Sunday, September 14, 2014

Michelle Goldberg: Feminism's Toxic Twitter Wars

This is really, really good.

The main point: as web feminism becomes more radical, it has become more vicious.

Here's just one paragraph:
Online, however, intersectionality is overwhelmingly about chastisement and rooting out individual sin. Partly, says Cooper, this comes from academic feminism, steeped as it is in a postmodern culture of critique that emphasizes the power relations embedded in language. “We actually have come to believe that how we talk about things is the best indicator of our politics,” she notes. An elaborate series of norms and rules has evolved out of that belief, generally unknown to the uninitiated, who are nevertheless hammered if they unwittingly violate them. Often, these rules began as useful insights into the way rhetorical power works but, says Cross, “have metamorphosed into something much more rigid and inflexible.” One such rule is a prohibition on what’s called “tone policing.” An insight into the way marginalized people are punished for their anger has turned into an imperative “that you can never question the efficacy of anger, especially when voiced by a person from a marginalized background.”
Several of the top comments are also really good.


Blogger The Mystic said...

Interesting article.

You know, to make a broader point regarding the kinds of behavior described by that article: it might simply be that our brains aren't configured to be pressed up against one another as closely and constantly as the Internet allows and people encourage.

Where society is a conspiracy against the individual, the Internet is its ultimate weapon.

10:20 AM  

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