Tag Archives: twitter

Dear Wil Wheaton – Only YOU Can End Mansplaining

5 Feb

Hi Wil,

I know, I know, this is the second open letter I’ve written to you in, like, a month. And I know, you didn’t even read the first one, even though I poured my heart and soul into it, and tweeted about it extensively (and by extensively, I mean obnoxiously).

The thing is, Wil, I need your help. I know we don’t know each other very well, or, really, at all. I’ve tweeted at you a lot while drunk, so you already know how funny and awesome I am. I’ve watched a lot of Star Trek, so I know what you look like in terrible sweaters. One time you tweeted back at me (actually, you tweeted twice, but the second one was to correct a typo), so I am pretending that means that we’re internet buds. That’s how these things work, right?

So anyway, here’s the whole story:

Last night, I was wasting time on twitter (as is my wont). You tweeted a link to something on his tumblr, and since I think you’re aces, I clicked to check it out.

Guess what I discovered on your tumblr? Oh, just something that you reposted about women’s reproductive rights.

“HOLY CATS!” I yelled, scaring our actual (unholy) cats.

Matt, naturally, asked me what the hell I was yelling about.

I told him that I had just stumbled upon a trifecta of the the three things I love the most – Wil Wheaton, women’s reproductive justice, and social media.

Matt wanted to know why he and Theo weren’t part of that trifecta.

I told him that they were part of a different trifecta.

He tried to argue that if it was a trifecta of three things that I love the most then he and Theo should be on it.

I told him that there were two trifectas of things that I love the most. There’s the one I mentioned above, and one involving Matt, Theo and cake. He told me that I couldn’t have two trifectas of things that I love the most. I told him that I can have as many damn trifectas as I want, because I am the boss of trifectas. I told him that he gets no say in how many trifectas I have.

He just rolled his eyes and left the room. Then he came back and asked if, out of all my trifectas of things I love the most, his came first.

“Sure buddy, whatever,” I said. I wasn’t really paying attention to him, because I was having an IDEA.

See, the thing is, I get mansplained a lot. Maybe not here, on my personal blog, but on posts that I write for other sites. My post about that rape joke on The Oatmeal that went viral? You better believe I got mansplained to hell and back on that one, both on BlogHer (which picked it up and featured it), and on various other Serious Business News Sites that linked to it. Oh and the mansplainers and misogynists came here, to my post about The Oatmeal’s 5 Super Neat Ways To Use A Hooker, intent on proving that I don’t know anything, ever and am just silly feminist who likes to get worked up over nothing.

So now that I know that you love protecting the rights of lady parts (and, hopefully, ladies themselves), I have this brilliant plan. See, I realized that if only I had a picture of you holding up a sign that says “STOP MANSPLAINING”, I could just post that picture whenever dudes are mansplaining. And they would be like, WELL, if WIL WHEATON says I should stop, PROBABLY HE IS RIGHT.

I know what you’re thinking – a picture like this is a powerful tool. In the wrong hands, it could definitely be used for evil. But just think of how much good I could accomplish with it!

An added bonus is that if you ever happened to catch yourself in the act of mansplaining, you could look at the picture and be like, “Oh, great, advice from someone I trust.”*

So please Wil? Just one little picture?

Remember when you told everyone not to be a dick, and it was great, and world peace was achieved?

Now you can do the same for people facing mansplainers everywhere!

Anyway, that’s all. I’ll let you get back to your whatever it was you were doing.

Sincerely,

Anne

p.s. You could also take a picture of yourself holding a picture that says “Anne Is The Best,” and it would be great because it could mean your wife OR it could mean me. Everybody wins!

p.p.s. Sorry again for all the drunk tweets

p.p.p.s. Sorry for all the annoying sober tweets, too

p.p.p.p.s. Here is a picture of me in a Star Trek-inspired sweater I found at a thrift shop. I thought maybe you would like it? In like a geek solidarity kinda way? I really tried to 80s up the makeup to make it more TNG authentic

star_trek_sweater

p.p.p.p.p.s. This is the face I make when I am getting mansplained

*The credit for this joke goes to Jesse Dangerously, who is way funnier than me on social media AND in real life

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Mark McNairy, I Can’t Even

15 Oct

Mark McNairy, the man who designed the Manifest Destiny shirt for The Gap, tweeted the following on Saturday evening:

(He has since deleted the tweet, but fortunately a few people were able to get screen grabs)

When I saw this, I turned to Matt and said, He must not know what Manifest Destiny means.

I mean, he can’t know, right? There is no way that I can live in a world where a white American dude just posted publicly on the internet that the systematic oppression, destruction and abuse of North American Aboriginal peoples happened because white people are the FITTEST. I can’t possibly live in that world.

See, this is where my own wilful ignorance kicks in. When writing about issues like this, I try really, really hard to be fair and objective. I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, and do my best to offer an unbiased, balanced perspective on issues that trigger big emotions in me. I tend to assume that everyone has good intentions, but they just get bogged down by misuse of language, or lack of information. When someone says something as glaringly racist and offensive as the above, my brain just can’t process the fact that they might be serious.

What does he even mean by fittest, anyway? Is he referring to the Aboriginal peoples’ lack of immunity to diseases such as smallpox that were endemic in most European populations? Does he mean the fact that said members of the European population had guns when they arrived in North America while the indigenous peoples didn’t? Does he think that by swaggering onto this continent and declaring everything they saw as theirs, our colonial ancestors are somehow more fit? Does he think that the North American Aboriginal peoples are where they are today because they just haven’t worked hard enough?

If that last one is the case, I would like to paraphrase the first sentence of this article: If wealth and being  was the inevitable result of hard work and enterprise, the members of the First Nations populations would be millionaires.

What I want to do right now is call this McNairy fellow up and ask him if he’s aware of what he’s saying, and if he’s thought about what the fallout from his careless remarks might be. I want to point out that he owns his own (eponymous) business, and, as an ambassador for this brand, he needs to be aware that everything he says will have an impact on his business’ success. I want to reach through the phone, grab him by the shoulders and yell, What the hell were you thinking?

Of course, the questions that I really want to ask are the ones whose answers I’m not sure I can handle

What I need to know the most is whether Mark McNairy cares about how hurtful his remarks were. I need to know if he’s thought about what it would be like to grow up in the grinding poverty and inhumane living conditions of many of the First Nations’ reserves, only to be told by a white man that you are there, on that reserve, because of survival of the fittest. I need to know if he’s thought about what it would be like to see the name of the philosophy that led to the attempted genocide of your people splashed across a t-shirt, and then see the man responsible for that  shirt taking to Twitter to defend it. I need to know if he’s ever thought about anything outside of his existence as a privileged white man.

I am afraid to know what McNairy’s responses would be to these questions. Afraid, yes, but still brave enough to hear them. Because I will never be able to overcome my own wilful ignorance, my smiling, apologetic naïveté until I am forced to look at the naked truth.

I can’t possibly live in a world where people say things like this, except that I do.