Change the name of the blame game

Change the name of the blame game

by Madison Hopkins

I don’t need to explain that people say stupid things on the Internet, especially when they have the freedom of anonymity. This stupidity often comes in vulgar, offensive and grammatically questionable posts. It’s annoying, but all too common. And to be frank, most of us don’t really care that much about it. Don’t worry, I agree and that’s not what this story is about. My bigger concern, above the obnoxious, ranting idiots who are too afraid to show their own face or name, is those who do.

About a week ago, a friend showed me a post from SDSU Confessions. Seeing as how this page has clearly lost its novelty since its debut more than a year ago, I usually ignore the ridiculousness that comes out of it. This is mainly because most of the posts are likely fake. People post things to the anonymous server for the sensationalism of it. They think it’s funny to giggle with their friends when one of their brilliantly crafted posts is selected by the minions who run the site. Again, none of that really matters, but this one post stood out to me.

I won’t bore you with the exact details, or more so I won’t deeply disturb you with them. The jist of the post is essentially a man claimed to have taken a young woman out on a date. During the date, things apparently started to get physical. When she wasn’t responding enthusiastically to this activity, the man forced his penis into her mouth and punched her in the face when she wouldn’t comply.

The post goes on to explain the assault further, but I think that’s enough for our purposes—like I said, this isn’t the point. What I found truly shocking about this were the people who publicly approved this message by liking and commenting on the post with their Facebook accounts. As in, they attached their real name and picture to this kind of atrocious story. Both men and women chimed in on the comment thread with their eloquent thoughts of “ROFLMAO” and “LOL that made my day.”

In general, I try to look for some kind of good in people. At the very least I try to understand where other people are coming from to reconcile in my brain why they are the way they are. But with people like this, I don’t even want to bother.

[quote]We apparently live in a culture, and more specifically a school, where our peers find it perfectly acceptable to publically endorse blatant misogyny and violence.[/quote] That may seem like an extreme reaction to something that was (hopefully) meant as a joke, no matter how ill-conceived it was. But on the contrary, I don’t think it is extreme enough.

It seems as though there are constantly people publicly calling for the end of sexism, racism, homophobia, slut-shaming and every form of discrimination out there. These people are calling for the end of hate and the beginning of equality.

While this is an honorable dream, it may be unrealistic and even unfair on certain levels. When mentally stable people call for the end of hate toward those who don’t deserve it, we sometimes ignore those who do. Should rape victims who are told they asked for their own assault by wearing provocative outfits be considered equal to those who ignorantly accuse them of such absurdity? Are homophobic idiots who throw the word “fag” around as an insult equivalent to the innocent people they resent so deeply? I’m going to go with no on both accounts.

I realize that if presented with the opportunity, there are plenty of people who would shut this kind of atrocious behavior down without missing a beat. But if the Facebook post I mentioned earlier is any indicator, not enough people share this mentality. This post was eventually removed, but only after several of our peers found this situation laughable instead of the appropriate reaction: disgust, or at the very least, disregard.

It’s time to change the name of the blame game. [quote]People who are not part of the solution of creating a safer and better place for people of all walks of life are absolutely the problem, and need to be treated as such.[/quote] If we focused half the energy on shaming the people with these ignorantly hateful perspectives as these individuals do on those who don’t deserve it, we could make some real progress.

This piece is not meant to advocate playing dirty in the name of anti-discrimination. Mainly because telling people that their ridiculous beliefs are, in fact, ridiculous is nothing to be ashamed of. Think of this more as fighting fire with fire, giving them a taste of their own medicine or whatever platitude encourages you to step up and defend those who need it the most. Equality will not be found by ignoring the bad and only pushing for the good. We need action, and that begins by identifying the real enemy here and doing what so desperately needs to be done.