I generally try not to get involved in discussions of feminism in fandom–at least not here on the blog. I don’t think any one really wants a not-so-short introduction to feminism here (and yes, I am qualified to teach Women’s Studies at the university level, in case you were wondering).
What started as a joke-and yes, I’m willing to say it probably started as a April Fool’s joke with no ill intentions-has just snowballed into a real problem. And it all could have gone away if you’d apologized, admitted mea culpa, asked forgiveness and taken it down.
But I’m not going to lecture you. I’m not going to pull out my Gloria Steinem quotes. I’m not going to talk about marginalization.
I am going to share something I read on Tumblr a few weeks ago. It read something like this:
“When you victim-blame, a woman who you love and care about very quietly decides she can no longer trust you.”
But you say, “Victim-blaming? Where was the victim-blaming? Since when have we done that? You’re arguing something completely different!”
People took offense to the post. And then others started firing back. This wasn’t Wookieepedia’s fault, they said. This was the fault of the people who were being offended! And suddenly, those who were offended were told that it was their fault, that it they are the problem with fandom, that they don’t know how to take a joke. This is textbook victim-blaming.
Oh, and by the way, when you victim-blame over something to do with women or women’s bodies, a woman you know, perhaps one you love or care about, very quietly decides you can’t be trusted.
That’s bullshit? Is it? One in four women are sexually assaulted by the time they reach the age of 22. Most of those cases go unreported. Now count the women in your family and think about what you might not know and what you haven’t been told. And when you’re telling this story in earshot of one of them, think about whose trust you might have just lost, because you’ve shown that you have no respect for women’s bodies or for their feelings about their bodies.
I know I won’t be in a room alone with you.