Today Sam is recovering from spending Christmas in Mexico fighting sharks who were trying to sell their cartilage as medicine… and then fighting Peta because they were mad that Sam was punching sharks. Anyway, he needs to ice and rest his knuckles if he’s going to keep punching shit in 2012.
Here at Skepchick we take on all kinds of controversial topics. We talk about alt med, Scientology, Shamwows and Twilight, feminism, diversity, insect eating, the Pope, Intelligent Design, grief, Santa Claus, GLBT issues…
But something strange happened this year. Suddenly we were faced with the reality that we had been playing it safe for years. We had yet to unleash the fury of truly divided and emotionally charged topics like elevator etiquette and not threatening to rape kids. Until this summer, I thought I was all brave and shit for taking on the anti-vaccine movement. Turns out, I’m a bore who plays it safe.
Jason Thibeault, the Lousy Canuck, rhetorically asked the question “Why is Rebecca Watson so damn polarizing?”
I’m a fan of Rebecca Watson… which, I think is obvious given that I’m blogging here. So maybe I’m too blind to see it, but it seems like pointing out uncomfortable elevator situations is a non-thing. Remember that sociology experiment in high school where you were supposed to walk into an elevator and face the wrong way and make everyone uncomfortable? Because elevators are uncomfortable spaces.
And it hardly seems notable that being an asshole on the internet (like, say, joking about how you want to rape a high school girl) should, at some point, get you called out for being an asshole.
But when Rebecca says it, it’s controversial… it’s audacious… it’s wrong.
It’s not just Rebecca, though. You see it with women bloggers everywhere. There’s even a whole Twitter account called ShitGirlsSay… full of mundane gender neutral statements that, apparently, when leaked from the mouths of women are suddenly hilariously stupid. (HAHAHA AMIRITE??)
And it’s not like this is a Teh Menz be bad problem. Not in the least. Other women are just as bad, sometimes even worse, than the men. So what is it?
What makes women so different from normal people that when they make seemingly obvious, agreeable, or unremarkable statements, they suddenly become controversial and offensive? Why is disguising your gender even a suggestible strategy for communicating on the internet? Why are people so angry that women want to be treated like the rest of the internet? Can we fix this soon so I can start burping, eating sandwiches, drinking beer and watching TV like normal non-women people do?
Happy New Year!
The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 3pm ET.