Monday, September 14, 2009

Godwin's Law

Dear Internet,
You and I have had some problems in the past. Remember that time you hosed up my computer because of that one bug in IE7? Or that time in college when I put up those scandalous photos? Or that other time in college when I put up those other scandalous photos? We've been through a lot, but mostly we've gotten through it for two reasons: feminist blogging, and old episodes of the Muppet show sliced into 9-ish minute segments posted on YouTube.
Lately, though, there's been some things going on that I just have to call you to the floor for. There's been a lot of talk of Nazis lately, and I'm not talking about the actual Nazis who killed 6,000,000 Jews, 2,000,000 Polish people, 3,000,000 Russians, 1,000,000 Gypsies (or Romani), 250,000 mentally and physically disabled people, 15,000 homosexuals, 5,000 Jehovah's Witnesses (as well as lots of German dissidents, socialists, and other people who aren't counted on the handy little chart on the Holocaust Wiki page). No, those Nazis aren't be discussed so much these days, it's more like asshats like this guy, comparing sex workers to Nazis. Or any number of bed-wetting, Glen-Beck-watching Freeper Morons who keep painting Hitler mustaches on pictures of President Barack Hussein Obama. (Just click the link and hit CTRL+F and type in "nazi" and you'll be able to navigate the handily documented Freeper quotes.)
Now, Internet, we both love each other, and if you want to talk about sex workers being horrible people who prop up the patriarchy by engaging in teh secks with teh menz for teh $$$, fine. Let's have a discussion. You can start with how inherently bad money is because it, too, props up the patriarchy since capitalism is essentially one great big game of "who's got the biggest wang!". You may feel free to continue to tell me how engaging in sex for money objectifies all women by proxy because when one woman does something, all women do it -- which, I assume, is where the myth that "all women are bisexual" came from. But the second that you start saying things like "Nazis used to give certain Jews jobs and power over other Jews in the concentration camps, therefore any woman who engages in sex work is just like one of those Jews that betrayed the others to find favor with the Nazis"; your're doing less for the conversation and more for the perception that you are, in fact, an accessory one might wear on one's hind-end.
And if you want to talk about President Obama's policies, feel free. You can say whatever you want about how certain policies of the administration. Hell, if you want, you can say that he's just as bad as George W. Bush for continuing the war in Afghanistan, and not putting pressure on congress to repeal at least some of the more egregious aspects of the Patriot Act. But the next time you utter a string of words that include "Obama" and "Nazi" without the words "calling President a" and "makes no sense"; you are again doing less for the conversation and more for the perception that your sole purpose, Internet, truly is the browsing of porn.
Internet, Godwin's Law is now in effect. Quite simply, "that overuse of Nazi and Hitler comparisons should be avoided, because it robs the valid comparisons of their impact". I'm just as guilty of it as anyone else, and I understand where the desire to demonize one's intellectual opponents comes from -- especially on emotional issues. It's easy, when discussing these topics (sex work, health care, Governor Sanford's continuing governorship), to allow your emotions to run away with you; humans are not logical creatures, we are inherently emotional creatures, so the first place we go is emotion. We seek to get others to our way of thinking by appealing to their emotions. Appealing to their love of their granny, appealing to their hatred of brown people; appealing to their deep-seated instinct to call women who enjoy sex "dirty, dirty whores".
I'm not saying that you can't continue to love your gran, hate the Mexicans in the kitchen of every restaurant you've ever been to, and stroke your mighty internet-cock while insinuating that women who like sex deserve whatever poor treatment they get IRL. I'm not saying that at all. All I'm saying is to edit out the bit about them being Nazis before you post your comment. Barack Obama isn't a Nazi (by the way, fun fact, the Nazis killed people of color too). Sex workers aren't Nazis. The only people who can rightfully be called Nazis are Nazis and neo-Nazis. That's it.
I mean, if you're watching skinhead porn, that's one thing, but Oz has been off the air for 10 years, so it's time you got over it. K?

1 comment:

Renegade Evolution said...

OMG, an OZ reference! That makes this post even more the Win!