June 12th, 2019


You only see your own oppression.

My internet has been dumb for several days. It is still dumb, despite supposedly being "fixed" yesterday. Boo. I will try to post this anyway, though, because it's bouncing around in my brain and wants out.

So this is a thing I've run into so many times I've lost count.

I'll be on Fet, or DW, or a brony fan site, or on some other space where people who are in some way marginalized (kinky, queer, trans, furry, any other niche group that gets shit on by the mainstream in some way) and somebody will be talking about the difficulties of how their particular thing gets treated. They're saying things I agree with, things that are totally sensible, but then they bust out "And while everyone is shitting on my X, they all think that similar-Y is just fine!"

And I start rolling my eyes because *no*, no they don't.

The specific example that triggered this one was a discussion of how people conflate ageplay with actual pedophilia, and how awful that is, and how much ageplayers get shit on for sexualizing childhood when it's not really like that at all. (I actually think it *sometimes* is like that and maybe that's still okay? "Ageplay is often non-sexual" is not necessary in order to defend ageplay, one can defend sexualized ageplay too. But that's an essay for another day entirely.) Anyhow, this person then tossed out "nobody calls petplay problematic" and suddenly there comes the eye-rolling.

Because yes they do!

They do all the time!

When petplay blends into furry or gets sexual, they *really* do. Do you want to know how many times I've had my feline identity and my fursuiting business conflated with bestiality? As if fantasy sex that involves a sentient animal identity has anything to do with wanting to actually fuck animals? I DON'T KNOW, I LOST COUNT.

But the ageplayer there doesn't see those comments. They're not made at her. Why would they be? She's doing ageplay. People aren't going to randomly throw out "Oh, and while I'm talking to you, let me tell you about this totally unrelated kink and how much I think it's sick and nasty." She's not in the groups that get the drive-by anti-furry trolls. She's not hanging around in the communities where people come and vent about the jerk-ass comment they just got from some dickwad who can't tell the difference between kink and pathology. And if she does happen to see some idle anti-pet comment drift by in a discussion somewhere, it doesn't sink into her heart like a knife, it's just some kinda rude comment that swishes past, forgotten in the next minute, because it has nothing to do with her. Meanwhile every idle "I dunno, ageplay seems weird" that's not even all that negative feels like a personal attack when it's dunking on something that's a vital part of her life and identity.

And the funny thing about the above example is that I've seen "nobody gives ageplayers any shit" in a discussion of underage fictional content and where one draws moral lines when it comes to underage sexuality. :D

We don't see other people's oppression.

If you're a cis person, nobody is turning up in your inbox to tell you what's wrong with your gender identity. (Can you even imagine? "There's no such thing as a woman, get mental help, sicko, 100% of people are men!") So it's easy to not even know that this is a thing that happens. If you are a singleton and not plural, that "I'm a schizophrenic, and so am I" joke probably doesn't mean anything at all to you, it's just an old joke and you don't have *any* thoughts or opinions or personal feelings about it. (To be clear, I don't find that offensive, just dumb, because schizophrenia has nothing to do with multiple personalities, it's an entirely different disorder and I've no idea how they got conflated in the public lexicon, they're not even *related* to each other.)

You get the point, I hope.

I hope you also get the point that I'm not saying the ageplayer's annoyance at the shit that ageplay gets is invalid, just because people also shit on petplayers and furries. If anything I'm saying the other way around. I'm not saying "don't complain" I'm saying "complain, but also listen when other people complain."

And I'm not immune to this sin, I just am a multi-axis weirdo so I notice more of them than some people, because as a queer, multiple, trans, fannish guy with basically *all* the kinks, a lot of these stand out to me as personal.

It's very easy to completely fail to notice the ways in which other people are edged out, marginalized, and variously shit upon, because they're not happening to you. It's very easy to go "Well nobody shits on rope bunnies" or whatever and think it's true. But people *do*. Vanilla prudes do, of course. And so do "more kinky than thou" players, who act like getting a basic shibari harness doesn't even count as kink and geez, look at all these dumb little straight blonde college girls lining up to get tied up at the party, why are they even here, wasting our space and time, they're not *really* kinky! You've heard something like that said by somebody, haven't you? And if you're not the person being told they're not real, you probably didn't think much of it, (except hopefully to think that the person who said it was being rude.)

Everyone gets shit on for something sometime. (I was going to say that everyone who's not a rich, white, middle-aged, straight Republican man in a vanilla marriage gets shit on sometimes, but then I thought about the names I've heard guys like that called... I just think in that case I'm not going to cry any tears for the plight of the rich Republican man who gets called mean names while his no-doubt-expensive shoe is basically on my neck as a self-employed trans person. But I digress.)

I'm not sure I have a thesis here, exactly. Just...next time you have the urge to say "nobody gives X people any shit" consider that yes, yes somebody absolutely does. You just don't get that particular shit flung on you, that's all.

This entry was originally posted at https://bladespark.dreamwidth.org/1532970.html.