Thank You, Internet

I’m being serious (mostly). I’ve learned a lot from these Trons of Inter.

If you’ve been reading me for awhile, you probably know I’m one of those humorless feminists who is working very hard to create The Nu Gyntopia. So I’ve learned a lot about privilege, chauvinism, and “default” people from having a significant online presence.  Who are default people? White men. A white man is the default person. And you know who often made him the default? I did.

When I’d read something funny or clever on the Internet, I nearly always ascribed it to someone white and male. It’s just where my mind went. The Internet taught me that often the person behind that thing I thought was so clever or funny was often a woman. Or a black dude. Or gay person. Or a transgendered person. It’s one case where I enjoyed coming to terms with my own chauvinism and tendency to go to the default.

I’ve also learned a lot about the LBGT community. Stuff I’m sure I would not have learned had I not had the Internet–and by extension millions and millions of people who–SURPRISE!–aren’t exactly like me– at my fingertips.

Fer instance, I was one of those clowns who thought transgendered people were just “gay people who couldn’t deal with being gay.” I’ll give you a minute to process how obnoxious that is. Well, I’m not gonna get into what being transgendered is, because frankly I’m not qualified to do that, but it sure as shit wasn’t what I thought it was. Thank you, Internet, for waking me up and cock-slapping me with my own privilege.

I’ve also become more aware of the fact that words have power, specifically the power to hurt…greatly.  And just because I enjoy using them or don’t “mean it that way,” it doesn’t give me the right to let loose with those words. Sure it’s fun for me say someone’s retarded. And when I say it  I’m not actually referring to a developmentally-disabled person. But if you are a developmentally-disabled person…or the friend or parent of one…that excuse just doesn’t motherfucking fly. So it made me think that even though I fucking love that word, that maybe I can be an adult and just not use it in mixed company (or at all).  More gettin’ slapped in the face with my own privilege. Less fun, but still enlightening. And so I’m thankful for it.

So, thanks, Internet. Thanks for actually teaching me a bunch of stuff I didn’t even know I didn’t know. And for making me a better person.

Also the free porn.

So I was wondering if y’all wanted to play iTunes Roulette with me. You play like this: put your music library on shuffle and post the first song that comes up. I got:

Advertisements

34 thoughts on “Thank You, Internet

  1. I usually think that everyone is a white male as well. I wonder if black people think that everyone they’re talking to is black? I must admit, I have learned a lot from being on line. Probably, a lot of the same things that you have.
    Mostly, I’ve learned that I’m a lot funnier in person. 😛

    Did the ipod shuffle and got “My Way or The Highway” by Limp Bizkit.
    Don’t judge me dammit! 🙂

    ((Hugs))
    Laura

  2. And I will add, simply because I find it amusing, that second up on the shuffle was Jethro Tull. Not too suprising as I have tons of Tull on my Ipod. But that was followed by some Spamalot and then an ancient relic from The Turtles.

    • Love Jethro Tull! I had tickets to go and see one of their concerts back in the early-mid 90’s but both of my kids came down with the flu and I didn’t get to go.
      I wonder if they still tour?

  3. I think the internet has helped to make me a more decent, conscientious person, for sure. I’m really trying to make it a point this year to seek out writing by people who aren’t like me, and to figure out ways to be a decent ally.

    I cringe when I think back on some of the things I’ve done and said in the past. On the upside, that means that I’ve grown and now know better. Of course, I still have a shitload more work to do, so I’ll probably find myself cringing to some extent for the rest of my life. I think the most important thing is to pay attention to what other people have to say and own your fucked up shit when you fuck up.

    My iPod is borked, but my Pandora station came up with this.

    • I wish I could listen to your song better. The babby is sleeping and the dishwasher’s running so it’s difficult. I’m going to give it another go later, cuz it sounds promising.

      I think the most important thing is to pay attention to what other people have to say and own your fucked up shit when you fuck up.

      Beautifully put.

  4. Oh, and on the TG=gay thing, I’m not sure if I ever thought that, but I did have a similar fail a few years ago when I was reading something written by a trans man about his sexuality (I think it was piny on Feministe) and he was talking about being gay. I realized that it had NEVER occurred to me that someone could be gay and trans. It was like an “OHHH THEY’RE JUST LIKE US” moment that I still feel pretty asshole-y about.

  5. Really? I’ve been playing the don’t reveal that you’re a woman until you’re at home on the blog thing for a long time, and the result is always the same. Suddenly people who had no problem with me before have to find something I said, make all kinds of leaps in “logic” about what I’m “really” saying from there, and then eventually, because my posts will so seldom be defended, once everyone knows I’m female, someone will have to start pointing out how stupid I am. Soon, there will be others who hate to have to be bothered with telling me how stupid I am; but somebody has to do it.

    As has always been the case, movements not dominated by women on the left are dominated by misogynist men. I can’t tell you how much it hurts to see women who want to be politically active, literally sitting at the foot of a predatory man who says all the magic liberal words and gazing up in amazement at how much more feminist he is than they are. They cannot BELIEVE that he beats up his girlfriend until he works her face over really good and leaves a lot more bruises than usual.

    Yes. The left is as infiltrated with sociopaths and users as the right is.

    • I know of a SAD amount of women who live their lives online as men because they don’t want to deal with cruelty or come-ons. I hear it’s especially prevalent in the gaming community.

  6. As has always been the case, movements not dominated by women on the left are dominated by misogynist men. I can’t tell you how much it hurts to see women who want to be politically active, literally sitting at the foot of a predatory man who says all the magic liberal words and gazing up in amazement at how much more feminist he is than they are. They cannot BELIEVE that he beats up his girlfriend until he works her face over really good and leaves a lot more bruises than usual.

    This is why I generally tend to avoid “movements”. I’m not down with groupthink, and the whole, “I can personally be an asshole because I’m ideologically pure” mentality. The mind-bogglingly heinous reactions to the “elevator incident” among the atheist/skeptic community was pretty damn eye opening.

    I try to avoid picturing the people in the online fora I frequent. I think it’s better to riff off their words, with no preconceived notion of who they are. Exception, I always pictured Smut Clyde as looking like Mr Natural.

    • Yikes, I have some serious grammar fail in this comment. Protip, editing at the tail end of a graveyard shift can be difficult.

      • I noticed no grammar fail. I hear you. Now, I’m going to picture Smut Clyde like that. I haven’t seen that image since that hit of acid I took in high school— the hit that had that picture on it.

    • I don’t even want to THINK about Elevator-Gate. That was like a huge punch in the gut for me. I had no idea so many atheists/skeptic types were such HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE ASSHOLES.

      BTW, wasn’t Robert Crumb a big misogynist? Anyway, Mr. Natural does have an enticingly high forehead.

      • Know-it-all-ness lends itself to that. Not that I’d know. At all.

        Crumb is a very strange person who has drawn a lot of horrible stuff – some of which I really love – and it’s hard to work out what’s fantasy or endorsement or confession. One thing seems clear: he wants to fuck lots of ladies with giant butts. The Crumb documentary is worth seeing.

        Meatball!

      • Know-it-all-ness lends itself to that. Not that I’d know. At all.

        Of course not!

        Crumb? I’ve seen it. Yeah, if I remember correctly, he’s a compulsive masturbater with a leg fetish and serious hate-on for the ladies…except his daughter. I have no idea what to make of him or his strips.

      • Know-it-all-ness lends itself to that

        I was looking at this Pharyngula thread the other day. The main thing I learned is that among free-thinking atheists, the main requirement for holding forth about human colour vision is not to know A DAMN THING about it.
        It is seriously SIWOTI.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s