Yins and Yangs
#PopularTopic of today: Facebook. My spellcheck is losing its shit.
I am member of several groups- as one will. And I like to contribute to them when I feel like I have stuff to add. And clearly I’m not the only one: The most active groups I frequent are a stagehand humor page on one hand, and a feminist discussion forum on the other. I like to keep up to date on both.
And these two groups specifically bombard my wall with sometimes extreme contrast. Just today, the question “How is drugging and raping someone a controversial subject this day and age?” immediately followed a comment “Ain’t nothing little about that slut” before it. And both opinions were agreed with by the members. Some discussion may have ensued but they were about specifics, the finer work of the same opinion.
And no, I am offended by neither. I realize full well which is part of the problem and which is part of the solution, but I don’t start a flame war or block any person. In fact, I am still an active member of both places, albeit posting things that I personally condone, which excludes objectifying people.
Both ends of the extreme show a drastically different world. And both worlds are true, although I doubt that each opinion is represented by an equal amount of individuals. I hate to say it, but while the feminists are a surprising number (not a good place to disagree with the general opinion, I noticed), they are still dwarfed by the digital hilarity following one of these ill-guided comments on a person’s body- although admittedly, this one in particular is a poor example.
The stagehands are an international crowd of -generally- the lower half of society and the feminists only consist of Dutch speaking Belgians, but my point is still the same: I’m afraid that the ones with the (in my opinion) “enlightened” views are still a vast minority.
As with many discussions, the consensus is determined by the moderate majority in between. The masses that stand in the middle of both opinions, defined by your personal vision on exactly what would count as the extreme ends of the debate.
You might consider me one of them, as one of the privileged manly-men who can both agree with the condemnation of less-than-consensual sex and laugh with sexist jokes, without feeling a particular emotional reaction to either.
It’s a good place to be in, where I can have an opinion without it getting in the way of me enjoying my day. Another privilege to add to the pile, I guess.
They catch wind of each other sometimes, and go a long way to ridicule each other. And that too is funny, to me. Haha.
I had a point with all this…
At first glance, one might think that this is a sign that the world is on a fast track to its own demise. But if you pay close attention, you might notice a subtle shift going on. Put bluntly, it is most noticeable when scanning for female names among the stagehands. Suddenly, you’ll find voices that disagree the stagehand way- bluntly, rudely and to the point. People that, instead of judging the above slut, encourage her, despite her poor taste in tattoos.
And surprisingly, those comments are noticed. Other agree and chime in. Even I, despite my passive stance, will sometimes share my opinion, putting myself in the way of a viewpoint and a metric fuckton of online aggression- immediately regretting it.
It might not be immediately apparent but there is a shift going on. Not only are women accepted on a forum that concerns a job dominated by men, but they spearpoint a new opinion that more and more get behind, myself included. Often it is just a matter of education: Explain to someone the mechanics of the patriarchy, and they just might have the common sense to understand and oppose it. You’d be surprised at how many will listen if you speak loud enough, although I will admit that takes a lot of energy.
Things are getting better, people. They won’t change overnight but the shift is happening over the course of generations. And with every discussion, with every voice, we are getting closer to a better world, a united human race that is ready to crawl out of its cradle. There is a future for us yet, if we manage to come together like a balled fist, and make a stand that will be heard throughout the universe when we finally manage to represent our planet with a single, homogenous voice.