Monday, August 23, 2010

Diana: 1, Dramaddicts: 0

And now, a personal entry.

I'm rather proud of my conduct today.

A few days ago I was acquainted with someone whose criticism of "Twilight" amused me, who admires Storm - and sees the problems in her current incarnation as Mrs. Black Panther - as I do, and who generally seemed like a nice person. We chatted a bit on his LiveJournal, it was all well and good.

Things took a rather ugly turn this evening, resulting in him attacking me for politely disagreeing with his rather unfortunate generalizations about straight women as authors of gay fiction.

(Cliffnotes version: he believes straight women fetishize gay characters to the point of misrepresenting them - I certainly accept that this is true for specific writers such as Laurell K. Hamilton, whose lack of talent goes hand-in-hand with using the medium to foist her kinks on unsuspecting readers, but I do not agree that it's true of all heterosexual female writers, or even most of them. Because the implication there is that if you're a straight woman you flat-out can't depict a normal gay relationship, and that's exactly the same line of strawman thinking that leads people to believe that if you're a man, you can never create well-rounded female characters - it's a convenient notion that just isn't true.)

After being told in no uncertain terms that as a heterosexual woman I had no right to an opinion on the matter, that I was "privileged" and had to sit down and shut up... well, I apologized for upsetting him and walked away.

And when I did that, I realized that I really have changed.

Six months ago, I might've engaged in a long, tiresome war with this person on his own blog; I'd have taken the accusations of "privilege" and "racism" to heart instead of recognizing them as easy outs when you're losing an argument (because when everyone's "privileged" except you, you automatically win), I'd have gotten upset and the whole thing might've dragged on for days.

Now, though, I just stepped away from the whole mess, quietly took him off the Friends list and let matters lie. Maybe it's just me getting older, but the prospect of an extended fight with this person I barely know doesn't interest me at all. I'm past the point where I need online vindication - and in the history of Internet Drama, I very much doubt that many opinions have actually changed as a result of flame wars.

Unlike your typican Old West town, the Internet actually is big enough for the both of us. So I'll bid him adieu and get on with my own business.