On Twitter and other blogs, the digital lynch mob is currently targeting David Gilmour for some comments he made in an interview. His ‘crime’? He stated publicly that he teaches male writers because he understands them best and made some off-handed comments that other writers are down the hall. Combine this with the assertion that he only teaches the best (without qualifying it), and you got a social media shit storm.
The interesting issue about a shit storm is not only that it is raining shit — in buckets — but that it shows you how the wind is blowing and who is shitting you.
I see two main issues here.
The first one is the completely ludicrous attempt by people wanting to tell others what they should feel — or love. Comments like “I’ve got a dare for you, David Gilmour. I dare you – I fucking dare you […] try harder to love it.”
No matter what David Gilmour said, it is nothing compared to this incredible arrogance to want to tell another person what he or she should love. Strange thing, it’s not that rare — I think it’s a common strategy to invalidate another person’s feelings and telling the other person he does not really feel what he or she ‘think s/he feels’. But it’s rare to see it like this.
To use an over-the-top analogy here, does that mean that feminists arguing Gilmour should ‘try harder to love it’ support the argument that women should try harder to love the guy they’ve just ‘friendzoned’? Personally, I think that it’s best simply to leave in such a situation, because interest in an intimate relationship vs. ‘friendship only’ is a recipe for disaster and exploitation, but hey, if the woman can ‘learn to love’, that might be a viable strategy.
No? Didn’t think so.
The other issue is the attempt to influence what is taught at an university level. People trying to tell him what he should teach, and that’s a ‘gender-balanced curriculum’. Why? It’s his course. He is apparently very good at it. Why does everything have to be balanced? Non-confrontational? Safe? Where is the climate to discuss new ideas and think differently?
But hey, does that mean that “Gender Studies” will include male perspectives in the future? Some writings by MHRA’s? Perhaps a few YouTube Videos by girlwriteswhat or a few podcasts by AVfM? With a balanced discussion and no disparaging remarks? I didn’t know feminists were that open minded …
No? Didn’t think so either.
I think the whole Twitter shit storm only shows the not-so-veiled attempts to change society into something few people — men and female — want to live in. A world where thought and emotions are regulated, controlled, sane.
Don’t get me wrong (fat chance), I’m all for settings limits — in behavior. Actions can be a crime, thoughts and emotions are not. And I’m all for equal opportunity. But this isn’t about equality (few things feminists do is), this is about creating a world where women have all the rights and privileges and none of the risks and burdens (most things feminists do is this).
Probably the worst comment in the discussion I have read so far is by Emer O’Toole in a piece in The Guardian:
“‘why do I have to like books by women?’
Answer: because [they are] half of the human race”
Really? That’s a reason? Since when are my preferences open for others to decide? I like what I like, I love what I love. Trying to tell me what I have to like simply based on a numbers’ game is ludicrous. The logical conclusion would be a world where everyone likes 1/x of everything there is. This brings the idea of a dystopian future to a completely new level.
Personally, I draw the line when it comes to trying to regulate my thought or my emotions. Some very vocal feminists have some really strange thoughts and emotions, and I refuse to let them determine my reality.