In case you missed it, yesterday, Jezebel reposted my Role/Reboot piece on the “12 Year Old Sluts” Facebook page. This is my third time on the mothership roller coaster, and I learn a little more about temporary mega exposure each time. It’s a pretty cool feeling, not going to lie, to get a bunch of messages from your friends and acquaintances pretending, for a moment, that you’re internet famous. Also, blog traffic, whatttupppp.
And then you start reading the comments, and the helium drains just a little from the pride balloon.
I’m not new to internet commenters. It’s a different thing, however, to get spammy, illiterate hate mail from Men’s Rights Activists who think you’re a cunt just for daring to address issues of gender and sex in public than to see your article picked apart by the very audience with whom you’re most excited to share it.
For the record, there are many positive comments and they all made me feel warm and fuzzy. The ones that stick, though, are the accusations of elitism. This is my favorite:
All classics – keep ’em coming Jezzie:
“Ten years ago, when I was 14, I went to Sweden with my soccer team.”
“Many women-especially those of us with a top-notch education, strong role models, and a stellar support group”
“Though “sexual capital” isn’t a phrase she will run across until her gender studies classes 10 years later,”
Oops, you caught me, I’m a privileged white girl. I mean, duh, I have time to blog on the regular and refresh Jezebel every ten seconds to check the new readership, of course I’m privileged. Women with three jobs don’t have time for this shit. Single moms don’t have time for this shit.
I guess I’m not clear on what my privilege has to do with this particular article. If I’d left out the location of my soccer trip, or even the fact that I played at all, if I’d left out references to my education, would the message be different? Would the content be more palatable?
I called out my education because I credit it (and the people I met during it) with giving me the tools and theories that form the core of my feminism and my points of view on media, gender, and sexuality. Just because I worked hard while I was there doesn’t mean that I wasn’t extremely lucky to be able to go. I’d be an idiot to think otherwise. The fact that I was born to parents with advanced degrees, in a town with great public schools, with access to club soccer doesn’t invalidate the content of my argument.
Some people are born with a very lucky hand of cards, and while I’m not religious, I try to be grateful every day for the opportunities the location and circumstances of my birth have allowed. Are people with privilege not allowed to comment on the world? Should we stick to being grateful and guilty? Not sure what I’m supposed to do here, guys, so help me out.
Thinking about the context of what we read, the how/when/by whom it was written, is the basics of critical thinking (one of those fun things I learned in college), so I’m glad that folks are applying that to my writing, I guess. Kinda stings nonetheless.
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