Today I find myself in a position where I've been accused of being a "troll". This occurs every once in awhile, and usually for one of three reasons:
1) I'm actually trolling, which tends to happen in video games and is focused on poking fun at people who make wild political/cultural statements. Essentially satire. Like that one dude who kept saying really nasty and racist things about Obama. He was happily met with a general chat log that read "THANKS OBAMA" every five or so seconds.
2) When I'm drunk and running my mouth. That's getting better. Less drunk posts and far more sober ones. In fact, I may be actually trolling with these, because I often would have little remembrance come morning.
3) When my concept of Feminism as a class-based (economic) movement clashes with individuals whose concept of Feminism is based strictly on social/cultural conditions without historical/progressive context.
I've written and re-written this post a few times this morning, because each time I set out trying not to specifically reference the thread that caused the impetus to make this post. I think that's next to impossible.
Within context, there was a post about the "Whore/Madonna" complex, with a number of threads that specifically addressed the question in a vacuum of solely how it has an effect on women. My contribution, which was meant to be positive, was that it's next to impossible to have a full conversation without also looking at the other side of the coin in terms of the fact that men are placed within a "provider/brute" dichotomy which is symbiotic to the "Madonna/whore" complex. Neither is more important, per se, but you simply can't address one without the other because they feed on each other and work together to prop up our far outdated concepts of gender.
I was met with, first, accusations that made no sense. One individual decided that despite never mentioning the concept of "oppression" that I was really trying to make this about the oppression of men.
Is it any surprise that when we approach such important conversations with the idea that men cannot be constructive participants that we always fight and create strife? That the mere suggestion that in order to address and combat harmful gender roles we must speak and hold discourse on the subject of both men and women and how they're socialized is wrong?
This doesn't sit well with me.
In another thread earlier this morning I read a commentator's assertion that GT is a great place in part because we don't chase men away for the sake of them being men. That we have many wonderful men involved in conversations ranging from the deadly serious to the flippantly silly. I believe that to be true. There are many men around these parts who are absolutely a joy to see speak their mind and engage with everyone else because we're all mostly equals.
But to circle around again, we need to drop these knee-jerk reactions and stop mistaking disagreement for trolling. It's a fine line, but I can say with utter certainty that I don't come around here to fuck with you all (that's only a small amount of time) and that there's a lot of promise in GT for an inclusive and open discourse that considers more than just simplistic political expediencies when judging character and intent.
In closing, you're all great and I wouldn't make this post otherwise. Next time any of us have an knee-jerk reaction I'd just hope that we can ask ourselves if we're actually helping by limiting the discourse, or if we need to take a step back and perhaps reconsider the lines we consider to be uncrossable. Let's have more conversations where nuance and external concepts aren't seen as inherently threatening. Let's keep doing what 90% of this place does great: create smiles, friendships and a place to speak candidly about the serious issues that plague us.
You're all great, and I'm so quite happy to lurk these pages and, from time to time, engage in creating a flurry of comments.