Jun. 17th, 2017

dreamer_easy: (Default)
Continuing to process the latest Unpleasantness. (Which I am feeling OK about, now, to reassure Jon, who just looked over my shoulder and was worried by that first sentence.) As I mentioned, I'm pretty sure I was hypomanic when I made the posting in April last year which triggered the trouble just now. Here it is:

ngl: as a white Western Kpop fan, it’s a constant challenge not to fetishise Koreans and Korean culture (and, by extension, all Asians and Asian culture). All these horrible crushes lend a sexual aura to ridiculously non-sexual things: I’m all too aware that learning Korean, reading about Korean history, and even trying Korean food are all frequently accompanied by a pleasant erotic frisson. It’s exactly the effect advertisers are hoping for when they create an association between idols and fried chicken. Anyway, all I can do is try to catch myself falling into fetishisation.
Now you should read my follow-up postings as well, but in short, I figured out that I wasn't fetishing Asian people or culture - I was just worried that I was, due to the connection with sexy, sexy Kpop.

The chief reaction was one of horror at the implication that I was sexually aroused by eating Korean food, but there was also much hilarity over the phrase "pleasant erotic frisson", as is the Internet's wont. (I suspect a majority of memes begin as the mocking echoes of the dogpile.)

One reason I suspect hypomania is that the posting is so terse: the last sentence shows I'm concerned about the implications, but not enough to slow down and think or talk them through. I just sort of throw my undeveloped thoughts out onto the net, where they sit, ticking like a time bomb. The other reason is the lurching between registers. I open with the onlinespeak of "ngl" ("not gonna lie"), but then I'm into that tongue-in-cheek, slightly old-fashioned style - some of those phrases would not look too out of place in Punch magazine, a Clive James TV review, or Douglas Adams. (At least I didn't go for Molesworth.) Plus there's a dose of earnest Internet social justice self-consciousness - "I'm all too aware", "all I can do is try to catch myself".

There's no reason that American teenagers would recognise that dry British humour*, and tongue-in-cheekness is very difficult to convey over the net, although one reader did wonder if I was being "sarcastic". In fact, this confused mix-and-match style has got me into trouble more than once online, not helped by the tendency when I'm up to include references without footnoting them (after all, they make perfect sense to meee). (Good grief, even the use of "Unpleasantness" in the first sentence of this posting is an unfootnoted reference - it's an expression I picked up from Michael Green's 1964 book Coarse Acting, along with the infinitely useful phrase "All is ease and comfort.")

I suppose the only cure for it is self-awareness, ie, not posting when I know I'm having an episode, or at least going back and doing some rewriting when I've come down. But that's obvious; what's interesting to me is the way that language works - in fact, there's a link between these clashing registers - informal/formal/humorous/earnest - and the wordplay around hierarchy and politeness levels which I mentioned in my previous posting.

* All right, I admit it. The girls going "hurr hurr hurr, you said erotic frisson" sound like fucking idiots.

dreamer_easy: (*feminism)
is a pain in the arse. The sensible part of your brain is going DISENGAGE DISENGAGE DISENGAGE, while other parts are unrelentingly writing that next response - you know, the one that will at last stop the abuse*. It's when you realise the next response is "Madam, perhaps I could invite you to SUCK MY METAPHORICAL DICK" that you know you're going to be all right.

Seems like a good opportunity to re-post some links from lj:

ETA: This is beyond price: Certain Propositions Concerning Callout Culture (Thing of Things, 13 December 2014) "Callout culture essentially means that when you do something oppressive, everyone is allowed to yell at you as much as they like and whatever they like, even if you apologize. It reaches its epitome on Tumblr, in which people occasionally tell suicidal people to kill themselves because they used the word 'crazy.'" "... until you’ve seen a woman of color told that she’s ignoring the voices of women of color, you haven’t lived." "Callout culture comes from a place of class, educational, and ability privilege." And much more.

A similar, more detailed analysis: Come one, come all! Feminist and Social Justice blogging as performance and bloodshed (originally from Tiger Beatdown, 17 October 2011). "... call outs, and the modus operandi behind them, the pile-on, can potentially kill people. The most virulent call outs can exacerbate existing PTSD. They can drive a person to severe episodes of anxiety and/ or depression, they can lead someone to feel isolated and suicidal."

Fear, self-censorship, and facing into it: "I found myself being vilified by total strangers based on other people's interpretations of a few words of mine in a blog post. I found myself being held up as an example of ignorant, arrogant white privilege. I found a lot of things being said about me that were flatly untrue, grossly misinterpreted, or simply assumptions based on my skin color and gender as portrayed in my blog's icons — in that last case, flatly stated as such."

Internet. It’s Time To Talk. "Bullies use the tools and the language of social justice to do their work. They literally weaponise the very tools we have fought so very hard to create and work with. And they rely on this to maintain the culture of silence."

And my own notes, from books about bullying, etc:

http://kateorman.livejournal.com/871248.html ("Female bullies tend to assume the role of leader in a core group of peers. They are socially cruel and manipulative. They attempt to ostracise targets through backbiting, spreading rumours, trashing reputations, and rewarding others for refusing to interact pleasantly with the target")
http://kateorman.livejournal.com/875669.html (the "Bullying Circle" is very interesting, as are the motivations of bullies)


The tragic irony of feminists trashing each other (The Guardian, 3 May 2013). "That's not the sign of a healthy movement, but it is how one earns credibility in online feminist circles today – nothing looks better than pointing out how everyone else is doing it wrong. Bonus points if those other feminists have had a modicum of success, like a book, a highly-trafficked website, or getting paid for their work."

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed and Is Shame Necessary? review – think before you tweet (The Guardian, 15 March 2015) "It is [researcher James] Gilligan’s contention, based on some highly successful therapeutic work with prisoners in Massachusetts, that violence, being mostly an attempt to restore self-esteem, can almost always be directly linked to shame. Ronson doesn’t spell out in full the implications of this thesis but the reader who isn’t content just to gawp, metaphorically speaking, at the casualties of the Twitter mobs and trolls he has carefully lined up for our delectation will grasp precisely what it means."

The Evolution of Shaming (The Atlantic, 24 February 2016). "A new study suggests that we punish people who haven’t directly wronged us to signal our own trustworthiness." "People genuinely feel outrage and moral anger. But at least part of why they care is that it gets them reputational benefits. That also helps to explain why people get pissed off even when the wrong that was done was accidental."

* Don't kid yourself. Nothing will stop the abuse, not apologies, explanations, promises, self-degradation, or suicide. Which tells you that it's nothing to do with you or your actions. This is the basis of Justine Sacco's advice to Sam Biddle: "Just don't engage."  "... she knew the only divine truth of the internet: Do nothing. Never tweet. Never apologize. Never say anything at all. Be an inert bundle of molecules and let the world tear itself apart around you." Eventually they will move on to their next target.


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