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#moral purity

i remember the online horror when sarah paulson and her much older lady friend came out as a couple. like, to quote a convo from then…“lol the world’s only 40 year old pedophilia victim” bc that’s pretty much how people were acting

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“Most humanistic scholars are, I think, perfectly happy with the notion that texts exist in contexts, that there is such a thing as intertextuality, that the pressures of conventions, predecessors, and rhetorical styles limit what Walter Benjamin once called the “overtaxing of the productive person in the name of … the principle of ‘creativity,’ ” in which the poet is believed on his own, and out of his pure mind, to have brought forth his work. Yet there is a reluctance to allow that political, institutional, and ideological constraints act in the same manner on the individual author. A humanist will believe it to be an interesting fact to any interpreter of Balzac that he was influenced in the Comedie humaine by the conflict between Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire and Cuvier, but the same sort of pressure on Balzac of deeply reactionary monarchism is felt in some vague way to demean his literary “genius” and therefore to be less worth serious study. Similarly—as Harry Bracken has been tirelessly showing—philosophers will conduct their discussions of Locke, Hume, and empiricism without ever taking into account that there is an explicit connection in these classic writers between their “philosophic” doctrines and racial theory, justifications of slavery, or arguments for colonial exploitation. These are common enough ways by which contemporary scholarship keeps itself pure.

Orientalism, Edward Said

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In cancel culture and moral purity contests is there ever a chance to grow? To change? If you see the wrong of your ways and feel disgusted with yourself in what you let yourself to be is it your death sentence?

I thought the end goal was to have people change for the better, not attack them for ever being wrong or stupid. What happens when people turn that back and expose everything wrong by the people who refuse to accept change. How will they defend themselves then.

If you never give the opportunity to change- not even to forgive- just give the liberty to believe that people grow up in the 80 years we live in this hell hole. Whose in power to dictate who deserves compassion?

I’m not defending anything but it’s not a great image to portray to impressionable people that their lives can end if they make a mistake or they were misinformed. I’m not talking about blantant harm to others just the fear of misspeaking or not knowing as much as you thought you did. Or growing up really. Once upon a time everyone who fought for something was ignorant to it but then they changed and grew.

Honestly I can see why there’s such a pushback counter culture that goes out of its way to be edgy and offensive just to spite these people. There is real work sociology evidence that if you are labelled something you are likely to fit that label to defy the authority that is pushing it on you. The you can’t fire me I quit mentally. Extreme opinions that most don’t believe but spout to not be hurt when another little mistake is criticized.

One day you’re going to be canceled and what then will you have to say for yourself. Treat others as you want to be treated.

If you dig into someone’s past you will most definitely find what you are looking for because humans are flawed. We’ve been knew that since forever.

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i have one more thing to say, or i guess reiterate, on the topic of moral purity policing in fanfiction as perpetuated by minors, in a more rebloggable format than my previous asks. what i have to say is an incredibly unpopular opinion because it takes neither side of this dichotomized issue, and addresses, not the minors perpetuating the purity rhetoric, but the adults fighting against it. 

first i’ll offer a run-down of the overall issue at hand:

side 1, or what i call “think of the CHILDREN”: there is a large sect of people in fandom right now, mostly teens and young adults as far as i can tell, who believe that taboo works (noncon and underage) should not be allowed to exist. if they are written, they should be flagged and subsequently taken down. these people seem to hold these beliefs for several reasons, the prevailing ones being “fiction affects reality” and “children might read it!!” this stance is the active one, the (literal) minority, the side trying to enact change upon an established and (legally) supported status quo. these people do not separate the art from the artist. 

in practice, these beliefs are aggressive and toxic. we see them in rude or cruel anonymous asks urging writers to kill themselves. we see them in “only follow if” and “do not interact if” pages with lengthy bullet point lists of traits and behaviors that are Not Okay. we see them in yfip. we see them in anti tags. we see them in long, poorly researched and contextualized responses to well-meaning pro-”ship and let ship” posts. we see them in accusations of pedophilia for fics and ships that are not in fact pedophilic. we see them in phrases like “abuse apologists” and “problematic” and “romanticize” and “fetishize.” 

despite the seeming growth of what i’ve been calling the Gen Z Puritanical Movement, what we see on tumblr is only a narrow view of a much wider issue spanning outside fandom and into the world of art itself. it stems from problems of decades past, McCarthyism, the Hays Code, the nuclear family, for example, and the subsequent counterculture movements against them. right now Gen X has all the power and prestige in the enormous world art, and being the children of Baby Boomers, they simultaneously believe you must always separate the art from the artist, while also widely disbelieving (or having had to learn) that inequality and disenfranchisement have any bearing in the success of art. 

“the discourse” as we call it has its roots in every creative field and we are in midst of a revolution in the way we understand and interact with art. i believe, with any revolution, the answer is not in stalling it but negotiating with it, learning from it, interrogating it, and adapting. 

side 2, which i’ll unpack below, is comprised mostly of what i would venture are Millennials, and fall somewhere between Gen Z purity and Gen X freedom. and as much as i want to discuss this gaping chasm of beliefs further, i’m specifically talking about the way transformative art is presently policed by side 1.

which brings us to the other side.

side 2, or what i call “i do what i WANT”: these people believe that a fan writer/artist should be able to write, post, and share with the public any creative work the mind can devise as long as it is warned/tagged properly, and all people who do not want to view their art should walk away and not interact. key phrases include “ship and let ship” and “don’t like, don’t read.” the prevailing root of this belief is that all art is valid and important, all art belongs, even when that art is devised entirely by the id. additionally, they believe they do not have to justify, defend, or explain their art in order for it to exist, and most importantly, it is every reader/viewer’s responsibility to understand the difference between fiction and reality. these people separate art from the artist. 

in practice, these beliefs are poised to defend of the attacks from side 1. this is a reaction to a movement, an assertion of maintaining the status quo. we see posts speaking to an audience of side 1, pleading or at times demanding for them to learn not only the fraught history of fanworks but also the greater context of art and censorship. these posts are then reblogged by people with similar beliefs, attacked by side 1, and no one seems to really learn anything at all. the dichotomy is maintained. battles end as posts fall into obscurity, but the war rages on.

side 2 holds the status quo, the most common sense. it is the most educated perspective, upheld by the wiser and older parties of fandom, the transformative artists who have lived through strikethrough and boldthrough and have experienced the damaging consequences of the censorship and ideology of side 1. moreover, it is upheld by the actual people who built and run the archive on which our art rests. in this dichotomy, side 2 has all the power. side 2 is the majority. 

here’s where i get to my incredibly unpopular opinion:

people in positions of power have no reason to meet aggression with more aggression except to re-establish and assert that power over the minority opinion. aggression does not sway the minority opinion; it only fuels it. 

in other, more practical words, we are ADULTS sharing a public community space with CHILDREN, and some of those children have made it clear that they are angry. 

why do we meet that anger with anger when we are older and wiser and have all the authority? if a child is having a violent tantrum, do you punch them in the face? no, you hold their wrists. you calm them down. you ask them what’s wrong. you try to parse out what happened and work together to make sure it doesn’t happen again. you can’t expect them to articulate that anger; you have to ask questions. you have to listen to them.

side 1 says that taboo works are wrong and bad and shameful. i personally disagree with that belief, but my curiosity lies in the extreme emotional reaction and value judgments behind it. and when enough people are angry about something, if a movement becomes wide enough, it means there is something else going on, some seed of truth happening somewhere – a needle in a haystack, an invisible shard of glass on the kitchen floor – that needs to be found. i’m not saying side 1 is right, but i am saying that there is something in that anger which might ring true, even if the toxic rhetoric they are spouting is not. i don’t know what that truth is, and the point of this post is not to find it, but to encourage us to seek bigger answers about this very big problem.

side 2, you might be saying, they’re not children, they’re teenagers and young adults. you might be saying, when i was their age, i knew to obey the etiquette of fandom. you might be saying, we are not equals, they should be learning from us. you might be saying, it’s their responsibility to know fiction from reality. you might be saying, none of this is my responsibility. you might be saying, this movement is getting bigger and scarier and it may become an actual threat to our art. 

and you might be feeling: i have no interest in logically or morally defending the taboo nature my aesthetic interests. i know that they appeal to me, and i know i should not be tasked with or required to publicly explain myself. i should not have to assert that art is separate from the artist. i should not have to endure aggressive mobs of anons in my inbox. i should not be chased away by pitchforks held by my own community. i should not be accused of being a predator, rapist, abuse apologist, or pedophile. 

and maybe you know that you are not any of those things, and to be accused of them is ridiculous and appalling, but maybe it still hurts to be called all of that which makes life so dangerous and cruel. maybe it always hurts to have your art misunderstood.

this brings me back to anger. all anger is devised of pain and fear. we get angry when we’re hurt and scared. when i see two angry sides of a wide divide, all i see is that fear and pain, and all i want is to lessen it. 

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I mean really, what's the difference between Tumblr's obsession with purity on the media and characters being flawless little angels and suburban soccer moms who boycott a company because a cartoon character said "damn"?

Septum piercings.

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It’s never possible to be ‘good enough’ for people, is it. So tell me: why the hells should I even try? 

If you don’t think my moral code is black and white and absolute enough, well you are free to go live by whatever standards you want. You don’t get to pick mine for me no matter how much ‘better’ you think it would make the world. I’m done deluding myself that anyone isn’t knee-deep in clay with spotless hands, or pretending that people are easy and life makes sense.

So tired of being angry about this.

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(Published under the Op-ed section of the OU Daily under the title “Now is time for direct action against white supremacy, continued violence of US”)

    In the midst of Black History Month and an over-reaching Trump administration, those of us living in occupied territory known as the United States would do well to heed the lessons of newly-freed slaves and the Populist Party of the Reconstruction Era. With the conferral of citizenship and political power came immense white backlash in the form of terrorist attacks by the Klu Klux Klan and the conservative quest for ‘redemption’ of the south through legal reversal or abolition of reconstruction measures. One of the responses to the overtly racist tactics of the Redeemer Party was the radical philosophy of the Populist Party: utilizing class analysis to formulate an alliance between poor whites and newly freed slaves against white elites. As the Populist Party began to gain support, the elite was able to create racial divisions in the alliance and gain the support of working-class whites through false promises to alleviate white poverty and segregation laws that we now know as Jim Crow.

    Utilizing this example, we can understand the function that white supremacy and anti-blackness play as forms of social capital that continue to shape our social relations, and include this into our analysis of socio-political formations when planning our moves in the current political climate. The election of Donald Trump was a disruption to the narrative of colorblindness that developed due the presidency of Barack Obama in the post-Civil Rights Era, but the implications of the results of the 2016 election are even further.

     Trump’s slogan “Make American Great Again” appealed to those who viewed their social status was under attack through this ruse of racial progress. Recent executive decisions by Trump prove that he does not take his campaign slogan lightly. In light of calls for justice for extra-judicial murders of black and native peoples, Trump has committed himself to getting “tough on crime” and supporting law enforcement. He ignores calls against the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines while granting easement of the projects and denying climate change in order to refuse switches to alternate forms of energy. He has planned a wall along the US-Mexico border which would resettle native lands in the Southwest such as that of the Tohono O’odham nation and materialize the xenophobic fantasy of blocking immigration. ICE raids and deportations have already occurred in various parts of the nation. Trump ordered a travel ban against predominately brown Muslim nations, maintaining America for Americans (which we can understand as coded language for white if you are Donald Trump.)

    What we are witnessing is another iteration of the long trajectory of manifest destiny, the attempt to perfect the settlement and rid America of its racial others through its appeal to white subjects. “Make America Great Again” is a political project not for those of who were never included in this social world; it is a call for white conservatism to rise once again and continue the success of the Tea Party in 2009. As white citizens diverge from the center to protect their social capital and physical property, the left must create strategies to grab power.

    Many have argued that now is the time to use our First Amendment right to free speech to publicly dissent and engage in democratic discourse. This invokes a temporal relationship to violence that renders invisible the discursive criticisms and scholarship that various people of color have produced since the beginning of conquest. Additionally, fact does not disprove the fantasy of white supremacy. Although we are all biologically composed of the same materials, claiming that “we are all human” tends to gloss over racism rather than to deconstruct it. Even more so, under an administration that denies the intensity of anthropogenic warming given a scientific-consensus, one cannot be reasonably expected to discursively negotiate their way through violence. This premise assumes that there is an objective truth or absolute good that various people may come to, if they only worked it out. This does not account for fascism nor competing political projects.

    The left has prized diversity too much. There exists so much disagreement that the left is unable to unite in formulating successful strategies against violence. Instead of forcing its radicals into moderation, e.g. Sanders supporters or non-voters to vote for Clinton, the left should mirror the right and radicalize against the foundations of oppression at its fringes. It is here that we find the sameness within our difference: our disdain for the gratuitous violence of the United States. Many have argued a form of moral absolutism in that protest must remain staunchly non-violent, lest we become the very fascists we oppose. Stokely Carmichael, a revolutionary leader and Prime Minister of the Black Panther Party, taught us another valuable lesson in his response to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “In order for nonviolence to work, your opponent must have a conscience. The United States has none.”

     There are direct actions going on all around us; these actions carry the power of hundreds of years of resistance. There are direct actions against pipelines being built, such as the Diamond Pipeline in Oklahoma, and calls to remove assets from banks that invest in such pipelines– Wells Fargo, J.P. Morgan/Chase, Bank of America, US Bank and Citibank. The Sanctuary Movement is building against deportations. Many are learning self-sufficiency and food sovereignty through urban gardening initiatives. We must decide what our truth is and thus, the world we would like to create for future generations.

There is much work to be done. In an urgent call to action, we close with a quote from the Pan-African revolutionary and psychiatrist, Frantz Fanon: “Henceforward, the interests of one will be the interests of all, for in concrete fact everyone will be discovered by the troops, everyone will be massacred—or everyone will be saved.”

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I wasn’t raised in an oppressively religious Christian household, but I’ve heard about what they can be like: Always on the lookout for whether your thoughts come from the devil, terrified of ordinary human impulses and instincts because they don’t fit with what you’re told to believe about the world, everything is either from God/Christ or from the devil, very little or nothing in between.

And I think those social environments have a lot in common with the sort of environments I see around tumblr, where everyone is trying to have the purest thoughts, the purest ideology, and this notion that changing everyone’s thoughts is what’s going to change the world, changing their actions isn’t good enough because they have to be pure inside and out. So if they behave respectfully but think about you in a way you consider disrepectful, you still feel obligated to change their thinking. And moral and ideological purity kick in right there.

And I just wonder how many people who started this trend, were originally from oppressively religious Christian household. Also how many of the people most adamant about continuing it, too. I could be wrong, but it’s an interesting thought.

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It was being addressed to the Thessalonians by Paul not to engage in sexual immorality, meaning adultery or fornication (sexual acts without being married to that person).

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This is definitely one of the biggest challenges we face as human beings, lol. It is getting worse, as well, and more and more difficult with each passing day to deal with these sort of temptations. Modern society is constantly berating us with the expectation of sexual behavior, usually beginning in teen years (which is kind of creepy when you think about it…like why do they want teens to be having sex? Ew.)

I would have had more confidence in myself, or at least not felt like such a miserable loser if I knew it was okay, but the expectation of sexual promiscuity being normal for me was overwhelming to such a simple, easily drowned girl as myself. Sorry to whine, but it makes me worry for young girls and boys who are sweet but easily moved by peer influence, thus to be destroyed like me.

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the reason i was thinking about this is because in yesterday’s update White called him a monster for engaging in a questionable deal with him. which is fine white would do that and i’m not saying he’s a mouthpiece for author in any way but almost every single time khun’s behavior is discussed it’s to call him out for being an asshole. which is true ig except for the fact he got involved in a war, the enemies are much stronger than him or his friends, and the fact that it’s repeatedly stressed that everyone climbing the tower has to do shitty things

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