t creating content you want.
Artist, writers, anyone who creates have an audience to please. They aren’t the enemy. You don’t have to push other artists to the side, but you do have the obligation to promote Artists you enjoy.
Aren’t the tiki torch carriers the bigger problem than some fandom consumed teenygirl any way?
Robin Alexis Andy Kennedy you don’t think suppressing someone else’s narrative for your own is the very definition of discrimination, and they were being discriminatory, just couching in PC terms.
To be honest you are wasting your time arguing with me, I’m not the enemy.
Robin Alexis If I was saying I disagree with PC culture because I want the good old days back that’s one thing, but I’m not. I’m saying it’s counterproductive at best, and a form of censorship, which I believe my fandom article does demonstrate well.
As I pointed out, dismissing examples, and misconstruing others is pretty standard practise for the PC police.
@@@@@@@@@@ Yes the tiki torch carriers are the worst, we agree on that!
I don’t think you’re the enemy at all, I just care about art, it’s history and it’s place in the world. I can’t help feeling that politics is absolutely more hard baked right into the crust of art than people realise. Hence why I mention privilege and art, and how certain groups will have more access to the training, tools and platforms than others.
Do you honestly think it’s gatekeeping to simply ask an artist, with access to the aforementioned tools and platforms, to be respectful of things they don’t relate to? We all know of the male gaze, but closely related (and included, technically) are “cis gaze”, “het gaze”, “White gaze” etc.
Look at what’s going on with JK Rowling. She has yet to disavow any transphobic ideas or beliefs that people are now convinced she has, which tbh is pretty bad. She continues to also not attempt to disavow herself from the various problems with having Jonny Depp in a film franchise that she is writing and helping to produce. Does she deserve to be bullied? No, obviously. Does she deserve to be called out? Yes, absolutely. Should people feel sorry for her if she decides she can’t handle the criticism anymore? Maybe, case by case but tbh I feel MORE for the people who love her work but feel like maybe she doesn’t want to assist in helping ease their struggle.
I agree with you that censorship is absolutely a big issue in art, but I don’t see this as a free speech issue. Her art isn’t being hidden or removed, I was able to see examples of it on the page you showed me. I’m put in mind of Nan Goldin worrying that her abusive partner would destroy her work, or when Robert Mapplethorpe’s family had to basically go to court in order for his work to not be classed as porn.
@@@@@@@@@ See you say “pc police” like the people in question have no right to be unhappy, and not being funny but using that sort of term to describe them is what the aforementioned tiki torchers are also doing 😦
Robin Alexis A colleague of mine wrote a book with a deaf protagonist. She did a lot of research to portray them accurately. When she completed the manuscript she hired sensitivity editors to make sure there were no inaccuracies or representations. All of the sensitity editors were part of the deaf community. Most of them commended her on her well written portrayal. One got abusive. No issue pin pointed, just torrents of abusive language. She did publish it in the end.
1.) She wasn’t insensitive in her portrayal.
2.) she obtained guidance from the deaf community.
If you have an idea, a positive idea you go with it, and some where out there is a book with a positive/accurate role model for deaf kids now. Does it matter that it was written by an non-deaf person? If a deaf person is inspired to write, and do great things because of it is it really that bad?
Do you know how many little (and big) girls cried when The Doctor regenerated to a woman? Does it matter the show runner is a man? You probably wouldn’t understand why so many woman cried in Woman woman, despite some problematic issues with the movie, but it got a lot of things right too.
I don’t want suppress any of that.
Robin Alexis @@@@@@@@@ And you are tone policing me. This isn’t ‘if you aren’t with us, you are against us.’ I have already stated by altering language to suppress conceptualising of ideas is covert censorship. The left isn’t anymore than a hive mind than the right is. Suppressing other people’s experiences different from your own doesn’t make sexism, racism, ableism go away, and attacking me and policing my language doesn’t make the real issues go away. We should be listening to others and giving them a hand up.Manage
Robin Alexis @@@@@@@@ The artist tried to kill herself because of the bullying. I see way too much of this.
Robin Alexis @@@@@@@@@ Using your example of J K Rowling. She’s a dyed in the wool socialist. She also wrote Harry Potter in the 90’s and early 00’s. It was considered progressive then. Now it’s dated. She shouldn’t have to apologise for something becoming less relevant.
As to the Johnny Depp question, there are more people than just her that have influence on that casting decision. She probably doesn’t even have that much influence on the script. Fancy facing backlash for something you wrote 20 years ago, and was celebrated for at the time. Quite wisely she has chosen to say nothing because anything she could would never satisfied the masses.
Robin Alexis I actually think we see more eye to eye on things, than disagree. There is absolutely no room for hate speech. We all need to respect each other and treat each other as people.
In art and media, do your research, don’t perpetuate harmful stereotypes, be sensitive.
I do understand what you are saying about male gaze, LGBT rep, ableism etc. It’s happening slowly. The Hugo (SciFi and Fantasy book award, has been very controversial, and dominated by white males for most of it’s existence)was won by a Woman of Colour last year, and richer for it. It paves the way for other voices.
What am I not going to do, censor my work because I make white people uncomfortable with hard realities ( I grew up in a bicultural country, my work reflects that.) Also super important, not every white person comes from America.
Robin Alexis I’m super done with this. I’m not engaging anymore. I think I made my point clear.