7 sexist things only X-men do ! the 6th will blow your mind

It’s saturday, and I feel like doing some clickbait with a dumb title…

Well, and also, I’d like to spend some time on a reflexion about gender-representation in tomorrow’s world : this morning, I discovered an article about a poster of the movie “X-men : Apocalypse”

The funny thing is that, before I finished this post, the 9gag community already did something about this poster

Let’s simplify the movie with “good” and “bad” people : the bad Apocalypse kicks everyone’s ass, and around the end of the movie, he chokes Mystique (the blue chick) with his techno-organic hand…

But wait ! Mystique is a woman ! and some people reacted subsequently, because … well because she’s a woman…

Oh ! I get it, it’s because that violence is directed towards a woman, as they say, and… well no… I don’t get it…

I mean… It’s not because “she’s a woman”, it’s because she’s facing her ennemy, and the fact that she’s a woman is irrelevant…

Obviously, being discriminated against, on the basis of one’s gender or skin color is still a common preoccupation for many people (understandably, for these discriminations still exist on the planet). But as the preoccupation is still there, it can influence our sense of what is”politically correct” in some funnily absurd ways… In this case :

  • either the problem is that marketing shouldn’t use violence, and then the problem isn’t about a girl being strangled, it’s about the act in itself…
  • either every discrimination is an issue, and humans are all equal, and then, seing a man strangling a woman shouldn’t be an issue if she’s not strangled because she’s a woman…

Rose McGowan, in her angry tweet, concludes by quoting a child, asking her father : “hey, why is this monster man comitting an act of violence towards a woman ?”

Okay, let’s admit for a moment that this genuinely is what the kid said… I don’t know which way the term “monster man” should be understood, and I don’t know how the kid came to use this specific semantic field while describing the picture, but let’s say the kid is completely not biased by an education leading to look for discrimination in every place… Even then there are many answers to give :

  • HUMANIST & FACTUAL : well, nobody should use violence towards a person just because of that person’s gender, but since I don’t know this poster’s context, I don’t know why the huge blue guy is strangling the blue girl…
  • BAD ASS FEMINIST  : probably because all the guys are already dead, and she’s now the only one facing the oppressor… You know, Mystique’s ovaries are coated with titanium…**spits on the ground**
  • GEEK : it has nothing to do with the fact that she’s a woman… She’s just fighting for her world… And you know, Apocalypse has got four employees : two girls, two boys, so he’s respecting parity, which is a rare feat among politicians… You see, he’s just like Hitler : he’s an asshole, but sometimes, he was looking for egalitarism…

And besides, if Charles Xavier was the one who was bullied by Apocalypse, Rose McGowan could have said something like like “oh ! look at them sexists ! it’s a man who’s getting all the suffering again… when will we see a woman fighting on screen ?”

Fox has, of course withdrawn the shameful posters, but in the end, why have they done it ?

Mark my words : I think there’s no taboo question in sociology, and it can be interesting to wonder if, for example, such a poster increases violence towards women… A person interested in this question will look for numbers, sources, with intellectual rigour and so on… But in this case, there’s a poster, that has been withdrawn because some people have been shocked, and made petty accusations, saying there was sexism where they wanted to see it…

Either this poster was condoning sexist violence, and then this was a very rough and orthodox form of sexism (ie justifying violence towards a specific gender just because of the gender), or it didn’t condone this form of violence, and then, there was no reason to take these posters down… Oh wait !

Profit ! Of course, a company has to maintain its good image, since its purpose is to reach as many people as possible…

I’m not saying this is “good” or “bad”, but “politically correct” is a lever that can be pulled by offended people in any way : that’s how Facebook sometimes bans atheists posters because of Islamists censoring them, and that’s how anti-vaxxers sometimes sucessfully manage to harass and silence science bloggers…being numerous to complain doesn’t mean it’s “right” in any way…

This also makes me wonder if a political decision is bad, just because many people disagree with it (majority or minority, well… that’s probably not the most important thing)

On the other hand, we’re living in a world where a new paradigm is emerging… In this paradigm, consensus is highly valued : does everyone agree ? and if not, can we at least find a win-win situation ? If these values spread (and I think they will), many people, at a certain point, will be fed up with excusing themselves for being alive, and fed up with explaining they don’t mean any harm to any person who feels offended…

The more you try to take care of everyone’s psychological tensions (let’s call them “wounds” in some cases), the harder it gets to reach many people, because we’re all wounded, and not in the same way… A huge production company, if it produces an expensive blockbuster, may be scared of being politically incorrect, and that’s why we’ll always see people googling subversive authors of any kind : they can affort being politically incorrect, because they won’t have such a large audience (and fuck… I’m so happy they exist)…

Every traumatism becomes less problematic when a generation of children grows without suffering from it, and without feeling their parents’ pain imprinted on their minds

On the individual scale, I can share one of my personnal strategies with you : since I have very different friends, my facebook wall is often a battleground involving many emotions… When a person feels ill-at-ease when watching my posts, my main strategy is often to say : “ok, when I publish that kind of things, you feel pain… I understand… I can avoid doing this when we’re alone together, and I’ll avoid doing this in public, sometimes, when you’re here, but I won’t change the way I live for you, and pretend you’re entitled to some privilege because of your wounds… if you understand this, if you understand that I’m avoiding things that hurt you, not because I have to, but because I can, then I’ll be happy to hear your pain…”

On a collective scale, there has to be a balance between both parties : Fox can, of course, withdraw these posters, but the people who criticized these posters could probably express gratitude towards that company… This would first of all confirm they don’t think Fox had malevolent intentions, and this would express the idea that they were understood by Fox, instead of expressing that they made Fox ploy under the pressure of their lobbying… The difference is quite huge, because it can give any fight a philosophical legitimancy, instead of a sociological one : thus, ideas become more important than the number of people who share these ideas… I think this balance will become increasingly important in the future, to avoid hateful skirmishes between people who can feel offended for anything, and people who start hating the offended, not because of their ideas, but because of the way they want to be heard out…

 

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