My connections in Media have run the ideological gamut. Most of this was done “accidentally,” as I fell into one situation or another and just sort of felt like The Fool watching everything go down.
I have worked for an early key player for one of the biggest far-left media concerns at the time; didn’t initially know who he was, and honestly I didn’t feel he brought a lot of those politics into the job (which was computer-based). Worked for another organization that was also computer-based that aggressively courted progressive/liberal types, but ironically had its investment base in Reagan/Bush-era Republicans. Go figure.
Ten years ago—after a very enlightening phone conversation that seemed to predict a lot of what has gone down recently in terms of Trump, alt-right, memes, and etc.—Andrew Breitbart offered me a blogging job. I turned it down because I didn’t think our politics sufficiently meshed enough. He explained to me how he got his start working for Arianna Huffington. Again, there is this feeling of “crossover” between what may at first seem like greatly disparate ideological groups. This feeling that as you got further and further up the ladder (or, pyramid) these divisions seemed to matter less and less.
I began my blogging career, such as it was, writing about comic books and getting publicly slammed by women who identified themselves as feminists. I remember writing one piece on the origins of the “big bosomed” curvy superheroine that seemed to be all the vogue…that there was something archetypal about that look, that brought to mind these ancient fertility symbols…that humans were still seeking out those symbols, and here they were in this particular female superhero on a comic book cover. And I was emailed by one of these feminist critics and called an asshole. An asshole for even existing, with my stupid asshole opinions.
Then I had written a piece about being sexually harassed at the comic book company I had formerly worked for. Suddenly, for this small window of time, I had done something “right” in terms of this feminist group of comic book fans and professionals, and they used my experiences as a “symbol.” But that’s truly all the worth I had to them—as a symbol to trot out. Once I returned to write about the topics I had done before, I was back on their shit list—only it was now 500% times worse. Because now I was a high-profile “traitor.”
Topics I had written that upset progressive-types within those comic-fan circles included:
a) Mentioning “God” once in passing (it was something like…”I think God had a plan for me,” or “God will find a way”). It was offensive to merely use the word “God” at all—very oppressive and shoving “my religion” in their faces. I had all these people dogpile on my comment section for this, inquiring if I was a Jesus freak, pointing out all the sins of Christianity, and so on. Because I used the word “God” once. Never said people should believe in God. Never said prayer should be in schools. Never said this was a nation built “under God” or any of that shit. Merely…used the word “God.”
This shook me up because…I felt I was pretty liberal regarding freedom of religion, and even freedom from religion. I loved reading different theological points of view. But for some reason, just using the word “God” was this massive trigger. And it started to create this paranoia inside of me that I could say any word like that without thinking…and it would create that type of immediate firestorm. That I had to be extremely careful what I said.
(I also want to add that I’ve known many atheists in my life who have never acted in this jerk way to people.)
b) Saying that I thought Google should have a filter on their image search to keep cartoon porn (often depicting child characters) out of the hands of minors. This was apparently interpreted as a vile attack on free speech in the comic book industry. I never said that the cartoons should be “banned” either in Google search or in the wider world. Merely just suggested the age-lock filter for children. But this was apparently very triggering. And the spamming in the comment section started to take on the quality of people straight-up defending child pornography.
One high-profile comics pro emailed me later to further chastise me, and suggested that my opinions were too “dangerous” to continue writing on a blog. And when this gentleman’s good buddy in the business recently got busted for child porn, I was like…
c) Having a high-profile “feminist” publicly attack me both for being “too liberal” and “too conservative.” She first derided me for suggesting that the Joker attacking Batgirl stuff in The Killing Joke was a rape metaphor—even though the editors at the time KNEW it was a rape metaphor, and had considered having the Joker flat-out rape Batgirl. And I knew this because I WORKED for the publisher who put out that comic, and talked to people on the inside who knew of this topic. But no—I was called out by this woman for being “too sensitive” on the issue…not a good “girl-bro.” Until…
A year or so later she had developed a HEAVY liberal/feminist schtick and decided to call me out as a “bad feminist.” Of course, she deleted her previous posts on me because it no longer fit her “narrative.”
And that’s the key point I have to make here…it’s all about maintaining a “narrative.”
Think about that: the idea that the ideology doesn’t matter, it’s just a “tool” used for this or that reason. Which brings me to…
d) Having a male blogger hardcore harass me online because I was a “feminist”—then suddenly flip his image and become a hardcore “progressive” who then criticized me for being too conservative. That was the cherry on the motherfucking cupcake. He saw it was more “lucrative” to switch to being a “white knight” and he fucking ran with it!
And so when he would get called out for his shitty behavior towards me, his defenders would go: “oh no, that’s not possible…he’s a Progressive!”
Do you see what goes on here? That it’s “easy” for a person in Media to flip from one end of the ideological spectrum to another if that’s where the money and fame is. I’m not talking the sort of organic “shift” that naturally takes place in a person as they grow older and consider different points of view. But rather—something very calculated.
I started my foray into being a part of the Media (as small as my part was) thinking that I was pretty liberal. But then I was called a “misogynist” because of a series of posts I did about the primal female archetype in comic book art. Later, after sharing an unpleasant personal experience, I was considered a “feminist hero.” But after writing posts that did not fit into a very narrow “narrative” of what was expected for my “label”—I was a (female) “misogynist.”
And here is my conclusion after all this. I don’t feel I was singled out, ultimately, because I was a woman. I don’t think I was singled out because of a post I wrote about goddesses and boobs. I don’t think I was singled out because I mentioned “God” once in a post. I don’t think I was singled out because I was too liberal or conservative.
I was singled out because I represented a “hybrid” thinker, a person who could consider and synthesize different points of view. I represented a critical thinker. I represented a person who was not going to eat up, like sheep, the entire talking points of any one side or interest.
And that…was truly dangerous.