Hey kittens, it’s Throwback Thursday and time for a vintage piece. This one is only a year old, it ran November 2014 and continues to be a perfect example of the need for tempered public discussion and nuance.
If I post about Boko Haram and the abducted girls on the Sex With Timaree page, it might get a couple likes. Maybe a comment. If I post about domestic violence on reservations, I can expect maybe a like. There certainly won’t be a long, involved thread with multiple-post rebuttals or anything that gets terribly heated.
Post about a dude who wore a shirt in a context that made it a little inappropriate and BAM: INTERNET EXPLODES! People who had, up to this point, not ever commented on the page are ready to berate me (and other feminist writers) for focusing on bullshit, which is “why no one takes the movement seriously.” And if we insist on being so alienating to men, why, people are going to abandon the cause.
Here’s a secret: if someone is going to abandon the idea of gender equality because some blog posts annoyed them, they weren’t ever really big on it as a principle.
But ANYWAY, there’s #shirtgate and #shirtstorm… and while the actual original issue was minor, the original critique was too, and it only gained traction because people perched, waiting for an opportunity to say “fuck feminism,” saw an example of a small complaint against which they could rail as representative of the movement overall. And in doing so, they’re using all sorts of terrible, illogical arguments that show that they don’t get the original critique.
So let’s clear some things up on this controversy and for ones going forward.