What Media Teaches

So, this has been making the rounds…

Ironically, this is honestly one of the better responses to this scene and quote.

Now, I’m not going to link back to or state who the person who posted because it ultimately doesn’t matter. What is interesting and worth some inspection is the reaction, both positive and negative, to the statement above. I am going to ignore the obvious trolls and responses intended solely to stir ire or rage for engagement farming. Those posts, and the people that make them, are not worth anyone’s time. However, there was a thread of thought that appeared in response to this tweet that I do wish to give further attention to.

A train of thought emerged from the discourse around this post basically mocking the original poster for their seeming ignorance of the female experience and open expression of that sentiment. Again, ignoring the obvious trolls and assholes, I was still rather surprised by the response to the post. Granted some of it is based on who posted it and the envy and annoyance felt toward them, but there was still a semblance of genuine emotion and annoyance tied to the contrarian responses. For which I have to ask, why?

I suppose one could take the worst interpretation of the tweet possible to show that the person didn’t interact or speak to or engage with any women in real life, but that isn’t what was said. It said that as a man, he did not really think about the way women navigate through the world which of fucking course he wouldn’t. Just like a white person does not have to think about what it is like to be Black or Latin or Asian or any minority. Or like a straight person doesn’t really consider or experience what it is like to be a queer person simply existing. Or how an able bodied person doesn’t examine how a disabled person functions in everyday society. Or, well you get the picture.

Every single person has various blind spots or inconsideration in their lives because that is just how humans are. We tend to engage the world through our own limited views and experiences. The most we could have is listening and trying to empathize with other people, yet that ability, even for the most empathetic and understanding, is still limited. I can hear and listen to a woman’s experiences but would not be able to witness or immerse in those experiences. Art transcends those gaps.

Writers chose the right order of words. Actors translated those words into believable and engaging actions and dialogue. Musicians and sound editors arranged the best soundtrack and sounds to support the scene. Directors guided the entire process before, during, and after the scene happened. All extremely talented people working to create a verisimilitude virtually indistinguishable from reality that engaged audiences and allowed them to fully immerse and witness an experience that many had only heard of. This is the point of art!

If you want to be annoyed that these experiences and purposes are being fulfilled by a massive corporation making stories about comic book characters than artistic pursuits of smaller scale stories about individuals with more ordinary lives, fine, and there is certainly an argument to be had about that, but you cannot fault people for engaging with art the way they are supposed to nor for learning about historical events through popular media and culture. That is the fault of greed and interests that solely pursue financial gain. So, maybe, celebrate that the biggest media conglomerate in the country is willing to showcase these kinds of stories to their massive audience instead of deriding them and the recipients who honestly consider and think about those efforts. Especially with the type of content that gets pushed and platformed by the algorithms.

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