Monday, 13 July 2015

Not Everything Is About Sex Or Race

This is one that might annoy some people but you know what? I have nothing better to talk about. If you're keeping up with online news you might be aware of the furore over at the self-proclaimed front page of the internet; Reddit. In short the interim CEO Ellen Pao banned some subreddits including a popular one dedicated to hating fat people. There were others but that's the one people focused on. When that happened a huge row about censorship came up and it turned out Reddit were censoring a lot when no one was looking.
Lulz
There's a fair bit more to it than that, but that's the long and short end of the stick. The people at Reddit, myself included, moved to another site called Voat.co. It's like Reddit but with no censorship. The only thing not allowed there is illegal material. This lead to the banning of a subverse (the Voat version of a subreddit) about jailbait. People got in a bit of a tizz but no one found themselves leaving because of it. The difference being that the reason for banning it was legitimate and open and honest. Reddit banned things they disagreed with while leaving other, far more questionable, things open such as r/coontown, a subreddit dedicated to hating black people.

Still with me? That's basically the background to this post.

There was more of an uproar when Reddit fired a popular admin with no warning, which pissed off all the moderators there. It lead to several blackouts and even a change.org petition to have Pao removed. A petition which garnered over 250k signatures and did in fact lead to Ellen Pao stepping down as Reddit CEO this past Friday.

Since then every news source reporting on the story has felt the need to make it a racism and sexism issue. Ellen Pao is an Asian woman and because of this everyone is trying to spread the story that anyone who disagreed with her was a racist, or a sexist. Despite the fact many women came out and said they decry this approach. It's a very popular approach to take when the facts disagree with you and the message you're trying to spread. Ellen Pao is not some kind of martyr, or feminist icon. She was someone who was bad at her job and paid the price for it. The story the media would have you believe, that's utterly false, is that misogynistic trolls got a woman fired.
Besides the Voat Goat is adorbs


Not everything is about sex or race. We can never move past those issues as long as people try to cling on to them too. It really bothers me that you can't criticize a non-white or female (or in Pao's case both) without people claiming sexism or racism. People are bad at their jobs. People fuck up. People commit crimes. People can be terrible people. These people can be black, white, Asian, gay, straight, men, women, whatever. They need to be called out and not get a free pass because they're a minority, or they're part of some "oppressed" group. Ellen Pao proved to be bad at her job.

She had little to no understanding of how Reddit worked and is made mistake after mistake. It had nothing to do with her gender or her race. This is to do with her being bad at her job. If she was a white man then no one would be drawing attention to the gender or race. This was neither a racism or sexism issue and the fact people are trying to make it so pissed me off so much I wrote this huge fucking rant. These people deserve to pay the price for their actions and their mistakes. In the case of Ellen Pao that lead to her losing her job as Reddit CEO.

Not everyone who was against her was some kind of racist or sexist. Not everyone who is against a black or Asian person is a racist. Not everyone who is against a woman is a sexist. People need to be held accountable for their actions regardless of race or gender. We can't move past these issues unless you stop drawing attention to them.

So stop. Treat everyone equal, even when they mess up.

If you actually read all this then thanks. Sorry it's a bit longer than usual but there was a lot of history to go through.

8 comments:

  1. I had no idea about all this Reddit controversy. I am sure I have a password somewhere but never use it. Thanks for bringing this to light, that Reddit is not a credible source.

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  2. I read all of this and just spent it nodding my head because I've been following this too and couldn't agree with you more. And yes, I just hate that we live in this Tumblr generation where people throw out words like "racist!" and "sexist!" without even understanding what the hell those words mean. It reminds me of Jerry Seinfeld's recent comments, where he said that his daughter was going to the city to meet some friends, and his wife joked, "Going to meet some boys, huh?" and his daughter got offended and said, "That's sexist!" And Seinfeld told her, "You don't even know what that word means."

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  3. You're right, Mark. Although racism and sexism are serious and important issues, they can also sometimes be bandied about in a superficial way that does no one any good.

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  4. When I first read "Not Everything is About Sex," I was disappointed and almost moved on. But, then, since it's you, I read the the post.
    Right on, Mark, right on.
    Although I could do with as much sex as I can get.

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  5. When I first read "Not Everything is About Sex," I was disappointed and almost moved on. But, then, since it's you, I read the the post.
    Right on, Mark, right on.
    Although I could do with as much sex as I can get.

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  6. I'm glad you wrote this Mark. It has gotten to the point where people are being overly protected simply because of race, gender or sexual orientation. We have to be allowed to fire a bad employee regardless of these things. And we have to be able to point out when they have committed a crime. If we want equality, we must want it in all things.

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  7. Thanks for telling us about voat. I never liked reddit. I think reddit is rigged personally.. bots or haters downvote posts they don't like and quickly get shadow banned. I'll try voat.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Voat is new to me. I'm going to check it out. Never liked Reddit either.

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