After watching the most recent Lindsay Ellis video, I wanted to talk a little about something she mentioned: the stink.
The stink is the idea that you can’t exist in our bigoted world without picking up some of that bigotry in some way, shape or form. As she said, (I’m paraphrasing because I can’t remember her exact words and the video is really long so I don’t want to go back and watch it all again just to find one quote) If you live in a pig sty, you’re gonna be surrounded by sh!t and you’re gonna stink.
I think, looking at her video and the idea of cancel culture, and also thinking about the things I did in my past, it’s true that we all have the stink. As much as we’d all like to deny it, we’ve all made a stupid or insensitive joke at some point. Many of us used the R-slur or the T-slur before we realised what they meant or what they were. We’ve all had some cringe takes at some point.
This is especially true for people who are in Gen Z (I actually am technically the oldest a Gen Z-er can get. I’m not a millennial. Lol). We’ve had the internet in our lives for as long as we can remember and many of us have figured out our ideology along the way at the same time as using the internet. We didn’t start out as woke, progressive and championing diversity. No one is born left or right wing. These are things we learn over our lives as we grow, read new things, think critically about our ideology and talk to new people.
Thanks to having the internet in my life from well before I had a political opinion, there are some really yikes things that I’ve said. like YIKES. The thing is, it’s the internet. While people in other generations could just pretend they didn’t say those things, we have archives to prove we said the things we did. One day, something we said might come up and people might start to hate us for it.
On the Left, we have a really bad habit of cancelling people for things they did or said (or people they were) in the past. We pull up old tweets from 10 years ago and expect people to be “held accountable” for things that they said and did back then – things that they no longer agree with and probably don’t even remember saying. They can get a whole lot of hate for opinions that they no longer hold. I think that’s wrong.
We want a world with no more racists, transphobes, islamophobes, sexists, nazis, etc… right? If that’s the case, where are these people going to go? We can’t just drop them off a cliff. Even if we could, I wouldn’t want to. I would want them to see the error of their ways and change! But that means we’ve gotta let them change. We can’t villainise or demonise them for positions they no longer hold. Otherwise, no one is going to change. They’re just going to dig their feet in. Even if they do change, we’re not going to really embrace them in our group and we could miss out on some great, reformed people because we were too harsh.
As Vaush said while talking to an ex-Nazi, we’re supposed to believe in rehabilitative justice. Defund prisons, right? But if all people are always going to have their crimes of the past brought up every single time they try to engage online, that’s really not rehabilitation at all.
In fact, I think that the Left online acts like an abusive partner to a lot of us. Constantly bringing up our past when we want to do better and change. Denying any of our struggles or concerns if it doesn’t fit their narrative. Isolating us for small transgressions. It’s horrible.
Lindsay Ellis’s video:
The Purpose of This Thread
What’s the point of my rant? Well, I want ShanniiWrites to be a place where you can say “Hey I used to be a vile person and I’ve changed”. Instead of people cancelling you or getting angry at you for being a bad person once upon a time, I want people to be like “hey! That’s awesome that you changed your mind on those things! Welcome!” I want to give them a clean slate here.
The best way to do that, I think, is to admit to ourselves and others that we messed up. If we can all admit to one slip-up at least, I think we can all join together and realise that we’re not all perfect. We all learn and grow and we can do that together.
So, share below some things in your past that you deeply regret now. For example:
- Things you used to think about other people.
- A thing you said that you regret saying.
- Things that you did that you regret doing.
- Political opinions that you used to have that you didn’t realise hurt others.
- People you defended for actions that you now realise were bad.
Then, let us know what changed! You can even share a story about how you changed, too.
I’m going to be sharing quite a few myself. I’d really appreciate it if you joined in with me!
Please do not use this place to share current opinions that you have which are hurtful to another group of people based on their race, sex, sexuality, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, body type, nationality, disabilities, neurodivergence, or anything that they cannot control.
You may laugh at past stories. You can say “yikes, that was pretty bad”. However, anyone who uses these confessions to shame or hurt other members of the community – either on the Forums or on other social media WILL BE SUSPENDED. That means all criticism of past behaviours should be fair and level-headed. It also means that you will not “hold people accountable” for past actions. They’ll admit them here. We’ll discuss them here on this thread. Then, we move forward. If you use these confessions to paint someone as a bad person, harass them, isolate them, clip them out of context or “cancel” them, I will personally suspend you.
Realise that your old opinions may be critiqued. As long as critique stays in this thread, is not used to make you out to be a bad person and isn’t brought up out of context or any of the things mentioned in 2, please accept criticism. You’re dumping your confessions here because they’re not you anymore. So, anyone criticising things from your past aren’t criticising the you of now.
Please don’t post if you’re just going to say “I haven’t done anything wrong”. For one, there is a 99.9999999% chance that you’re either lying or you don’t remember. Two, it just ruins the atmosphere.
YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO POST CRITICISMS OF OTHER PEOPLE’S ACTIONS UNTIL YOU HAVE SHARED AT LEAST ONE CONFESSION OF YOUR OWN!