Can we stop trying to make ‘cancellation culture’ happen yet? Much like ‘fetch’ in Mean Girls, it’s forced, cringey, and unnecessary.
We all know the drill. A person in the public eye makes a misguided misstep, or says something that doesn’t 100 percent align with the script we’re all apparently supposed to strictly follow these days; Twitter combusts. Fury trends, the Mail Online salivates, posts are deleted, apologies are made, and then re-made when found sufficient, YouTube sobbing ensues and careers are left in tatters.
It’s been a fun game for many an observer. And for many, is seen as a sign of progress. Except it isn’t, is it? As the vast majority of the time, we – and by we I’m talking specifically the vocal LGBTwitteratti here, although the issue is definitely wider than that – are getting the claws out for individuals that generally mean us no harm.
Take this year. The global gay force is acting like we aren’t still playing 1989 on the regular on Spotify, now that we have Taylor Swift in our sights. DESTROY HER. Why? Because she tried to make a pro-gay video, featuring some of the most prominent LGBTQA+ stars out there right now and included a link to the Equality Act petition on it. The nerve!
I hear the cries… ‘But she’s not gay.’ ‘She’s using us for the pink pound…’ ‘Oh wow Taylor invented equal rights, let’s knight her immediately…’
Well, it’s more than any of us are probably doing…
When did we get so comfortable attacking our allies?
And, am I going mad – or does the gay community not have enough real enemies to worry about these days without lashing out at our allies?
Whether it’s Scarlett Johansson playing someone trans, RuPaul saying Drag Race is only for traditional drag queens or, worst of all, Madonna not doing the Eurovision halftime show to our satisfaction. Yawn.
I’m not saying we should never call anything out if it comes from someone we admire. But where did all the vitriol come from? The foaming-at-the-mouth, pitchforks-at-the-ready rage?
I think I know. These days, taking the frustration out on those who are actually the cause of so much widespread discontent is fruitless. Trump doesn’t care if you march against him. The Tory’s don’t. Shouting at your enemies is just yelling into an echo chamber, and gets you nowhere.
But destroying the people on your own side? Now that’s achievable. They actually rely on your ongoing support, making the take-down possible and – therefore – satisfying, yes?
Look, times are hard and friends are few. We’re all angry. I get it.
But when did we all become so convinced that we’re definitely right? Isn’t it possible that our views are right, for us, and that the views of others are, perhaps, right for them? Molded by their different experiences, background, and values? And that, of course, we can debate, and discuss, but does it all have to be so aggressive?
I understand when it comes to hate crimes and the like, it’s not easy to be casually placid about these things. And there’s a time and a place for the big guns, surely.
And if you look at what most people are in a tizz about these days, it’s mostly trivial. Projecting, I would say.
Surely we can acknowledge that there should be more diversity without attacking every straight actor offered a gay role like they’re trying to have us all killed.
The more we lampoon those that are actually trying to stick up for our rights, the more we alienate ourselves. If tomorrow, Lady Gaga gets a non-binary term confused, she’ll be widely mocked on a global scale, and all the important work be she’s done for gay rights would disappear in an instant with the current attitude. And it stinks.
Our superstar allies have a long history of giving us a voice when we had one. Now our voice is strengthened as a result, we’re going to use it to nit-pick at them?
I won’t be doing that. I think we need to take a long hard look at ourselves, and stop being so critical of each other, in-fighting and encouraging this mob mentality, and actually unite against causes that are worthy of the time and energy.
And if you disagree, well… you can always cancel me.