All posts edited by Madeline Ricchiuto.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Price of Activism

So there have been a lot of rustled feathers over Seth MacFarlane's behavior at the golden globes. I figured, I might as well jump on the bandwagon.

First things first, I didn't watch the event myself (its not really something I find entertaining) but I have seen plenty of accounts of what was said. I take particular outrage with the trivialization of rape culture and the blatant disregard of women as sexual objects. I won't go into too much detail but his song referenced not just movies but scenes that were depicted as, or just after, violent. So not only was MacFarlane making women out to be nothing more than sexual objects but he also trivializes rape in the process.
I know, I know it was intended as a joke right? I don't really see how that makes it any better? Doesn't that almost make it worse? It being a joke is exactly what trivializes this sort of thing. It makes is feel more acceptable. Yes after more consideration to the joke we may become consciously aware that it isn't right or acceptable, but the initial reaction is just to laugh because whatever it happens. It just seems to me that using these things as fodder for your stand up routine only makes these issues seem, for lack of a more appropriate term, silly; which they are not.

There's an even bigger catch that comes with people not really caring about it because its a joke though. And I think the idea is captured well by this blogger. The more one becomes aware of these things, the more one sees flaws in actions that normally go unquestioned. Like this joke. This more acute awareness can lead to even jokes such as these to seem of lesser importance, or to just be overlooked by many feminists.

This is because many feminists, and other activists, are barraged with problem after problem with society. Constantly addressing the same things over and over; repeating the same arguments, being asked for the same evidence even though it is seemingly common knowledge to them (us). It takes its toll. Not only is it frustrating, but its tiring and painful to see just how many people still don't want to listen or aren't grasping the point you are trying to make. Many times the anti-intellectual culture in society can be too much and leads to many activists 'burning out'. Its a sad day when even those who are most passionate are driven to antipathy.

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