The Nerdwriter’s video is primarily about the infamous ShirtGate incident, but the same analysis applies to so many people who smugly post familiar rhetoric regarding the depictions of female characters, declaring themselves right and others wrong often based off nothing more than that declaration.
Innuendo Studios (Ian Danskin) also did an in depth video series about those who are angry at the existence of criticism, specifically about the harassment that Anita Sarkeesian has endured since Tropes vs Women in Video Games took off. If you haven’t seen it, here’s the whole series.
Please feel free to direct Angry Jacks to any of our posts or tags (eg agency, double standards, rhetoric, etc) and to seek help and resources if you’re being harassed. These are all resources we encourage people to share if you find someone posting, tweeting, etc in a misguided manner.
There’s also an interesting TED Talk by James Flynn on one of the reasons you may have trouble talking to people from particular backgrounds. But for now I want to talk about dealing with those who are less confused, less angry and are more smug.
Sadly, plenty of people either just don’t care what’s right and are more interested in maintaining dominance by default than they are about anything that’s ever going to be said. These people are largely the ones who try to seek out and weaponise Angry Jacks, and the ones who manufacture misinformation for their “cause”.
Attempting to engage in meaningful conversation with them, especially in their communities rarely does anything but make them feel that they’ve expanded their platform and hence gotten more “wins”. This is why you often see people like this desperately craving “debates” (winner to be decided by them or their friends, based off what they wanted to be true from the start).
So, if you’ve tagged us in to a conversation and hoped we’d join in – please understand that we haven’t got anything to say that wouldn’t be wasted on that audience. Everything we could say to them has been said, usually many times. This is the Internet after all.
If anything, they will simply interpret a specific response from us as an opportunity to try to hijack our platform and boost their audience, or simply assert that they’re our nemesis and thus instantly important.
Ultimately, that’s what’s feeding their habit – the search for bigger audiences, bigger wins and more validation. If they can’t get that, they take joy in knowing they’re wasting time that could be spent working on problems in a more general, helpful sense (especially if they have nothing else to do).
They won’t be getting a direct answer from us.Though we’re going to continue building commentary, resources and information on all the general issues around today and new ones as they arise and to call out key figures who actually already have high profiles and big influence.
We’re also going to continue to support others who do the same and hope that eventually social media platforms like Tumblr, Twitter, etc will start taking harassment seriously.
The important thing to understand about these people though is, that not only can’t they be persuaded (without having a deep personal change of their own), but they can’t advance or provide anything useful either.
By declaring victory for simply existing and refusing to consider any hypothetical or viewpoint other than their own, they’re inherently limiting their thinking, their contributions and themselves. By not even taking the time to understand before responding, they’re creating a no benefit scenario:
- Nobody can create tools for cultural critique (and rhetoric in response to the critique) if their culture(s) and parts thereof are beyond critique. They also certainly can’t make wonderful creative entries for contests.
- Nobody will come ask for your input to help with costume design if your feedback is unquestioning support of what they did before (or a torrent of abuse over any changes, no matter how minor)
- Nobody can expand their market share and try to make their product more accessible to more people by catering only to a small part of their existing market.
- Nobody can come to you for advice on how to better understand something, or incorporate it into your fiction or look for inspiration if you just support whatever, whenever or just rant about how you hate either a particular person or SJW boogieman in general.
On top of all this, they are incredibly prone to giving their money away to people who either just don’t deliver, or discover there was never anything to deliver. They also tend to find themselves limited to a very small range of supporters and options in terms of projects.
This is what happens when you choose harassment as your primary means of communication and dive deep into the No True Scotsman Fallacy.
So, while we do encourage you to call out people you see spreading harmful misinformation, if their response to that is to smugly reply with claims of victory and nonsense – remember what they’re seeking is equal parts maintaining the status quo and personal validation.
They’re also seeking to antagonize others simply because without some sort of scandal (or more commonly a faux scandal based on misinformation) to expand their audience, their default status is well…
Actually that’s not fair, Abraham Simpson III is far too good a person to be in that crowd. Sorry about that, Abe.