Thoughts on: Cancel Culture
Originally I was going to do a skincare blog but I came up with a better idea last minute. I haven’t done an opinion piece in a long time, so I wanted to do a "thoughts on" blog post. I used to do these really often last year. I would either talk about something going on in my own life or in the world. I am home, for the most part, there’s isn’t much to say about topics going on in my own life but I do have huge opinions about things happening in the media. While there’s so much to unload one thing I really want to talk about sums up in 2020 as a whole is canceled culture, accountability and for other people who are more average is doxxing. While there are so many examples I could use for each one, I think I want to keep this in a general sense for each topic since I’m covering more than one thing in this post.
Also, please remember this is just an opinion piece and there are ways of disagreeing with someone without being so nasty. I do welcome different views because I like to understand points I may be missing or hear another opinion.
The first time I heard this term I was in 10th grade getting Chinese food with a friend and she said as a joke you’re canceled. So my first interaction with the word canceled was as a joke. So let’s get into work cancel culture is.
When I look up the word cancel culture it says it refers to the popular practice of withdrawing support for public figures and companies after they have done something considered to be offensive.
The definition doesn’t specify what is offensive because anything could be offensive. What’s a joke to one person could be deeply hurtful to another person and the only reason for that is the fact if something that’s a “joke” is only possibly offensive to the person it’s about. The only reason I say possibly is that not every single person of a collective group will take something the same thing the same.
This brings me to another point that is something I don’t understand: Why do people accept apologies that aren’t meant for them? For instance, if one person I support said something racist against Asians or something anti-Semitic, it wouldn’t be my place to accept it on their behalf. The comment wouldn’t hurt me because I’m not Asian or Jewish and there would be no way for me to feel what exactly some may have felt. Personally, I know I would be upset seeing that because I do believe in standing up for other people especially if I had similar experiences.
Sometimes what people say online can really hurt. I remember once in 2016 seeing a post that implied black girls look like cockroaches with rhinestones. It was a meme with a cockroach and rhinestone and acrylic nails that said something along the lines “black girls going to prom look like”. I still remember how badly it made me feel even though it wasn’t directly said to me. Generalizations can be just as harmful which is why I hate stereotypes beyond what words can explain.
Now for stuff like that, I feel like there have to be consequences like having the photo removed or the account banned. Which kinds of bring me to my next point.
I was actually talking about this with a friend the other day and she had an interesting point. The conversation was about I was saying I was afraid to post at times and it kind of holds me back from growing things like my blog and youtube channel (which you should subscribe to if you haven't). I was talking about how 2020 is such a fragile year because people will get called out for pretty much anything. That pretty much led to the conversation of whether there's still freedom to say what you want. She replied to that by saying "a person can still say or do what they want but freedom of speech isn't freedom of consequences". So that opened my eyes because the truth is everything we do and say has a cause and an effect. If you say something discriminatory because of your experiences with others in the past, it is your choice to have that energy instead of keeping in mind no person is the same. However, if that gets you fired because your colleges that are of that race/ religion/ gender/ sexuality feels threatened by you, it is just an effect of your actions.
I believe people should be held accountable for their actions/ words, no matter if the issue happened yesterday or if it happens years ago. A typical online response is "that happened years ago", but things that happen in the past can still have huge impacts on people's lives. The standard of time doesn't defy how significant someone may be impacted. The argument "that happened years ago" is equivalent to saying "the length of time devalues the trauma". So if you believe that I really am curious about how many people say that in other issues that are more serious like sexual assault.
When does cancel culture go too far?
Even though I do believe people should be held accountable, that doesn't mean I agree with cancel culture as a whole. I think people need to address what they did, if they haven't learned why people are hurt by what they did and haven't shown growth (if what they did was a while ago), then I think if consequences do happen it's not a bad thing because sometimes it takes going through something to make a person experience genuine growth (the topic performative growth is a whole other topic that deserves its own blog post).
Cancel culture can be toxic and dangerous though because sometimes people take it to the extreme of hate.
Hate (don't fight fire with fire)
I think if a person wants to unfollow and stop giving support to a person, they should do that but without spreading so much hate. Even when a person completely messes up and does something completely unforgivable, telling someone to die or sending things worse than that is never acceptable. No one deserves to feel like they shouldn't live and as someone who got told that, seeing that level of hate is still uncalled for.
Doxing has grown really common and is a complex subject. Doxing typically happens to regular people ( at least that's the most common group I've seen but it can happen to anyone). When you look up the word doxing/doxxing it is described as Internet-based practice of researching and publicly broadcasting private or identifying information about an individual or an organization. I don’t see an issue when people contact people’s jobs or current/ future schools if they made it public (for the most part people include those things as public information). However, I have seen cases where people release people's home addresses and things that they don’t make public online which is illegal under state crime laws (from what I researched). It can also be seen as harassment from what I read. (I try to research topic as much as possible before speaking on it).
Should cancel culture be canceled?
I think people should get held accountable for their actions. I think we should give people the opportunity to genuinely grow and reflect on their actions. Discrimination is taught so it's our job to correct the demeaning actions of the past and call ourselves out when we do something wrong instead of thinking we are always in the right. However, if someone doesn't grow and continues the same actions, they need to have consequences. People are allowed to have differing opinions in politics, religions, etc. My biggest issue is when people make false claims about a group based on stereotypes that were used to make them seem as less than human or abnormal. I do believe people can grow and change but only if they are reflective and take the time to understand why something was wrong and do what they can to fix it. Cancel culture is not the way to go about it but accountability is the way we can genuinely change to promote a society that makes people accepting of other's differences.
Remember this is all just my opinion on the topic and I would be happy to respectfully hear other's views on this. That is all for today. I hope you enjoyed this article even you don't agree with it, I would love to hear different perspectives. Stay healthy and safe. Don't forget to share this with friends and family. Have a good day, evening, or night.
Until next time,
xoxo Lay 💋
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