‘I’m Outraged About the Cultural Disease That Spawned This Tweet’

At the Rumpus, Roxane Gay wrote the best thing in response to the jokes about Quvenzhané Wallis. You really must read it: “I’m not outraged about this one tweet. I’m outraged about the cultural disease that spawned this tweet, the one where certain people are devalued and denigrated for sport and then told to laugh it off because hey, you know, it’s humor.”

The solution to the cultural disease—diversity: “People often fail to understand the importance of diversity. They assume it’s all about quotas and political correction but it is about so much more. Diversity (and we’re talking race, class, gender, sexuality, political affiliation, religion, all of it) is about putting multiple points of view into a conversation. It’s about ensuring that no one is operating in the kind of cultural vacuum where they don’t stop to consider context. “

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18 Comments / Post A Comment

juca5056 (#2,972)

How does this appropriate for The Billfold? Surely this is better suited for Splitsider.

Fig. 1 (#632)

@juca5056 Logan’s just injecting some different points of view into the Billfold. It’s not a bad thing to stretch your brain beyond WWYDs and budgeting.

deepomega (#22)

@juca5056 See stuffisthings below for your answer.

juca5056 (#2,972)

@Fig. 1 I think it’s a bit presumptuous of you to assume that I don’t spend my internet reading time “stretching my brain.” I’d actually read this article and a flurry of related posts since the initial tweet and haven’t even tipped my hat to my opinion on the matter. Just thought this seemed a bit shoehorned into the site in an attempt to cash in on a controversy.

Fig. 1 (#632)

@juca5056 I apologise. It was rude of me to insinuate that you read little else besides the Billfold and resent any attempt at discussing a variety of topics on a personal finance-related site.

…and this is why companies with more women, especially in senior management, tend to perform better. It’s not because women have special qualities unique to their gender, it’s because of the advantages conferred by diversity of perspectives.

MaxBraverman (#3,273)

Meanwhile, everyone’s cool with Jesse Tyler Ferguson’s tweet about Renee Zellweger’s face.

chic noir (#713)

@MaxBraverman – well in most societies, people have this thing about protecting young children from harm esp mean spirited adults.

sintaxis (#2,363)

not really sure how “diversity” is the solution to institutional misogyny & racism, to be honest.

@sintaxis Kind of like how money is not the solution to poverty? I mean, you can say it’s oversimplified, but ultimately it is.

sintaxis (#2,363)

@stuffisthings No I mean it in a very literal way. There are plenty of examples of diverse places and institutions where sexism and racism and classism run rampant. I’m not saying diversity is bad, or does not have positive outcomes. But it isn’t an institutional solution.

To use your example, I think money is not the answer to poverty. Capitalism creates and necessitates poverty of some for the benefit of others.

@sintaxis So what would the institutional solution look like, exactly?Obviously having more diversity doesn’t INSTANTLY solve these problems but surely it moves things in the right direction?

@sintaxis I agree with stuffisthings, its doesn’t answer the underlying causes, but it does help. In the sense that you might not reach everyone, but you might change one or two minds and that’s always a good thing.

sintaxis (#2,363)

@EngNaturalBeauty@twitter I mean, you can agree with whoever you want, but that’s actually my position…? haha. I was saying that diversity is awesome, it’s a good individualized reactionary solution. BUT it does’t answer underlying causes of these tweet.
@stuffisthings I think I would be pretty happy if this whole thing spawned a discussion about hate speech laws and liability for promoting hate, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen :(

@sintaxis Wait so greater diversity in positions of power is incidental to dismantling racism and sexism, but *hate speech laws* are an example of the kind of deep institutional change we need? So basically we should be more like France, which has fewer women in parliament than Afghanistan but where you can be fined 500 euros for saying antisemitic stuff in public?

I guess I’ll stick with the individualized reactionary solution then?

sintaxis (#2,363)

@stuffisthings That’s a willful misreading of my comment, and honestly it feels like you are being rude to me because of our past ideological differences…? I’m trying to be friendly, and maybe I’m misreading your tone, but I don’t want to engage when you purposely misconstrue what I said to be some sort of inflammatory anti-diversity tirade, which it’s clearly not.

@sintaxis I just find your position perplexing. It seems to me that diversity is both a desired end result AND a way of getting there. Like, say Congress was suddenly 50% women. Would it automatically be “less misogynistic”? Probably not. Maybe a lot of those women come from Tea Party districts and would try to pass restrictive anti-abortion laws. But at that point is it Congress as an institution that is misogynistic, or are the Tea Party women representatives simply reflective of endemic misogyny within their districts?

I mean I do get what you’re saying but it does seem unnecessarily inflammatory and dismissive of the whole concept (esp. your initial comment). Like, “phhpp, diversity, what’s that ever done for anybody?”

Case in point: I think we can all agree that the US military is a quintessentially reactionary, conservative organization. But where would the Civil Rights movement be without the experiences of black soldiers from the Civil War, WWI, and WWII?

chic noir (#713)

Amen!

I just want to say as a young Black woman, I am really saddened at the way some people are treating a nine year old prepubescent girl being called a “cunt”. That little girl did nothing to deserve such disrespect. She is a girl for God’s sake. Post racial society… Yea right.

When Kayne West interrupted the young adult Taylor Swift, we saw the way he was treated by the mainstream media. Lets see if Quvenzhane Wallis is given the same treatment that Swift was given.

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