Friday, April 4, 2014

[Lorna Blather] Humour vs. Bullying.

So - after being told I was being oversensitive on a friend's page (and we all know I can be oversensitive, I know it, you know it, we all know it!) I decided to look into what's considered bullying and what's considered humour.. and the best answer I came up with was "If it hurts, it's not funny."
But DAMN, is that nebulous. Rape jokes aren't funny because they dismiss the suffering of those raped, it desensitizes to the crime, and other than as a self-directed coping mechanism you shouldn't hear them. (And even before I ever thought about rape jokes as funny/not funny those self-directed never struck me as anything close to ha-ha.)
Making a "Top 5 crappy Cosplay Costumes!" video doesn't seem very funny to me. It seems to be point at those who are just starting out and mocking them. "Oh look, you can't sew, you suck." It seems an effort to drive people out of the fandom, to me. But is it okay because it's anonymous and on the internet? I mean, it's not like any of those people will actually ever SEE that video, right??
A post about women gaining weight which showed "Then and now" pictures seemed very not funny to me. Some of the women looked like new mothers. One looked like she'd been through major surgery. The majority of them didn't look unhealthy, just larger. There's a difference between fat and unhealthy - and you know what? So WHAT if a woman is fat? Oh, but anyone pointing out the obvious is told she too much be a 'fat cow' and 'ugly.' I could quote all sorts of stellar winners of comments, but I think most of us have seen or heard them before even if they weren't in our direction.
Geekdom is infamous for trying to create a pecking order. "Well, I have been playing this game since BETA." So what? The game has changed since beta. "Girls can't game." I heard that one A LOT growing up; because I had a vagina I couldn't possibly know how to play CRPGs, RPGs, or even shoot 'ems. (I could wrap the score on Centipede as much as I wanted as a kid.) When Doctor Who first rebooted back in 2005, there was a lot of "I've been a fan since Tom Baker, so I'm better than you!" attitudes. We couldn't welcome new people into our fandom because .. they're not as cool as us? Not as old as us? Not as British sci-fi obsessed? It popped up again with the influx of fans that joined with Matt Smith. "TENNANT IS BETTER! YOU SUCK!" type comments came around. Sorry, I've been a watcher for a time and I disagree with Tennant being better, it doesn't mean I will tell the Tennant lovers they're wrong or they should be ostracized.
Was I being oversensitive at a post that fans of only the J.J. Abrams Star Trek films are calling themselves Star Trek fans is 'face-palm' worthy? Probaby. But, three things keep me from apologizing. One, those fans are right - they ARE Star Trek fans! They are fans of movies called 'Star Trek.'  Two, those movies may serve as a gateway to the old show. I find it doubtful, since the shows are kind of worn no matter how good their message, but it's possible. Three, Star Trek is about inclusion, peace and friendship. Who are we to mock people who have found that road, no matter how they got there?

I don't expect, or want, my friend to take it down. It was cute in its way and she obviously thought it was humourous rather than hurtful and I trust her judgment. I just think we have to consider who our throw away comments and meme posts could hurt more carefully, and I definitely include myself in that 'we'!

1 comment:

  1. well said,people say things with out thinking of the consequences all the time,xx Rachel