Okay, so there’s a fuckton of shit surrounding things that Carrie Fletcher have supposedly said ‘victim blaming’, and I think it’s something I need to talk about. First of all, if there were someone that irresponsible, who would be pro-victim blaming, then they would NOT have the audience Carrie…
That analogy is BANG ON! Bravo!
I have a few problems with this.
1) How large someone’s audience is has nothing to do with their ability to be responsible or not victim blame. Given that so many of the abusers have/had large audiences, I feel it should be obvious that number of followers does not equal moral high ground.
2) Saying that people should learn to protect themselves and that responsibility is a two-way street, discussing this in terms of not putting yourselves into bad situations…that is victim blaming. That is what you are doing. “If s/he hadn’t been drunk,” “if s/he hadn’t worn that,” “if s/he hadn’t been alone at night,” are all victim blaming. Doing this says, “Well, it’s not your *fault*, but you didn’t *stop* it.” Which implies that you could have.
Yes, people should be educated about what sexual assault is, what rape is, what abuse is, what they can do when they find themselves in those situations. These are useful things to know. However, acting like people won’t be raped or assaulted simply by doing The Right Thing is so grossly incorrect I can’t really wrap my head around it. People can do everything “right” and still get hurt. To use your plane analogy: what if the oxygen mask fails? What if your life jacket doesn’t inflate? To use your car analogy: what if one of the drivers is drunk and runs onto the sidewalk?
On another note, knowing what you should do doesn’t necessarily mean that you can do it. When you’re safe, you can easily imagine yelling, or fighting, or running, or any number of things. But when it’s actually happening, all that can fly out of your head in a second. You’re so frightened you don’t remember what to do, you’re so stunned you can’t move, and if you know the person - well, it can be hard to imagine hurting them. It can be hard to accept that they’re actually doing the things they are.
Abusers, especially emotional abusers, make a habit of confusing their victims. In retrospect, or from the outside, their abuse can be very easy to see. From the front lines, not so much. Before you can react, you have to know what’s happening - and for many victims, you don’t know. Or you know, but you don’t want to admit it. You might love the person. You might fear them. You might have a sense of pride about it. “Oh, I would never get involved with someone who’d do something like that. I’m too smart. I know too much about it.”
Guess what? Shit happens. Horrible things happen to wonderful people. There is no one “type” of victim. There’s no cookie cutter profile. Acting as though there’s a step-by-step system for avoiding being a victim implies that only some people count - those that did exactly what society said would work, and then got hurt anyway. And that is simply not the case.
You’re right, it would be wonderful to live in a world where the people who are actually responsible for abuse - the abusers - would not do what they’re doing. That would be great. It would also be amazing to live in the world you suggest, where “taking responsibility,” as you put it, meant automatic safety.
Unfortunately, we live in neither world, and suggesting that we do is judgmental, unfair, and deeply damaging to victims. I guarantee you that they have thought of each and every thing they could have possibly done to protect themselves (even if they were not actually feasible), feel guilty already, and that all you’re doing is making someone already suffering from trauma feel worse.
You are victim blaming. You don’t want to admit it, because it’s not a nice thing to do, but that is what you’re doing.
A victim who’d rather you not.
>teenage actress’s private nudes get leaked
>teenage actress is reviled as a slut and a whore and a bad role model
>james franco asks a seventeen-year-old girl if he can meet her in a private hotel room
>james franco gets to go on saturday night live and joke about what a silly doofus he is for soliciting sex from a girl literally half his age
can we please stop condoning prison rape? it doesn’t matter what the victim did—no, not even if they raped someone themselves. stop buying into the idea that some people deserve rape, stop condoning the actions of rapists purely because you hate the victim, stop wishing rape on bad people. just stop.
Quincy Jones (via sunflobrwn)
this is important
He died when he was beginning to talk more and build something for black people. I mean he was the voice of a generation reaching millions of people. Imagine their fear seeing that man, son of a black panther woman, educated on his people who used his song as a media to TALK. If he would have gone in the political field, he would have been a force to be reckoned with. And they knew that. They fucking knew that. (via whatwhiteswillneverknow)
During the MTV Movie Awards, YouTube launched a new initiative aimed to change the way YouTube creators are seen by their communities and by the world at large. I’m not saying that this is a bad strategy or even a bad thing for YouTube, but I think it is worth discussing because it will change YouTube.
Several advertisments were run featuring YouTube creators Rosanna Pansino, Bethany Mota, and Michelle Phan. These weren’t endorsements for products, they were advertisements for their YouTube channels.
Now, this might seem a little puzzling. All of those channels are growing extremely quickly…they don’t really need the help. Plus, YouTube doesn’t even own them…so why invest a bunch of money in their promotion. Any one of those creators could leave YouTube for a show on TV tomorrow and say “Hey, thanks for the free promotion YouTube! Now I have a real show!”
So why are they doing this?
- Those creators (and other creators) are now actually less likely to leave YouTube because they see that YouTube is investing in them much the way a traditional cable network would.
- YouTube wants to build the idea that a YouTube channel IS a “real show.”
- YouTube is a big deal, but not to the “right” people.
Who are the right people? Advertisers…people who buy advertising. They’re advertising to advertisers.
OK…YouTube is a BIG FREAKING DEAL. Like, I am not a top 100 YouTube creator and yet I can’t go to the grocery store without snapping a selfie with a couple people. (This is totally cool, btw, as long as I am not currently eating or in the bathroom.) Young people are watching more YouTube than TV (no wonder Disney bought in).
But advertisers are not young people, and they’re looking at YouTube like it’s a soup made of 2,000,000 ingredients, most of which they don’t recognize and none of which go together. It terrifies them that they have to deal with this disgusting mess in order to reach young people.
So YouTube’s strategy is to make YouTube stars “actual stars”. The difference between those two things has nothing to do with engagement or viewership, it has to do with cultural perception. That’s what YouTube is aiming to change. Instead of having a dedicated loyal community, YouTube wants it’s stars to have a dedicated, loyal community AND broad cultural recognition. The way that Stephen Colbert has his slavering superfans, AND his name is known by everyone.
This mass cultural recognition will bring in more ad money (especially to the top 5% of YouTube, which YouTube will now be selling as a premium package.) And that’s great. As a YouTube creator, if I have more money, that means I can make more cool stuff, grow my company, employ more people, etc.
But there are broader, less exciting implications for us to be ready for as well:
- More ad money means more competition from more institutionalized companies. Companies that operate efficiently and do market research and clever accounting and have VPs of business development and lawyers and other things that I find intensely tedious.
- The barriers to entry on YouTube get higher…the gatekeepers re-take their posts. If YouTube stardom is “legit” stardom, the competition will increase. The people (or algorithms) who decide what content is getting featured, shared, and turned into TV ads will be the new gate keepers.
- YouTube will be less cool. Not all of it, mind you, there will still be pockets of exciting, interesting, revolutionary weirdness, but YouTube’s broader culture will be more bland every year in order to appeal to broader audiences and advertising execs.
None of this is shocking to me. It was always going to be the path that YouTube headed down (if it didn’t implode.) I guess I just thought it wouldn’t happen so fast.
My personal view is that YouTube’s strategy should be to foster great content, not cater to advertising executives. But I recognize that this strategy accomplishes both goals at once, so it’s not like I think it’s a bad strategy. I think YouTube could spend a little more time being cool before very intentionally and publicly going mainstream…but I’m a YouTube Hipster…what can I say.
If I’m angry about anything, it’s how shortsighted the advertising industry has been…making YouTube jump through a thousand hoops in order to get them to buy cheap ads when, really, YouTube has all the power. If ad agencies would like to stop reaching anyone under the age of 30…they’re welcome to keep marginalizing the most culturally important medium of the 21st century. Eventually they’d get fired and the problem would solve itself.
Congrats to Bethany, Michelle, and Rosanna…I can’t wait to see who’s next.
- citizen: it's a bird!
- citizen: it's a plane!
- *superman flies down with kryptonite between his teeth*
- superman: it's a metaphor