People all the time talk about what terrible shape this nation is in, but I actually think that if you just look at the twitter-sphere, you can see how much progress we’ve made. Like, do you remember how there used to be a time when rich white straight men were the enemy? Like, that was it. If you weren’t a rich white straight man, you were oppressed.
It’s not like that anymore. For the radical left, the standard for ‘enemy’ has now expanded such that everyone who’s only one step removed from rich, white, straight, and male is now ALSO the enemy!
(Note here that I am only talking about whether people on the far left feel comfortable being outraged over these peoples’ actions. For people in the center and on the right, criteria for outrage have always been different)
Rich, white, straight woman? Enemy! (Justine Sacco)
Rich, nonwhite, straight man? ENEMY!!! (Michael Vick)
Rich, white, queer man? Totes the enemy! (Just google ‘rich white gay man’)
Non-rich white straight man? They’re the enemiest enemies around. (Donglegate)
We truly do live in a magnificent new era.
Actually, there are some indications that we’ve even made some progress towards a TWO-step rule. George Zimmerman was both non-white and non-rich, and he’s definitely the enemy. And Ani Difranco is a female and queer, and she was also at the center of a controversy recently. This is still a murky area where you have to decide on a case-by-case basis, but I think I’ve seen a fair amount of evidence that it’s okay to be outraged, on the internet, about something said by an upper-class queer white woman.
Three steps, though, is definitely not alright. Requires Hate is non-white, female, and queer, and support for her is still pretty ubiquitous amongst activist-types within the science fiction and fantasy world.