Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Dear YouTubers

Discussion of rape culture ahead.

Dear YouTubers,

I spend a lot of time on YouTube, and I've noticed that people have this habit of making comments about "raping" the replay button.

It's not funny, it's gross, but I bicker with myself over how to respond.  Is an explanation of why not to use rape as a metaphor too long for a YouTube comment?  Should I just step in with a mild, "hey, not cool?"

While I was on YouTube yesterday, I found someone named AfizaFarhana setting a great example.
‘Rape’ the replay button is not so healthy anyway...it's crime...just try ‘refreshing’ your relationship with this MV...XD
The last time I checked, she had 58 "likes."

It's a simple thing, but I found it encouraging.  It's nice to know that other people are stepping up, and it's nice to see that she got so much support (and no push back, at least that I saw).

When we point out that someone's speech is hateful or harmful, it's not our job to make it palatable.  We don't have to be sweet or witty or graceful about it.  The problem isn't our approach, it's whatever the other person said in the first place.  But I'm not socially adept at all times (understatement of the year) and I'm not always in the mood for a fight.  Sometimes I just want to make my point and get out.  It's nice to pick up examples of how to word my comments for maximum effectiveness and minimum engagement.

What's your go-to wording when you speak up?

With love,
Frank Lee

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