A few days ago a good friend of mine Jaedia posted an extremely heartfelt commentary about how the sexual objectification has effected her. It was a brave post, that touched on a lot of uncomfortable discussion points that most people would rather not think about. The awesome thing about it is that it sparked a really good conversation over twitter. In the middle of a series of comments about how Girl Grey had been effected by this same process, some random guy made a comment that completely derailed the conversation, and essentially proved the need for this discussion. I did what I thought was right at the time and called the guy on it, that escalated into a bigger ordeal because he clearly was not understanding what we meant about the context of the comment being important. This all happened on Monday, and after some time thinking about it I decided to post about it the experience Wednesday morning.
Later that same day a post rebuking mine showed up on the Gaming Couples blog. This by itself is no big deal because people disagree with me on a regular basis. Everyone has an opinion and they are of course entitled to it. I thought long and hard about whether or not to post about this today, because I have tried to keep my blog a place of positivity, but I feel like I have to say something because it has gotten too far under my skin at this point. I don’t care that someone called me out for my post, that is the side effect of posting “real” discussion on my blog. I took painstaking care not to directly call out the person involved in the twitter discussion. I went through the painstaking process of pasting the screenshots into Photoshop and then blurring out the names of those involved. What has frustrated me is that the blog post in response to mine is labeled “Freedom of Speech” and the author has not allowed any comments that differ from her opinion through the moderation queue. As such this morning I am taking my blog post to make sure the two responses that I have been sent see the light of day.
The Angry Response
One of the frustrating things about the “Freedom of Speech” blog post is that you could tell very quickly that the individual had not actually read the original post by Jaedia, and at least to some extent read what they wanted to read out of my own blog post. As such when Jae emailed me her response, she did so because she did not think it would make it through the moderation queue. Her response follows…
Hi, “someone he follows” here. Just feel a few corrections need to be put out there. 🙂
He didn’t call me pretty, we were having a discussion on how bullshit sexual objectification is with another Twitter friend and how she felt that before she lost weight she was insulted for being ugly, and after, she was at the other end of the scale and she really appreciated that she wasn’t alone in feeling like she was nothing more than her looks sometimes. Then the dude chimed in with “you pretty” and Bel and myself spoke up for our friend because it was ill-timed and uncomfortable.
No, it wasn’t the worst thing ever. But the fact that the guy kept on his case that he “just wanted to call his friend beautiful” was kind of uncalled for.. sure, it was sweet, but it was inappropriately timed and misguided.
Your opinion is a valid one, but in response to this particular event, you’d perhaps have been better reading my post and the resulting conversation before judging us because it pretty much reads, “I can’t be fucked to find out what they were talking about but I’m angry about it anyway.” We were trying to be civil. This guy decided we were insulting him because, and I quote, “he had a penis”, which wasn’t true in the slightest.
PS. Freedom of speech is totally cool, but it doesn’t mean that everything people say is RIGHT. And why does it always seem to come up when somebody speaks up for something they believe in? Kinda contradicts the freedom of speech argument.
Sure the response was angry and ranty… but for someone who supposedly values free speech so highly I would have assumed it would be moderated through. There have been several comments that I did not find valuable but still I gritted my teeth and pressed the “approve” button. I felt that in order to be true to myself I had to accept all criticism. However later that night I saw the above comment on twitter. Maybe the individual has a real problem with cursing… so I thought that I could let that slide. I didn’t agree with the decision to moderate the comment, but it of course is not my blog.
The Heartfelt Comment
While I could understand potentially moderating curse words, I can not see moderating this next comment. When Girl Grey got wind of the post she apparently made her way over to the blog and left her own commentary. Since she knew that Jae’s comment did not make it through the moderation queue, she also emailed me hers just in case the same fate happened. I told myself that I would give the blogger until this morning to have allowed that comment through the moderation queue before making my own commentary. This is not particularly the way I would have liked to have ended my blogging week, but I feel like I needed to make this post. Below is Grey’s comment…
I am actually the person that was being replied to in the twitter convo, not Jae. To context the whole situation: All involved are my friends, & all still are my friends.
During the whole conversation, I had posted about how, when I was 350+ pounds, I would get looks and stares coming into a room. My ultimate goal was just the be unnoticed. I felt shamed, I felt outcast, and I felt worthless. Fast forward 200 pound loss, and I was also explaining, I still feel that way. I walk down the mall and I hear cat calls. I get accused of showing too much chest area – when I’m still a large chested woman – and beyond turtlenecks, I’m going to show something. My boisterous and naturally flirty personality gets me called a tease. And in all this, I I found people who understood me.
And then the pretty comment happened. And yes, I do believe in the right to say what you want – but there is a time and place for everything. I get compliments every day. I take them with grace and appreciation, as I took this one no different. I actually had a nice DM with the person afterwards, and all was well.
However, that being said, I feel like this situation was akin to coming into an AA meeting and calling the lot a bunch of drunkards; it was inappropriate timing. If we all agree that mental health issues need to be addressed, but then turn around and say “Oh, but if someone says something hurtful, grow a thick skin because there is free speech,” I think we have an issue. I appreciated Bel & Jae stepping in, I don’t feel like Bel was in the wrong.
This morning when trying to decide if I was going to make this post or not, I noticed the above commentary on a second twitter account that the blogger uses. I knew then that no matter what someone posted, it would not end up making it through the moderation queue. It seems that the person is not actually interested in free speech like they claimed in their own post. In fact this is a direct quote from that same blog post…
Free speech isn’t just speech that makes you comfortable. Free speech means everyone is free to engage is speech regardless of the feelings of others.
The hypocrisy of that statement, given the turn of events actually makes me a little queasy to my stomach. I’ve never claimed to be more than I am, nor have I heralded higher ideals than just trying to be a decent human being. However if an individual is going to wrap themselves in the blanket of free speech, then by god they better mean it and live up to those ideals. I’ve tried to make this post as positively as I can, and I have still tried to protect the identity of the twitter accounts that I am referencing. I am just disgusted by this entire chain of events, and should have potentially let it go. However I felt like the comments that never made it through moderation needed to be heard. Thanks for your time and tomorrow we will return to regularly scheduled gaming discussion.