My colleagues and I blew up UMASS Boston and Twitter with our presentation on Service Learning today, and people seemed to be especially receptive to my use of The Wire (Season 4) as a Film & Society text that examines issues with public education, political corruption and urban decay.
It’s a small thing, but other than that moment when you can actually see a student come to an understanding about a new concept, it’s about as good as it gets.
We’ve failed a generation of women. We’ve failed a generation of men. That’s the only thing I can take from this. We’ve told women that they don’t matter. We’ve told them that their bodies are up for debate. We’ve told them that their voices are nothing. We’ve told men that this is alright, that violence is okay, that anger is the appropriate emotion for frustration. What else is there to say? A part of me wants to say something like, “If Chris Brown hit Taylor Swift, he wouldn’t be getting a second chance.” But is that true? I don’t know. I don’t think so. I don’t think so at all.
The past decade has been nothing but a reminder that women of all races, ethnicities, bodies, and religions are not worthy of being respected as human beings. This breaks my heart, but how can I be shocked when we’ve told women that this misogyny, violence, and hate is what is okay and normal and right?
While everyone (including me) was busy making a big deal out of people broadcasting their ignorance concerning Bon Iver and, oh, you know, Paul McCartney…this is the disturbing Grammy/Twitter trend that should be getting all the discussion.
As disturbing as these reactions are, they reinforce an even more disturbing systemic problem that suggests we’re all encouraged to accept abuse of all kinds as “normal” types of behavior, especially from celebrities or commodities that we desire (or desire to be like). I can hear people of all sorts screaming to the heavens about how these individual women are “stupid” or “dumb” or “just out for attention.” But then you read the comments on that article and you see something like this:
And you realize just how much trouble we’re all really in. It’s scary out there, folks.
Twitter: the place where thirteen year old ignorant people can broadcast their firm belief that only what little they know matters. Perhaps Paul McCartney was “before your time.” But so were 70’s cinema, the invention of the light bulb, the first recipe for chocolate chip cookies and, well, you know, everything else that’s worth talking about.