yeloson: (pic#459017)
[personal profile] yeloson
It's always interesting when someone puts out a work that is racist, sexist, heterosupremacist, or otherwise fucked up and problematic... that when people point out the problematic elements - that the response goes like this:

1) Well, you people don't buy/read/watch this stuff (and therefore your money doesn't matter)
2) We NEED to include this stuff to sell (the rest of the world is bigots and they're our market)
3) You are being irrational oversensitive (Even though I just said in #2 that I'm totally willing to alter my artistic integrity for the sake of irrational market demands to make a profit)

But... once people start saying, "Well, I guess I won't buy/go see/support this work, and maybe other works by this person" THEN suddenly it turns to, "Why are you hateful people trying to put me out of business and starve me and my family? I'm so poor, I work so hard, etc."

Fascinating how our money doesn't matter enough to NOT include messages that have, and still do, get us beaten, murdered, raped, denied jobs, denied health care, education, arrested, etc. but if we decide to take our money elsewhere (after all, we aren't the "target audience") suddenly our money is capable of wrecking entire lives?

This usually also goes hand in hand with "Well, you're trying to censor me!"... which isn't actually true- your work is already out there and critical analysis of it is definitely not the same as enacting government law to remove it OR say, threats against your person to silence you.

Strangely, though, the idea of consumers exercising their free speech about what constitutes a good product or not, or exercising their right to choose what they want to buy or not buy, suddenly freedom is now a threat that must be stopped.

How convenient.

If you really are happy with the market you're targeting, it should never even be an issue when the people who were a "negligible profit" decide to take their money elsewhere.

Of course, what it turns out to being, instead, is that we have creators who:

a) are profiting on bigotry and promoting it
b) are too cowardly to accept the social consequences of it - if you promote bigotry, your work will be labeled as such, and so will you, whether you "believe in it or not".

This is why they focus so much on blaming critics, fans, and the public despite all the claims that they were making conscious market choices. Silencing the social consequences takes a higher priority than the supposed profits.

And if profit isn't the driving motive- then the bigotry is there just because that IS what the creator meant.

The phrase about not assuming malevolence where incompetence will do, actually isn't quite right here. Irrational malevolence is generally too incompetent to hide it's motivations- it reveals itself through it's attempts to defend itself.

If it were just a matter of money, either criticism wouldn't matter, or perhaps, there'd be adjustments to future works, after all, it's "what the people want".

But irrational bigotry? That needs defending.
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November 2012

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