I find this problem actually in a lot of people. I realize we all fall short sometimes, as much as we try not to. But there is a certain contingent of people who think they are so obviously liberal and, hey, some of their best friends are black etc. that it’s so obviously just a joke when they use derogatory terms. The same thing goes for sexism. “I can’t be sexist because I’m so obviously a liberal!”
Guess what? You can.
Many liberals seem to believe that a voter registration card with a D stamp is like a get out of jail free card, that acts which appear to be sexist in nature aren’t really sexist when you’re liberal, because it’s physically impossible to be sexist when you’re liberal. …Sexism doesn’t just happen in liberal communities, though, it actually runs rampant, and is every bit as offensive as the sexism among conservatives, because, guess what, sexism is disgusting no matter what the politics behind it are.
Then we get to Hipster Racism.
Hipster racism involves making derogatory comments with a racial basis in an attempt to seem witty and above it all. Specifically, the idea is to sound ironic, as in “I’m allowed to say this because of course I’m not racist, so it’s funny.” It’s an aspect of a larger part of the hipster culture, which wants to seem jaded and urbane and oh-so-witty. Using language which is viewed as inflammatory or not appropriate is supposed to push the boundaries and make someone look edgy, but it only really comes across that way to people who buy into that system. To everyone else, it’s just racist.
…Hipster racism often hides under the unassailable guise of satire. People who suggest that something is racist, and not actually funny, are told that they obviously just don’t get it, and that the whole point of humour is to push boundaries. They are told that the racism is so obvious and overstated that it’s meant to be laughed at, and that people are laughing at the racism and the racists, not supporting the ideas which are supposedly being mocked. But, oddly enough, a lot of racist satire doesn’t read that way, and it ends up just being racist, full stop.
Much as people seem to think that having gay friends makes it ok to make homophobic comments, or that having female friends makes it ok to be sexist, hipster racists often draw upon their anti-racist credentials such as “having black friends,” “dated an Asian girl once,” or “really liking Mexican food” to fight accusations of racism. If they even bother fighting the accusations, that is, because most live in an insular world where they will not be challenged.
The reason this is tagged with MCR and MSI is because I think these are two of the worst offenders in music when it comes to these issues. You have Frank Iero using the N word on Twitter, Gerard Way proudly stating that he’s “not afraid to call a 16 year old girl a c*nt,” threatening to smash their faces in, and telling the young girls in his audience “I want you to actually f*ck yourselves for me, moan for me, make it convincing. JUST the ladies.”
Then of course, you have the lyrics of MSI:
Never wanted to dance with nobody but you-
wouldn’t take “no” for an answer, you fucking bitch!
5 Year Old Mother Fuckin Pantyshot Cant Complain
I Didnt Even Touch Her So I Cant Be Blamed
5 Year Old Pantyshot In My Brain
My Life Has Meaning When She Spreads Her Legs
Back off you little whores
Get ‘em on all fours”
I’m telling you every single one of you goddamn bitches
ain’t never gonna give me no love
Every little thing you do - fucking hole
Little teenage bitch
Now tell me the truth.
Be honest with me. Be honest with me.
Do I look gay inthis outfit? Ok, fff.
Thank God. I thought I looked like a faggot.”
“This one goes out to my whores
Niggers and negros…”
And then you have “bassist” Lindsey talking about how she is “doing this for all the girls,” and “to inspire women” etc. REALLY?
People who defend this tend to flail at my inbox with hate mail, threats, and “YOU JUST DON’T GET IT, IT’S A JOKE, LIGHTEN UP, SATIRE,” and of course “UR TOO SENSITIVE.”
Happily, this post addresses that, too:
The other favourite hipster defense is, of course, to claim that people are being “too politically correct” or “too sensitive.” This is supposed to be a pithy insult which indicates that the person pointing out offensive behavior is too uptight, and not really part of the freewheeling hipster movement, but in fact, it’s just silencing. Saying that people deserve to be treated like human beings and that discourse should be respectful has nothing to do with being too sensitive, and everything to do with genuinely believing that people should be treated equally.
I’m prepared for the influx of hate mail and death threats, as with any post that calls out these two bands. But people, be warned: When you start threatening me (which the MCRmy is known for,) I’m really not thinking twice about reporting you.
And for the record, I’m not even saying “CENSOR THIS” or “omg stop singing about that stuff” or “don’t listen to that music / those people!” Listen to whatever you want. Just admit that you’re a universe-sized racist / misogynist, ffs.