movies matter | criticism by maryann johanson
Sun Aug 28 2016, 06:24pm | 5 comments
I think that many people are just reacting to an issue they don’t understand by asking those on the forefront of media attention about said issue. No one is asserting that it is the job of transgendered individuals to explain themselves but activists should expect skeptacism and polite inquiry on just what their goals are. Anyone who puts themselces out there as a sort of spokesperson for their “group” should want to raise awareness of their cause amoung those less informed.
But the problem is that people keep asking people who AREN’T activists or professional “spokespersons.” DuVernay herself says in the interview that advocacy is NOT what she does, that she just wants to do her creative work and make films (which is why she doesn’t want to spend any more time on Hollywood diversity committees). There is already plenty of information on feminism, race issues, transgender issues, etc, if people can just be bothered to do a couple of Google searches online or ask their local librarian. The explainers are already available and willing. People in other professions, no matter how visible a member of their “group,” shouldn’t be expected to carry the burden of explaining the issues or enacting solutions.
Even MaryAnn’s main job isn’t to disseminate feminism per se — it’s to review movies. And sure, it’s through a feminist lens (and her own particular lens, which other feminists may not 100% agree with). Yet people still feel free to post comments questioning feminist tenets out of ignorance or malice, and expect her to take the time to respond. This forum DISCUSSES feminist issues, sure — but as she has often said, it’s not a Feminism 101 site. There are plenty of books and videos and sites dedicated to the fundamentals, that the genuinely curious can go to. So they should go to them.
I don’t disagree with that at all, I was simply playing devil’s advocate here. Unfortunately there is such a slew of misinformation out there that I’m not surprised that people are turning to anyone vocal on social media that seem to know what they’re talking about.
Oh, no, you did *not* just mansplain that a woman’s experience is not actually her experience, did you?
Yes, men expect women to educate them on feminism and misogyny, and white people expect black people to educate them on diversity and racism. All the damn time.
The devil does not need any advocates.
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