Today we saw a conversation we see far too often, about some nasty men who harass women on the Internet. They aren’t speaking their opinion, they are attacking women. It’s reprehensible behavior, and it needs to stop. And it needs to stop now. I am shamed that we allow this behavior in our society, and I wish I could do more to stop it.
— Foz Meadows (@fozmeadows) October 10, 2013
— Charles Stross (@cstross) October 10, 2013
When I saw the last tweet, I immediately thought of something that I’ve been trying to find the words for recently. I tried to say it on twitter, but I was struggling hard with the length limitations.
— Jo Rhett (@jorhett) October 10, 2013
Yes, what these men are doing is reprehensible. It angers me. It leaves me furious for days. I totally agree with Charles Stross: I want to disassociate myself from these broken implementations of humanity in every possible way.
But we cannot mirror the behavior when we reject it. Treating women poorly for any reason, or treating the art or work done by women as second class, is so badly invalid that even its utter opposite (shaming men as a gender) is equally invalid. The concept is fundamentally broken at its core, and nothing polarized around it can be valid. Don’t polarize around a broken idea. If we want to destroy the usage, we must use a different model.
People learn behaviors by watching people. They weigh the input they receive by the value in which the hold the individual. I think that those of us who have an audience of any kind, no matter how small, can advance the conversation, and can eventually destroy this way of thinking by framing it correctly.
Males are no more evil/stupid/etc than Females are (take your pick, I won’t justify any of them).
Don’t say it. Don’t say its opposite. Don’t empower the concept by raising its mirror. Say something completely different. We must change the frame.
Be Something Better: Frame the problem correctly. These men’s actions are reprehensible. I share nothing in common with these men.
Important Note: that I do NOT believe that Charles Stross was trying to suggest that we do what I am asking us not to. He was expressing his distaste in the same limited length we all struggle with on Twitter. I stole his comment and broke its context to express my own idea. I am not attacking Charles.
These men and their hatred have a disproportionately large voice for men everywhere because they spew it so often. I desperately wish those of us with better notions could express our love for our favorite authors in a positive manner that would overwhelm that smaller voice. Sadly, this would overwhelm the authors, and be a denial of service attack on the people we love. Augh, practicalities. I want to find a way, I want these valuable contributors of art/work/effort in our community to know just how much they are loved. I want to find a way.
Today, we should start by refusing to empower a concept broken in its core.This was originally posted at http://www.jorhett.com/2013/10/be-something-better/. You are welcome to reply at jorhett.com or here.